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cjm13905

Fiberglass/gelcoat repair Help Please

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I have a few chips on my boat. Some bigger and deeper than others. Nothing bigger than the size of a quarter, and the pic I  am providing is the deepest, and worst.

I have one below the water line, that is biggest in area, but not deep. The black part in the provided pic is not showing in the chip below the water line.

I also have some superficial scratches on the side of the boat from rubbing up on some rocks. 

I am a fairly handy guy, and would like to attempt to fix these myself. Any help with product, procedure, and helpful hits is appreciated.

Thanks.boat_chip.jpg

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What year & model is your boat?

I can show you how to fix that one in the pic with great results but am on the road ATM so will have to wait till later this evening. 

One thing for sure since it's stll flaking with loose material, it'll need to be opened up more to properly receive the new repair material.  You will also need to use a thickened epoxy or resin to fill the depth and seal up that exposed woven roven matting.  

In the meantime, try finding out exactly what that color is which is why I asked for the boat model and year and what it comes in as far as quantity.  You want canned, tipping gelcoat and not spray.

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It is a 2000 232 Sunesta.

Has a Green stripe. Cannot tell if it is white (faded/dirty)  or light beige. I am leaning towards light beige.

 

Thanks for any assistance.

 

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Test your skills on the damage below the waterline first. That way if you realize you don't have the skills needed and screw it up it won't be visible...

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7 hours ago, cjm13905 said:

I am a fairly handy guy, and would like to attempt to fix these myself. Any help with product, procedure, and helpful hits is appreciated.

First you need to tell me what is that ropy stuff on the inside?  Is that the fiberglass matting for sure of is that rope you have inside that compartment below that surface?  And can you reach the backside of that hole?  Need those answers because the rest of what I'm about to tell you will change depending on those answers.

If you're fairly handy yourself, you can fix that.  But to do it so not only it lasts and you get good results, it's a lot of work and you need to follow the steps (especially the prepping of the damaged areas) and use the correct materials and take your time.  First and foremost, you need a high quality respirator and eye protection.  Without that, you won't make it to the end of the repair, unfortunately, because fiberGLASS is exactly that, glass and it's microscopic and if it gets into your lungs...or eyes....trouble. 

You're going to need some 1708 matting, some chop strand matting, a quart of polyester resin (comes with the hardener), a bunch of mixing sticks, plastic containers, plastic putty knives, a 4-1/2" grinder with 180 grit discs, a random orbital sander with hook & loop discs ranging from 150 grit to 220 grit and if you have a rotary dremel, that will help you clean out the current hole from all the loose debris all the way past those cracks on the bottom left until its all clean and just a hole. Then you need to taper the top (and bottom) surface (depending on access to that bottom surface) all around the hole about 8"-10" away all beyond it.  The rest will follow.

6 hours ago, cjm13905 said:

It is a 2000 232 Sunesta.

Has a Green stripe. Cannot tell if it is white (faded/dirty)  or light beige. I am leaning towards light beige.

It's probably an off-white like most of our Chaparrals.  You'll probably have to mix a SUPER TINY amount of brown and yellow (SUPER TINY) amounts into the white gelcoat to get that perfect color match.  But before you even get to the gelcoat stage and after you've successfully completed the glassing portion of the repair, you will need a fairing compound (kinda like plaster that you put on walls to smooth them out before painting them) but it will need to be a polyester-based resin (not epoxy and we can get into the reason why later if you wish, you can ask me and I'll tell you) but for now, we stick to all polyester materials since gelcoat is also a polyester and so it will bond very well and permanently to your repair, mainly the fairing compound.  I use 3M Marine premium filler, it's a vinyl ester which is more compatible with the polyester than epoxy is, so it works.

All that said, this should give you a basic idea of what you need and the first step which is to clean out the damaged hole to receive the repair.  The rest, instead of me writing a whole book lol, I'll turn you to this 3-part series by Andy from Boatworks who does a similar repair on a patch piece to give you the basic idea of what to do and he goes into great detail about every step and product and technique etc.  And pay attention to the final layer of fairing and how he keeps it a bit lower than the finished surface so that when he applies the final gelcoat, it's perfectly even with the surrounding surfaces and not sticking up and becomes visible.  That's a really important part to keep in mind.  It will also let you know if it is something you would like to tackle or maybe leave to a pro. You can decide but feel free to ask any questions as you go.  I've done a similar repair several times and they came out great!  But they were a lot of work to get perfect and there are other easier shortcut repairs but won't give you the best and more importantly the long-term results, and if that's what you're willing to do(which is cool) just to make it look decent, that's also doable.  Good luck.

 

 

 

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Hatem my friend, this is a small repair :D

OP, check this out: LUQ3IX6j9sAIMmRtI__kW3oDZB3ExoCKXEQAvD_BwE

Simply, grind it out a bit with a Drexel, tape it off, mix it properly and apply.

Then come back and sand/wet sand it smooth and buff it out. Very easy.

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2 hours ago, drewm3i said:

Hatem my friend,

Hey buddy, where you been?  Long time no hear?  Hope all is well.  You got a sailboat, now?  Maybe our trip down to Florida with the 276 will be even more exciting now if you wanna get together.  How are your sailing skills?  What size boat and type etc.?  Fill us in.

2 hours ago, drewm3i said:

this is a small repair :D.

Well, so isn't the 9mm bullet hole Andy put through that piece of fiberglass panel he's working with in those video series and he shows how to correctly fix it permanently and not with some quick patcharooni scalabrooni.  :)  And look closely at the damage to the OPs boat, that shattered all the way through the thickness of the fiberglass, leaving the roving weaving below exposed. That means the back of that surface needs to be secured in order to keep whatever surface patch that is put on the top from cracking again or even falling through.  Plus he mentioned he wanted to match the color, which means there's a bit of gelcoat work to consider.  If it was only a surface ding, it would be much easier but that is a thru-hole with flaking material next to it.  If he want it done right, he should follow those instruction by Andy who's 2nd to none.  If he want a quick patch that'll be close enough and no guarantee to last, the sky's the limit with all sorts of crappy and halfasss crappy patch kits.

2 hours ago, drewm3i said:

OP, check this out: LUQ3IX6j9sAIMmRtI__kW3oDZB3ExoCKXEQAvD_BwE

What is that?  Link isn't working.

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Hatem we are doing well. In the keys right now living on our 1987 Ericson 38-200. Going to be heading up to Maryland soon.

Andy is the man! Way better than me no doubt, but this is no hole, just a gouge through the gelcoat in a non-structural area. This is as simple as filling with gelcoat after sanding to ensure a good bond.

The link is for a color matched gelcoat repair paste for chaparral that is simple to use and very high quality for minor damage like this. Just mix, apply, sand and polish to a high gloss finish! Very easy and a proper repair.

 https://www.iboats.com/shop/spectrum-color-chaparral-2000-2015-mission-white-color-boat-gel-coat-patch-paste-repair-kit-f559257ak.html

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21 minutes ago, drewm3i said:

 In the keys right now living on our 1987 Ericson 38-200

 

Nice boat. I have a friend that owns one. I have sailed with her in the Sea of Cortez a few times... It's a quality coastal cruiser capable of offshore sailing with some modifications and/or compromises. Storage was the one thing I found lacking. 

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6 hours ago, drewm3i said:

Andy is the man! Way better than me no doubt, but this is no hole, just a gouge through the gelcoat in a non-structural area.

That's a hole through and through, bro.  Zoom it in and look at it carefully, you can see the woven roving underneath!  And the roving is disheveled from whatever impacted and made that hole, sort of pierced it.  That needs to be taken care of from the backside first so the filling material has some backing and will last a long time.

6 hours ago, drewm3i said:

This is as simple as filling with gelcoat after sanding to ensure a good bond.

I would never just fill that with just straight gelcoat lol.  If the OP wants to do that, best of luck and in 6 months it'll crack and fall out if it doesn't fall through, especially if he doesn't taper the edges all the way around.  Anyway, I've offered my assistance and moving on.  Cheers.

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13 hours ago, drewm3i said:

Hatem my friend, this is a small repair :D

OP, check this out: LUQ3IX6j9sAIMmRtI__kW3oDZB3ExoCKXEQAvD_BwE

Simply, grind it out a bit with a Drexel, tape it off, mix it properly and apply.

Then come back and sand/wet sand it smooth and buff it out. Very easy.

In some way drew3i is right. It looks like a 1" to 1 and a 1/4 hole. I would fill it with a little resin than the gelcoat. The thing is wet sanding it, some 600 and 800 sandpaper

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Thanks all. 

The original repair instructions,  while i am sure is the best way to go, seems pretty intense and not sure I want to tackle that. May get an estimate from someone. Will need to review the instructions and videos several times to really know what I would be getting myself into. 

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16 hours ago, cjm13905 said:

Thanks all. 

The original repair instructions,  while i am sure is the best way to go, seems pretty intense and not sure I want to tackle that. May get an estimate from someone. Will need to review the instructions and videos several times to really know what I would be getting myself into. 

They're probably a bit more intimidating than they really are because Andy is really thorough and takes his time explaining each and every step in super great detail.  So a lot of that you can skip. 

And the problem with your damage is that it's not just a ding or a gouge or a scratch, it's a hole that went through the deck.  That's the problem that makes the repair more difficult and critical in order for it to last. If you just filled it up and sanded it down etc., it will most certainly reappear by cracking.  That's why you have to taper both sides, top and bottom so the new fiberglass matting has a surface to adhere to on both sides and doesn't go anywhere once you fill it in layer by layer of matting.  Then the fairing compound needs to be about 1/16" below the final finish surface so that when you brush the finish gelcoat, that gelcoat layer fills in that 1/16" space and it's  perfectly level and flush right at the finish surface and not a hump where you would notice the repair.  That makes the buffing not only easier, but a much better result where it blends into the surrounding finish and becomes unnoticeable.

This is essentially what a pro will (or at least should) do when you take it to them.

EDIT:  If you can't get to the underneath side because of access, then make sure it's clear of any flaking material at least, then taper the top all around the hole and cut the first piece of 1708 matting large enough so that it sits on that tapered edge, which would act as a shelf.  Apply resin to the tapered shelf, then soak the piece of 1708 in resin and place it over the hole and onto the tapered shelf.  Press that edge with a brush to clear bubbles so it sticks really well to that tapered edge.  Let it dry completely so that now you have a strong backing that is blocking to the hole that won't any additional resin or filler to fall through the hole or the repair to crack.  Hope that makes sense.

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