My Laser hull restoration review

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by tsameti, May 15, 2014.

  1. tsameti

    tsameti New Member

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    Hi everyone, this is my first post on the forum.

    Today I decided that I might need some help from experts to give me advices on how to repair the hull that was badly scratched, I would say abused by the previous owner of the boat.
    [​IMG]
    You can probably see how deep are the scratches on the hull
    [​IMG]

    I bought my laser interstate, yes it was a 12 hour drive but the boat seemed nice and it came with both trailer and a dolly which was quite a good deal for me. After 12 hour driving when I parked my boat at home and gave it a quick inspection if anything was damaged, I found that gunwale was split. I didnt worry much about that, simply grinded with dremel and the next day got Sikaflex 291 marine. repair took couple of hours and after it dried I took to the beach for a test sail. When I returned home, there was some water inside the boat so that meant it wasnt the only hole in the boat. I used my air compressor, connected it to transom bung, presurized the boat and used soapy water to detect air leakage. Looked like some of the previous repairs werent done profesionaly (I will attach all the photos) and air was siping through them plus couple of bolts needed Sikaflex.
    [​IMG]
    Whoever did this couldnt even be bothered cleaning the gunwale out but poured epoxy directly.
    Before and
    [​IMG]
    After Dremel.
    Picture below shows another great work of the previous repair.
    [​IMG]

    After the repair was done, I thought why not refresh the hull itself and apply a layer of flowcoat.
    I read some articles about it and assumed it can be done. I ordered white flowcoat, got a couple of quality brushes and while waiting for the delivery sanded the hull down to the point where all deep scratches were almost gone. I have a good respirator, I bought a new paint filter, put my safety glasses on and I used my old shirt and pants so they can go directly into the bin after the project is done.

    During sanding down process. On the left side you can still see the scratches.
    [​IMG]

    I knew it would be hard to apply a flowcoat so I prepaired myself to the worse but I wasnt expecting so much trouble. Flowcoat sets off quickly so I had scales ready to weigh flowcoat and to weigh hardener in small quantities so I dont have to throw the mixture away. I mixed 500gr at a time and it was too much, at the end flowcoat hardened and I had to change the mixing pot and a brush. I applied one coat, sanded it down and applied one more coat. Using the brush is probably the best you can do as roller didnt work at all but even a good brush left marks. Thats where my problem is lying now. Today I tried to sand it down to the level where I cant see brush marks but it takes a long time as Im using 400-800-1200 grit papers and trying to be as careful as possible. I havent done much today, only tested on a little patch with sand paper and buffing compound and it looks good but Im worried it wont be the same along the whole boat.


    After I applied the first coat and sanded it down for a second layer.
    [​IMG]

    Application of the first layer with roller, not a good idea at all.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    I will take photos of the hull after I applied a second layer tomorrow and upload it.



    So now my question is should I use flowcoat again to raise the level after I send it down to make surface sticky for a new coat or should I sanded it down and use 2 pack Poleurethane paint which wont leave any marks.

    Thank you and sorry for a long story, just wanted to share it, could be useful for the begginers like me.
     
  2. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    Might be a language or product difference, but it sounds like what you call flowcoat is what others call gelcoat. At least the results you are showing and describing are the same..

    flowcoat/gelcoat will give you a harder surface (less prone to light scratches) then 2 pack poly paint. But to get flowcoat/gelcoat to look the same (shiny) will take a lot more time/work as you are finding out.

    If you think you have enough thickness of flowcoat already applied, if it were me, I wouldn't bother with another coat, I would just start the sanding process. If you can get your hands on a air powered straight sander, it would really speed up the sanding time.

    upload_2014-5-15_15-57-5.jpeg
     
  3. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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  4. tsameti

    tsameti New Member

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    Thanks for your link.


    Heres what I got of ebay.

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/151247981926?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

    The difference between gelcoat and a flowcoat/topcoat is that flowcoat has wax addition and it is used as last layer.


    http://www.worldseafishing.com/foru...hats-difference-between-flowcoat-gelcoat.html
     
  5. Martz

    Martz Member

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    Good to see you are so committed to bringing the old girl back up to standard.

    Where you at Tsameti?

    (Im in Sydney - always looking for more sailors down at Kogarah Bay SC...)
     
  6. tsameti

    tsameti New Member

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    Yeah at this time of the year not many people sail so thought it wouldnt hurt to work on the boat a bit.

    Never would have thought I will see anyone from Aus on this forum.

    Im in Melbs, joining SYC once the boat is ready. Havent sailed since 2002, hoping to get in shape and compete on a national level.

    Cheers.
     
  7. Martz

    Martz Member

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    A Mexican eh.... As for Aussies on here, there seems to be a few. What would a sailing forum be without us? Pretty gay I would think...

    Yeah, it pays to be in shape.

    Im in shape - nice and round. Haha.

    Have fun.
     
  8. tsameti

    tsameti New Member

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    Ok, So today I started sanding it down to make surface smoother, took me a while. I havent finished yet but using 120 grit makes job faster. At some places on the hull even though I was careful it appears that I didnt apply enough flowcoat and now I can see the previous paint which was a bit darker. I have a dilemma here, should I apply a flowcoat and cover up dark spots or should I go for a 2 pack poleurethane and paint it completely.
    Here are some photos of the boat after sanding.
    You can see on the photo a dark spot in the middle, thin layer of flowcoat.
    [​IMG]
    Thats after I sand it down a little bit but you can see that brushing wasnt the best choice or could be that my painting skills are very poor. :(
    [​IMG]
    On this photo I havent touched paint yet. I might need to get in touch with flowcoat supplier and ask if it can be thined so its possible to use a brush and not leave such a deep marks.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Work has been done for tonight.


    Any ideas pals?
     
  9. steveo1

    steveo1 New Member

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    Hi tsameti.
    Its still warm here in qld, going sailing in the laser this arvo.

    You have taken on a big job by the looks of it, I recently repainted my 76 laser using Toplac, rolled and tip it, came up pretty good.
    Went from this
    [​IMG]
    To this
    [​IMG]

    Scotty
     
  10. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    There are additives you can use that make gel/flowcoat thinner, which helps it flow out when brushing (or when spraying) such as styrene, in the US another popular additive is Duratec, but it will never come out as smooth as a good paint job
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. Jakeee

    Jakeee Member

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    My old boat is also done in toplac, 4 years later and I'm only going to touch up a few small areas on the deck where the cover and ropes have rubbed, I'm very impressed with it especially on the bottom.
     
  12. tsameti

    tsameti New Member

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    Did you use just the paint or did you buy primer as well, considering I have stripped a good layer of flowcoat, paint should adhere pretty nicely.
     
  13. steveo1

    steveo1 New Member

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    Tasmeti, my laser, now blue was previously painted at least twice before I got it.

    I could have just sanded and faired the surface and then just topcoated, but I chose to undercoat then apply a top coat,
    [​IMG]
    Only thing I should have done was add some of the blue to the undercoat to make it easier to cover.
    Had to apply 3 coats with a sand inbetween to get a reasonable coverage
    [​IMG]
    Scotty
     
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  14. tsameti

    tsameti New Member

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    I just got 2 pack polyurethane (white color), norglass brand plus spraying thinner as I will try to spray the boat. Any tips on that? Wanna finish sanding the boat today clean it and tomorrow arvo will be spray painting it. Weather is alright 17-21.
     
  15. steveo1

    steveo1 New Member

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    Sorry mate, i have no tips for spray 2 pac poly, i rolled and tipped my laser.

    Do google search or search on this forum for some advice might be the way to go.

    And make sure you have your oh&s and ppe right, pretty sure you dont want be breathing that stuff
     
  16. Voodoo 158546

    Voodoo 158546 Hard hiking at the end of a 3hr race, killer

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    We call 2pack 'rocket fuel' ...cos it goes off like a rocket when sprayed, particularly in your warmer weather you might find it going off in the gun !
    Good idea would be just to do very small quantities at a time.
    Third props for toplac btw...better on our hulls than perfection ( 2pack ). Like Stevo done, thinned out with thinners no 3 and rolled then tipped, hard to beat.

    I read that you 'repaired ' the gunnel with sikaflex - hand palms face and rolls eyes !
    Pressure testing your hull like you did you may have kinda done the boat some favours but it's risky...the bonding goo is very thin and brittle, expanded outwards away from it's designed grip may well have opened up some weak spots, which is cool if you're prepared to repair them ( not with sikaflex though lolz ).

    For rubbing out the paint stripes in the gelcoat, well there's only one remedy - it's called elbow grease, universally available and best effect is when used with a rubber backing pad and 320 grit & some soapy water.

    Kudos for bothering with the ol' girl, many wouldn't but she & I are glad you are.

    ( totally worth buying yourself some epoxy kit and cloth tape and some solvent -acetone- and going back, dremelling away the crap and doing the job properly )
     
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  17. Voodoo 158546

    Voodoo 158546 Hard hiking at the end of a 3hr race, killer

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    If you think you have enough thickness of flowcoat already applied, if it were me, I wouldn't bother with another coat, I would just start the sanding process. If you can get your hands on a air powered straight sander, it would really speed up the sanding time.

    If it's speed you need and don't have a compressor, but still need to wet sand....mebbe try gaffer taping the vacuum holes on your regular sander and using it lightly with 800 grit
     
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  18. tsameti

    tsameti New Member

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    Thanks for your reply and for explaining how to repair the boat.

    I finished sanding last night and tried using various tools to smooth the surface. Sander and polisher with 120 grit ruined flowcoat layer at couple of places so I had to slow down and use orbital sheet sander with 80grit, which was making alot of noise so I had to be careful not to annoy neighbours. So I sanded with sandpaper on the sanding block.

    Today I went back to the paint shop and after talking to a specialist he said it should be ok to apply 2 pack without primer.
    Got all the painting tools and heres the result after an hour.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is the first coat. Will need to apply one more after 18 hours after a very light sanding.

    So here are some questions again. :)

    1. I was worried that the 1L of paint wont be enough but I ended up using only 1/4 of it. Should I apply one thick coat or should I apply 2 more coats and sand it in between?

    2. Are you saying sikaflex will not be able to hold gunvales and will split again?
    What are you suggesting instead? epoxy and fibreglass? When I was a kid my old laser had same issues and my coach told me to use epoxy with fibreglass and use rivets for strenght.
     
  19. tsameti

    tsameti New Member

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  20. steveo1

    steveo1 New Member

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    Hey tasmeti, that job looks sweet.

    So you rolled and tipped 2 pac? Did it go off quick?

    I would sand between coats and apply 2 more coats to get it really smooth. Actually this really depends on how good the paint has covered and weather you are going to sand with 1200 grit and polish to a shine, or leave as is. Your call.
    I had no choice because i forgot to add some blue colour to the undercoat, and when i sanded the white undercoat showed through, so applyed another coat to cover.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014

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