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Author Topic:   Spider cracks and fiberglass repair advice
crrazychicken posted 04-04-2002 01:09 PM ET (US)   Profile for crrazychicken   Send Email to crrazychicken  
I've got a 13' 67 boston whaler in barely useable conditions. The entire paint, interior and exterior, is covered with spider cracks. With the exception being that I coated the bottom with the ugliest brown paint when I was 16 to keep it from soaking up water. I've recently been able to get the boat to my own house and am lookign at useing it again.

Currently I am repairing a hole where the eyelett used to pull the boat on the trailer pulled through the hull after years of rattleing around in there. I'm doing a very thurough job of filling it back up with foam, reglassing it as thick as it was before useing what will come out to about 15-20 layers of fiberglass over and around the hole (waiting to cure an sand on the 10th layer right now just about to start covering a 4"x6" area with glass instead of just fillign the hole with a small amount of overlap. I've got to install a new eyelet though and will be drilling somewhere. Should I avoid the previous spot? or will it be strong enough?

Also on the spider cracks.. It so bad that in order to get rid of them I'd have to sand all paint off the boat. If I mix the paint thin enough will the filling in of these cracks be enough to give it a somewhat durable finish? The brown paint was done over the spider cracks on the bottom portion and it's really only showing the cracks in a few spots after about 5 years. Any advice on how to deal with em?

Cpt Quint posted 04-04-2002 01:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cpt Quint  Send Email to Cpt Quint     
If the spider cracks are the result of delamination (from the interior foam) you would need to fix those areas first. For example, where cracks are in the deck and you can push down and there is 1/4+- inch give than you have delamination. You just cant paint over that because this flexibility will re-crack a fresh paint job.
Where delamintation is not apparent, if sanded and primed correctly, a 2 part paint system should give a good finish.
There are alot of recent previous post on spot repairing delaminted areas.Scroll back and youll get alot of answers
crrazychicken posted 04-04-2002 04:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for crrazychicken  Send Email to crrazychicken     
Nah it's on the whole thing, from being out in the sun for 20 years I believe
crrazychicken posted 04-04-2002 04:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for crrazychicken  Send Email to crrazychicken     
I am repairing other areas of squishyness (technical term) with the help of other posts I've read. The spider cracks was not somehting I saw other than to marine tex em in which is not a viable option for the extreme number of the cracks
Cpt Quint posted 04-04-2002 04:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cpt Quint  Send Email to Cpt Quint     
than I would thoroughly clean (sand if need be),prime properly and use a good (awlgrip) 2 part paint system.
is awlgrip site and it is reguarded highly with the fine gentlemen addicted to this forum (God rest thier soles)
Sinclair7 posted 04-04-2002 11:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sinclair7  Send Email to Sinclair7     
Is the entire boat painted?
crrazychicken posted 04-05-2002 09:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for crrazychicken  Send Email to crrazychicken     
Yes, the entire boat is painted, The inside was blue and the outside off white when we first recieved it 15 years ago. Now the inside is left alone and the outside is mostly brown as of 5 years ago all old paint is spider cracked to hell. The brown is not spider cracked but spider cracks are showing through from not enogh coats.
EddieS posted 04-12-2002 02:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for EddieS  Send Email to EddieS     

I just finished the interior of my 1966 Nauset which also sat out for 20+ years in the sun. I sanded the entire hull and used a dremel to chase back any larger cracks and then applied a marine filler to all areas that had cracking. The stuff is a lot like bondo and sands down easy, I used plastic squeegees for body filler to apply the marine filler. The deck I sanded smooth this takes some time. I used belt sanders for as much of the flat are as I could, and used a 4" grinder with abrasive flap disk for the rest. I then applied the filler and sanded smooth, this took the most time and material.

When you paint, make sure you apply two coats of the applicable undercoat for your brand of paint. This stuff sands extremely smooth and will fill some of the very small cracks. I had to go back and fill more cracks that I did not see until after the first coat of primer.

The deck I used Petit non slip additive, I use a salt shaker to apply the non slip to the first coat paint. This gives you more control of the amount of non slip on the surface than adding it to the paint. I used this same technique and non-slip on my old SixPac boat. The stuff is very light, similar to the glass additive for a making a putty by adding it to resin. The stuff absorbs paint, unlike sand, and after the second coat looks good and provides better traction than the origanal imprinted non slip.

Good Luck and Have Fun!


aa_mar posted 04-12-2002 02:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for aa_mar  Send Email to aa_mar     
I've seen cars with something like this called crows feet. In the late 70's when I refinished my car, the only solution was to strip down to bare metal and start all over. Today, primer/sealers will do the trick, with a lot of sanding. The primer is very hard and has to be sanded smooth (so I'm told, I've never done it). Don't know if the same solution for boats. Otherwise, break out the sandblaster and strip down to the glass.
timbo posted 06-23-2002 11:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for timbo  Send Email to timbo     
I'm 15 and I have 73 13' sport with similar cracks. On my hull they were generally stress cracks. The best way to go and do a quick but reliable job is to either run the cracks down with a dremmel tool than apply 5200 by 3m. If you have an area with fairly large sized cracks, you may want to use a product such as awl grip. If it is going to become a restoration, sand down and you may have to re apply the filler. As long as the surface is sanded and properly finished, the paint or gel coat will go on with ease. Good luck with your boat.
Soho posted 06-24-2002 08:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for Soho  Send Email to Soho     

I just did my 69 Nauset, sounds veryu close to the condition of your boat. EddieS is exactly on target with his advice. The awlgrip primer and paint will not fill much in the way of cracks. A squeegie is the perfect tool to fill in the small cracks. I actually used one of those cards they give you as a key to your hotel room - I travel a lot...

The trick is patience to really get all the cracks as they will show on a new paint job.



crrazychicken posted 07-07-2002 01:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for crrazychicken  Send Email to crrazychicken     
Alrighty, it's going now, finnaly got it flipped over, couple questions.

Is bondo okay to refinshing small non-crucial areas?
I've got some small areas that were fiberglass "repaired" without sanding off the paint.

Can I sand a prime the 2 halves at 2 different times?

I've got a cramped garage and can really only get to a side at a time. I'll do the painting in the lawn in one fell swoop butt he primeing and sanding takes considerably longer.

Will the primer be okay for a while exposed?
I plan on useing the boat ASAP and that means I'm not waiting for the interior to be completed as it's a little worse off, I've like to leave various areas with only primer while I use it (mostly for once a week night fishign trips)

Should I reinforce the motor mount section?
The motor was not officially mounted and was slightly loose and it wore through about half the fiberglass in a couple small spots. I'de like to use something easy (bondo suggested above) to fill it in but should I do anything else to reinforce the mount points for the motor?

Am I doing enough sanding?
I'm sanding until it's smooth to my hand, I still see small cracks but cannot feel them. Pictures included below of the kind of cracks I'm talkign about, all paint cracks and the paint will not chip off.

crrazychicken posted 07-07-2002 01:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for crrazychicken  Send Email to crrazychicken     
ohh yea, and the stinking rubrail was attached with rivots. Now I've got 50 new holes to fill and the fiberglass ripped off the top in 2 spots, bondo?

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