Adam C

Gel coat chips to glass - repair on a curved edge

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Looking for some advice on how to approach this one.  I've gel coat chips in the cockpit, on the curved edge of the seat, near the tiller. The chips are down to the glass in places.

I'm a bit new to this repair - I haven't done any glass work before, only minor gel coat chips and filling drill holes.

The depth to glass, radial matching, and coloring has me unsure of the best technical approach.

Advice is welcome, and please reach out to me directly if you're a pro willing to do a 1hr q&a consulting session with me for an fee.

Kind Regards,

-Adam

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20200329_144747.jpg

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Not saying this is the best way to address this damage, but as an amateur this is what I would do.  Carefully grind out any loose material using a Dremel tool and hand files, bevel out around the repair area without infringing on the non-skid, then fair with Jamestown Distributors TotalFair, or equivalent.  Prime and gelcoat.  I've repaired similar damage on my boat with good results.

I'm sure somebody will jump all over this and give you better advice, but since no one has answered yet I thought I would throw that out.  YMMV.

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my approach would be

 

for the bottom one .. sand, gelcoat sand to fair and polish .. as a comment .. the gelcoat in that area looks thin all round nothing you can do about that,  it needs 2 pack coating at some point

 

the top pics

dig out, sand, fill with gelcoat, sand and polish

your problems may be worse than they look from the pics .. the glass has whitened which normally means it has absorbed water and the glass resin bond has broken

all the whitened glass has to go and this is where the problem may become more complicated ... we dont know why it has broken down in those areas and how much till its uncovered .. it may have been badly laid up and air was left between the glass resin layer and the gelcoat or it may have been caused by damage from constantly hitting the area with something hard

we also dont know how thick the layup is in this area .. give it a bang with something and the sound will give you and idea how thick it is ..

if its thick and solid .. its great news and will be an easy fix

if its thin and the crack on the right top pic is deeper than it looks then you may need to glass both sides to repair it properly ( no biggie just takes longer and an extra step )

 

for the initial " discovery / digging out"  i use a course metal file ( triangle if  available ) i use it to bang places to see how good they are and get rid of any air inclusion near the fix area and of course as an abrasive to get rid of anything that needs to go ( no further prep needed before laminating or gelcoating )

 

after the gelcoat gels and goes rubbery i use a sharp blade ( razor / box knife ) to slice gently and take down high spots and roughly shape .. then as it hardens a bit more give it a gentle sand to almost fair .. it saves the areas around it from a lot of sanding and risk of thinning them out to much ( also saves elbow grease )

if you have access to styrene monomer / cobalt / dma .. then  mix them up  and wash and leave the area for 24 hours before laying up or gelcoating *  ~  0.2% cobalt octoate 0.05% dma ( not needed in this case but its always nice and a real recommend for larger repairs )

i have used this method for fixing molds as well as castings and none have failed in the areas i fixed in the time i was able to monitor them

 

any questions just ask .. im here and bored for the next month or so .....

 

are they areas where the boom or pole gets stowed or is it a step, it doesn't look like rope rub but obviously something has caused it and the area needs protection ... either a stick on covering of non skid or plain vinyl  ..ie  anything that can be easily replaced as it wears out and takes the damage away from the gelcoat on the corner

 

ohh yehh .. next time use a tape with proper measurements on it

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1 hour ago, phill_nz said:

ohh yehh .. next time use a tape with proper measurements on it

Is that sort of the same as "how much is that in real money"? ;)

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If you make up some brown packing tape so the sticky side is up you can run the semi cured stuff so it's really smooth, then when it's dry take the tape off and you have really smooth finish.

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That is wwaaaay past just being a gelcoat repair. In the top pic the laminate has been totally removed through to the core, In both pics the laminate has been repeatedly bashed so often the resin has completely broken down which is why it is a whiteish colour. Both areas will need proper laminate repairs before any gel repairs are even considered as they both appear to be in historically high impact areas.

My 2c

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So maybe the first question should be, what the hell is hitting the seats in the cockpit to do that kind of damage?  Underside of a tiller with nuts on it from a tiller extender?  Before I'd spend any time fixing it, I'd first make sure I'd solved the issue of how its getting damaged.  Hopefully this is a stupid PO that caused the problem, and you've just bought the boat, and now are trying to rectify the problem.  

OBTW, what kind of boat?

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^^ agree with that. I wouldn't be making any kind of repair until I could ensure that whatever is abusing that boat was killed. 

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Great input, thank you all. 

Crash - the boat is a Schock Harbor.  

Will follow up with the results of the repair.

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any chance of a pic from the other side .. it may clear up a few things as to how to approach

even if it shows no damage its worth the look

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I use a die grinder to cut out stuff like that.  More control, less work.  I have a cordless one I really like for boat work.

For the repair in the top photo I would use epoxy with colloidal silica mixed into it.  It is waterproof and far tougher than the fairing additives and will make a longer lasting repair given that this is a high-wear area.  It can't be made to look as good as when fairing additives are used but guessing at the age and service history of the boat that may not be the most vital consideration.  After it cures, sand a little and coat with paint for UV protection.

I just did a similar repair where the tiller from the outboard rubs against the cockpit seats.  Previous owner let it go for too long and now it's a bigger job.

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