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Old 18-11-2013, 17:43   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: vancouver, canada
Boat: hunter 31
Posts: 609
small fiberglass repair

I know there are all kinds of threads on repairing glass, but I still want some opinions on how to proceed. I am planning on painting the lazarette hatch covers that double as seating in the cockpit of my 84 Hunter 31, then putting a synthetic teak down on the sole. (Amerateak?) One of the hatches has a bit of de-laminated gelcoat that sticks out a bit, and catches skin or clothing, so I obviously need to repair it, but, on closer examination, after removing the hatch, the area of de-lamination is larger than I thought, about 4 inches by 2. There are a couple more small areas where the gelcoat has separated along the bottom edge, but you wouldn't notice it without the unit being removed.
Here is a plan. In the areas where there is separation, but nothing showing, I thought I might gently wedge apart the de-lamination, opening about 2 mm, then gravity feeding some liquid epoxy into opening, allow it to settle into the gap, remove the wedge, then lightly clamp it until cure, clean, sand, then paint. In the area where there is gelcoat sticking out, I thought I might grind out the whole area of delamination, the apply a filler, possibly bondo. Unless I'm wrong, bondo is a polyester based filler that should work easily, sand well, and take epoxy paint well. There are all kinds of marine fillers, so if they have any advantage over bondo, I'm listening.
As another way to proceed, I could grind out a much smaller area of gelcoat, say 1x1 inches, re-laminate the rest of the area using the above method, then fill, sand and paint. sorry for such a long post for such a small repair, but I'm fussy, and hate poor and obvious repairs on my boat.
Thanks for any input.
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Old 18-11-2013, 18:11   #2
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
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Re: small fiberglass repair

This is a pretty good primer on gel coat repair. If you have any further questions after reading it ask away.

Don't try and use epoxy to glue down gel coat. Polyester (gel coat) won't stick to it, so any further repair requires epoxy. And while I love epoxy, it creates a whole host of issues when trying to UV protect it.

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