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Old 27-05-2020, 15:24   #1
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Crashed Into Dock - Gouged Bow

My boat crashed into this dock this weekend, and there are some serious gouges in the fiberglass on the bow. Gouged through the gel coat, but doesn't seem to have dug too deep into fiberglass.

Do I need to worry about repairing this now? Should I wait for the winter?

The hull is solid hand-laid fiberglass, so not worried about a rotting hull core. But I am worried about delamination of the fiberglass.
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Old 27-05-2020, 15:34   #2
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Re: Crashed Into Dock - Gouged Bow

a picture would help with an assessment. But as a temporary band-aid until winter, you could spread a clear epoxy mixture over the gouge to assist in keeping water out. Just grind it back when you attempt your permanent fix.
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Old 27-05-2020, 15:35   #3
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Re: Crashed Into Dock - Gouged Bow

All by itself?
Best to grind out loose stuff and seal with epoxy.

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Old 27-05-2020, 15:36   #4
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Re: Crashed Into Dock - Gouged Bow

If you can see the damaged area from inside the chain locker should be able to tell extent of damage. Normally a gouge in the gel coat is not a big worry.
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Old 27-05-2020, 15:59   #5
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Re: Crashed Into Dock - Gouged Bow

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightowle View Post
a picture would help with an assessment. But as a temporary band-aid until winter, you could spread a clear epoxy mixture over the gouge to assist in keeping water out. Just grind it back when you attempt your permanent fix.
I was told by a boat builder in the Bahamas that it is bad to use polyester on top of epoxy. So surely this would just make problems when he comes to reglass? Maybe some polyester resin would be a better temporary fix?
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Old 28-05-2020, 09:50   #6
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Re: Crashed Into Dock - Gouged Bow

Epoxy has very poor UV resistance. Vinylester is almost as strong as epoxy and chemically bonds to polyester. It's also waterproof. You could put some Vinylester fairing compound on it to seal it and finish at a later time with gelcoat.
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Old 28-05-2020, 09:50   #7
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Re: Crashed Into Dock - Gouged Bow

He might be able to use epoxy for the final fix as well - and then paint or gelcoat.
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Old 28-05-2020, 10:08   #8
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Re: Crashed Into Dock - Gouged Bow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubaseas View Post
Epoxy has very poor UV resistance. Vinylester is almost as strong as epoxy and chemically bonds to polyester. It's also waterproof. You could put some Vinylester fairing compound on it to seal it and finish at a later time with gelcoat.
I don't think this is correct. Vinylester has a good mechanical bond to GRP, but it is epoxy that has a chemical bond.

If it was my yacht, I would clean up the wound and fill with gelcoat if it is a small area of damage. Larger then I would want to build up the GRP first, then gelcoat filler.
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Old 28-05-2020, 10:14   #9
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Re: Crashed Into Dock - Gouged Bow

That'll buff right out.

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Old 28-05-2020, 10:34   #10
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Re: Crashed Into Dock - Gouged Bow

https://www.lbifiberglass.com/resin-...n-differences/


Unfortunately gelcoat will not bond well to epoxy. Epoxy does not chemically bond to polyester. Yes it sticks well but it's strictly a mechanical bond.



https://www.epoxyworks.com/index.php...er-over-epoxy/



Vinylester is almost like part epoxy and part polyester. Most commercial repairs are done with Vinylester. Short shelf life though compared to epoxy. Epoxy is great stuff but for a hull repair I would go vinyester. But that's just me.



Hard to say without pictures but I doubt there is an immediate need to repair to avoid delamination.
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Old 28-05-2020, 10:40   #11
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Re: Crashed Into Dock - Gouged Bow

Color Match?
I have seen more of these than I care to think about... For gelcoat, use an expert if you care about appearance. If you have significant damage beyond that use a glassing expert or an excellent repair man with a good idea and the ability to carry it through to completion.
A customers boat was dismasted and had severe bow damage when hit by a famous boat that came loose from its mooring during hurricane force winds (97 mph) many years ago. The famous meter boat sank. My customers boat was placed in a slip where I could access and work on it and it became a very attractive sailboat again. After the glass and gelcoat repairs by others I had a fabrication make an icebreaker stainless reinforcement for the bow and through bolted to the deck to hold the new forestay. No problem with boat damage when hitting the dock or being hit by some other object at the pointy end... That night of bad weather I was working on USC's research vessel, Velero IV. In Santa Monica Bay and Los Angeles Harbor... No one hurt and we worked through all that weather into the next morning to nearly noon. Nicer being on a 110 ft vessel than a dink.
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Old 28-05-2020, 11:05   #12
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Re: Crashed Into Dock - Gouged Bow

https://www.boatworkstoday.com/video...repair-part-1/
If you haven't looked at Andy Miller's vids - worth a look. The above link is to the first in the series applicable to your repair of your bow's defect with CSM & laminating polyester resin even if the defect doesn't go right through the technique is the same except obviously you won't need an inner patch. The third vid in the series deals with color matching the gelcoat - I have followed his instructions and found it pretty easy and very instructive - even for someone like me with no previous FRP skills or experience. Just be sure to measure the polymer/catalyst ratios accurately to ensure a solid set-up. A cheap postal scale can be very helpful.

The worst you can do is seal the damage and let a pro refinish at your leisure! The nice thing about it is: the bow is easily accessible from the dock, the materials are inexpensive, and if you get a part wrong, you can wipe it away with acetone if it didn't set-up hard or grind away what you built up too thick. The technique he demonstrates with (torn rather than cut) pieces of CSM & dabbing with a chip brush work very well and will restore normal strength to your bow since it prevents you using too much resin. You must start with a clean solid substrate which will require grinding/coarse sanding into the defect(s). Like all boat repair/refinishing projects, the key is in the preparation So you may need to make it seem a little worse before you make it better!

Good Luck, a nice weekend project
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Old 28-05-2020, 11:35   #13
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Re: Crashed Into Dock - Gouged Bow

The boat did or you did?
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Old 28-05-2020, 12:55   #14
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Re: Crashed Into Dock - Gouged Bow

Quote:
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That'll buff right out.

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