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Author Topic:   bottom repair - gel coat vs epoxy
baltica posted 05-27-2002 09:47 PM ET (US)   Profile for baltica   Send Email to baltica  
I hit something in the harbor the other day which put a nasty 2 ft long 1/2 inch deep gash in the bottom of my 1970 Katama. I haven't had the opportunity to do any surface repairs, so I was interested in your opinions about how best to repair and fair the bottom surface (it was time to retouch the pain anyway). the scratch is deep enough to show some fiberglass (and maybe even a little foam).
Soho posted 05-28-2002 07:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Soho  Send Email to Soho     

If the gouge is as deep as you indicate, and especially if foam is visible, I would use something more structural then gel. Since I am a WEST system addict, I would use this to repair the damage. Probably grind back the damage a small bit, wet it out with straight epoxy and then use a mixture thickend with filler. If you put in the mixture, and then place a flat surface covered in plastic of some sort, or wax paper, against the repair, it will hold it all in place and leave a pretty smooth surface for final sanding and fairing. Just my two-cents.



acseatsri posted 05-28-2002 10:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
You may want to lay up a little glass with that also. The damage sounds structural in nature.
baltica posted 05-28-2002 11:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for baltica  Send Email to baltica     
After looking at the damage more closely, I don't think its structural so much as a good gouge of several fiberglass layers only.

There also seem to be a couple places where the trailer rollers have worn off some paint and gel coat down to the fiberglass, so that will also need to be relaminated.

After reading the literature from West Marine, I am inclined to go with epoxy over gel coat, unless there are other thoughts.

Moby posted 05-29-2002 12:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moby  Send Email to Moby     
I believe that UV is bad mojo on epoxy. Even though it is on the bottom, I'd go over the repair with either paint or gel coat AFTER a good repair with West System.
JoeO posted 05-29-2002 01:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for JoeO  Send Email to JoeO     
I just finished repairing my keel, which had lost gel coat due to keel rollers. The fiberglass had gotten wet (fiberglass will absord water like a sponge) I ended up grinding/coarse sanding the area to remove loose gel coat. To dry out the fiberglass I used heat lamps and dry vac suction. It took a couple of weeks to get the glass dry. MAKE SURE the glass is completely dry or you will be doing the repairs a second time. Once you have the glass dry, rough the surface up with a rasp or coarse grinder. Paint a thin coat of West system over the area. Let it set up a little (thing depends on temp) then apply West system with a hardner added (get the hardest available (404?). Make this up in a thick paste the consistency of peanut butter. It may drip a little (small peaks may form). Use heat lamps to help the epoxy kick. Sand/grind this surface (after it has cured) and then top coat with another coat of epoxy (with out the hardener). Clean off the amine blush and paint the surface. Do not use gel coat over West system. I hope this helps. Good luck.
DJS posted 05-31-2002 05:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for DJS  Send Email to DJS     
JoeO, If you don't mind would you explain why you said "Do not use gel coat over West system". I am not saying you are wrong, it's just that others on this forum have stated otherwise, and I would like to know what has happened to you when you used gel coat over West system.

Thanks, David

Highwater posted 05-31-2002 06:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
If you back out of the FORUM section and go to the RADIO section of the continuouswave website, you can hear Jim Watson from West System explain how gel coat can be successfully applied over West System.
JoeO posted 06-03-2002 02:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for JoeO  Send Email to JoeO     
While it can be done, polyester gel coats don't adhere well to epoxies. Since Baltica said it was time to retouch the paint anyway, I didn't think it was worth his while to go through the prep necessary for the gel coat application.

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