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Author Topic:   Gelcoat repair procedures
onlyawhaler posted 08-11-2002 03:50 PM ET (US)   Profile for onlyawhaler   Send Email to onlyawhaler  
I have a few small nicks in the bottom of my 1988 Outrage. I have purchased a bottle from Spectrum of gelcoat paste with a small bottle of hardner. Any advice please, on any experience you have in small touchups, wet sanding it smooth, what grades of sandpaper etc.
Thanks much in advance
gnr posted 08-12-2002 08:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for gnr  Send Email to gnr     
Mixed up my first batch of Gelcoat yesterday. Had four small areas where the GC had been chipped and the glass was exposed. I bought a GC repair kit from West Marine.

Took a little trial and error to get a good color match. A little colorant goes a long way.

Next time I will be more careful about building up the damaged area too much as I had to do more sanding then I should have. I had to use some 60 grit to take off the excess. I followed the 60 with 280 and finished with 600. Buffed it out with some Meguiers #44 and hit it with some wax.

All in all the process was pretty easy, took less time then I thought it would and I am very happy with the results.

newt posted 08-12-2002 10:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
I recently epoxied and gel-coated (with the spectrum patch kit)over 30 misc screw/bolt holes in my '84 Montauk, and have the following observations:

1. A littel past goes a long way. If you mix the patch kit in two equal batches, you will waste a lot of material. I recommend scooping out the paste with a measuring spoon (teaspoon maybe). See how many spponfuls you have, then do some math to see how many drops of hardner per spoonful. Do this before you mix any paste at all so you can get the proportions correct.

2. After mixing, spread the paste around in the container. A larger mass of material sets up quite quickly, and I ended up wasting a lot of material because it set up in the mixing container. Where I had the material spread out in a thin layer, the working time was much greater.

3. The color of the paste was a litte darker than the hull, even after wet sanding, compounding, polishing, and waxing the hull. Still looks pretty good. To do it again, I would mix in a touch of white pigment.

4. Build up the area to be patched with epoxy or an initial coat of patch paste first so that you are not trying to fill a deep area in one coat.

5. Taper the existing surrounding gel coat. For screw holes I found that using a much larger drill bit in the hole gives a nice bevel to the existing gel coat, and makes blending in easier.

6. Over fill and then sand down, or plan on putting another coat of patch on. I found that after sanding, I had not filled in with the patch paste enough, thus leaving holes and pits to fill in with another round of paste.

7. Sand the patch as early as you can. I found that wet sanding by hand with 240 grit took the patch down fairly well (that Sh*t is hard!), and then wet sand with 400, 600, 1000, etc to your own satisfaction to blend in. I had limited luck with a sanding block, and found that a piece of sand paper and my fingers was the best way to take off the paste quickly.

Good luck!

onlyawhaler posted 08-16-2002 10:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for onlyawhaler  Send Email to onlyawhaler     
Thanks for the great tips. Here we go!

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