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Author Topic:   Hull Repair
Toad2001 posted 03-14-2001 11:04 AM ET (US)   Profile for Toad2001   Send Email to Toad2001  
I have an 89 15' with a few minor bruises on the keel. There are a few spots where the gelcoat has been damaged (approx 1" circles) likely caused by bumping the trailer when loading etc. Whats the best way to repair this? I was going to lightly sand the area, and spread a bit of marine tex epoxy on the spots to seal the exposed fibreglass. Is there a better way? Particilarly because the Marine Tex is pure white, and the hull is off white.
Andrew
Chesapeake posted 03-14-2001 12:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Had no extended luck with marine Tex. Then again, in the areas I have used it, I did not paint it.

Have had luck with West Epoxy using the white pigment. It is very strong. Even there, though, you need to paint epoxy or ultimately the UV attacks it and breaks it down.

Paint Legend posted 03-14-2001 03:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Paint Legend  Send Email to Paint Legend     
For small dings and dents you can do a "Quick and Dirty" repair. Clean and scratch up the repair area, fill with 3M's Premium Marine Filler (Vinylester), sand smooth, and then gelcoat the area. I like the epoxy route better for a structural repair, but epoxy shouldn't be gelcoated, only colored or painted like mentioned above.

Tom

kingfish posted 03-14-2001 05:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Okay, inquiring minds want (need) to know: What is the scoop on gelcoat over epoxy?? I have heard and read that you can't do it (or shouldn't do it), and I've heard and read that you can and should. For what it is worth, I probably have, between screw holes I have reamed out, rod-holders I have moved, and simply things that I've changed my mind about where I want them, on the order of three dozen disparate patches on my Outrage that have a West System epoxy base and Spectrum gelcoat over them. Some of the early ones going on two years old. They *seem* OK...

Tom (Paint Legend), please don't take my question or remarks to be critical or in any way challenging (though I sometimes feel challenged, and have even had people tell me I was challenging once or twice), but this is a topic over which there is clearly some disagreement or misunderstanding.

Whassup with it??

jimh posted 03-15-2001 12:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Jim Watson from West says you can gelcoat over epoxy--you just have to remove all the amine blush.

I asked him this in the WHALER-RADIO interview.

Note that the best solvent to remove amine is soap and water, not acetone!

LarrySherman posted 03-15-2001 12:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
I asked about this myself when I was a flunky in a boatyard in the early 80's. It was given unto me that epoxy and polyester have many different charastics which make them incompatable in some types of applications.

Polyester and epoxy react differently to enviromental conditions, such as extreemly hot or cold temperatures. If, durring an extreemly cold spell, your gelcoat over epoxy on polyester repaired boat was left outside, the result might be that the epoxy, expanding at differing rate then polyester, pulls away from or "pops" out of its bond with the hull.This would most likely cause the gelcoat to crack, forcing you to further repairs.

Hope this helps...

LarrySherman posted 03-15-2001 12:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
I asked about this myself when I was a flunky in a boatyard in the early 80's. It was given unto me that epoxy and polyester have many different charastics which make them incompatable in some types of applications.

Polyester and epoxy react differently to enviromental conditions, such as extreemly hot or cold temperatures. If, durring an extreemly cold spell, your gelcoat over epoxy on polyester repaired boat was left outside, the result might be that the epoxy, expanding at differing rate then polyester, pulls away from or "pops" out of its bond with the hull.This would most likely cause the gelcoat to crack, forcing you to further repairs.

Hope this helps...

lhg posted 03-15-2001 03:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
JCF: Assuming you have a copy of WEST SYSTEM's "Fiberglass Boat Repair & Maintenance", check page 7. It says "Although many types of coating systems are compatible with West System Epoxy and provide the necessary UV protection, we recommend polyester gelcoat for small repair areas and linear polyurethane paint for large repairs. Although gelcoat may be used over large areas, it lends itself better to small areas where it's necessary to color match existing gelcoat......."
Paint Legend posted 03-16-2001 03:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Paint Legend  Send Email to Paint Legend     
Kingfish-

Good questions!

I have read and been given the advice not to put polyester over epoxy. I have also read and read the above postings saying it's okay.

I believe that the epoxy has better adhesion properties while the polyester does not. I have asked a couple of my customers today and got both answers as well to add to the confusion. I think the critical thing is that the epoxy has a rough profile as well as all amine blush removed like Jim mentions.

If West System says it's okay, go for it, but not on my boat.

Tom

bigz posted 03-16-2001 05:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
a gel-coat sprayed finish or two part poly paint today --- now how does one lay up a boat? why how else, with fiberglass cloth saturated with a substance know as epoxy ---

There has also been numerous advancements in the ability to spray gelcoat so that if properly done about 75-80% of the sanding work can be eliminated ---- I might also note that polyester 2 part systems (for all intensive purposes gelcoat) has been use for years now on high quality "painted" kitchen cabinets ---

Well the base problem here is that so many of the "experts" in this field are self taught or worked for an older fellow who was pretty much set in his ways consequently this has carried through the years -- just because you had a problem 10-20 years ago doesn't mean it will happen today with the new formulations available --- sometimes folks just stop learning --- can happen to any of us ---

The primary thing to remember here gentlemen is PREPARATION repeat PREPARATION if the hull is not properly prepared then as the old saying goes garbage in then garbage out --- regardless of what you use or how you apply it ---

bigz posted 03-16-2001 05:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Oops should begin with ---

It is common practice in boat building when hand laying up a hull on a male frame-mold to use either ----

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