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Old 23 April 2003, 09:17   #1
Country: UK - England
Town: Hertfordshire
Boat name: Enfield Explorer
Make: Ribcraft
Length: 6m +
Engine: 2x115HP Optimax
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 67
Gelcoat repairs

Must be the start of the season, as here's another newbie!

Over the weekend, one of our dive club members managed to drop a RIB off the trailer some 10 feet short of the water. Whilst watching it sliding down the slip was mildly amusing, it clearly has done the hull no favours.

I think we have got off relatively lightly, in that the damage appears to be confined to the gelcoat (I can't see masses of glass fibres in the damaged area).

Is this repair something we can tackle ourselves? Anyone know of any websites which explain fibreglass repair techniques.

Rib in question was a 5.85m Ribcraft. Relatively small amount if
damage is a testament to how well Ribcraft built their Ribs!



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Old 23 April 2003, 12:37   #2
Country: Ireland
Town: Dublin
Boat name: wizzard
Length: 7m +
Engine: 225 optimax
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 835
gel repairs

I have repaired some deep scratches goughed into the hull of my first rib,it was often left tied up overnight on a river and landed in shallow rocky water.If the dammage is not too bad treat each piece of damage individually, ie repair each piece one at a time,mix up some marine gelcoat filler and hardner in the recommended quantities, before doing so, clean the area to be filled thouroughly and remove any loose bits.Mix small quantities at first and using a phone card fill in the area, dont try to get it a perfect fill first time, let it go off, use more hardner to encourage this to happen quicker, fill over again if necessary and let it dry slightly proud of the hull.Do this for each area and let it harden overnight.The next day it will be possible to sand the area filled with an electric sander sand until it is flush with the surrounding hull.The repair will be noticible as the gel and the filler will not match perfectly colour wise, the option here is to possibly antifoul the hull gavin


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Old 23 April 2003, 15:56   #3
Country: UK - England
Boat name: Won't get Fooled Again
Make: Ribtec
Length: 6.5
Engine: Honda 130
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 888
How big is the scratch in the Gelcoat, and what colour is it.

You can get a colour match if you want to and you can bring it back up to being almost unoticable unless very closely inspected.

but the process doesn't use an electric sander, that will cause damage to the unmarked areas.

The process of filling the stuff is as Gavin described, but dont leave TOO much stuff proud as this will only be more to rub off.

Also start your rubbing soon after the Gel has set but only get rid of the bulk of the surplus at this stage. Use 120 grit wet and dry to do this with. Wrap it around a former a small bit of wood or dowel so you have something approaching the right profile when sanding.

A couple of hours after this start rubbing through the grades of wet and dry, 240 400 600 800 1200 do this with the rubbing paper wet.

when you have finished this process you will start to see a smooth, semi shiny finish return. Now got get a drill with a polishing bonnet fitted and use rubbing compound (farecla if you can get it) to further smooth down the repair. after that maybe change the bonnet and stick some hull polish on.

To get an idea of the filling and sanding process, I think they cover it in the Haynes car manuals for sorting out rust. after you have stuck the gunk on then the process of smoothing is the same, obviuosly you don;t use primer or spray paint though.

A company called Glasplies operates a mail order service and they may well have some further advice for you.

Some of the guys out there that do this for a living may have better advice for you, but this way works for me.

Oh yeah and don't put too much elbow grease into the rubbing down. if you do it with the rough stuff then it will just cause more scratching to sort out.
thewavehumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23 April 2003, 16:16   #4
Country: UK - England
Town: Leatherhead
Length: no boat
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 907

I seem to remember that in a previous thread there was some question if Farecla products were still available.

Aqua-Marine appear to still sell them.
Peter (nick, nick) T

Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! Bullshit and brilliance only come with age and experience.
Ribald is offline   Reply With Quote

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