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Old 06-03-2012, 12:27   #1
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Fixing My First Gouges

I bought my first boat a few weeks ago and the next item on my todo list is to fill up some cracks/gouges in the hull so she can look her best again.

It's generally 30-35 degrees here at this time of year but Wed-Thursday are going to be 55-58 so I want to jump on this time to do this exterior work.

Disclaimer: I am a complete novice. I generally just read around on forums for several hours researching how others did something, but usually that just leaves me with more questions.

So far it seems the best solution would be to use:

bondo glass filler
Bondo-Glass Fiberglass Reinforced Body Filler
seems to work in colder climates according to a review?
or
bondo fiberglass resin jelly?
Bondo Fiberglass Resin Jelly

then a gelcoat kit to cover it
EVERCOAT Match'N'Patch Large Gelcoat Repair Kit at West Marine


I read a reputable person saying "For deep gouges I usually mix cabosil, polyester resin & some of the colored gelcoat to slightly tint the filler" but I'm not really familiar with cabosil and polyester resin. I think I would feel more comfortable with a kit.

Curing temperatures are also something to consider since I live in a colder area at a colder time of year. I can't really wait for reliable 70 degree weather because it could take a long time to get here (or be in two weeks based on this warm winter).

I also have all my compounds and polishes to make the rest of the hull shine again. Am I right in assuming I should compound, polish and wax an area near a hole so I have something "fresh" for when I'm doing the color matching of the gel coat?
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Old 06-03-2012, 16:21   #2
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Re: Fixing my first gouges

I can't seem to edit my post but there is also:

3M filler putty.
http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...classNum=50223

I've also seen the west system repair kit. Seems like it would be good for the larger hole and at least there are packets so I wouldn't waste a whole kit on the one repair
WEST SYSTEM | Repair Kits

Then just though up the rest of the them with the gel coat kit?
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Old 06-03-2012, 17:53   #3
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Re: Fixing my first gouges

You have a big learning curve ahead of you. Some of the repairs you picture are structural and will involve grinding, glassing, and fairing to properly repair. You have repairs in textured non-skid and smooth areas, these will need to be finished differently. It will be a big job, but you should definitely do it yourself. By the time you get a good result you will be ready to maintain your boat cosmetically down the line.
Never listen to anyone who will color match a filler, I'm a long time pro and it just can't be done and still acheive a pro finish. For anything that goes through the gel and into the glass, ie stress fractures and the damage you pictured, you will need to do a proper backgrind and glass it back up, then fair out the repair, prime and finish with either nonskid or gelcoat. Don't use epoxy, you cant gelcoat over it and it slows you down too much waiting for cure times. Glass with vinylester resin or polyester iso resin, fair with 3M Rage gold, prime with surface sealed gelcoat brushed on to fill pinholes, and topcoat with sprayed gelcoat or rolled gelcoat with griptex to match the skid. Color matching perfectly is an art it took me years to perfect, you will not get it right the first time. There are many secrets that help though. Do not use a West marine gelcoat kit. Gel has a shelf life of one year, almost all of those kits are past the useful shelf life but not dated. Get fresh Snow White gelcoat (not Pure White, it's too blue) from a reputable dealer of fiberglass material near you. It's cheaper and you wont have the problems everyone who uses repair kits complain about. There are a hundred technical details I have left out, but ask away if you're interested.
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Old 06-03-2012, 18:10   #4
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Re: Fixing my first gouges

Hello Minaret!

I was very glad to see your reply!

I head off first thing in the morning (boat is sadly about 100 miles away and it's a 3 hour round trip to work on the boat) and I don't want to get stuck with too many questions while I'm alone or I will have to head back empty handed.

I'm not sure what you mean by non-skid because these are all on the hull or transom and there is no non-skid (though the pictures do look very textured...)

My plan was to wash the sides down with ON & OFF to get things clean, and to use a buffer and compound to shine things up a bit so I know what I need to try to match for the gel coat. If you're suggesting I don't use the color match kit, I should still be trying to color match the Snow White gelcoat right?

For the impact on the transom (second pic on the bottom right) I am assuming I will need to sand away as much of that as I can and feather it out and then use a something like the West System kit for layering up some fiberglass.
Kit - WEST SYSTEM | Repair Kits
Video - Repairing Deep Cracks

Then try to fair the fiberglass (but you suggest using a fairing compound like 3M rage gold?) but keeping it a little recessed so that I can fill with the gel coat to a slight bevel and fair that off as well. Then compound the taped off area and polish/wax with the rest of the hull once I'm ready?

The gouge that rounds a corner looks to be troublesome as are the cracks/gouges that are slightly into other colors. I suppose however that once I dremel out the cracks (bought one today) they will be wider and slightly easier to fill with the gel coat, but still not confident I'll get a clean line.

Thanks for any help you can offer. I'll be watching this thread like a hawk!
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Old 06-03-2012, 18:23   #5
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Re: Fixing my first gouges

100% argree with minarett re polyester gelcoat.

epoxy is a waste of time for this type of repair

another few tips ;get a gallon tin of acetone you will need a lot for cleaning,also white clean rags.

a grinder with a fibre disk is great for cleaning up scrapers.

when applying filler apply small catalysed amounts using a board as a mortar with 4-5 batches on it ready to be mixed.

in colder weather dont be afraid to over catalyse slightly(5-10%) but you will have to work fast.

a heat gun is useful if there is any humidity,pre treatment.

a random orbital sander with a vacume is great for getting high finishes,though wet n dry hand sanding is nessacary for a good final finish before polishing.

tape off and cover area around the repair,also set up a protected mixing area saves a lot of cleaning up after.
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Old 06-03-2012, 18:31   #6
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Re: Fixing my first gouges

Hi atoll!

This is what I got for a Dremel

Dremel 4000-2/30 120-Volt Variable Speed Rotary Tool Kit: Amazon.com: Home Improvement

I'm not entirely sure which bit to use but there is a green cone shaped bit that looks good. According to the manual it looks to be a Silicon Carbide Grinding Stone means for hard materials like glass and ceramics.

Any recommendations on actual brands of supplies to buy? That is the attractive part of the kits. Even though they are a little more expensive they make it so you don't have to tackle *everything* at once.
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Old 06-03-2012, 18:47   #7
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Re: Fixing my first gouges

the dremel is fine for the initial grinding out of very small repairs,i would use the grinding stone and a fibre disc attachment.

though i normally use a 10,000 rpm disk grinder for the initial prep with a selection of fibre discs 60-180 grit.

after glassing up grind again to key ,apply filler then flatten out with a random orbital sander using 80- 120grit discs.

apply gel coat,sand apply more gel coat utill sufficient then flatten using 180-400 grit

finish by hand 800-1200-2400 grit then polish.
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Old 06-03-2012, 19:01   #8
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Re: Fixing my first gouges

Hello atoll,

I bit the bullet last week and bought one of these for the compounding/polishing/waxing after a strong recommendation.

It says it is a sander too. Could I use this as my orbital sander to save the $50-$80?

Amazon.com: Makita 9227CX3 7-Inch Hook and Loop Electronic Polisher-Sander with Polishing Kit: Home Improvement
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Old 06-03-2012, 19:14   #9
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Re: Fixing my first gouges

it will sand with the flat soft pad at very low speeds but you will have to be very careful not to gouge with the edge of the disc,probably best to only use it on the filler then hand sand with a block when doing the gel coat finish.
also find they clog and make circular imperssions when sanding,but great for polishing.

a good random orbital is going to cost $180+!!!
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Old 06-03-2012, 19:18   #10
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Re: Fixing my first gouges

My areas are not very large. Perhaps I'm better off doing this all by hand. I seem to be sinking $150-$200 into a lot of tools that I might not have many uses for. I understand there is a pretty high entrance barrier with tools but I'm really trying to only get what is really needed.

Would I be fine taping off these areas and sanding them by hand? Working from 60 to 150 to 600 to 1200 to 2400 grit?

Or should I get something like this Dewalt?
http://www.lowes.com/pd_121351-70-D2...der&facetInfo=
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Old 06-03-2012, 19:34   #11
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Re: Fixing my first gouges

Okay, Newb, time to memorize a mantra. Or two.

No shortcuts.

No bondo.

No shortcuts,

No bondo.


Repeat 1,000 times.
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Old 06-03-2012, 19:39   #12
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Re: Fixing my first gouges

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Okay, Newb, time to memorize a mantra. Or two.

No shortcuts.

No bondo.

No shortcuts,

No bondo.


Repeat 1,000 times.
I'll do whatever I need to do, I just need a process to follow until I can understand it. I do as much research as I can and take notes so I have a process to attempt but there are a lot of opinions out there on what to do and what product to use. I just need a sound method to run with and I'll adjust later if needed. There is too much to do to become an expert in engines, fiberglass, plumbing, and electrical work all before I hit the water so I'm hoping for as much specific guidance as possible as I get some more experience under my belt.
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Old 06-03-2012, 19:50   #13
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Re: Fixing my first gouges

Quote:
Originally Posted by maine89 View Post
My areas are not very large. Perhaps I'm better off doing this all by hand. I seem to be sinking $150-$200 into a lot of tools that I might not have many uses for. I understand there is a pretty high entrance barrier with tools but I'm really trying to only get what is really needed.

Would I be fine taping off these areas and sanding them by hand? Working from 60 to 150 to 600 to 1200 to 2400 grit?

Or should I get something like this Dewalt?
Shop DEWALT 3-Amp 12000 OPM Power Sander at Lowes.com
that would work fine,but if you are doing only small repairs hand sanding with a soft neopreme block will also be sufficient,though slow and hard to get really perfect repairs.

best is to experiment first before spending lots of money on expensive tools.

with attention to detail you should be able to get an adequete finish by hand,espeasilly if the dings are only 1-2" across.
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Old 06-03-2012, 20:08   #14
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Re: Fixing my first gouges

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
that would work fine,but if you are doing only small repairs hand sanding with a soft neopreme block will also be sufficient,though slow and hard to get really perfect repairs.

best is to experiment first before spending lots of money on expensive tools.

with attention to detail you should be able to get an adequete finish by hand,espeasilly if the dings are only 1-2" across.
Best news all day!

Ok so on my supplies list is a sanding block and an assortment of sand paper (probably 60, 80, 120, 200, 400, 600, 1200, 2000)

Then I'll dremel out the small dings
Sand out the larger spots and feather them out
Lay the West System fiberglass in rings and following their curing/finishing process
Then use a fairing compound like 3M Rage gold and sand it to be slightly recessed and then paint on gel coat with a brush so that is slightly higher than the normal geloat
Then sand that down with progressively higher grit sandpaper until I hit 2000 and it is smooth enough to hit with the compound (I bought a few Presta products).
Then hit it with polish and wax once the rest of the hull is ready?

Again I have zero experience, just trying to piece together a guide based on what I've been reading.

Is the West System Kit what I should get?
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:52   #15
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Re: Fixing My First Gouges

sounds like you got the the correct method,though you will normally have to use 2-3 layers of gel coat to get rid of blemishes on larger patches.

i,ve never used the west system kit or the 3m filler,so cant comment but would assume this is an epoxy based resin,and the 3m a polyester resin filler ,these will not be compatible.

reccomend you contact minerett as he is based in seattle and can probably reccomend products available in the usa in your area.

as discussed before for minor repairs use only polyester based resin products which cure in about 20-30 minutes.

epoxy based need 2-3 hrs at least and colour matching is difficult+hard to hand sand + not compatible with gel coat

would reccomend finding your local speacialist resin and glass supplyer who will stock everything you need to do the correct polyester gelcoat repair.

from them you will need.
acetone
polyester resin+catalyst
450gm cloth
fine body filler+catalyst
white gelcoat+catalyst
colour tint
brushes+scraper.
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