Gel Coat Repair

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
seamuspg
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:57 pm

Gel Coat Repair

Postby seamuspg » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:14 pm

My [160 DAUNTLESS boat] is winterized, covered, and resting in my driveway. I noticed a gouge on the [starboard] side of the hull that was likely a result of a poor docking attempt. I found countless methods of repair [on-line].

Q1: what [method of repair] is recommend for a nickel-sized gouge?

Q2: What products are recommended?

Q3: What process is recommended?

Q4: How do I find the right color to match my specific hull?

Any help is appreciated.

Seamus

jimh
Posts: 8784
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Gel Coat Repair

Postby jimh » Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:04 pm

seamuspg wrote:Q1: what [method of repair] is recommend for a nickel-sized gouge?

Use the method described in the Boston Whaler REPAIR INSTRUCTIONS. I have created a HTML copy of them at

INSTRUCTIONS -- HULL PATCH KITS
http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/repairInstructions.html

seamuspg wrote:Q2: What products are recommended?

The products needed depend on the depth of the gouge. To repair damage that only involves the gel coat layer, only gel coat resin is needed.

To repair damage that goes deeper than the gel coat layer, laminating resin, fillers, and possibly other products will be needed.

The choice of which laminating resin to use for repairs is generally between using epoxy resin or using polyester resin. These choices are the subject of frequent discussion. I recommend you review some prior threads on the choice of laminating resin for repairs. Here are some links:

In a discussion precisely on the topic of epoxy or polyester resin for repairs that begin just two days ago, see

1970 13-foot Hull Repair: Epoxy v. Polyester Resin
http://continuouswave.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6000

Jim Watson from WEST Systems on using epoxy resin to repair Boston Whaler boats, an aural presentation.
http://continuouswave.com/whaler/radio/index.html#west

Epoxy versus Polyester resin
http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/009714.html

Making Minor Repairs With Polyester Resin
http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/019549.html

seamuspg wrote:Q3: What process is recommended?

The process is described briefly in the Boston Whaler instructions that are linked above.

A lengthier and somewhat more detail description of minor repairs to a Boston Whaler hull are described in an article I wrote at

Minor Repairs With Epoxy
http://continuouswave.com/maintenance-logs/epoxy/

seamuspg wrote:Q4: How do I find the right color to match my specific hull?

Color-matched gel coat resin is available from a vendor called SPECTRUM COLOR. Contact SPECTRUM COLOR for specific advice by giving them the year, model and length of your Boston Whaler boat.

The need for a perfect color match depends on the location and visibility of the damaged area. Prominent and highly visible areas should be repaired with a very good color match. Hidden or obscure areas can be repaired with less concern about obtaining a perfect color match.

seamuspg
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:57 pm

Re: Gel Coat Repair

Postby seamuspg » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:06 am

Jim,

Thank you for the detailed response. I think I can get away with just using the gel coat resin.

I contacted Spectrum with my boat year/make/model and they insist I must reach out to Boston Whaler for the correct coloring. I'm having a hard time finding the right contact. Any info in that regard?

Thanks

ollie366
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:55 pm

Re: Gel Coat Repair

Postby ollie366 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:28 pm

One trick to use on a gel coat repair is to apply the catalyzed paste, use a plastic straight edge to take off the excess from the patch, and then apply wax paper over the patch and lightly use your finger on the outside of the wax paper to make the paste smooth. Let it set up complexly and remove the wax paper. Any excess gel coat can be removed by acetone but do it right away. Once you get the feel for this, the patch won't require any further treatment, such as sanding.

seamuspg
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:57 pm

Re: Gel Coat Repair

Postby seamuspg » Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:26 am

I went to West Marine and saw they had a few different options for gel coat resin for repairs. Upon hearing that [the damaged areas to be repaired] were fairly small, they directed me towards an all-in-one tube of gel coat resin that doesn't require any mixing. This product was offered in white and buff white.


I told the guy at West Marine I was waiting to hear from Whaler on the exact hull color for my [2001 160 DAUNTLESS--please always use four-digits for years and give the length of the boat that is in the actual model designator, not just the family].

To that the West Marine guy replied, "That won't matter all that much since it's faded so much over the years."

Boston Whaler did get back to me. They believe [the proper gel coat resin color for a 2001 160 DAUNTLESS boat would be] White Whaler Ash.

Could I get away with just using the "all-in-one" tube product for gel coat repair?

Must I wait for the [air temperature to be at least 60-degree-F] to tackle this project [so the gel coat resin will cure properly]?

I have some time now so I'm trying to slowly check off some to-do lists while I can.

Thanks

biggiefl
Posts: 877
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:31 pm
Location: south Tampa Bay area
Contact:

Re: Gel Coat Repair

Postby biggiefl » Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:48 am

The white gel is bright white. The buff white is still white in my opinion. I have used them on many small repairs.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall(for sale cheap).

jimh
Posts: 8784
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Gel Coat Repair

Postby jimh » Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:10 pm

The color of gel coat resin will appear to change with time, but often the perceived color change is just due to oxidation of the surface layer. Removing the oxidized surface layer with mild abrasives will restore the original color--or at least restore to much closer than the original color.

Restoring the gel coat resin with a gel coat restorer product that alleviates the extreme dryness of the exposed gel coat layer will also affect the hue. Products like these restore some residual moisture (not water but oils) to the gel coat.

And restoring lustre to the gel coat layer with polishing with very fine abrasives and top coating with wax will also affect the perceived hue.

The notion that you should mix a color or choose a color that just matches the present color of the oxidized, dried-out, unpolished, unwaxed gelcoat rather than use a color that is a good match to the original gel coat color might be what people at West Marine recommend, but I don't think it is the best method to end up with a color-matched repair of the gel coat.

Of course, the need to get a perfect match is often a function of the size and visibility of the damage that is to be repaired, and also a reflection of the particular boat owner.