Fire damaged (gel coat tragedy)

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by birch, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. birch
    Joined: Jul 2011
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    birch Junior Member

    A small gasoline fire near my boat caused a section of gel coat on the midway (the blue part) cracked or blistered or curdeled. do I need to sand the entire area to be repaired to the glass or just the flakes and fill the liitle missing gel coat spots before applying new coat Any help and advise is welcome as I am new to this kind of repair
     
  2. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    Back to the bare glass and a good area round it !!
    Coat with resin and re-sand then fill and prime and paint to spray gel-coat again !!
    The heat will have damaged the resin and made it very brittle so need to sand most of it off and then get some fresh resin and even a little glass back on the patch again .;)
     
  3. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    I would hope that either your or the boat that caught fire's insurance should cover any damage and repairs.
     
  4. birch
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    birch Junior Member

    no such insurance yet so it all me for labor. I hope to get some of the glass and paint done and I sand and polish. have a lot of gel sanded away.
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    You should get someone knowledgeable to inspect the laminate. There could be structural damage too.
     
  6. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    birch, you have not said how big the boat is, but if it is ocean going, be very suspect of the damage, the glass resin will certainly have been affected, but it may simply be superficial.
     
  7. birch
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    birch Junior Member

    its a 1988 19.5' bayliner capri 5.0 take it to lakes river and inside the breakwater in long beach not much in the channel. I sanded 90% of the damaged gel coat so far and cant see any damage. I will take it to a local shop that does a lot of gel coat. I am hoping they may work with me having them spray and me sand and polish. The area I am doing is 5' x2'on the side midway up and almost to the rear. Its blue and dont want to mach it myself.
     
  8. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    The Heat From The Fire Damages The Resin Not The Glass ,it Could Be Cooked And Gone Brittle !! :(
     
  9. birch
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    birch Junior Member

    how do you know and what do you do about it?
     
  10. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    ...once you have removed the gelcoat, it will become more apparent, make use of loupe, have a very close inspection of the resin, you will notice that it is either lumpy, or crystalised if it has been affected dramatically by the heat. Close inspection of normal resin/glass shows clear resin, with maybe mini bubbles, but not crazing or crystals.
     
  11. Deering
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Deering Senior Member

    I had several kayaks damaged when the house next door burned down. Some blistered gelcoat was the only visual indication, but a couple good raps on the hull told the real story...when the rapper punched right through.

    I'd get a hammer and do some banging. If you dent it, your gelcoat guy can patch it. If you bust it...time for plan B.
     
  12. birch
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    birch Junior Member

    inspection of the glass looks promising to me used a 10x optic and did some punching and it seemed the same as the untouched side. I have a pro coming tomorow to look at it and give me an estemate I hope I can afford. I would like to have the color match and aplication done by someone experienced. i dont mind some sanding and polishing although the itchy treatment sucked. Tried posting pics but could not
     
  13. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Birch,

    At a minimum I would suggest trying to pay for a professional painter to do the color matching, and spraying. This is typically the shortest, but hardest to learn step of the repair process (and one I have never gotten right). If you can find a painter to work with you, and let you do all the prep work you should be able to minimize the cost of the repair by a lot. Just be very careful in doing ther prep work and it should come out fine.
     
  14. birch
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    birch Junior Member

    Thats my plan in a nutshell unless the price is right I will let him finish it at this point. Im not broke but I am big on doing it myself. I am a well certified elevator mechanic but this is not exactly in my skill set. I had my drive put back together already by a shop due to the cost of special tools required. The fire was a kick to the head. Not to mention the firemen despite bieng told by me and 2 others (me screeming WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THE HOSE ITS A BUCKET OF GAS) The boat bieng already pushed into the street b4 they arived leaving the drive empty still turned the fire hose twards my open garage. When the water hit the bucket it was like a wd40 can and a lighter times 50,000 Ya ICANT THANK THOSE BOYS ENOUGH
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011

  15. birch
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    birch Junior Member

    Found a gel coat painter and very good price who will coat the whole 20' blue section for 20% more than the 6' of damaged area so it will not have to match color half way down the boat.
     
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