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Author Topic:   Gelcoat photo-take a look.
beaufort posted 05-23-2002 10:14 AM ET (US)   Profile for beaufort   Send Email to beaufort  
The boat has the original gelcoat which has cracked over time. I know what I need to do to get it smooth again, but wondered if I run the risk of water absorbtion with it in this state?

<img src=>

kingfish posted 05-23-2002 10:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

That is some crazed gelcoat!

I don't think you need to concern yourself with water absorption based just on the shape of your gelcoat and with no physical impact damage to the hull. Over time with enough exposure to strong sunlight I suppose there could be some UV damage to the fiberglass underneath, but I'm not even sure about that. Were you up here in the north, you might be concerned with freeze-thaw cycles making things worse if the hull were wet when the it got cold.

Looks like you've got a project on your hands, though. There's a ton of experience here on the forum if you have questions as you go forward - good luck!


browning20ga posted 05-23-2002 12:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for browning20ga  Send Email to browning20ga     
That is strange, are you sure it's the gelcoat? I would susspect cracking like that would be paint that had dreid out and cracked. Are you sure the boat had not been repainted at one time and new decals attached?
beaufort posted 05-23-2002 01:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for beaufort  Send Email to beaufort     
Thanks, kingfish. I found the 68 Sakonnit on this site and have already spent hours running thru the old posts for answers to questions. All that's left to do before sea trial is get the console battoned down, and tweek the carbs on the 70 VRO. (won't idle?)

Re: the comment about gelcoat vs. paint far as I can tell, this is the original finish on the hull.

Comments on the method of repair back to original condition are gladly accepted!!

(I've been told, rough the finish, clean, spray with primer, sand, then spray final gelcoat).

As long as I'm not risking soaking up water, I'll use the boat this summer and do the hull refinish during the winter.

hauptjm posted 05-23-2002 02:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Actually, you may have to worry about water absorption. I was always under the impression that fiberglass actually absorbs water and that the whole point of gel coating was to create the waterproof barrier. My understanding is that blisters in a fiberglass hull are compromises in the gel-coat, whereby water breaks into the bonding and forms these blisters. Am I "all wet"?
Taylor posted 05-23-2002 02:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
I kind of like the old porcelain effect you have going there. I guess the question is 'how deep are the cracks'. Can they be buffed out, or all they all the way through? Your picture looks really different than the spider cracks we were discussing over in the general forum. They look much finer, and less deep.
kingfish posted 05-23-2002 03:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I'll have to defer to others who have actually been there to be any more certain - my understanding has been that the gelcoat protects the fiberglass from deterioration due to UV rays secondarily to its primary purpose of providing a nice pretty finish that can be polished up; that the fiberglass itself is basically impermeable. I've understood that the blisters when they showed up were in the gelcoat from water between the fiberglass and the gelcoat. But I have nevewr seen it with my own eyes.


EddieS posted 05-24-2002 01:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for EddieS  Send Email to EddieS     

My Whaler looked much the same. It sat uncovered through rain, freeze, and summers for 26 years. When I cut the old wood runners out of the hull and put new ones in I ran into quite a bit of moisture. I covered mine during the winter and let it sit out during the summer, it would weep through many of the cracks. I almost gave up on the thing, but kept this up for two summers. It no longer would weep after the second summer. Though to be honest I really did not check it the first summer, due to the birth of my son, now a two year old.

I can tell you that I would not let it sit uncovered in that condition during the rainy months. I can also tell you that any crack you can get a fingernail on your pinky in will open back up if you dont grind it down and re gel coat. I ground my entire deck surface off and completely resurfaced it. I found many areas that the gel coat was extremely hard and would chip off when I hit it with the grinder. The fiberglass beneath was in good shape.

I just took the boat out for the second time since its complete refurbishing today. I took some pictures that I will post soon.

Good Luck,


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