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Old 23 September 2007, 10:25   #1
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Gelcoat repair advice please

There is a bit of a chip in the gelcoat. Its on the edge of the chine just where it starts to go vertical (sorry not good with proper names) about 1/3 the way from the front of the rib.

I donít know how this happened as I donít remember hitting anything. It is possible the forks of the truck at the drystack caused it, but Iím not sure.

Is this repair easy enough to do myself? If so what are the main steps to get a good repair.
Or should I get the local mobile gelcoat bloke to do it as being on the edge it looks difficult to get a neat result.

Rather poor pic of damaged below.

Thanks

Tim
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Old 23 September 2007, 10:40   #2
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Doesn't look too bad.

How much is the local guy charging ? If its a decent price might be better getting him to do it. A quote costs nothing as the say.

As long as its only the gelcoat you could do it yourself for less than 20 quid. You'll need to buy gelcoat, pigment, Acetone, wax styrene, gloves, mixing pots etc. You'll have loads left over for further repairs and you'll learn in the process. And you'll need a dremel type tool to grind it back to some clean gelcoat. Give it a go.

Try to effect the repair so you don't need to do any rubbing down then you'll have a nice shiny finish from the new gelcoat that will be hard to discern from the original.

Have a hunt around the internet for gelcoat repairs and you will find loads of help.

Are the forks on the drystack lifter not covered in some sort of protective material ? Certainly looks like something caused in the launch/retrieving stage of boating.

Good luck and keep us informed.
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Old 23 September 2007, 10:52   #3
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No, its not too bad, just never done gelcoat before.

The forks are covered in a plasitc type material and the drivers are very carefull, but accidents can hapen.

Thanks for the reply, I will do it myself. As I will end up more than I need i'll just have to do some practice stuff before attempting the hull.

Tim
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Old 23 September 2007, 11:51   #4
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For that I would just use a small tube of white gelcoat filler from the nearest chandlers, about £6. Instructions in the packet, dry in 20 mins or so and sand smooth.

Difficult to see in the photo but could have been caused by poor moulding during the build so they left an air pocket.

Pete
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Old 23 September 2007, 12:23   #5
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.

Difficult to see in the photo but could have been caused by poor moulding during the build so they left an air pocket.

Pete
That's just what I was thinking. It's not easy to ensure the glass mat/rovings are pushed right into the 'point' of the spray rails. I was once involved in the building of some simulated clinker racing dinghies. We had real problems with voids in the plank lands.

If there are no voids, I would agree with Pete7 and buy a tube of gelcoat. If there are voids it's probably best to get 'the man' to do it and watch and learn.
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Old 23 September 2007, 12:49   #6
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We had real problems with voids in the plank lands.
Sounds like a quoute from Terminator or similar

Well, now you have me slightly worried.
I'll ask the expert to advise and quote then as I have no idea how to find air pockets under the gelcoat.

I would guess that if it is an air pocket, then the gel coat would need to be ground back until the glass mat is properly againts it. would that be right ?
If there are other areas of air, would these need to be done, or just leave alone as they may never cause a problem.

Thanks for the replies,

Tim
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Old 23 September 2007, 17:46   #7
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Sounds like a quoute from Terminator or similar

Well, now you have me slightly worried.
I'll ask the expert to advise and quote then as I have no idea how to find air pockets under the gelcoat.

I would guess that if it is an air pocket, then the gel coat would need to be ground back until the glass mat is properly againts it. would that be right ?
If there are other areas of air, would these need to be done, or just leave alone as they may never cause a problem.

Thanks for the replies,

Tim
Personally, I wouldn't go looking for them - if it's not broke, don't fix it - my thinking was that, if there was a void then gel coat alone may not be enough to do the repair and it may need some glass matting and resin in there to fill up the hole because gel coat alone is relatively brittle. You will be able to see if there is a gap by looking at the damage you have - it just wasn't clear on the picture. If there is a gap, it may have been just a bubble, and the rest of the moulding along the spray rail may be ok. Provided you do fill up the existing holes and make them waterproof, I'm sure there's no need to worry about the integrity of the rest of your hull. You might be able to find other voids by tapping the edge of the moulding and listening for the hollow, but as I said, I wouldn't bother. If you get another hole, just fix it.

The boats I was making had much smaller and 'sharper' angles to fill than yours. We sorted the problem by using several layers of glass tissue in those areas during lay up.
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Old 24 September 2007, 06:45   #8
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Difficult to see in the photo but could have been caused by poor moulding during the build so they left an air pocket.

Pete
Could be. I punched a small hole about an inch long in the gelcoat of my Humber the other week when I was scraping some bugs off it, and cursed because I thought I had found another major problem brewing. I scraped it back and there was no evidence of water in the matting and the surrounding gelcoat was fine so I think it must have just been an air bubble. Fixed in 20 min with some strange green fix-anything GRP combat repair stuff I (ahem) found somewhere and seems to be fine.
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Old 24 September 2007, 07:50   #9
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Thanks all, feeling better about it now

I'll hopefully get down on Saturday, si I can check it out knowing just a little bit more.

If it looks OK i'll do the repair and post some better before and after pics.

Tim
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Old 30 September 2007, 16:31   #10
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Well, I bottled doing it myself.

I spoke to the local gel coat bloke and asked for a quote. He came back with £40 to £50 to do it.
That sounded reasonable to me so I asked him to go ahead.
2 Days later I had a text saying all was done,. Thatís marvelous I thought, better go and see what he did.
Well, to be honest, unless I knew where it was I would have never found where he repaired it. The only visible evidence was a slightly cleaner area, but the white is matched in perfectly.

I also asked him to do a couple of other bits which were also repaired almost invisible.

The repairs were done by Simon of A1 GRP South West, and I would recommend him to anyone

Sorry no photoís, but Iíll take a close up (in a week or two) if anyone wants.

Tim
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