Scratches/grooves

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by jleonard99, May 22, 2017.

  1. jleonard99

    jleonard99 Sunny Sailer

    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    One of my Sunfish sailboats has a scratch or groove pattern in the back from the previous user. I believe it was from the tiller hanging low. There is also some scratches near where the mast goes in. What is the best way to get rid of these or make them look better, it's a 2007 with the light blue stripe going down the center. Can't wait to improve the boats looks.
     
  2. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    28
    If they are very slight, you can sand and buff them out. If you've never done this before, be aware you could make things look much worse...by sanding thru the gelcoat or creating an uneven surface, which will be very noticeable with a shiny surface. The next level of scratches would require filling and then either matching the gelcoat or painting the entire top of your boat, if you require an accurate match but don't have the gelcoat abilities. Put this way...when you get a scratch on your car, they paint the entire panel, door...whatever and typically do NOT feather in repair areas with new paint, as it is for the most part "impossible" to make a repair that is totally not seen at the edge of the repair. But "painting" to an edge/seam (like an entire car door), allows for slight color mismatches and no edges of the repaired area, in the middle of a flat area. Obviously your Sunfish does not have "car doors"...and is basically one expanse. Kinda the same like dock scratches on the sides of larger boats. Basically you decide the best route, short of painting the entire area, in most cases. You do your best to color match and fair.
    That said, sometimes newer boats can have gelcoat repairs that are typically not noticeable unless you are LOOKING for the repair. Done by a beginner...typically not, as color matching, sheen consistency and gloss, not to mention surface fairing are usually not in the skill set. But you can purchase gelcoat from sources that are already close matches and by a little "Youtubing" and "googling"...you can sometimes do a decent job.
    Why newer boats???.... Your 2007 Sunfish already has 10 yr old gelcoat, so realize it is probably a slightly different shade from what it was when it was new. Additionally, new gelcoat will change colors at a different rate than your 10 yr old gelcoat, so what looks good today, might be even better next year....or horribly worse.

    Some people tackle gelcoat repairs and on an inexpensive boat like a Sunfish, I say go for it. If you want to learn how to do it...better on the fish than your brand new 40 ft SeaRay. However, great repairs requires an amount of experience and skill and I'd put a hefty bet that doing it the first time, will not be a "pro" result. Not to discourage, just reality.

    One last comment while babbling. White is MUCH easier to repair than darker colors as repairing a "black" or dark color, is like fixing a mirror...if the gel has a nice shine to it. The repair has to be perfect to not be noticed easily. Not so much with a white. But that said, there are a zillion shades of white. Look at a Home Depot paint color chart. ...from eggshell, to pearl, to off-white, to pure white, to vanilla, to cloud white...etc. You get the picture.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    28
    One last babble... Obviously, it's good imo, to have a preference of keeping your boat looking good. That said, clean and waxed go a long way and when on the water, the thrill of the Sunfish typically outweighs a couple minor scratches. I like my 69 fish cause I can beach it, and use it, but it aint grubby. I take pride of ownership, but using the boat comes first.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. jleonard99

    jleonard99 Sunny Sailer

    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Thank you so much for the detailed answer. I am not too confident in my personal painting skills, as this whole process seems quite challenging. As I have not done any of these type fixes before. Would bringing the boat into a body shop possibly be a good idea, as they could fix some chips as well? I look forward to making the boat look better and appreciate your response.
     
  5. jleonard99

    jleonard99 Sunny Sailer

    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    My older 1978 Sunfish that I bought in like new condition saw a huge improvement after waxing. The color change was amazing, I love my boats and these type projects I have enjoy. I am just worried about messing them up in the improvement process.
     
  6. jleonard99

    jleonard99 Sunny Sailer

    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Also, I love the sail that you have there. The boat looks very nice as well.
     
  7. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Expect to pay for it and you'll want someone familiar with fiberglass/gelcoat, versus using bondo and car paint. Try some of the smaller chips yourself to get started and decide after results if you want to do more. Just get some "white" gelcoat and go from there. Like painting, 95% of the process is the prep. No need to gelcoat a shoddy patch. One thing however with gelcoat though... you can sand it...meaning you can put it on with a mop if you want. Just more sanding. You can get small "preval" sprayers that allow smooth applications and then you just finish sand with 800 grit and buff out. Probably will get acceptable results after a couple attempts, to give you more courage for something larger. YouTube is your friend.
    That said, you'll get another 15 opinions on this thread too.
     
  8. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Don't know if a Preval sprayer will handle gelcoat. You need a 2.0 to 3.5 nozzle
    and good pressure. I did some simple repairs on my runabout by just tinting
    West epoxy, adding some micro-balloons and then filling and wet-sanding. Took
    a lot of applications and a hell of a lot of wet sanding. Results were not show quality
    but I no longer had scratches down to the fiberglass. Sunfish have a grey tint to the
    white so a perfect match is going to be hard. As mentioned, if you're going to learn,
    do it on a used Sunfish. A $100 hull is worth the experience gained.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    28
    When you thin your gel with Curated, patchaide, and/or acetone (and 2% mek) the Preval works just fine
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Curated= Duratec. Thx spell ck
     
  11. jleonard99

    jleonard99 Sunny Sailer

    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Thank you, I think I will attempt to do some of the small work on my own and see how it goes. Thank you for the advice, I will keep everyone updated with the progress.
     
  12. jleonard99

    jleonard99 Sunny Sailer

    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Thank you I will consider this option in my improvement process.
     
  13. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Using wast sys is good for a lot of things but not as a final coat as it will break down from UV.
     
  14. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    28
    One big tip to applying gelcoat is to mix it with 30-50% Duratec. Duratec really aides in a high gloss on initial application and a smooth surface if you spray. Lastly it eliminates the need to shield the curing gelcoat from the air ( either with wax additives to the gel or covering the repair) which gelcoat typically needs to fully cure
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    28
    • Funny Funny x 1
  16. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I actually think West makes a UV inhibitor if you're just epoxying over wood. Like wooden boats, etc....Not sure however. For tints I rarely use them as I have enough stock of gelcoat colors, that I typically use them instead as it's much easier to blend for small changes in color. Too much of a particular tint and you can't go backwards.
     
  17. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Yeah... West 207 clear hardener is the UV ticket
     

Share This Page