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Old 18-10-2007, 19:19   #1
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crack in non-skid

hello everyone.
we are first time boat owners. we have a crack in our nonskid right behind the forward hatch. It was actually not that big but as we poked around it, it started to crumb and is now about and inch long and a quater inch wide. it is very soft inside. we don't have any water leaking in. we kept it covered up so that we wouldn't get anymore moisture in. How can fix this. Or better yet what is the best way to fix this. Our biggest concern is that it is in the nonskid and to be able to replicate the same pattern will be hard. We have heard of putting acetone in to help it to dry. Are there any kits for sale for this type of aplication.
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Old 18-10-2007, 20:11   #2
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aslo just to add a second question. what is good for the little angle hair cracks found on the deck.
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Old 18-10-2007, 20:59   #3
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Aloha Turkish,
I recommend you buy or check out (public library) the book "The Fiberglass Boat Repair Manual" by Allan H. Vaitses. It covers exactly what you describe (on page 80)and has a lot of hints for all those problems you may encounter.
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JohnL
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Old 18-10-2007, 21:25   #4
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thank you. i will check it tomorrow after work
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Old 19-10-2007, 03:20   #5
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Aloha Turkish,
I recommend you buy or check out (public library) the book "The Fiberglass Boat Repair Manual" by Allan H. Vaitses. It covers exactly what you describe (on page 80)and has a lot of hints for all those problems you may encounter.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
Goto pages 25 to 31 of The Fiberglass Boat Repair Manual ~ by Allan H. Vaitses
The Fiberglass Boat Repair Manual - Google Book Search
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Old 19-10-2007, 05:49   #6
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Cracks in fiberglass decking, gelcoat etc., are very normal, especially where the deck meets vertical surfaces, i.e. cabin house, hatches. "Generally" this is a very easy fix. However before you make a repair you need to determine how bad the water ingress has been and what damage to the deck core, "if any" has occurred. The first step is to get hold of a moisture meter and do a thorough testing of the area of deck around the problem. If the meter shows you have a wet deck core in this area this should be addressed before you make the actual cosmetic repair to the crack. Repair of the actual crack itself is usually as simple as a slight enlargement of the problem area with a Dremel tool, and filling with a thickened epoxy, fairing the repair and touching up with some new non-skid paint. The Goughon Brothers, manufacturers of West System epoxy have excellent manuals regarding repairs of this type. Another product that I like very much for this type of repair is Interlux VC Watertight. Very strong, simple to apply and gives a very smooth repair. Good luck and I hope it turns out to be a simple fix.
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Old 19-10-2007, 07:15   #7
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Unless the crazing is the result of a local impact (often a starburst crack), stress cracks will generally reappear unless the underlying cause* has been remediated.

See:
“GELCOAT CRAZING and HAIRLINE STRESS CRACKS ”
GELCOAT CRAZING (Part 1)
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Old 19-10-2007, 16:16   #8
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we know there is moisture and it is already marked off. we will drill our holes first and apply acetone to it. let it dry. re-test with a moisture meter and if it is all dried up we will then get into cosmetics. our issue with the cosmetic part is that out non-side has a pattern to it. we would like to try to make a mold of the pattern so that we can keep the same look.

If we use epoxy to fill in the void do I need to apply a gel coat as my last coat? because i read that gel coat does not hold on epoxy. If i do need to appy a gelcoat or non-skid how do I do this if I use epoxy?
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Old 20-10-2007, 00:13   #9
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Originally Posted by turkish6 View Post
our issue with the cosmetic part is that out non-side has a pattern to it. we would like to try to make a mold of the pattern so that we can keep the same look.

If we use epoxy to fill in the void do I need to apply a gel coat as my last coat? because i read that gel coat does not hold on epoxy. If i do need to appy a gelcoat or non-skid how do I do this if I use epoxy?
Yes, you should not leave epoxy, vinylester or polyester resins exposed to the sun as they will oxidize, therefore the resin needs to be covered with something.

Polyester gelcoat generally speaking will not stick to epoxy resin. Sometimes you can fake it by applying a top-coat of vinylester resin onto freshly cured epoxy, then follow up with a coat of polyester resin on top of the vinylester, at which point you have a semi-chemical bond and the gelcoat should stick to the polyester. But that's a ton of work.

If the deck is polyester there is no need to use epoxy for the repair, polyester or vinylester resin will do just fine. At which point you can just go ahead with gelcoat and be done with it.

If you really want to go with epoxy, then you should apply paint over the repair - ideally an LPU or epoxy paint.

One technique for matching molded-in nonskid consisting of little squares is to locate wire screen material with a hole pattern that matches the non-skid pattern. You can lay the screen onto the nonskid and apply gelcoat through the screen, then lift the screen out when the gel is mostly cured - this will leave behind a pattern that is remarkeably close to the original pattern.

Lastly - gelcoat (and unwaxed polyester resins) need to be sealed from the air for them to cure completely. It is typical to apply a coat of PVA (polyvinyl alcohol - a mold release agent) to the gelcoat after it sets, and leave on for 24 hours. The PVA is water soluble, so removing it the next day consists of spray it with a hose.

- beetle
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Old 20-10-2007, 02:57   #10
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Polyester over Epoxy ~ by Jeff Wright
“... In repairs above the waterline, gelcoat applied over properly prepared WEST SYSTEM epoxy has a great track record ...”
Goto: EPOXYWORKS
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Old 20-10-2007, 10:41   #11
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Polyester over Epoxy ~ by Jeff Wright
“... In repairs above the waterline, gelcoat applied over properly prepared WEST SYSTEM epoxy has a great track record ...”
Goto: EPOXYWORKS
Hi Gord -

How would you describe 'properly prepared' epoxy, if this is the key requirement?

- beetle
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Old 20-10-2007, 21:02   #12
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thanks for the imput everybody. the moisture in the area is starting to drop. hopefully by tomorrow evening it will be complety dry. we are planning on using epoxy. the guy at WM recommended that after we fill in the area with penetrating epoxy we should finish it off with non-penetrating epoxy. what is this? and why do i need to finish it off with it
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Old 21-10-2007, 02:47   #13
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Hi Gord -
How would you describe 'properly prepared' epoxy, if this is the key requirement?
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Proper surface preparation generally consists of cleaning & keying.

Epoxy, once cured, will exhibit a thin waxy/oily finish called “amine blush” (salts of amine carbonate), where amine compounds on the surface combine to various degrees with CO2 (carbon dioxide) and water in humid air (forming hydrates of amine carbonate), or by rapid solvent evaporation during a “hot” cure.
The blush may appear “milky”, with the degree of “whitening” proportionate to the water exposure.
When preparing a cured epoxy surface for subsequent coatings, you must remove this amine blush.

The epoxy manufacturer usually has very detailed instructions on how to properly prepare an epoxy surface.
Marine paint manufacturers also provide detailed surface preparation instructions.


Generally:
1. Allow epoxy surfaces to cure fully.
A quick test for cure is to use a solvent wipe (acetone or MEK work well for epoxies) with a clean cloth. If the epoxy is improperly cured, the solvent will attack the surface making it "dull" in appearance and may be picked up and deposited on the cloth.
2. Wash the surface with clean water (I use warm “soapy” water) and an abrasive pad (ScotchBrite).
3. Dry the surface with paper towels, to remove the dissolved blush before it dries on the surface. Discard contaminated towels often.
4. Sand any remaining glossy areas with 80-grit sandpaper. Wet-sanding will also remove the amine blush.

See the ”West System User Manual":
WEST SYSTEM User Manual

See also “Cured Epoxy - Amine Blush”
http://www.atlcomposites.com/pdf/west-amine_blush.pdf
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Old 18-11-2007, 23:18   #14
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cracks in gelcoat

Turkish6 - I concur with the use of penetrating epoxy. Over the last 3 years I have been re-fitting a 27 year old 53' commercial fishing boat. Its gelcoat has literally several thousand chips, cracks, scrapes, and gouges from the fishing gear and cumulative fatigue from use. In all cases I use use penetrating epoxy before any filler of any sort is put in. In particular I use what is called CPES. It is really great stuff You can get information on it by typing CPES into Yahoo or Google. You can order it directly from the manufacturer (Smith & Co), or if you are in the Pacific Northwest you can get it from the Rot Doctor. They also carry some good application tools for applying the penetrating epoxy. It penetrates cracks like water, if not better because of the solvents. If you have gel coat delamination from the underlying fiberglass, it will get in there and replace some of the initial bonding. If you have exposed fiberglass fibers (from damage), it will act as sealant to preclude water ingress into the fibers. If you have a balsa wood core, or plywood under the fiberglass it will penetrate along the grain (and somewhat across the grain) to encapsulate the wood fibers and any of the rot-causing fungi (kills them). That's were its performance is really great. I won't fix everything, but it is amazing what it can do. There is an interesting Swedish study on the internet on the CPES penetration performance with wood in various states of decay (done as a Design of Experiments, if you are an engineer).
I first started using the predecessor of CPES in the 1970's when I was rebuilding a boat in Micronesia. It is so much better than anything I have ever bought at West Marine over the years since. If you visit the websites (particularly CPES and Rot Doctor), they have lots of good information on using penetrating epxoy on problems like yours.
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Old 18-11-2007, 23:31   #15
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cracks in gelcoat

Turkish6 - I concur with the use of penetrating epoxy. Over the last 3 years I have been re-fitting a 27 year old 53' commercial fishing boat. Its gelcoat has literally several thousand chips, cracks, scrapes, and gouges from the fishing gear and cumulative fatigue from use. In all cases I use use penetrating epoxy before any filler of any sort is put in. In particular I use what is called CPES. It is really great stuff You can get information on it by typing CPES into Yahoo or Google. You can order it directly from the manufacturer (Smith & Co), or if you are in the Pacific Northwest you can get it from the Rot Doctor. They also carry some good application tools for applying the penetrating epoxy. It penetrates cracks like water, if not better because of the solvents. If you have gel coat delamination from the underlying fiberglass, it will get in there and replace some of the initial bonding. If you have exposed fiberglass fibers (from damage), it will act as sealant to preclude water ingress into the fibers. If you have a balsa wood core, or plywood under the fiberglass it will penetrate along the grain (and somewhat across the grain) to encapsulate the wood fibers and any of the rot-causing fungi (kills them). That's were its performance is really great. I won't fix everything, but it is amazing what it can do. There is an interesting Swedish study on the internet on the CPES penetration performance with wood in various states of decay (done as a Design of Experiments, if you are an engineer).
I first started using the predecessor of CPES in the 1970's when I was rebuilding a boat in Micronesia. It is so much better than anything I have ever bought at West Marine over the years since. If you visit the websites (particularly CPES and Rot Doctor), they have lots of good information on using penetrating epxoy on problems like yours.
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