Fireball restoration

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Sharkbait42, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. Sharkbait42
    Joined: Oct 2011
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    Sharkbait42 Junior Member

    Hi, I have a 1980's Rondar Fireball that I'm restoring and the gelcoat is in very good shape, except for one chine where the former owner started sanding it with a belt sander :( The boat was sanded all the way down to the fiberglass in this area. The area is about 1.5 ft by 6 ft. I was going to just paint the whole boat, but I'm really hesitant to do this because the original gelcoat is in such great shape. So, what I'm wondering is if I could just re-gelcoat the sanded area. This would help to maintain stiffness of the hull and would save me from having to buy paint to paint the whole thing. How hard do you think this kind of gelcoat repair would be? I have experience with epoxy. Attached is a picture of the area in question. By the way, I already repaired the hole.
     

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  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    You can gel coat the area, though I've found it's very difficult for a novice to get good results in his driveway, with gel coat.

    You're clearly down to the mat in several locations on the bottom and the repair area, so the usual recommendation is paint. If desired, you could tape off the chine line, paint the bottom and buff out the sides, though you's have to match the gel coat in the repair area (good luck).

    The best and toughest paint would be an LPU, though nearly as good results can be had with a single part polyurethane, which a fraction of the costs involved.
     
  3. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    I vote for paint. Any of the name-brand single part marine polyurethanes should be fairly easy to use and, on a boat that size, not significantly more expensive than a gelcoat repair. If the sanded areas go right down to fibreglass, a thin fairing coat of epoxy/microballoon mix might be called for in some spots, before painting.

    Gelcoat is a royal pain to deal with outside of a composites factory. It's designed as a cheap way to get a smooth finish from a female mould, and is not particularly fun to use on its own.
     
  4. Sharkbait42
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    Sharkbait42 Junior Member

    Thanks... yeah I've heard a lot about how hard gelcoat is to work with. Kinda glad you guys said paint :) One question though: would fairing and painting be enough to restore the stiffness that the gelcoat provided? Thanks again
     
  5. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Gelcoat has no structural value and adds virtually nothing to the stiffness of the hull panels.
     
  6. Sharkbait42
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    Sharkbait42 Junior Member

    Oh ok well then paint it is! And as far as one part paints go, interlux brightside or petit easypoxy? or something else? I read someplace that easypoxy dried harder and more durable.
     
  7. Saildude
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    Saildude Junior Member

    I have used Interlux Brightside paint on a few small projects and it worked well for me - I have also used their Inderdeck non skid paint (with large particles sprinkled on) and it has also worked fine - on the Interdeck I mixed white and gray to give a light gray that I liked better than the dark gray that is stock in the can.
     
  8. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Petit Easypoxy does dry slightly harder, but it also chalks up much faster the Brightsides. Both of these paints will offer a great gloss and if rolled and tipped off properly a nearly spray booth quality job too.

    This said, you have so little an area to paint, aerosol cans is an option too. It's a down and dirty way of getting things done, but you can produce a wonderful finish if you take care.
     
  9. BobBill
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    BobBill Senior Member

    Fireball Hull and Paint

    I knew virtually nada about current paint and techniques for hull painting...but I was able to compete a very nice job after help here and some sites and using roll and feather with very good 4 inch brush.

    Years ago I used a Petit paint called Easypoxy or something like that and it was ok in white.

    I decided on using the paint I found here http://www.ipaint.us/blwapoto.html as it was the right color and seemed every bit as good as the more expensive paints. I remain happy with that choice.

    You might have to experiment with how much naptha thinner you need, but if you prep well and that means sanding fine smooth, it will look like glass after three coats.

    Moreover, if you do the prep right, no primer seems nec, at least for me over new epoxy and sanded poly gelcoat.

    Here is pic after second coat. I could have done sanding more fine and why I noted that prep in particular...live and learn, but for all intents and purposes, the job came out just fine and my pro paint contractor buds have me an A on the job...I gave me a C, but I am anal.
     

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  10. Sharkbait42
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    Sharkbait42 Junior Member

    Hmmm... it actually looks like it might be longer than I thought before I can paint. I was inspecting the deck further and I found that some of the stringers supporting the deck were broken. I was just planning on laying a layer of fiberglass over the deck because the fiberglass is very soft (the fiberglass is fiber reinforced plastic, not foam composite), but now it looks like further repairs are going to be required. So, I was thinking of cutting the whole deck off and replacing the broken stringers and, while I was at it, installing drain tubes like on the newer Fireballs, and after I made the repairs, I would reinstall the old deck. The the deck now is flexy and has some stress cracks from being flexy. Or, a second option that would be more difficult would be to replace the whole deck and stringers with marine plywood. The advantage to this would be: a) it would probably save a lot of weight (as opposed to adding fiberglass on the underside of the deck to reinforce the flexy fiberglass where the stringers aren't) b) the deck would be a lot stiffer and more structurally sound and c) this would look pretty cool. I'm never going to race this boat, so I could even redesign the deck and have a deck like on some of the Classic Moths or like on the 505 (roll tanks). The downside to this plan is that I don't have hardly any experience with wooden boats. This would also cost more. By the way, I'm in high school so my budget is very limited. But, I do have a lumber supplier a couple hours away that I could go pick up some marine plywood from. Either way, I'm probably going to be cutting the deck off :eek: So, just wondering what would be the better option. I'm pretty unsure about what to do. Thanks yet again!
     

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  11. BobBill
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    BobBill Senior Member

    Fireball Deck Redo

    You might want to go through the material in the Ensign thread, paying particular attention to what Par says there. As I recall, much about deck work.

    Other threads on topic abound here, am sure.
     

  12. Sharkbait42
    Joined: Oct 2011
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    Sharkbait42 Junior Member

    Checked out an Ensign thread and wow there's a lot of useful info there. I'll probably be reading through this for the next couple days or so :) Thanks!
     
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