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Old 25 July 2005, 06:46   #1
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Searider spray rail

hi
had couple of inflatables before but completely new to ribs , just bought an avon searider 4m approx 1990 ,attached photos hopefully!!
on top spray rails there are some hairline cracks in gel coat are they to be concerned about or at this age of boat would they be expected, how do i go about repairing these and also some scuffs and knocks to do as well,
read lots of replies on forum and confused even more now! seen products such as gel coat filler and avon gel coat but not sure of process invovled and products to use for different degrees of damage any help appreciated
thanks
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Old 25 July 2005, 12:39   #2
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Those look like simple stress cracks in the gelcoat. Keep in mind that gelcoat is far more brittle than the GRP below, and is primarily cosmetic. The structual integrity comes from the GRP. I wouldn't worry about those cracks, particularly is the boat will spend most of its time on the trailer, rather than a mooring or dock. GRP can absorb water, but it require long periods of immersion.

Your boat is ~15 years old, and hasn't broken up or sank yet. I'd be willing to bet those cracks have been there at least 1/2 it's life. They're not likely to be a problem. I would tap the deck and hull in the vacinity with a hammer or head of a screwdiver to be sure though. The sound should be a sharp one. A dull sound would indicate a problem. You'll know the difference if you hear it, as you increase the diameter of the tapping.

My ex-mil Searider has chunks of gelcoat missing on the keel. I don't give it a thought. Occasionally I think of making repairs, just for cosmetic's sake. to make the repair, just grind down to solid material. Assuming you don't grind into the GRP dramatically, just apply the gelcoat over the hole as smoothly as possible, then sand smooth when it's cured, using finer paper as you go. Follow the instructions on the gelcoat for more specific recommendations. It really isn't that hard to do.
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Old 25 July 2005, 13:00   #3
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thanks for the reply thats put my mind at rest ! got a few chunks missing out the hull gel coat and some really badly filled bits as well .its always going to be trailered ,so you say these wont matter if i leave them alone.
may have a go in the winter just ordered some Gel coat from avon do you mix gel coat with a hardner?
i have a had a tap round and everthing seems solid nice sharp sound
thanks again
Dean
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Old 25 July 2005, 16:11   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino89
thanks for the reply thats put my mind at rest ! got a few chunks missing out the hull gel coat and some really badly filled bits as well .its always going to be trailered ,so you say these wont matter if i leave them alone.
may have a go in the winter just ordered some Gel coat from avon do you mix gel coat with a hardner?
i have a had a tap round and everthing seems solid nice sharp sound
thanks again
Dean
Gelcoat is a 2 part polyester, it will come with the appropriate hardner, and mxing instructions.

Everything you mention sounds like a cosmetic round-tuit project. Run the boat, have fun, and fix it when you get round to it... if ever! I've always owned older, cosmetically challeged boats. Personally, I can't imagine worrying about every little scratch, scrape and dent. I want to go play!!
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Old 25 July 2005, 17:27   #5
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Try this for small stone chip type repairs, really easy to use:
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Old 26 July 2005, 05:15   #6
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thanks for replies ,will gel coat filler do the deeper scrapes, got one where its been filled but really badly looks like araldite!! has been used .think i can see the fibreglass through it ,its near the back on a spray rail
Dean
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Old 26 July 2005, 08:15   #7
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Yeh, I've done bigger repairs like what happens when the RIB falls off a trailer onto a concrete slipway, you should be OK.

Andy
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