I cracked my Gel Coat

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by scarmack, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. scarmack
    Joined: Jun 2004
    Posts: 6
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Florida Pan-Handle

    scarmack Recreational Boater

    Hello my name is Scott, The other day I popped the dock too hard on approach with the extreme tip of my bow and cracked the deck. It is a 21' bayliner open bow runabout and the crack is about 3" wide just above the decorative trim that covers the seam between the hull and the bow deck. I am not concerned with leaking since this area never gets wet, yet it is unsightly and I know nothing about body work on a boat. The damage seems very minor- it appears that only the gel coat is cracked and it did open the surface in a very small area where I can see fiberglass fabric as well as the thickness of the gelcoat (about the thickness of a dime) A few questions if I may... Is this a simple repair of which I can do in my yard? Do I have to paint the gel paste if thats what I end up using? If someone with this knowledge will please respond with a general direction I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you,
    Scott (The one that will be coming in slow from now on)
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2004
  2. slneatboat
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 29
    Likes: 1, Points: 3, Legacy Rep: 20
    Location: Norfolk,England

    slneatboat Junior Member

    If you don't know anything about the body work of a boat then i would suggest you take it to someone who can repair it for you because you don't want to give yourself more work, ie: rubbing through the gelcoat so that you then have thin gell to repair for example,also if it is a bad crack some more glasss might be needed on the inside.
    The person you get to repair this should hopefully be able to match the colour of the gelcoat so you should not be able to notice that it has been done, a lot depends on the age of the boat if the gell has discoloured etc.
    Haveing said all this if you can match the gelcoat it is a simple repair for someone to do,hope this helps.
     
  3. scarmack
    Joined: Jun 2004
    Posts: 6
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Florida Pan-Handle

    scarmack Recreational Boater

    Thanks slneatboat, I will still be attempting the repair since it is such a small area, its doubtful I do more damage, but I do appreciate the advice. The match of the color should be reletively close since it is a well preserved 1998 model with a nice gloss finish and the crack is in the bend of the bow just above where the hull seams with the top deck. Final question here though, do I need to apply any special cleaner or solvent of sort to the old gel prior to applying the new and do I use what is called gel paste.
    Thanks for any additional info.
     
  4. slneatboat
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 29
    Likes: 1, Points: 3, Legacy Rep: 20
    Location: Norfolk,England

    slneatboat Junior Member

    The gelcoat paste that you refer to i presume is a thicker more thixotropic version of the original gelcoat used on the boat,in which case if you can get the colour match i can't see why not, if this isn't the case you will have to buy the "ordinary" gel to use.
    Once you have gently sanded a V - shape groove along the crack wash /wipe the area with some acetone then, mix your gel with the hardener and fill up the crack then put a piece of clear cellotape over the wet gell this pushes the gel into the crack ,keeps it there and removes any air.Once it has hardened rub down with 600 grade and then 1200 grade wet and dry used wet then buff with a liquid rubbing compound. As i said previously it is an easy repair but one word of caution if you are not used to doing this be aware when rubbing! To much and you could rub through the gel giving yourself a larger area to repair.
     

  5. scarmack
    Joined: Jun 2004
    Posts: 6
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Florida Pan-Handle

    scarmack Recreational Boater

    Thanks again slneatboat, I will let you know how it turns out.. I know what you mean with the word of caution on rubbing, I am familiar with sanding bondo in auto body work just not familiar with gel compounds and prep... will see how it goes.
    Thanks,
    Scott
     
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