Gel Coat and minor fiberglass damage on hull

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by dvt30490, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. dvt30490
    Joined: Aug 2009
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: gosford nsw

    dvt30490 dvt

    G'day forum members,
    new member asking for advice.
    Have a Savage Mako 5.5mt fibreglass boat that needs some cosmetic repairs on the hull. there is no structural damage, but there is some significant gouges, scratches and gel coat that has just worn off from extensive use. I'm the 3rd owner so I would like to improve it's look.
    .
    Have done a little bit of research but not overly confident yet.
    .
    What is the best method to tackle this type of job? ie filler, sandhing, gelcoat etc.
    .
    Also what type of compressor and spray gun would be appropriate to finish the job.
    .
    Any advice would be great or it you could point me in the right direction for old forum reports that maybe of advantage.
    .
    thanks a heap in advance
    .
    DVT
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 477, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Filling scratches, dings, divots and other surface damage is fairly simple 'body work" type of stuff. You may want to use the search tool and look up these types of repairs. In most cases the novice, working in their garage or driveway has little chance getting a good gel coat finish, particularly one that actually matches the surrounding areas.

    In most cases, when the gel coat or sufficient enough surface damage has occurred, the boat is painted, rather then re-gel coated.

    There's a lot of information on this site in regard to repairs. Most of my posts should be ignored, but there are many others that are very informative, having done these sort of thing for a living over many years. And welcome aboard . . .
     
  3. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 4,603
    Likes: 170, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2484
    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    I just had a look at some minor repairs I did on gell coat where I patched with gell coat. Initially the new filled gell coat looked lighter in colour, but now some time later it faded in quite well, of course with the help of some dirt as well :rolleyes:. It is a time consuming undertaking to 'repair' many scratches. Something that helps is to mix small amounts of gell coat and fill the scratch. Stick some selotape over it to smoothe the surface and you can see if there are holes left on the side of the scratch. There is a slight bit of scrinkage, the amount to fill should be a very slight dome. Excess can be sanded down later.

    Don't fiddle with repairs while it is not fully cured ;)
     
  4. dvt30490
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Location: gosford nsw

    dvt30490 dvt

    thanks Fanie,
    I been looking at a few videos on you tube that has given me a visual aspect to fixing my problem. Your information is however invaluable and more interactive. I have a bit more of grip on the process and have been doing a few little experiments to see what my skill level is like. My main concern is that as PAR said I will probably have to paint the gel coat on as I don't have the facility or skill to do a good spray job. Can painting come up just as good? I'm also a little unsure of how thick the gel coat needs to be and what is the process of sanding? - wet and dry sanding - type of grit level etc. Any information on this is most welcomed.
    .
    regards
    dvt30490
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  5. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 4,603
    Likes: 170, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2484
    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    Please don't paint the boat with a brush ! What Par meant was you should spray it. You need a small compressor and a spray gun and a little experience. I suggest you get some by visiting a boatyard or someone that does spray painting. Nothing is as simple as it seems ok, get the knowledge first, then a bit of experience and then do it. If you don't then you are going to keep on running into all kinds of problems.
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 477, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    You can "roll and tip" with results that will rival a spray paint job. Paints have gotten this good in recent years. If you buff the paint afterward, you will not be able to tell if it was sprayed or not.

    As a rule, good paint jobs require a substantial amount of skill. It's not the brush or sprayer in hand part, it's the prep. Painting is 95% prep, 5% actual paint in hand time.

    So, the questions you have to ask are: how smooth can you get a surface and do you have some roll and tip experience. I've seen excellent results by complete novices. On the other hand, I'm quite experienced and have screwed up paint jobs, when making the transition from single to multiple part paint systems.

    You could rough in the prep, then job out the final smoothing, primer and paint.
     

  7. dvt30490
    Joined: Aug 2009
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: gosford nsw

    dvt30490 dvt

    thanks

    thanks PAR - You don't happen to live on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia? What do you mean by roll and tip?
    Sorry I'm going to pick your brain at this one - I'm presently doing some fibreglassing on some timber and then flowcoat to get an idea of what my skill level. Don't particularly want to do the boat without some trial and error first.
    thanks again
    DVT30490
     
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