Mad River Malecite (fiberglass) refurbish. Zero experience.

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by PennDude, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. PennDude
    Joined: Mar 2018
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Pennsylvania

    PennDude New Member

    I picked up a mid 70s Malecite for cheap and just started sanding it down and prepping for fiberglass repairs.

    I have a few questions as far as fiberglass repairs go, as I have zero experience with fiberglass.

    First, the bow and keel both have damage on their edges. I can't access these areas from the inside of the boat. Not sure if this is a problem. I'd planned on two layers of 4 ounce fiberglass fabric on these areas. Will the thin edge cause wrinkles? I'm not quite sure what shapes I should be cutting my patches for these areas.

    Second, there's a troublesome spot on the side of the boat where there has been some sort of previous repair . This spot is indented slightly and looks a little warped. I'd like to straighten this out without using a thick coat of body filler but I'm not sure how to do that. I'd planned on grinding the old patch out but I'm not sure how large of a hole is too large to patch. I've watched a lot of fiberglass tutorials and can't find specific answers to these issues. I've included a picture album for reference. Thanks for any help or insight you can provide.

    Pictures of the boat:
    Imgur https://imgur.com/a/QQQfEwi
     
  2. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
    Posts: 324
    Likes: 41, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Columbus, GA

    JamesG123 Senior Member

    The indentation looks minor and would be more work than its worth to fix. But if you insist, grinding down to the glass and using lightweight bondo should be fine. Is there something on the inside that caused it or was it from an impact?

    On the bow/keel only the one ground all the way thru looks like it really needs glass. The other just looks like it could be faired over with a generous coat of epoxy. They will get dinged and scraped again. You could back the patch up by stuffing foam into the cavity and then glassing over it. "Great Stuff" spray foam would be great for this, but you don't want to waste a whole can on this one little fix. Got anything else that needs sealing around the house?
     
  3. PennDude
    Joined: Mar 2018
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Pennsylvania

    PennDude New Member

    JamesG123, thanks for the response! I didn't notice any inside damage on the dent, but I will take a closer look. I like the idea of the foam for backing. I think I'll do that.

    You used the team "faired over" with epoxy. I'm not familiar. Could you explain what that is and what type of expoxy I should use?
     
  4. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
    Posts: 324
    Likes: 41, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Columbus, GA

    JamesG123 Senior Member

    "fairing" just means to make smooth and seamless. In this case to cover over the exposed fiberglass. You will want to cut down the old paint, gelcoat down about a 32nd" deep and about an inch or two around past the damage and build it back up so that when you sand it all flat for repainting, there is no bump or ridges. And I guess I should have said "resin" instead of epoxy. You could use either a 2 part epoxy or polyester. For a project like this you are probably better off with polyester. Cheaper and more than good enough, just make sure to leave the surface rough so that the resin has enough "tooth" to hold. I'm sure others will weigh in shortly and tell me I'm wrong. ;)
     

  5. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
    Posts: 3,782
    Likes: 139, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 971
    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    Is the keel straight? It looks like it should be straight from where it curves up on the ends along the whole length of the keel with no rocker.
    What model is it?
     
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