Why and what is this craze of peeling the outside skin off ??

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by tunnels, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    This seems to be the latest craze to peel the outside skin of boats !!
    why ??
    what is the reasoning for it and what is it really achieving at the end of the day ??
    Seems like one hell of a waste of time and so much work involved !!:confused::eek:
  2. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

  3. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    Maybe more people are writing about it !
    In the hands of a unskilled person a peeling must be one hell of a tool and there must be some terrible big messes made and lots unevenness to be reglassed and faired and resanded and be reglassed again !
    Have seen some pretty bad swimming pools with blisters the size of a dinner plate but no one ever cares about them usually . Just drain the water let then dry and fit a linner and refill again ! .
    Had one french guy in tahiti and after his cruising each year would take his boat out of the water and let it stand and dry out and blisters dissapeared in a short time . :).
  4. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

  5. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    There are all sorts of issues that crop up where just barrier coating wont hack it, a friend once had to peel and relaminate the topsides, not the bottom,of a 40ft sailboat that had hairline cracks starting at the toerail and running vertical down the hull every inch or so that extended deeper than just the gelcoat, why, fiik but the manufacturer paid for it and its held up well over the past 20 years. A gelplane in the hands of an experienced operator produces a fair surface requiring just a go over with a sander/polisher and soft pad to knock down any ridges and its ready to relaminate.

  6. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    maybe we are comming up the the point where a lot of the first generation of fiberglass boats are losing their gelcoat. And to keep an otherwise useful boat on the water there is just now a lot more boats that need a new gel coat than any time before.
  7. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    My understanding is Awlgrip or a similar paint ise the most common solution to a tired gelcoat topsides if the customer is willing to pay.
  8. keith66
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    keith66 Senior Member

    It depends on the fault, my boat was built in 71, at 9 years old her bottom was peeled & a full osmosis job done, it appears to be 2 layers of glass cloth with west epoxy. No problems to this day. The topsides were sprayed profesionally with two pack at the same time.
    However a fault appeared a few years ago when laid up out of the water, a PVC fender was left under the fender board on her cradle & where the fender pressed on the hull the paint & gelcoat itself blistered up right back to the laminate. This took just 4 months to appear. To fix it i had to grind the gelcoat away completely. My thoughts are that she was laid up with an iffy batch of gel, Im not that bothered as its not structural but its a pain! Anyone else seen this effect?
  9. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    I've done many.
    The work ranges from shattered get coat removal to full blown osmotic blister remediation.
    There is just about no better approach if this sort of work is required & the surface as mentioned can be very fair if the tool is used by someone who knows what they are doing.

    Why?- take a older glass hull where the gel coat was either too hot or too thick and has shattered.
    One only has so many options to get the surface to where it will hold paint without printing through at every crack.

    -Covering is not effective.
    -Milling out every crack with a 'v' groove tool and filling fairing is a crap shoot as best that the dissimilar fill will not print though in addition to the huge amount of labor involved on a whole hull as well as the real chance that more cracks will appear after the work is done.
    -Grinding off of surface is a fairing nightmare as well as being a huge job.
    -Blasting is a fairing nightmare as well.

    A peeler will take down the surface fast in a controlled manner, the surface left is fair, and remaining work is done in light bog, spray primers & topcoats.

    For osmotic repairs, the same arguments apply though the depth of material often needing removal argues a even stronger case for the peeler approach.


    "what is it really achieving at the end of the day "?

    Material which must be removed in pulled from the surface with the least amount of labor and the process leaves a surface which requires the least amount of work to return to service.

    "A waste of time and so much work involved"
    No- the lowest labor and best result.

    One side note- when doing heavy structural repairs to glasswork, I use a standard power plane when possible to remove material.
    Like the more formal 'gel planes', the tool is faster and leaves a better surface than grinding.
  10. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    wow that the best reply i ever had to a question ! Thank you !!
    As i said its just getting documented more and more these days!.
    Those problems started the day the gel coat got sprayed on the mould when they started making the boat and the first skins were applied . To much rush rush rush , not enough good old care and attention to detail or a sprinkling of common sense goes into the work being carried out .
    If you could find the crew that did the work they need to see what there lack of skills has caused !! not that it would make them into better laminators theyd just shrug there shoulders and reply "SO" NOT MY PROBLEM" !! But it is there problem ! Have worked in glass shops for 40 years and the laminators are usually the bottom of the barrel , low wages low skills , low self esteme and theres no pride in of workmanship in what they do at all !!
    Here in china its just a job !!end of story !! :eek:

  11. keith66
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    keith66 Senior Member

    Here in the Uk there were a lot of boats getting treated for osmosis, expensive job to have done as well. A friend had a Swan 43 she had the worst case of huge blisters i ever saw. He had it peeled & the guy did a fantastic job.

    On the other hand i was offered a job the other day, a bloke bought a 25ft fishing boat of ebay on the other side of the country without looking at it first.
    It had been sandblasted all over heavily, hull, deck, cabin, the lot.
    Wanted it sprayed with flowcoat. Just as well im too busy.;)
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