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Author Topic:   gelcoat cracks
BW23 posted 10-04-2002 09:04 AM ET (US)   Profile for BW23   Send Email to BW23  
My 97 23 Conquest has developed a few gelcoat cracks on the anchor storage lid. I plan to remove the lid this winter and repair.I purchased the matching gelcoat kit. I was thinking about using a DREMEL tool and carefully grinding the crack larger then applying the gelcoat repair material. How may steps of sanding do I need? Wet? Dry? Polishing?
And ideas would be greatly appreciated.
bsmotril posted 10-04-2002 09:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
That is a strange place for cracks to form. Can you give some more detail as to where they are located? Inside or outside the lid, on the rounded corners, on the edges, on the non-skid, etc? When using the gelcoat repair on a smooth surface, I have used to sanding steps; 200-220 grit dry, then 600 grit wet, follow that with polishing compound. Undercut the cracks slightly with the Dremel bit for good mechanical adhesion.
BW23 posted 10-07-2002 11:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for BW23  Send Email to BW23     
The cracks are maintly on the rounded corners. The others seem to be more of a mold to more bond from the top exposed surface to the underside. Where the meet there has been a crack / void developing. (seal with 5200 or gelcoat patch)??

All of these might have developed from a overweight person?
Also just checked the hardtop for cracked welds. None so far.

Thanks for your input.

bsmotril posted 10-08-2002 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
For the void between the hatch top and bottom surfaces, I would route and fill with thickened epoxy putty. You want something that will dry to a strong structural bond and not flex. Gelcoat would not be strong, and 5200 will flex a little. Gel cracks on curved radius corners are very common. I have them around the hatch mouths for the under seat compartments. I have had them on every boat I own and just live with them as they are not likley structural in those locations. When I repaired them on my last boat, they re-appeared a year later.
BW23 posted 10-08-2002 03:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for BW23  Send Email to BW23     
Thanks for the ideas. Now do I wait for my hardtop welds to break ? or check into the retro kit from Whaler and look into a weld shop.


tully_mars posted 10-08-2002 04:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
Do not wait for the welds to break as you are also doing damage to the boat. Becuase the top in actually moving it is stressing the screws on the mounts to the cabin. I was told when I had my top repaired that some of the holes were starting to strip out from the flexing of the top. Go a head and get it fixed now, because you will be out more money when it breaks.

Tully Mars

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