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Old 12-02-2019, 11:34   #1
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Bow damage

I have a sailboat with some bow damage that was professionally repaired during the prior owners time but it is falling apart/re injured. the gelcoat repair is cracking and peeling and there is a small amount of glass damage under. Structurally it still appears sound. I have done some small sloppy glass repair on my old laser and just used west systems resin and glass mat. this is the bow of a catalina 25 and i want to do something more quality and make sure it is right. do you all recommend glass mat or the woven products for this type of repair? I was planning to build up the damaged area with fiberglass then use a fairing compound to get it smooth and shaped well. I plan of building up to the gelcoat height then doing paint over the repair area which will hopefully match better than what is there now. someday I want to repaint the whole thing because the gelcoat is starting to look terrible but thats too much to bite off right now and I don't want to pour too much cosmetic money into an old boat. I would appreciate any product recommendations or repair suggestions.

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Old 12-02-2019, 12:36   #2
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Re: Bow damage

Try to avoid painting. Even chalky gelcoat is pretty thick; you can compound & polish it up, again and again - or not. It will still look acceptable. Paint, and you have to paint again and again and again - or it will look crummy in an amazingly short period of time. Getting new gelcoat to match the existing color is the hard part, so let a pro do it for you. The time you save from having to paint will be well worth it. We are not looking forward to painting our deck again this spring. Ask me how I know...

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Old 12-02-2019, 14:37   #3
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Re: Bow damage

Use fiberglass without mat. Mat for bulking polyester resin up. It's not necessary with epoxy. It only wastes epoxy and adds weight.

Your overall plan is sound and is the right way to fix it.
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Old 12-02-2019, 15:31   #4
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Re: Bow damage

I was talking to a guy from total boat today about ordering products and he said there were different types of fillers (epoxy based or polyester) to use depending on if I am painting or using gelcoat. can anyone elaborate on this?
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Old 12-02-2019, 15:42   #5
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Re: Bow damage

Fillers are thickening agents added to the resin/hardener mix to produce different properties, use unthickened epoxy and cloth for your repair, make a fairing compound using the epoxy mixed with a fairing compound. The problems most people have is not properly removing the blush-- a byproduct of epoxy curing.

West System has all the info on line.
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Old 14-02-2019, 21:20   #6
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Re: Bow damage

I'd use epoxy and fine glass cloth.
I haven't watched this video clip right through but what I saw looked good.


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