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Light crazing in the gelcoat - what do to about it short of major surg


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#1 No moar whales

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 01:49 AM

I've got some crazing / hairline cracks in the surface of the gelcoat on the deck surfaces of an Islander 26, and especially in the molded-nonskid-gelcoat areas. It's been this way since as long as I can remember, 20 years at least, and really hasn't gotten any worse over that time. I had somebody who was supposedly the local fiberglass / gelcoat god say that yeah, I could pay him low 5 figures to rip up all the gelcoat and redo the whole thing. Spend that much on a 26 foot boat for something that's only a cosmetic blemish? No water is intruding. He said that really the issue is that they made the gelcoat too thick so that it couldn't flex properly, and so instead it cracks. Ok, makes sense. Well, I'd still like to do something about it. He kind of threw it out there that as long as it was just cosmetic, I could probably just throw a coat of white paint on there (OF WHAT TYPE?) and just go enjoy sailing and forget about it. Um, ok. Is that even feasible? Would it conceal the blemishes, or am I now going to have to deal with other problems that somehow crop up?

So the way I'm looking it as with these three choices from the perspective of a dermatology metaphor:

1) Leave the blemishes
2) Cover the blemishes with makeup (some middle-ground alternative between 1 and 3)
3) Do surgery to correct the blemishes

I'm not going to do a John Travolta Face/Off for some acne scars. I'm not doing #3, if that's the only possible solution, I'll go with #1. What middle ground alternative is out there?

There was also an idea from elsewhere that involved roll-on / spray-on bedliner (like for a truck bed) in white. I'm... skeptical of that.





I accidentally posted this in the wrong forum yesterday...

#2 Oxygen Mask

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 01:58 AM

I've never seen anything that will make those cracks disappear, short of grinding them out and redoing the gelcoat.
Paint over cracks, you still have the cracks. Same for going over them with epoxy or fresh gelcoat, the cracks will either still be there or will show again very quickly.
I've recently seen products that claim to cover cracks, but based on 40+ years of experience, I don't believe them. (Well, 'truck bedliner' coating probably would....)

#3 Overbored

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 02:48 AM

Leave it and go sailing. The non skid is the hardest place to repair gelcoat. even on the smooth it is very hard to match the color of the old gelcoat . what most do in the non skid area is paint over with a nonskid deck paint and it will hide it but the paint will not last as long as the gelcoat.

#4 Gouvernail

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 06:02 AM

I've got some crazing / hairline cracks in the surface of the gelcoat on the deck surfaces of an Islander 26, and especially in the molded-nonskid-gelcoat areas. It's been this way since as long as I can remember, 20 years at least, and



suddenly I have lost my friggin mind and begun to consider ways to spend my money and waste precious sailing time.



I have no idea what has come over me but would appreciate any help you guys can offer.


The problem relates to spending time iin the slip looking at your boat when you should be out sailing your boat. Nobody notices gelcoat crazing while the boat is leaning over and driving in 20 knots of breeze.



Nobody notices gelcoat crazing while having an orgy in the cabin.



Your problem is obvious.


The solution??




Go saIling...











or do that orgy thing

#5 Mr. Fixit's brother,, Mr. Fixit

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 03:36 PM

check this out

These guys have a flexible non-skid coating that will bridge cracks. It's a wear surface and will have to be occasionally redone as maintenance but pretty cool shit

#6 casc27

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 06:58 PM

check this out

These guys have a flexible non-skid coating that will bridge cracks. It's a wear surface and will have to be occasionally redone as maintenance but pretty cool shit


That stuff even comes in glow-in-the-dark formula!

#7 Cavelamb

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 07:00 PM


I've got some crazing / hairline cracks in the surface of the gelcoat on the deck surfaces of an Islander 26, and especially in the molded-nonskid-gelcoat areas. It's been this way since as long as I can remember, 20 years at least, and



suddenly I have lost my friggin mind and begun to consider ways to spend my money and waste precious sailing time.



I have no idea what has come over me but would appreciate any help you guys can offer.


The problem relates to spending time iin the slip looking at your boat when you should be out sailing your boat. Nobody notices gelcoat crazing while the boat is leaning over and driving in 20 knots of breeze.

Nobody notices gelcoat crazing while having an orgy in the cabin.

Your problem is obvious.

The solution??

Go saIling...

or do that orgy thing



That's what I like about Fred.
Always offering good practical advice!
:rolleyes:

#8 crash

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 07:15 PM

I've never seen anything that will make those cracks disappear, short of grinding them out and redoing the gelcoat.
Paint over cracks, you still have the cracks. Same for going over them with epoxy or fresh gelcoat, the cracks will either still be there or will show again very quickly.
I've recently seen products that claim to cover cracks, but based on 40+ years of experience, I don't believe them. (Well, 'truck bedliner' coating probably would....)


2 coats of interux epoxy prime coat, followed by your choice of topside paint (I used Brightsides). I did my S-2 9.1 over a year ago, have raced regularly since, and no sign of any of my spider cracks returning....

Still alot of work for a purely cosmetic issue. I'd just learn to live with them unless there was some other issue driving you to paint your decks (like say replacing 15 square feet of rotten balsa core!)

#9 No moar whales

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 09:53 PM

The problem relates to spending time iin the slip looking at your boat when you should be out sailing your boat. Nobody notices gelcoat crazing while the boat is leaning over and driving in 20 knots of breeze.

Nobody notices gelcoat crazing while having an orgy in the cabin.

Your problem is obvious.

The solution??

Go saIling...

or do that orgy thing


Posted Image I like this guy!

check this out

These guys have a flexible non-skid coating that will bridge cracks. It's a wear surface and will have to be occasionally redone as maintenance but pretty cool shit


Any experience with it? Is it like truck bedliner, or more like a coat of paint that doesn't crack from flexing? Horrendous prep?




#10 One eye Jack

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:19 PM

1340071138[/url]' post='3756356']
I've never seen anything that will make those cracks disappear, short of grinding them out and redoing the gelcoat.
Paint over cracks, you still have the cracks. Same for going over them with epoxy or fresh gelcoat, the cracks will either still be there or will show again very quickly.
I've recently seen products that claim to cover cracks, but based on 40+ years of experience, I don't believe them. (Well, 'truck bedliner' coating probably would....)


If its just crazing..like spiderwebs don't worry about it..if water squirts out then worry..just enjoy the boat and go sailing.. If you are that worried about it have a boat repair guy check it out..Fiberglass is hard and you get crazing from flexing..but a boat is built to flex.

#11 Cavelamb

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:14 AM

I guess I thought the Islanders were all built like ice breakers.
But maybe not?

#12 Ishmael

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:24 AM

The problem relates to spending time iin the slip looking at your boat when you should be out sailing your boat. Nobody notices gelcoat crazing while the boat is leaning over and driving in 20 knots of breeze.

Nobody notices gelcoat crazing while having an orgy in the cabin.

Your problem is obvious.

The solution??

Go saIling...

or do that orgy thing


Posted Image I like this guy!

check this out

These guys have a flexible non-skid coating that will bridge cracks. It's a wear surface and will have to be occasionally redone as maintenance but pretty cool shit


Any experience with it? Is it like truck bedliner, or more like a coat of paint that doesn't crack from flexing? Horrendous prep?




Easy prep, very sticky and rubbery. It's a urethane, so it's very flexible and thick. Recommended application gives you something like 2mm in one coat.

I'd go with Kiwi Grip for non-skid, I think it looks better, but the Tuff Coat is pretty tough stuff if you don't mind something that looks like colourful vomit.

#13 No moar whales

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 09:23 PM

You all tell me:


If I had thought ahead I would have put something down for a sense of scale.




Posted Image

#14 -Julian-

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 09:40 PM

You all tell me:


If I had thought ahead I would have put something down for a sense of scale.





Maybe you should tell us how big the pieces are (for a sense of scale)

#15 Bulbhunter

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 09:43 PM

Pict was taken at burning man after the water truck rolled through. LOL

#16 Gouvernail

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 02:34 AM

OK... You seem determined to waste your money and time to fuck up your boat..



here are some directions. if any one of these directions is inadeqwuate for your level of understanding you are too inexperienced to do teh job.



in fact, I believe if you need these directions at all, you are too inexperienced to do the job.



1> Get a tool...probably a dewalt DW849 variable speed buffer grinder...it is most available

2> Get a disc> #m Stikit 8" 05579

3> Get some paper Norton blue mag 8" 40 grit box of 25 H875


sand off all the cracked gelcoat and sand to the bottom of any cracks in the laminate.

If you removed much laminate replace it.

Apply a good thick layer of gelcoat to totally seal and protect your laminate.

Apply a non skid coating according to your taste.

If you like a nice rugged non skid like old Hunter sailboats had, you can roll thtat on by thickening some gelcoat to "butter left out in a warm kitchen overnight" with some fumed silica and then rolling that substance with an appropriate roller. We accompliahed some fabulous work with a whiz brand honeycomb 4" foam roller #10410. The roller does great with the gelcoat mess to make the non skid but acetone eats thwe foam so once the gelcoat sets, you need to simply switch to another cover. We probably used four to do my Electra.



Then you need to spray on a nice thick coat of PVA so the gelcoat will cure completely.



After the cure completes, wash the deck and decide how much you want to sand the non skid to lessen its abrasiveness. I sanded my Electra with 80 grit paper on a Hutchins DA for about fifteen minutes and then came backl later to touch up a few annoying places over the next few months.


I suspect my finish will begin to degrade someday and in another forty or fifty years somebody will be stuck to do the damn job again.


***********************************************************************************************



Anotehr choice would be to go to a hardware store and buy some of that white roofing shit that paints on. You can paint on some of that shit and ahve a nice white deck that looks about as shitty as your current deck but it won't be as slippery and it will look like somebody tried to fix it.





***********************************************************************



You could also check craigslist. Boats like yours are nearly worthless on teh for sale market and odds are you can buy the same boat or a similar one for a couple grand and if you shop you can find a boat in which someone has already invested $10,000 in refinishing work.



*********************************************************************



The absolutely most dumbass thing you could do is hire somebody to regelcoat it for you...



If that idea turns you on...I will quote a price right here..



1. You must pay fordecommisioning, transportation to and from, and recommisioning at your own pond.



2. you can either remove all he wood trim andhardware and reinstall it yourself back at home or pay us between $5000 and $15,000 to accomplish that task. ( unless it costs more)

3. We can probaboly regelcoat the entire deck, the fiberglass hatches and the non skid for under $20,000 unless it cost more



or you could shop around and buy a very nice well kept boat jkust about like yours for a few thousand bucks..



Special additional note: You lead keel is worth about $0.80 per pound right now. Disposal of the old boat is considered a profitable venture by some businessmen.

#17 Mr. Fixit's brother,, Mr. Fixit

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 02:58 AM

OK... You seem determined to waste your money and time to fuck up your boat..



here are some directions. if any one of these directions is inadeqwuate for your level of understanding you are too inexperienced to do teh job.



in fact, I believe if you need these directions at all, you are too inexperienced to do the job.



1> Get a tool...probably a dewalt DW849 variable speed buffer grinder...it is most available

2> Get a disc> #m Stikit 8" 05579

3> Get some paper Norton blue mag 8" 40 grit box of 25 H875


sand off all the cracked gelcoat and sand to the bottom of any cracks in the laminate.

If you removed much laminate replace it.

Apply a good thick layer of gelcoat to totally seal and protect your laminate.

Apply a non skid coating according to your taste.

If you like a nice rugged non skid like old Hunter sailboats had, you can roll thtat on by thickening some gelcoat to "butter left out in a warm kitchen overnight" with some fumed silica and then rolling that substance with an appropriate roller. We accompliahed some fabulous work with a whiz brand honeycomb 4" foam roller #10410. The roller does great with the gelcoat mess to make the non skid but acetone eats thwe foam so once the gelcoat sets, you need to simply switch to another cover. We probably used four to do my Electra.



Then you need to spray on a nice thick coat of PVA so the gelcoat will cure completely.



After the cure completes, wash the deck and decide how much you want to sand the non skid to lessen its abrasiveness. I sanded my Electra with 80 grit paper on a Hutchins DA for about fifteen minutes and then came backl later to touch up a few annoying places over the next few months.


I suspect my finish will begin to degrade someday and in another forty or fifty years somebody will be stuck to do the damn job again.


***********************************************************************************************



Anotehr choice would be to go to a hardware store and buy some of that white roofing shit that paints on. You can paint on some of that shit and ahve a nice white deck that looks about as shitty as your current deck but it won't be as slippery and it will look like somebody tried to fix it.





***********************************************************************



You could also check craigslist. Boats like yours are nearly worthless on teh for sale market and odds are you can buy the same boat or a similar one for a couple grand and if you shop you can find a boat in which someone has already invested $10,000 in refinishing work.



*********************************************************************



The absolutely most dumbass thing you could do is hire somebody to regelcoat it for you...



If that idea turns you on...I will quote a price right here..



1. You must pay fordecommisioning, transportation to and from, and recommisioning at your own pond.



2. you can either remove all he wood trim andhardware and reinstall it yourself back at home or pay us between $5000 and $15,000 to accomplish that task. ( unless it costs more)

3. We can probaboly regelcoat the entire deck, the fiberglass hatches and the non skid for under $20,000 unless it cost more



or you could shop around and buy a very nice well kept boat jkust about like yours for a few thousand bucks..



Special additional note: You lead keel is worth about $0.80 per pound right now. Disposal of the old boat is considered a profitable venture by some businessmen.



:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

#18 Blitz

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 01:25 AM

Or you could just live with it, it wont compromise anything it's just aesthics. If your rich hire someone to fix it if your worried about looks.

#19 Gouvernail

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 03:15 AM

Or you could just live with it, it wont compromise anything it's just aesthics. If your rich hire someone to fix it if your worried about looks.



Dunno if his rich want to go hiring people but according to the opening post his worried about looks didn't crop up until recently




Not playing grammar policeman...just having fun going were a literal reading took me.

#20 No moar whales

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 05:00 AM

Meh. It's just a nuisance, one I'm not willing to drop 5 figures on, and one I'm not willing to spend every evening after work for a couple weeks working on. I'm starting to lean towards "fuck it, forget about it, just sail."

#21 CyberBOB

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 03:50 PM

Meh. It's just a nuisance, one I'm not willing to drop 5 figures on, and one I'm not willing to spend every evening after work for a couple weeks working on. I'm starting to lean towards "fuck it, forget about it, just sail."


Try a good cleaner with bleach, it will whiten the black crap that has accumulated in the cracks, and make them almost disappear.

Of course you will have to redo it often ;)




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