Fiberglass/ kevlar canoe restoration help

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by jnicho33, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. jnicho33
    Joined: Jul 2013
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    Location: virginia

    jnicho33 New Member

    I have been researching a bit online but have some specific questions I was hoping to have answered. I plan to restore this canoe. It is very scratched up, has a patch, and a few bad spots (one that goes all the way to the kevlar as far as I can tell)

    I understand there to be three layers of material: gel coat, fiberglass, kevlar.
    Online sources I have read say to sand through the gel coat to make fiberglass repairs. I have been over half the boat with 80 grit sandpaper and am not sure how thick the gel coat is. I haven't been able to sand out the deeper scratches.

    Is the color in the gelcoat? If so must I sand until it is no longer green before I move on to repairing the deep nics and scratches?

    [​IMG]
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    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    alan white Senior Member

    Nicks and scratches can be filled with a putty, and no, you don't have to grind off the gel coat. Epoxy putty would be the best to use. West systen #410 Microlight is a good filler for this application. It stretches the epoxy a long ways and will stay put and sand beautifully.
    The deeper damage will need to be ground down to the base resin. Using epoxy resin without filler, those deep scrapes can be built back up with glass mat or cloth. Assuming the damage is at least partially structural, bevel all edges around the damage with a rough grit on a high speed grinder rather than simply filling. Then build back up using as many layers of glass as needed. Grind and finish with Microlight/epoxy and sand fair.
    Use a high build primer to eliminate any old scratches telegraphing through. sand to 320 grit and paint.
     
  3. jnicho33
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    jnicho33 New Member

    Thanks for the advise. This will get me started but I'm sure I'll have some more questions. I'll be sure to post some more pictures with my progress/questions!
     
  4. jnicho33
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    jnicho33 New Member

    BTW, thanks for the specific product for the filler epoxy. Is there a product you (or anyone) recommends for the "epoxy resin without filler"?
     
  5. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    The most popular are West System and System Three. I like West System but I haven't tried the rest. Microlight is a West System product too.
     
  6. jnicho33
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    jnicho33 New Member

    Great! Appreciate the help! Any thoughts on this patch made previously? It doesn't look like any cloth was used and is full of small air bubbles.

    [​IMG]
     

  7. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    I can't tell without being there. Chances are good that it's not a great job. Leave it alone if it has held up and any signs of problems, deal with it then.
     
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