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Gelcoat Repair Guide: Everything Boat Owners Need to Know

sailboat gelcoat repair

Boat ownership comes with a unique set of responsibilities and concerns, one of which is maintaining the boat’s gelcoat. This protective layer can encounter damage due to various factors, leading to the need for repair. This comprehensive guide will walk boat owners through everything they need to know about gelcoat repair, including understanding what gelcoat is, recognizing when it needs repair, and step-by-step instructions on how to perform a gelcoat repair.

Understanding Gelcoat

Gelcoat is a layer of pigmented resin applied to the exterior of boats, most commonly used on fiberglass boats. This layer serves not only as a decorative finish but also as a protective barrier against the boat’s exposure to the harmful elements of water, sunlight, and general wear and tear. Over time, the gelcoat may become worn, cracked, or damaged, necessitating repair.

Why is it Important to Repair Gelcoat Damage?

There are several reasons why repairing gelcoat damage is essential:

  • Protection : The gelcoat provides a defense against water intrusion, harmful UV rays, and abrasion. Damaged gelcoat may no longer fully protect the boat, leading to more extensive damage and costly repairs.
  • Aesthetics : A well-maintained gelcoat maintains the overall appearance of the boat, increasing the resale value and making the boat more appealing to potential buyers.
  • Prolonging the life of the boat : Repairing minor gelcoat issues before they become significant problems can have a substantial impact on the life of the boat.

Identifying Gelcoat Damage

Before repairing a damaged gelcoat, it’s important to recognize the different types of damage that may occur. The most common types of gelcoat damage include:

  • Scratches : Gelcoat scratches occur from normal wear and tear or coming into contact with a sharp object.
  • Cracks : Stress cracks, also known as spider cracks, are small cracks that radiate outward and often appear near fittings or high-stress areas.
  • Chips : Gelcoat chips occur when an impact or pressure displaces a small section of gelcoat.
  • Gouges : A gouge occurs when a sharp object penetrates the gelcoat and may involve damage to the underlying fiberglass.
  • Oxidation : Over time, the gelcoat may become dull or chalky in appearance due to exposure to the elements.

Preparing for Gelcoat Repair

Before embarking on a gelcoat repair project, gather the necessary tools and materials:

  • Gelcoat repair kit or marine-grade polyester resin
  • Pigment (if coloring the resin)
  • Wax paper or plastic wrap
  • Mixing cups and stir sticks
  • Sandpaper (ranging from 220 to 600 grit)
  • Razor blades and/or utility knife
  • Wet or dry sandpaper (600, 800, and 1,000 grit)
  • Polishing compound and wax
  • Buffing pad and electric buffer (optional)
  • Protective gear (gloves, eye protection, respirator or dust mask)

Performing a Gelcoat Repair: Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these steps to repair gelcoat damage effectively:

Step 1: Clean the Damaged Area

Thoroughly clean the damaged area to remove dirt, grime, and wax using a mild soap and water or a marine-grade cleaner. Rinse with clean water and allow the area to dry completely.

Step 2: Assess the Extent of the Damage

Determine the level of repair needed based on the type of damage. For small, shallow scratches or oxidation, sand and buff the area. For stress cracks, chips, or gouges, proceed to fill and repair.

Step 3: Sand the Area

Using 220-grit sandpaper or a sandpaper suitable for the level of gelcoat damage, sand the area surrounding the damage. Be careful not to sand too deep, as this may expose the underlying fiberglass.

Step 4: Mix the Repair Material

Following the manufacturer’s instructions, mix the gelcoat or polyester resin with the pigment to match the boat’s color. Add the hardening agent and mix thoroughly.

Step 5: Fill the Damaged Area

For scratches or small cracks, apply the gelcoat mixture using a toothpick or small brush. For larger areas, such as chips and gouges, use a small putty knife to press the mixture into the area. Be sure the mixture fully infiltrates the damage.

Step 6: Cover the Repair

Apply a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap over the repair, smoothing it flat against the surface of the boat. This helps ensure a smooth finish.

Step 7: Allow the Repair to Cure

Following the manufacturer’s guidelines, allow the repair to cure. This time may vary based on temperature and humidity.

Step 8: Remove the Covering and Shape the Repair

Peel away the wax paper or plastic wrap and inspect the repair. If necessary, use a razor blade or utility knife to trim excess material and shape the repair to match the surrounding surface.

Step 9: Sand and Polish the Repair

Progress through sanding with increasingly fine grits of wet or dry sandpaper, starting with 600 grit and finishing with 1,000 grit. Rinse and dry the area between grits. Finish by applying polishing compound and wax, buffing the area to a high gloss.

Maintaining your boat’s gelcoat is an essential aspect of boat ownership. Regular inspection and repair of gelcoat damage can prolong the life of your boat, maintain its appearance, and ensure ongoing protection. With the proper tools, materials, and knowledge, boat owners can confidently undertake gelcoat repairs and keep their boats looking and performing at their best.

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Sailboat Gelcoat Repair Guide...

Sailboat gelcoat repair guide.

sailboat

No sailboat should be without a quality gelcoat to maintain the durability and sheen of its fiberglass. But not every sailboat has the advantage of going through its journey completely scratch-free. That’s why we’ve put together a quick sailboat gelcoat repair guide. We hope these tips will help you understand how to handle a problem with your sailboat’s gelcoat and give you a few insights into handling the entire hull as well.

Start With The Right Materials

sailboat gelcoat repair

Liquid LifeSeal® Sealant 5.2 fl. oz. Clear

sailboat gelcoat repair

Stainless Steel Cleaner 16 fl. oz.

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How to Repair Gelcoat

  • By Jim Hendricks
  • Updated: February 10, 2020

Gelcoat Repair

Own a fiberglass boat long enough, and you’ll end up with a scratch, nick or gouge in the finish. It might be from a muffed landing, a dropped pair of fishing pliers or just a hole drilled in the wrong place. You can usually fix gelcoat repairs yourself. It takes a bit of patience, but do it right and few will notice.

Complications occur when there’s damage on a textured surface like diamond nonskid or on a multitone finish. For these, call in a pro. Also, deep gouges may need structural fiberglass work or filler before you repair the gelcoat. On horizontal surfaces, liquid gelcoat works, but for vertical surfaces, a paste is easier to apply. The first step is identifying the finish on your boat.

Getting Started Finish Time: 1-2 hrs Skill Level: 3/5

Tools and Supplies *Masking tape *Hand-held grinder and bits *Countersink bit and drill motor *Gelcoat resin and catalyst *Coloring agents *Acetone *Mixing cups *Stir sticks *Latex gloves *Dust mask *Cleanup rags *Putty knife *Wet/dry sandpaper (320-, 600- and 1,000 grit) *PVA curing agent *Rubbing compound *Boat wax

You’ll need to fill deep gouges with resin and filler before applying finish. Epoxy resin and fillers adhere better than polyester products but cost more and require several extra steps prior to applying the finish color of either gelcoat or boat paint . If you choose paint, topside alkyd enamels, polyurethanes and others are available from Interlux and Pettit.

Gelcoat Repair

Gelcoat Repair

1. Match the Color For current boats , your dealer might be able to supply matching gelcoat. But due to weathering on your boat, it may not match. There are kits from companies such as Evercoat with pigments to add to the resin for a match. If you have a sample, you can match a gallon of gelcoat from Rayplex Composites (fibreglass.com).

Gelcoat Repair

2. Clean Up Edges Use a rotary grinder to smooth the edges to a 45-degree bevel and eliminate any loose material. If repairing a drilled hole, the surface might have become elevated from the upward pressure of an old fastener. Use a countersink bit or rotary file and a drill motor to carefully grind away the swollen perimeter. Scrape away any old sealant and clean up with acetone.

Gelcoat Repair

3. Tape It Off Carefully mask around the edges of the fiberglass boat repair area with two-inch-wide 3M ScotchBlue Multi-Surface Painter’s Tape No. 2090. Give yourself a 16th of an inch of unmasked margin around the scratch, gouge or hole. Also, mask off any adjacent areas or items to protect them from inadvertently applied gelcoat or errant sanding. Clean up the repair area again with acetone.

Gelcoat Repair

4. Mix the Gelcoat After you have color-matched the amount of gelcoat needed for the repair, add catalyst (aka hardener). Different gelcoat resins require different catalysts, so make sure you are using the proper formula, as well as the right two-part ratio (e.g., four drops of catalyst per teaspoon of resin). Mix the two parts thoroughly with a stir stick to ensure that the entire batch will cure at the same time.

Gelcoat Repair

5. Apply Gelcoat Use a small wood or plastic putty knife to spread the gelcoat smoothly over the gelcoat repair. You should have about 10 to 15 minutes of working time after adding the catalyst before it starts to harden and is no longer fluid. Fill the repair slightly higher than the surrounding surface to allow for sanding. If you don’t plan to sand, make it even with the surrounding surface. Either way, spray it with a PVA curing agent.

Gelcoat Repair

6. Sand It Out Peel off the PVA. Wet-sand the cured gelcoat with 320-grit wet/dry paper on a soft sanding block. Confining work to the immediate repair area, continue wet-sanding with 600-grit paper until nearly even with surrounding gelcoat. Finish wet-sanding with 1,000-grit paper; then buff out with rubbing compound followed by a coat of wax. If not sanding, just peel off the PVA and apply wax.

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How to do Gelcoat Repair on Boats

  • Uncategorized
  • May 19, 2023

gelcoat repair on boat

It’s a daunting task to tackle gelcoat repair on boats. I’ve seen my fair share of boats and the wear and tear that comes with them. Over time, gel coats on boats can become cracked or chipped, leaving the boat looking worn down and worse for wear. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to stay that way; with some elbow grease and know-how, anyone can learn how to repair gel coat on boats. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know, from preparation tips to tools required and steps to take. So let’s get started!

Overview Of The Process

The process of restoring your boat’s gel coat starts with understanding what exactly needs to be repaired – whether it’s scratches or chips in the surface of the gel coat that need buffing out or more serious damage requiring patching up. Then, with the right know-how, it can be done smoothly like butter on bread. Either way, certain steps should be taken before beginning any gelcoat repair procedure.

Once you’ve identified the issue and any tools needed for the job, you’ll know what materials will work best for your specific project – whether it’s epoxy resin patches, sandpaper pads, compound waxes, etcetera. Knowing this information beforehand helps make the entire gelcoat repair process much easier than going in blind.

Preparation For Gelcoat Repair

Before you start gelcoat repair on your boat, it’s important to prepare the work surface properly. This will make the gelcoat repair process go smoother and ensure the long-term success of the fix. 

Here are some steps for prepping your boat before beginning a gelcoat repair:

  • Use a non-abrasive cleaner to remove dirt, debris, and oils from the repaired area. You may need to use an orbital sander with light pressure to get rid of tougher stains or oxidation build-up.
  • Rinse any residue left behind after cleaning with fresh water to avoid introducing contaminants into the gelcoat repair mix.
  • Sand down around the damaged area until you reach bare fiberglass; this is necessary for providing a good adhesive bond between the new gel coat and the existing material.
  • Apply wax or mold release agent over all nearby surfaces that could be affected by overspray during the application, so they don’t stick together when dry.

After thoroughly preparing your boat, you can begin assessing damage and continuing with your gel coat project.

Identifying Damage

Marine fiberglass technicians need to be able to identify damage on boats accurately. To ensure that gelcoat repair is done correctly and safely, it’s important to recognize those damages early. 

Below is a table showing common types of boat gel coat damage:

Knowing how to spot potential problems before they become severe gives you an advantage in ensuring your vessel maintains its value and integrity over time. 

Applying The Gel Coat

Repairing boat gel coat damage requires the right materials and a few steps. First, prep the area to be repaired by cleaning it thoroughly with soap and water. Next, use sandpaper to remove loose fibers or old gel coats from the boat’s surface. Sand until you’ve created a clean, smooth patch ready for gelcoat repair. Once prepped, mix up your gel coat according to product instructions and apply using a squeegee or brush. Make sure to fill in all cracks and crevices before applying additional coats. Lastly, focus on achieving an even finish, as this will help ensure lasting protection against further damage.

Finishing Touches

After applying the gel coat, it’s time to add those finishing touches to make your vessel look new again! Here are some steps you can follow to achieve this goal:

  • Polishing: Use a high-grade polisher and wax combination to buff out any scratches or imperfections on the surface.
  • Waxing: This will help protect the finish from UV damage and provide an extra layer of shine.
  • Buffing: Use a soft cloth and light pressure when buffing the gel coat for the best results.
  • Cleaning: A routine with soap, water, and a sponge will keep dirt and other debris off of the boat’s hull.
  • Sealing: Finally, apply a sealant product specifically designed for fiberglass boats to further protect your vessel from wear and tear caused by elements such as sun exposure and saltwater spray.

gelcoat repair

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type Of Tools Are Needed For The Gelcoat Repair Process?

Marine repair tools are essential when working with any kind of boat gelcoat repair project, and having quality supplies can make all the difference in achieving professional-level results.

For starters, abrasives like sandpaper and grinding discs will be required to remove surface imperfections from the boat’s hull before applying a new gel coat. Sanding blocks and specialty scrapers can also smooth out scratches and dings that have occurred over time. Orbital buffers work great at restoring areas where a lot of material has been lost due to wear or other causes.

Is It Possible To Use A Different Type Of Material Instead Of Gel Coat?

Gelcoat has traditionally been the go-to option when it comes to gelcoat repair on boats, but there may be alternative materials that offer advantages over traditional methods. Factors such as flexibility, corrosion resistance, UV protection, heat resistance, and impact toughness must all be considered when selecting an alternate material for boat repairs. Additionally, depending on the severity of damage caused by wear and tear or accidental impacts, certain characteristics may need to be prioritized over others to ensure successful results with your chosen repair product.

How Long Does The Gelcoat Repair Process Typically Take?

It might seem like an eternity until you finally get your boat looking good as new again! Whether you’re talking about boat repair time or even just considering how long repairs will typically last when using a gel coat, it’s enough to make anyone want to pull their hair out in frustration. Some factors may affect the duration of the job – such as age, size, and condition of the boat – but with proper expertise and preparation, you could be sailing away sooner than expected! 

Is The Repair Process Suitable For A Novice?

It’s no surprise that gel coat repair is a tricky process, but whether it’s suitable for a novice may be a bit more complicated. If you’re an absolute beginner in boat repair, I’d suggest leaving the job to the pros. 

If you’ve got a good grasp of these concepts and feel confident about tackling the project yourself, go ahead! With patience and practice, even novice boat owners can get up to speed when applying for their gel coat patching or restoration work. The key is simply taking your time during each step of the process to ensure everything is done properly, from prepping the area correctly to finishing with proper coating procedures.

Is The Gelcoat Repair Process Suitable For All Types Of Boats?

Different boat materials require different repair processes and expertise levels. For example, suppose you are working with fiberglass or composite material boats. You need someone with experience dealing with these materials and their unique characteristics when performing repairs. If you do not have the necessary skillset or knowledge base to perform this work, it would be best to seek professional help from an experienced marine fiberglass technician.

The process of repairing gel coats on boats is a challenging one. But, with the right tools and some knowledge, it can be a breeze to tackle! When completing this repair job, the most important thing is to ensure you have everything you need beforehand and take your time throughout each step.

Hopefully, you’ve learned so much on how to repair gelcoat on boats properly. Contact us if you need comprehensive boat repair or maintenance.

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Gelcoat Repair on Boats

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Crazing in gelcoat, also known as spider cracks or stress cracks, plagues countless boaters. Here's how to fix the problem.

Gelcoat Repair on Boats

— Published: December 2011

Crazing is an incredibly common issue on modern fiberglass boats, and although it usually starts off as a matter of cosmetics, in severe cases these surface cracks can grow, deepen, and eventually threaten your boat's structural integrity. They usually form in areas where the fiberglass is under unusual stress (such as rail stanchion and anchor pulpit attachment points, transom corners, and around hardware), or in areas where significant impacts have occurred, such as rub-rail collision zones or where a heavy object was dropped. You'll want to fix them quickly because they can grow worse over time — but don't worry, it isn't a hard job. With a little bit of know-how and a few basic tools, you can tackle this task on your own.

Before You Begin

If the cracks on your boat were caused by impacts, such as around rub rails or where a heavy object was dropped, move on to Step 1 . If, however, the spider cracks appeared at an attachment point or in a high-stress area, there's a good chance they'll simply return after you fix them. In this case, before you attack a single crack, you need to reinforce the area. Adding (or up-sizing) backing plates to attachment points and bracing to high-stress areas is probably going to be necessary. There's some chance you'll discover the need for significant repair work, such as a broken bulkhead, which is best left to a pro. But in most cases, DIY reinforcements should do the trick. How will you know if the reinforcing job you've done is sufficient? There's really no way to be sure, until you repair the crazing and see if the cracks come back.

Always use a sanding block when sanding. It'll prevent you from accidentally pressing too hard in one area, and inadvertently creating a low spot. On curved surfaces, use flexible foam or rubber blocks.

STEP 1: Prep The Area For Crack Removal

Before you can start to fix crazing, clear the area of any obstructions and remove all hardware that covers or obscures any part of the cracks. Then, get busy cleaning. Thoroughly wash and dry the area, and remove all obvious surface contaminants with a rag dipped in a strong solvent like acetone.

STEP 2: Sand The Surface

Sanding the Surface Flush with the Surrounding Surface

A surface area at least a quarter-of-an-inch wide (including the crack itself) will need to be sanded with medium-grit sandpaper. If you're dealing with a few long cracks that are separated by an inch or more, you can sand each one individually; otherwise sand the entire area of cracking.

Sand the fiberglass down until there's no shine left, so you know the gelcoat's surface has been removed. In the case of very fresh, shallow crazing, sanding alone may remove some or all of the cracks.

STEP 3: Grind Out The Cracks

Grind Out the Cracked Surfaces with a Dremel

Fit your Dremel with a silicon carbide or tungsten carbide bit, in a bullet or cone shape. Using the highest speed possible (bits turning at lower speeds tend to grab and rip the gelcoat, causing chips and splinters instead of a smoothly ground surface), start at one end of each remaining crack and grind all the way to its other end. You'll need to grind down through the crack until you've exposed uncracked gelcoat or fiberglass beneath the surface, but don't try to rush this part of the job; let the bit and its speed do the work, as opposed to applying a lot of pressure. It's usually best to run the Dremel along each crack lightly then go back and do it again, as opposed to trying to grind deeply on the first pass.

STEP 4: Prep The Area For Filling And Patching

Prep the Area for Crack Removal

Once all the cracks have been ground away with the Dremel, re-sand the area with the sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges or burrs. Wipe away all of the sanding dust and ground fiberglass bits, then wipe down the entire area with the rag dipped in solvent again. It's very important at this stage to ensure that the surface is completely clean and uncontaminated.

STEP 5: Fill And Finish The Cracks

Apply Gelcoat with a Putty Knife or Plastic Spreader

Using gelcoat paste, add a coloring agent to match the color of your gelcoat, if necessary. Most gelcoat pastes are available in white or neutral colors, but straight out of the can they rarely match aged gelcoat. Remember, gelcoat can change color slightly as it hardens, so to match it exactly you'll need to mix a test batch or two, allow it to harden on a piece of cardboard, and then compare the final color against your existing gelcoat. Also remember that the new gelcoat will fade at a different rate than the rest of the boat, and a few years down the line, the difference may become visible. When you're satisfied with the color match, mix a final batch and use it to fill the cracks and cover all sanded areas. Make sure no air bubbles or gaps are left in the cracks, and use a plastic resin spreader, putty knife, tongue depressor, or similar object to smooth out the surface.

When you're satisfied you have a good, smooth surface, cover it with a piece of plastic wrap to allow it to cure completely. (Some gelcoat repair kits will include plastic film for this purpose because gelcoat paste must be sealed off from the air to cure 100 percent).

Caution: Always ensure adequate ventilation when working with fiberglass gelcoat — the fumes may be harmful!

STEP 6: Finish The Surface

After the gelcoat has cured, wet-sand it with fine 220- to 240-grit sandpaper until the surface is almost completely flush and smooth; then gently wet-sand it with a super-fine 400-grit sandpaper, and finally, with ultra-fine 600- or 800-grit sandpaper. Clean the surface, then wax and/or polish it with the same product(s) you use on the rest of the boat. Then stand back and admire your work. Good job! You've made your boat look better, and prevented potential future problems at the same time.

Tech Support

Degree of difficulty.

  • Cone- or bullet-shaped silicon carbide or tungsten carbide Dremel bit
  • Sanding block
  • Plastic resin spreader or putty knife
  • Solvent wash (such as acetone or Interlux 202) $19
  • Medium 60- to 80-grit sandpaper $2
  • Fine 220- to 240- grit sandpaper $2
  • Super-fine 400-grit sandpaper $2
  • Ultra-fine 600- to 800- grit sandpaper $2
  • Gelcoat paste and hardener $30
  • Coloring agent (as necessary) $10
  • Assorted mixing sticks and containers $3
  • Plastic wrap $0

Project Cost

$73 (based on West Marine pricing)

Approximate Yard Time/Cost

The time required for this job will obviously vary quite a bit depending on the number of cracks and how widespread they are, but should take no more than three hours per square foot of repair area. Fiberglass repair costs between $60 and $110 per hour in a yard, so you'll save $180 to $330 by doing the job yourself.

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How to Repair Gelcoat

Last Updated: April 7, 2023

This article was co-authored by Travis Lund . Travis Lund is the General Manager at the Vallejo Marina, a large marina located between the San Francisco Bay and the Delta in California. Sailing since he was six-years-old, Travis has over 15 years working in sailing operations and instruction and has pioneered a coaching platform that combined traditional coaching with multi-camera video support. He studied English at Michigan State University, where he was on the sailing team. This article has been viewed 43,942 times.

Gelcoat is the protective coating that covers the fiberglass of boats and other watercraft. When you get a gouge or a scratch in the gelcoat of your fiberglass, you will have to clean it up by grinding or sanding before you can repair it. Then, you’ll need to buy a wax gelcoat repair kit that matches the color of your gelcoat and carefully apply it to the damaged area. To finish the job off, sand it again until it is completely smooth, then buff and wax it to get it looking like new.

Cleaning Up the Damaged Spot

Step 1 Use a rotary tool with a burr bit to taper the edges of gouges.

  • A Dremel tool is a rotary tool that you can attach all kinds of bits to for things like sanding, grinding, and polishing. A burr bit is a type of bit that comes in various cone shapes and can be used for sanding and grinding. You can get both things at a home improvement store or order them online.
  • Use this method for deep gouges or chips that have sharp edges.
  • You just want to remove the sharp edges of the gouge so the new gelcoat will blend in with the surrounding gelcoat better.

Warning : Wear safety glasses when operating a rotary tool so you don’t get any dust in your eyes.

Step 2 Sand out small scratches with 80-grit, 150-grit, and 240-grit sandpaper.

  • You can use this method for very thin scratches that don’t have sharp edges.

Step 3 Wipe the surface of the damaged area with acetone to clean it.

  • If there is a lot of dust from sanding and grinding, you can also use a vacuum with a hose attachment to suck it up.

Step 4 Tape all the way around the damaged area with painter’s tape.

  • If you are working in an area where the new gelcoat could drip down, then mask off the area below it with tape as well to protect it. You can tape plastic sheets over large areas to protect them.

Applying and Finishing New Gelcoat

Step 1 Purchase a wax gelcoat repair kit that matches the color of the damaged spot.

  • Gelcoat repair kits are available at marine supply shops, home improvement centers, paint supply stores, and online. A marine supply shop may be able to provide you with an exact match for your model and color of boat if it is a current model.
  • Wax gelcoat is the best option to repair gelcoat because it will cure in the air without any additional components needed.

Step 2 Mix the new gelcoat according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Wear gloves, safety glasses, and a face mask when you mix the gelcoat.
  • If your gelcoat repair kit doesn’t come with a mixing stick, then use a clean craft stick (like a wooden popsicle stick) to mix the gelcoat.
  • Different gelcoat repair kits require you to add different amounts of hardener, also known as catalyst, to the gelcoat mixture so that it cures properly. Make sure you use the exact ratios or your gelcoat will either dry too quickly or won’t cure all the way.

Warning : Make sure you mix enough of the gelcoat to repair the entire damaged area at once. If not, it may not all cure at the same rate.

Step 3 Press the gelcoat onto the damaged area with the mixing stick.

  • If you are repairing an area where you sanded out light scratches, then just rub an approximately 1 ⁄ 32  in (0.079 cm) layer of the putty over the sanded area with the mixing stick.
  • You will have about 10-15 minutes to work before the gelcoat starts to harden.

Step 4 Let the gelcoat dry for at least 8 hours to cure.

  • Touch the gelcoat to make sure it is hard before you proceed to sand it. If it still feels sticky or tacky, then let it dry longer until it is hard.

Step 5 Sand down the repaired area with 80-grit, 240-grit, and 400-grit sandpaper.

  • If the area still feels rough after you use 400-grit sandpaper, you can keep working your way up all the way to about 1000-grit sandpaper until you are happy with the smoothness.

Step 6 Buff the repaired area with an electric buffer and rubbing compound.

  • Remove the tape from around the repaired area before you begin buffing.
  • Wipe away the haze from the rubbing compound with a clean cloth as you go.

Step 7 Apply a coat of wax to the buffed area to finish.

  • Once the wax has dried, after about 15 minutes in the sun, you can wash your whole boat and give the whole thing a second coat of wax so that the repaired area and the rest of the boat are equally shiny.

Expert Q&A

  • Wear safety glasses when operating a rotary tool. Wear safety glasses, a face mask, and gloves when mixing gelcoat repair compound. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Mix enough gelcoat repair compound to repair the entire damaged area so it all cures at the same rate. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

Things You’ll Need

  • Rotary tool
  • Sandpaper of various grits
  • Sanding block
  • Safety glasses
  • Painter’s tape
  • Wax gelcoat repair kit
  • Electric buffer
  • Mixing stick
  • Rubbing compound
  • Clean cloths

You Might Also Like

Read a Nautical Chart

  • ↑ https://www.familyhandyman.com/automotive/how-to-repair-fiberglass/
  • ↑ https://www.boatus.com/magazine/2017/december/easy-gelcoat-repairs.asp
  • ↑ https://www.boatingmag.com/how-to-repair-damaged-gelcoat/

About This Article

Travis Lund

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Gelcoat repair: How to make an invisible repair

Alison Wood

  • Alison Wood
  • August 21, 2023

Everything you need to know to make an invisible gelcoat repair, from preparation and filling to topcoat and polishing

PBO291.prac_gelcoat_repair.alamy_d1wwwr

Most boats will get a ding from time-to-time, especially racing boats. Photo: Michael Austen/Alamy

How can you repair a scratch or dent to the hull yourself, and when is it time to call in the gelcoat repair experts? Ali Wood looks at the options…

Chances are, if you own a GRP boat at some point you’re going to have a ding, resulting in scuffs, scrapes and dents. Or in the case of Maximus , our PBO Project Boat , you might inflict gouges yourself with some over-eager antifoul paint scraping !

Don’t panic, the beauty of composite hulls is they’re easy to repair – although getting a smooth finish and the correct colour does require precision. Before starting a gelcoat repair it’s worth understanding how GRP boats are made, and why gelcoat is so important.

Hull construction

Composite hulls are made from two or more materials with different chemical properties which, when combined, create new characteristics. This may be resin combined with glass fibres (GRP) but there are other types too, such as carbon fibre and ferrocement, or wood combined with epoxy resin.

Sandwich construction, which you find in Sadlers and Etap yachts, is also considered composite. Here you might have a balsa or foam core sandwiched between skins of GRP. These hulls are well insulated and unsinkable as their foam core provides buoyancy.

PBO291.prac_gelcoat_repair.practical_osmosis_163030552_252302352

How osmosis occurs

GRP layers are known collectively as a ‘laminate’, and during production small voids, air pockets and micro cracks will form within the resin and at the interface of the resin and glass fibres.

All laminates will allow water molecules to pass through, but where the water gets trapped it can break-down components in the laminate such as acids and alcohols. It’s these tiny concentrated pockets of solution where osmosis (hull blisters) begin.

Most GRP boats are finished with a thin (0.25 – 1mm) outer skin of gelcoat, which is made of polyester resin. As this dries, it hardens, creating a shell-like layer over the fibreglass, protecting the hull from water, UV damage, chemicals and scratches.

If you maintain your boat regularly, gelcoat can protect the hull for a decade or two, but it does go chalky over time, which is when you’ll want to polish your gelcoat .

Moisture in the hull

Our Maxi 84 Project Boat is made of woven roving and chopped strand mat (CSM) and coated with an off-white gelcoat backed with polyester resin.

When we invited marine surveyor Ben-Sutcliffe Davies to survey Maximus , he brought along his moisture meter.

PBO291.prac_gelcoat_repair.ben_moisture_meter

Ben measures moisture levels in Maximus ’s hull

Ben explained that when laminate gets saturated it loses about 25% of its strength and that’s when you start to see high moisture readings.

Fortunately, Maximus scored between 15 to 30, so was considered dry.

Anything above this would suggest moisture-related defects not yet detectable, and by the time you get to 46-60 you should expect to see signs of moisture damage.

Over 61 and there’s likely laminate damage as well as osmotic blistering .

PBO291.prac_gelcoat_repair.119_5334

Stress cracks in gelcoat can form around deck fittings – although repairs aren’t deemed necessary here

Gelcoat checks

When inspecting your hull check for chips in the gelcoat that may need filling, and surface scratches if noticeable.

Cracks in the gelcoat might indicate damage beneath or stress caused by a deck fitting, for example.

Blisters on the hull, as noted already, are a sign of osmosis. If you’ve owned the boat for a few years, check if these are getting worse.

If there are just a few, you may be able to deal with them by grinding them out, leaving the laminate to dry, and then filling it.

sailboat gelcoat repair

These hull gouges will be easily fixed with epoxy filler and no colour-matching is required as we’ll be antifouling over the top

When Ben inspected Maximus he suggested the topsides were in need of a compound and polish.

He also pointed to a gelcoat repair that didn’t match the original colour and an area that had been sanded too far back.

“They’ve actually started going through to the laminate below,” he advised. “You’ve got to be very careful about doing much more here in the way of T-cutting.”

PBO291.prac_gelcoat_repair.119_5303

This gelcoat repair in Maximus wasn’t colour-matched

Repairing gelcoat

A gelcoat repair isn’t always critical right away. If you get a ding, you can usually wait until the boat’s next in the yard. However, if the damage has gone through the gelcoat, exposing the laminate, a temporary repair with gelcoat filler should prevent water ingress.

But what happens if you ignore gelcoat damage? Aaron Logan of Small Boat Services warns that over time water will wick into the laminate and the more moisture there is in the hull the bigger the repair will be.

PBO291.prac_gelcoat_repair.img_4189

Fixing a small dent in Maximus’s gelcoat. Sadly we didn’t get the colour-matching quite right!

“Your boat’s not going to sink but that £400 repair will be £500 the following year or worse,” he warns. He adds that it’s impossible to cost a gelcoat repair without seeing the damage.

The unit price can be quite high even for a small repair, and ironically you may get ‘more for your money’ repairing a bigger area.

Price varies too according to the colour of the gelcoat. A professional repair is a full day’s work or longer. Once the boat’s laid up, if you decide to do a gelcoat repair yourself the temperature needs to be over 16°C otherwise the gelcoat won’t harden.

This isn’t usually compatible with a British winter, but you may be OK if you can find boat storage under cover.

Epoxy or resin?

There are two main types of resin for repairs: epoxy and polyester. Each has different properties: polyester, for example, is combined with a catalyst in order to bond, whereas epoxy is combined with a hardener.

It’s essential the catalyst or hardener is mixed thoroughly to ensure an even cure. Polyester is much cheaper but epoxy is stronger and resistant to osmosis. For longer-lasting repairs, especially below the waterline, epoxy is the best option.

PBO291.prac_gelcoat_repair.west_system_low_res

West System repair kit

Gelcoat repair kits

PBO expert Stu Davies keeps both types of resin on board. For minor dents and scratches, he uses Osculati White Gelcoat (polyester-based). It works like a regular filler. “Just paste it on then rub with 800-grit, going up to 1200, 1800 and 2500, then finish with a polish,” he says.

For larger repairs on his Beneteau, Stu uses epoxy-based West System Fibreglass Repair kit . He warns that for the perfect colour-match, though, he’d still pay a professional to do the job.

“No boat is ever just generic white,” he says. “Check to see if there’s a colour code given on a data plate in the cockpit then tell that to the repairer.” If you decide to do a repair yourself the most economical way would be to order a kit with small quantities of everything you need.

East Coast Fibreglass Supplies sells a white or black gelcoat repair kit which includes polyester isophthalic gelcoat, along with mixing cups, sticks, wet and dry paper, protective equipment, acetone, UV wax and polishing compound. For non-white hulls, you need to select the clear resin option and add pigment. A full list of colours is on their website.

West System, on the other hand, sells a fibreglass repair kit using epoxy resin. This includes plain weave and biaxial glass so you can cover a range of repairs from dinks to bigger holes.

Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn’t affect our editorial independence.

Step-by-step gelcoat repair, gelcoat repair step 1: preparation and matching the colour.

The first job in any gelcoat repair is to check the damage closely, both inside and out. Sometimes a hard knock can cause delamination within the hull, in which case a more serious repair will need to be carried out first. In this example damage to the hull at the stem is fairly typical of a modest dockside shunt, and proved to be cosmetic rather than structural.

If the edges hadn’t been sharp we’d have first had to remove any loose material with a Skarsten scraper. As it is, in this case we can simply give the damage and the surrounding area a good wipe over with acetone to remove any wax or dirt.

Before any repair is made you need to know the true colour of the hull – there’s no point matching a repair to a faded pigment which will change when it’s polished. Ideally, then, you need to polish the hull back to as close to its original colour as possible. Chalking and superficial scratches had already been polished out of our example boat’s hull, so we have a true colour to work to. If it had been an untreated hull we’d have needed to prepare a small area first.

IMG_8072_cmykweb

1. First choose a part of the hull identical in colour to the damaged area. This will become the mixing palette on which to colour-match the gel coat. Go over the area with 1,000-grit abrasive paper to remove scratches and chalking.

IMG_8075_cmykweb

2. Using a rubbing compound, the area is then flatted to restore the original colour of the gel coat, leaving it with a slightly matt finish.

3.Enough plain white pigment is decanted to complete the entire repair. A small amount will be placed onto the prepared palette area.

3.Enough plain white pigment is decanted to complete the entire repair. A small amount will be placed onto the prepared palette area.

4.The hull may appear white, but look closely to see what colour tints might be necessary for a perfect match – in this case a hint of green, with a trace of yellow and a touch of cream.

4.The hull may appear white, but look closely to see what colour tints might be necessary for a perfect match – in this case a hint of green, with a trace of yellow and a touch of cream.

5. Using a mixing stick, place a few dabs of uncatalysed white gel coat onto the hull. These will become your testers (because they haven’t been activated with catalyst, they can later be wiped off with acetone)

5. Using a mixing stick, place a few dabs of uncatalysed white gel coat onto the hull. These will become your testers (because they haven’t been activated with catalyst, they can later be wiped off with acetone)

6. Now for the tricky bit. A tiny dab of the dominant colour is placed on the end of a cocktail stick...

6. Now for the tricky bit. A tiny dab of the dominant colour is placed on the end of a cocktail stick…

IMG_8138_cmykweb

7. … and is then mixed into the tester. Care is needed to ensure all the pigment is evenly distributed, which requires some dexterity.

8. When you are confident you have the green element of the match, you can then switch to the next colour, cream, and repeat the process. If the match goes wrong, start again.

8. When you are confident you have the green element of the match, you can then switch to the next colour, cream, and repeat the process. If the match goes wrong, start again.

9.Throughout the process, keep a mental note of how much of each pigment you have used for the match. When you’re happy with the result, use this experience to multiply the ratios to make a full batch of gel coat, enough to complete the whole repair.

9.Throughout the process, keep a mental note of how much of each pigment you have used for the match. When you’re happy with the result, use this experience to multiply the ratios to make a full batch of gel coat, enough to complete the whole repair.

Gelcoat repair step 2: Filling the hole

Once mixed, the colour-matched batch is then split, with some being kept back for the finishing coat. The majority will be used for the initial fill, and here a filler powder is added to bulk out the gel coat so it stays put, making sure the colour remains the same.

As a check, it can be dabbed back onto the hull at any stage. It’s important that the entire repair is colour-matched and not just the surface layer. That way if the hull is abraded back any time in the future, the repair will remain invisible.

Gelcoat repairs

1. The repair site on the stem is masked off to protect the stainless steel strap. Note strips of cardboard used to make small cofferdams.

Gelcoat repairs

2. The thickened mix then receives some catalyst at a ratio of 1%. It’s important not to add any more than this to hasten the cure. The heat generated by a fast cure can actually alter the colours, making them darker.

Gelcoat Repairs

3. The colour-matched filler is then thoroughly stirred together to make sure all the catalyst is mixed in…

Gelcoat repairs

4. …before being applied firmly to the holes with a flat scraper. The excess is then taken off with the scraper’s leading edge until the filler is standing just slightly proud.

Gelcoat repairs

5. Once fully cured, the area is then sanded back flat with 240-grit paper on a sanding block. Using a block is best as pressure from fingertips and sandpaper alone can sometimes produce an uneven finish.

Gelcoat repairs

6. With the area flatted, it can then be tidied as shown here, making the edge of the repair smooth. The masking tape stays on the stainless strap to protect it from scratches.

Gelcoat repairs

7. The next job is to go over the repair with a random-orbit sander fitted with a 400-grit disc. This will match the final blend of the filler to the rest of the hull, and give a super-smooth surface for the last stages.

Gelcoat repair step 3: Applying the topcoat

The critical stage is to apply the topcoat. This is our last batch of colour-matched gel coat, and it is unthickened. The addition of a little wax-in-styrene (2%) before the catalyst is added will slightly improve the flow, and make the curing easier.

Gelcoat repairs

1. A 2% addition of wax-in-styrene is mixed into the final batch of gel coat. It is stirred well, and then the catalyst is added.

Gelcoat repairs

2. Now gently paint your activated gel coat over the whole repair, avoiding brush marks and making sure you get a fairly wide coverage.

Gelcoat repairs

3. Once the topcoat has dried, usually in about an hour, the masking tape can be removed. The surface is given a wipe down with acetone to remove the wax, and also any splashes that may have got under the tape. The metal is colder than the hull, so gel coat splashes on it might still be quite soft and easy to remove.

Gelcoat repair step 4: Final polishing

IMG_8103_cmykweb

1. Using a sanding block again, a 400-grit paper gently flattens off the topcoat, not forgetting details such as the edges around the strap.

Gelcoat repairs

2. Switching to a finer 800-grit paper, the repair is now machine-sanded, paying attention to the stippled edges. Everything is done in short bursts, and with great care.

Gelcoat repairs

3. The final stage is with a 3,000-grit abrasive disc. This can bring out a perfect shine by itself – but one final stage is yet to come.

Gelcoat repairs

4. Polishing compound is now applied with a brush. Adding a little solvent to the mix makes the polishing compound smoother and workable for longer.

Gelcoat repairs

5. Using a lambswool buffing head on a slow- running rotary polisher, the repair is given a final polish to really bring out the shine.

Gelcoat repairs

6. Job done. A layer of UV protective wax can now be applied to protect the hull – and its invisible repair – from UV fading.

Gelcoat repair: Top tips

  • The catalysed gel coat will set in about 30 minutes, but the cure could be accelerated by heat from the hand. If you don’t want this to happen, hold the mixing pot by the rim.
  • Once the wax and catalyst have been thoroughly mixed, tap the container a few times on the worktop and let it stand for a few seconds. This allows any air bubbles to make their way to the surface. Bubbles trapped during application will leave pinprick voids in the finish.
  • Use the brush to stipple around the edges of the topcoat. This will give you a seamless merging of the gel coat with the surrounding hull when it has been sanded back.

Coloured hulls

This repair has been to a ‘white’ hull, but exactly the same principles apply to pigmented hulls. The only major difference in that case is that you would use a clear gel coat to carry the deep colours required, rather than a white one. To bulk out a clear coat, a colloidal silica would be used instead of the filler powder we used for this job.

Thanks to Aaron Logan of Small Boat Services , and to Hayling Yacht Company for the loan of their shed.

Alternatively you can read how to do a simpler colour match using a clear kit you can buy from a chandlery below

Gelcoat colour matching

Gelcoat repair colour matching – the quick way

A basic colour match may not be perfect – but in most cases it’ll do the job and is much…

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skot was straight to the point & clearly knew what needed to be done. he anticipated my dad was going to get his boat back by a certain date, but called a couple days prior to let him know about more issues he found. instead of returning the boat with issues, he fixed them and we picked it up. skot is honest and proud of his work. highly recommend

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Badrock Boatworks exceeded my expectations with their exceptional service. The team was knowledgeable, efficient, and got my boat back on the water in no time. Their attention to detail and commitment to quality craftsmanship truly sets them apart. Highly recommend for all your boat repair needs!

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I couldn't be more pleased with the service I received at Badrock Boatworks! From the moment I walked in, the staff was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. They listened attentively to my concerns and provided clear explanations of the repair process. Not only was the work completed promptly, but the results exceeded my expectations. My boat now looks better than ever, thanks to the skilled technicians at Badrock Boatworks. I highly recommend them to anyone in need of top-notch boat repairs!

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The international Repair Café slogan is “Toss it? No way!” The Moscow Library wants to help our community put that idea into action — so we offer four free Repair Cafés a year. Community members can save money, learn new skills and keep as many things out of the landfill as possible by bringing items in need of repair to the 1912 Center Great Room. Volunteer experts will share their repair skills in such areas as clothing and textiles; book mending; small appliances; knife sharpening; jewelry; and gluing options. We make no guarantee that items will be fully repaired, and it’s understood that you bring items at your own risk. But hey, you can learn a repair skill, it’s free, and it’s a fun way to socialize with your community. Bonus: light refreshments are provided.

Partial funding for Repair Café is supplied by the Friends of the Moscow Library.

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During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we were unable to do in person Repair Café so we did some digital tutorials with some of our awesome volunteers!

“Repair Cafés are free meeting places and they’re all about repairing things (together). In the place where a Repair Café is located, you’ll find tools and materials to help you make any repairs you need. On clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances, toys, et cetera. You’ll also find expert volunteers, with repair skills in all kinds of fields.” -From Repair Café’s website.

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sailboat gelcoat repair

VESSEL REVIEW | Sinichka – Electric commuter boats designed for Russia’s Moskva River

sailboat gelcoat repair

A series of three new electric monohull commuter ferries have already begun operational sailings on the Moskva River in the Russian capital Moscow.

Built by Russian shipyard Emperium, sister vessels Sinichka , Filka , and Presnya – all named after rivers in Moscow – are being operated by the Moscow Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development (Moscow Deptrans). They are the first units of a planned fleet of 20 vessels that will serve the capital city and other nearby communities. The new ferry system will be the water transport system to be operated on the Moskva River in 16 years.

Each vessel has a welded aluminium hull, an LOA of 21 metres, a beam of 6.2 metres, a draught of only 1.4 metres, a displacement of 40 tonnes, and capacity for 80 passengers plus two crewmembers. Seating is available for 42 passengers on each ferry, and the main cabins are also fitted with USB charging ports, wifi connectivity, tables, toilets, and space for bicycles and scooters. The cabin layout can be rearranged to allow the operator to adjust the distances between the seats and to install armrests of varying widths.

sailboat gelcoat repair

An open upper deck is also accessible to passengers and is the only area on each ferry where smoking is allowed.

The ferries are all of modular construction with each ferry’s wheelhouse, main cabin, and other structural elements being built as complete, separate components. This enables the ferries to be easily dismantled for transport to anywhere in Russia by rail and then quickly re-assembled within seven days.

The ferries are also ice-capable. Recently completed operational trials on the Moskva showed that the vessels can also easily navigate under mild winter conditions with broken surface ice, though year-round operations are planned for the entire fleet.

The ferries are each fitted with 500kWh lithium iron phosphate battery packs that supply power to two 134kW motors. This configuration can deliver a maximum speed of 11.8 knots, a cruising speed of just under 10 knots, and a range of 150 kilometres.

Emperium said the transfer of rotation of electric motors to the propeller is carried out by direct drive. As a propulsion installation, a pulling rotary propeller-steering column with double screws is used. The installation of double pulling screws, with similar power, allows an operator to increase the efficiency of the propulsion system to deliver a slightly higher speed or to reduce energy consumption. This arrangement also provides the ferries with enhanced manoeuvrability necessary for navigating in close quarters.

The batteries themselves have projected service lives of 10 to 12 years and are fitted with safety features such as built-in fire extinguishers and gas vents. Quick-disconnect features allow the batteries to be easily removed for replacement or maintenance.

Some of our readers have expressed disquiet at our publication of reviews and articles describing new vessels from Russia. We at Baird Maritime can understand and sympathise with those views. However, despite the behaviour of the country’s leaders, we believe that the maritime world needs to learn of the latest developments in vessel design and construction there.

Click here to read other news stories, features, opinion articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s Passenger Vessel Week.

Related Posts

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Béria L. Rodríguez

Baird Maritime

Tags: Emperium Filka Moscow Moscow Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development Moskva River Presnya Russia Sinichka WBW newbuild

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sailboat gelcoat repair

Baird Maritime , launched in 1978, is one of the world's premier maritime publishing houses.

The company produces the leading maritime new portal BairdMaritime.com , home of the world famous Work Boat World, Fishing Boat World, Ship World, Ausmarine, and Commercial Mariner sub-sites, and the industry-leading ship brokerage platforms WorkBoatWorld.com and ShipWorld.com .

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IMAGES

  1. Painting Over Gelcoat: Easy Boat Repair Guide

    sailboat gelcoat repair

  2. The Complete Guide to Fiberglass Gelcoat Repair for Your Boat

    sailboat gelcoat repair

  3. How to repair gelcoat boat hull

    sailboat gelcoat repair

  4. How To Repair the Gelcoat.Repairing the BOAT. Sailing Ocean Fox

    sailboat gelcoat repair

  5. A gelcoat repair on a boat can be inexpensive and easy. Here you’ll

    sailboat gelcoat repair

  6. How to Restore Gelcoat on a Boat in a Few Easy Steps?

    sailboat gelcoat repair

VIDEO

  1. How to Repair Chipped Gel Coat no fancy tools or product

  2. ILCA Laser Gelcoat Repairs (Complete Guide)

  3. Gelcoat Damage & Crack Repair

  4. Ashland|Gelcoat Repair Video/Training

  5. Sail Life

  6. Sailboat fix

COMMENTS

  1. DIY Boat Gelcoat Repair

    Once the gelcoat has fully cured, sand the repair smooth (wet sanding works particularly well with gelcoat). You can start with 220-grit sandpaper and, for a really slick surface, finish with at least 400- or 600-grit. Finally, apply a coat of high-quality marine polish and your repair is complete.

  2. How to Repair Damaged Gelcoat the Right Way

    The fiberglass masters at Wildfire Marine demonstrate how to properly repair damaged gelcoat from start to finish. Repairing cracked or chipped gelcoat is es...

  3. How To Repair Boat Gelcoat [MATERIALS LIST ]

    BoatUS Magazine's Mark Corke takes you through the steps for how to repair boat gelcoat. This gel coat repair DIY if you need to fix a boat ding, crack, or s...

  4. Gelcoat Repair Guide: Everything Boat Owners Need to Know

    Step 5: Fill the Damaged Area. For scratches or small cracks, apply the gelcoat mixture using a toothpick or small brush. For larger areas, such as chips and gouges, use a small putty knife to press the mixture into the area. Be sure the mixture fully infiltrates the damage.

  5. Topside Gelcoat Repair

    Wet sand the repair to seamlessly blend the new gelcoat into the original. Use 240-grit followed by 400-grit abrasive before finishing off with 600-grit. To prevent ridges, wrap the paper around a block. As in the prep stage, check the repair with your fingertips to feel for any imperfections.

  6. How To Fix Boat Gelcoat Spider Cracks, Hairline Cracks, and ...

    BoatUS Magazine's Mark Corke shows you how to easily fix gelcoat spider cracks, hairline cracks, and crazing in your boat's fiberglass gelcoat. While this ma...

  7. Sailboat Gelcoat Repair Guide

    Prepare the GelcoatRepair Area. To begin your sailboat gelcoat repair, the first step is to. prepare the area. Think of this as "priming" your gelcoat. BoatingMag.com. recommends filling in "deep gouges with resin and filler before. applying finish.". If your gelcoat's problems are this deep, you'll have to use.

  8. How to Repair Gelcoat, Fiberglass Boat Repair

    Gelcoat Repair. Tape off the area around the damaged gelcoat. Boating Magazine. 3. Tape It Off. Carefully mask around the edges of the fiberglass boat repair area with two-inch-wide 3M ScotchBlue Multi-Surface Painter's Tape No. 2090. Give yourself a 16th of an inch of unmasked margin around the scratch, gouge or hole.

  9. Gelcoat Repair: The 4 Best Steps To Fix Gelcoat on Boats

    Keep your boat out of direct sunlight when possible; wax regularly with UV protection wax. Inspect your hull often for signs of cracking; use proper grade epoxy resin filler during the repair process. Check the condition of the gel coat frequently; use proper ventilation when storing your vessel indoors.

  10. Easy Gelcoat Repairs

    Before getting into the actual repair, it's important to understand what gelcoat is. Gelcoat is the first thing sprayed into a female mold when a boat is built, usually to a thickness of .5 to 1 mm. Depending on the method of construction, layers of chopped mat and fiberglass cloth are then built up on top to form the hull, deck, and other molded parts.

  11. Gelcoat Repair on Boats

    STEP 6: Finish The Surface. After the gelcoat has cured, wet-sand it with fine 220- to 240-grit sandpaper until the surface is almost completely flush and smooth; then gently wet-sand it with a super-fine 400-grit sandpaper, and finally, with ultra-fine 600- or 800-grit sandpaper. Clean the surface, then wax and/or polish it with the same ...

  12. Cracked gelcoat repair: step by step

    I protected my fresh and sticky repairs from insects and dust by taping a clean, empty plastic pot over the top. 7. Ten hours later and the repairs were at the 'green cure' stage and nicely carvable with a sharp blade. 8. The knife treatment actually left the repairs a little sharper looking than I'd like….

  13. Easy Ways to Repair Gelcoat: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

    3. Wipe the surface of the damaged area with acetone to clean it. Pour a bit of acetone onto a clean cloth. Wipe over the area you will repair to remove dirt, dust, and any other surface residues. [3] If there is a lot of dust from sanding and grinding, you can also use a vacuum with a hose attachment to suck it up. 4.

  14. Gelcoat repair: How to make an invisible repair

    Gelcoat repair step 4: Final polishing. 1. Using a sanding block again, a 400-grit paper gently flattens off the topcoat, not forgetting details such as the edges around the strap. 2. Switching to a finer 800-grit paper, the repair is now machine-sanded, paying attention to the stippled edges.

  15. How to Repair Gelcoat on a Boat? Here's Our Step by Step Guide

    Step 7 - Apply Your Gelcoat. If you're using a spray gun for application, attach the hose to the compressor and fill the can reservoir with the gel coat. Apply the base coat of gel coat with short strokes moving away from the repaired area. Lt the gel coat gas off for 20-minutes before adding a second coat.

  16. GELCOAT and FIBERGLASS HOW-TO- Repair EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO ...

    Part 2 of this video can be found here: https://youtu.be/CvS0Q7Uy06sPart 1 of 2. So You Damaged Your Gel Coat! That's ok, I'm going to show You how to fix it...

  17. BADROCK BOAT WORKS

    Specialties: We Specialize in fiberglass and gelcoat repair, along with boat detailing and gelcoat rejuvenation. Gelcoat Repair Boat detailing Fiberglass repair Boat repair Fiberglass cracks Gelcoat cracks Oxidation repair Gelcoat buffing Interior detailing Gelcoat rejuvenation

  18. Repair Café

    In the place where a Repair Café is located, you'll find tools and materials to help you make any repairs you need. On clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances, toys, et cetera. You'll also find expert volunteers, with repair skills in all kinds of fields.". -From Repair Café's website.

  19. How to repair Fiberglass and Gelcoat damage. PRO TIPS in FULL DETAIL!

    I knocked a Chunk out of the bottom of my Boat! That's ok, I'm going to show You how to fix it. Gelcoat and Fiberglass repair can seem intimidating if you ha...

  20. VESSEL REVIEW

    About Us. Baird Maritime, launched in 1978, is one of the world's premier maritime publishing houses.. The company produces the leading maritime new portal BairdMaritime.com, home of the world famous Work Boat World, Fishing Boat World, Ship World, Ausmarine, and Commercial Mariner sub-sites, and the industry-leading ship brokerage platforms WorkBoatWorld.com and ShipWorld.com.

  21. Russian cruiser Moskva

    Moskva, formerly Slava, was a guided missile cruiser of the Russian Navy.Commissioned in 1983, she was the lead ship of the Project 1164 Atlant class, named after the city of Moscow.With a crew of 510, Moskva was the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet and the most powerful warship in the region. The cruiser was deployed during conflicts in Georgia (2008), Crimea (2014), and Syria (2015).

  22. Fix Gelcoat cracks RIGHT NO INSTAFIX, DO IT PROPERLY ...

    Fixing gelcoat cracks on your boat is one of the best ways to bring it up to code again! Unsightly cracks aren't always a serious problem, and if there's no...

  23. [4K] Walking Streets Moscow. Moscow-City

    Walking tour around Moscow-City.Thanks for watching!MY GEAR THAT I USEMinimalist Handheld SetupiPhone 11 128GB https://amzn.to/3zfqbboMic for Street https://...