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Old 23-05-2016, 10:36   #1
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Fiberglass repair advice?

Can I get some advice on doing this repair? I have built a wood cored fiberglass boat in the past, but that was a long time ago and I can't remember what the difference glasses were called. I was given a piece of heavy mat that looks familiar to me but I'm not sure if it would work in this instance. It is the same material that I used to cover the entire bottom of the boat I built. I used a thinner, lighter weave to do the filets and jounts and that is what I am thinking I need here. Don't remember what it is called.

I have plenty of 2 part resin left over but I'm not sure what else I would need.

My guess is that all of the damaged area needs to be scraped out and cleaned up and then layers of glass embedded, correct? My concern is recreating that profile that is damaged.

Is gel coat a requirement as well? Can that be skipped or do I have to do it? I have seen it in a can that you paint on, is that sufficient?
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Old 23-05-2016, 10:46   #2
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Re: Fiberglass repair advice?

I cant tell for sure, but that looks like mostly gel coat damage. It's possible that those tight radii had air pockets between the glass and gel when first laid up... eventually cracking and flaking. I think that's mainly a gel repair, put it on thick and wet sand down to finalize it.
If there are deeper parts you could use marine "bondo" first in those areas.
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Old 23-05-2016, 11:55   #3
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Re: Fiberglass repair advice?

I should have said the damage looks like it came from the boat pounding underneath a pier or something.

How do I know if it is just gelcoat? Should I be able to see fiberglass if it has gone that deep?
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Old 23-05-2016, 12:38   #4
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Re: Fiberglass repair advice?

you will be able to tell if it is fibreglass damage or gelcoat damage...if you look at the flaking pieces you should be able to see if it contains fibreglass or only gelcoat...if it is only gelcoat you can mix resin and filler (q-cell) and color pigment to fill in and level...i good trick is to lay some peel-ply over the wet resin and mold to the shape...when resin has hardened,remove peel-ply and there should be minimum sanding requilred....u can repeat this procedure until u are satisfied with the finish..
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Old 23-05-2016, 13:00   #5
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Re: Fiberglass repair advice?

I think I can see some chopped strand fiberglass showing where the gel is gone. You need to determine if those linear lines are cracks thru the glass or just surface stuff. Look on the inside also with a flashlight. I wouldn't worry too much unless you are crossing oceans.
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Old 23-05-2016, 14:36   #6
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Re: Fiberglass repair advice?

I'm pretty sure I saw a weave pattern in there which I took to be fiberglass. Which is why I am wondering if I do need to put down a layer, what kind should I use? Doesn't it go by weight or something?
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Old 23-05-2016, 15:22   #7
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Re: Fiberglass repair advice?

If the tunnel (gunwale) is empty (it may be, or it may be full of foam) then you can fill it half with epoxy. Then repair the outer damage with new gelcoat OR (faster) epoxy/balloons putty and polyurethane paint on top.

If the gunwale structure is strong, only an external repair (putty/paint) may be enough.

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Old 23-05-2016, 15:24   #8
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Re: Fiberglass repair advice?

If no crack just fill with resin or..?...and paint or gel. The trouble is it looks not deep at all from what I can see, so if you add layers of glass you will have a bump there. Also, for glass to adhere properly you need to grind a feathered edge out a couple inches. It just doesn't look to me like you need to do that. Appears more cosmetic to me, but hard to see.
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Old 23-05-2016, 16:21   #9
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Re: Fiberglass repair advice?

Looks superficial. I'd clean up the damage to see whats what and get good material to work with. West system using low density filler for an acceptable shape leaving a little room to glass over using more West with a couple of layers of woven roving and blend it in. The boat is very probably gel coat, so build a few layers of the same, and sand it out to blend. Of course I'm under the impression that the damage is superficial and not structural in any way. It doesn't look like a newer boat. How old is it??
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Old 23-05-2016, 16:53   #10
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Re: Fiberglass repair advice?

It's definitely not structural and it's a 1989 model, but it's the only damage on the boat and I want it fixed properly. I'm also worried about where the water goes in the crack.

My guess is that even if there is some minor fiberglass damage, filling the cleaned out area with epoxy and filler to peanut butter consistency would be sufficient. And then gelcoat on top? I'm not familiar with that stuff at all, does it go on really thick or in lots of thin layers?
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Old 24-05-2016, 09:57   #11
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Re: Fiberglass repair advice?

I would grind all loose material around the area with 80 grit sanding disc. Then fill with resin thickened with cabosil ( sp?) and shape to match profile. Sand again to shape and smooth. finish coat with gelcoat tinted to match using a disposable sprayer. Get the gelcoat with wax in it or it will stay sticky. I would guess that you will easily spend over $100 on materials and have 90% of them left over to give away

Better idea, find someone who is familiar with the process and buy mucho servezas for them to help you. You might try asking the local bartender for suggestions.

I would not use resin, gelcoat or catalyst that is old.
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