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Old 05-09-2009, 12:31   #1
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Stress Cracks in Fibreglass

I have several stress cracks on deck located around the corners of the cabin and would like to find out a product and method suitable for filling the cracks to minimize the chance of water getting in. Does anyone have a process and product that works and will protect during the wet season?
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:42   #2
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I would fill in the cracks with epoxy using a slow curing Part B that gives the epoxy adequate time to saturate itself in to the cracks. Do a practice test on something other than your boat first. I am kind of partial to West Systems epoxy.

This will only stop the water and probably only temporarily. There is cracking because there is flexing going on in that area. You have a problem greater than some leaking. Try to find out why there is flexing in this area. The solution will probably be building up some layers of fiberglass with epoxy, but I am only guessing since I cannot see the problem.
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:56   #3
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Very often the stress cracking can also be caused by having too thick gel coat which is the brittle part of the fiberglass. Many boats have such cracking without it being a structural issue at all. However, should those stress cracks become more than 'hairline' thickness or progress, you may indeed have an issue. While it is nice to fill them, it is doubtfull that they will go away because there is stress and movement occurring. It's when whole chunks of gel coat begin to come out or when the cracks open up that you might safely assume a bigger issue.
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Old 05-09-2009, 13:15   #4
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If water is leaking in past the gelcoat and getting inside the boat, which is what he seems to be describing, then it is probably a structural problem. Yes, quite often gelcoat cracks mean nothing serious. No worse than getting wrinkles as we get older.
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Old 05-09-2009, 14:58   #5
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So - the cracks are in the gelco or in the fiberglass?

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