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Old 12-10-2015, 12:32   #1
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Gelcoat Repair

We are going to pull our boat this weekend, and I have a question about the difference between a scratch in our boats gelcoat, and a gouge. Is there any rule of thumb in regards to the depth of the damaged area as to when a scratch becomes a gouge? I know there are different methods of repair depending on which it is. So before we get started I need to determine what we have.
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Old 12-10-2015, 15:08   #2
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Re: Gelcoat Repair

A pic work! But anyway, If you can't compound the damaged area out, then it would be like a gouge! You would need to fill it with gel-coat, unless it is down to the glass. If there is still gel at the bottom, then you can clean break any loose gel around gouge, and fill with gel-coat. If you are down to the glass, a little resin with milled fiber, fill to just below the surface, let cure, to just about tack free, then put the gel coat down slightly high, to allow for sanding.
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Old 12-10-2015, 15:45   #3
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Re: Gelcoat Repair

If the scratch is less than 1mm, you can repare it by single gelcoat, the first layer(s) of fiberglass only is attained.
If the scratch (gouge) is deeper (and/or wide), it is imperative to restore the hull strenght by a decreasing glass layers, and finishing by gelcoat
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Old 12-10-2015, 16:02   #4
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Re: Gelcoat Repair

If the scratch is deeper than the gel coat and you see fiber glass deeper than the gel coat then you should fill the gauge first with resin. Dont use west epoxy. The gel coat will not adhere to it. The proper resin to use is polyvinyl resin. Then fill with gel coat.

West marine should be able to steer you in the right direction.

If its just a small scratch then using gel coat filler works well.

The trick is to clean thoroughly with acetone then tape the area around the scratch. When you fill it and let it cure take off the tape and wet sand. It sounds difficult but in reality its really easy.

The only difficult part is color matching.

If your doing more than 1 or 2 scratches. Buy a 100 count of gloves. It's much cheaper and you will use them.


Good luck with your project.
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Old 12-10-2015, 16:36   #5
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Re: Gelcoat Repair

Pictures will help however personally I like to use gel coat lasts commonly available color to match and then add the catalist fill the gouge apply some plastic sheeting ( fairly stiff works best such as off the window envelopes) smooth out and wait a coup,e hours to remove the plastic fine sand and buff / wax to a high luster ( its what I do to customers boats) Google gel paste a small kit with colorants is available on eBay for about 40 bucks complete with everything you need for a couple spots.
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Old 12-10-2015, 17:33   #6
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Re: Gelcoat Repair

Thanks for the input everybody. After the boat comes out of the water on Saturday i"ll try to post some pictures. It's too difficult to get good shots until then.
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