Help with Fiberglass on First Boat

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by First Boat, May 5, 2021.

  1. First Boat
    Joined: May 2021
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 1, Points: 3
    Location: USA

    First Boat New Member

    Hi Folks,
    This is my first post and my first boat (free on Craigslist). I tried searching for this question in a previous thread but I couldn’t quite find my answer (please point me in the right direction if there is a better post).
    The paint is chipping easily on the deck and the fiberglass cloth is exposed and some places are frayed. The hull’s paint is faded and is also exposed in some parts.
    Should I just sand everything down and apply a new layer of fiberglass before painting it? Or should I just sand it down and then paint it? Or should I just sand it, add epoxy, and then paint? None of the above? The boat is 8 feet long and will only be used in lakes.
    I would really appreciate your advice.

    Attached Files:

  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Interesting to see the boat has woven rovings instead of just a gun lay-up. That should make it stronger. I'd just use a pressure cleaner to blow away any loose coatings and then survey what you can see before deciding what next to do.
    DogCavalry and bajansailor like this.
  3. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Welcome to the Forum FB.
    This wee dinghy should be plenty strong enough as she is - she is probably built like the proverbial brick outhouse.
    So it is basically up to you now as to how much time and effort you want to put in to making her look pretty, re filling and fairing.
    If you are anxious to go sailing (did you get a sailing rig included with the boat?) then you could just clean her up, slap some paint on and go off on an adventure.
  4. First Boat
    Joined: May 2021
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    Location: USA

    First Boat New Member

    Thanks! This is the picture of how it looked after I pressure washed it. The paint that remained wouldn’t quite come off.
  5. First Boat
    Joined: May 2021
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    Location: USA

    First Boat New Member

    Yes! The sailing rig came included and I bought some oars as well. Can’t wait to take it out after some paint.
    bajansailor likes this.
  6. Dejay
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    Location: Europe

    Dejay Senior Newbie

    There was a post on r/boatbuilding of a very similar looking boat. He just sanded it, coated with 3 layers of epoxy primer as a water barrier and then painted it.

    Looking at the result makes me think he could have made it look nicer by fairing the hull - but that is probably a ton of work for little gain for an old boat.
  7. comfisherman
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Alaska

    comfisherman Senior Member

    If it were me, I'd be hitting all it with 40 or 60 grit on a random orbital to kick down the high spots. Then settle in for fairing work after a thorough dust wipe with acetone.

    This is probably a solid instance for epoxy products at 8 ft you wont buy enough to break the bank and it will cover a multitude of potential bonding issues.

    After its fair, a primer and a good self leveling topcoat..... going to be hard finding small enough quantities.
  8. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    Epoxy isn't required, and really won't provide any benefits.

    Whatever paint or coating that's on it now will continue to peel off after you paint it, so remove as much as possible. Or don't worry much about it and touch it up later. It's only cosmetic, so its importance is only up to you.

    Look for cracks that appear serious and repair them, don't stress the small stuff unless you really want it to look great. There's no right or wrong on cosmetics, just structural stuff.

    Don't sand into the cloth unless you're doing a crack repair, you'll weaken it, use a stiff wire brush to scuff the surface.
    hoytedow and bajansailor like this.

  9. First Boat
    Joined: May 2021
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 1, Points: 3
    Location: USA

    First Boat New Member

    Awesome advice. Makes complete sense.
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