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Fill scratches & chips??

Ticktack

Member
Hello, I just bought a 2006 Sunfish, the deck almost looks new but there are many deep scratches & gouges on bottom I’d like to fill with marine Tex. What’s the best way to fill completely without significantly over contouring? I was thinking about using a plastic spreader like using with bondo but was concerned the scratches might not get filled completely flush. Thank so much,
Tom
 

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L&VW

Well-Known Member
I've used a credit card to good effect. You can still go over the "missed" parts later.

I've got a membership card with my name embossed in it. Soon, I hope to "personalize" a repair by flattening my full name over the repair. :D

Motel plastic "keys" are just as good.

For automotive glazing putty (which holds up better than the paint over it), I use a debit card. ;)

P5120024.JPG
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
I am not much of a repair person, but I suggest overfilling the scratched areas and then sanding them down once the Marine-Tex has hardened as it tends to shrink a bit as it 'settles in' (hardens).
 
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L&VW

Well-Known Member
'Forgot this technique that works with thickened epoxy (THIXO or West SystemsTen-6).

Try this on a small patch--it may work with MarineTex:

While Saran Wrap may work, it may not peel off fully, and leave a mess to sand off. (MarineTex is very firm when cured, and slow to sand away: I'd use a belt sander if you have access to one).

To reduce time with sanding, try smoothing a heavy plastic film over the repair, like those 16"x20" Ziploc BIG Bags (Amazon, also available 5/$1 for a "generic" brand at Dollar Tree stores).

Maybe there are Quid Tree stores in the UK? IDK. ;)

While you're at Dollar Tree, grab a handful of their good quality needle-nose pliers, 100-pack disposable gloves, a quality plastic level, a prybar, a 3-pack of disposable paint brushes, stubby 3-way extension cords and a rubber hammer from the hardware aisle. (And, except in San Francisco, pay for them). :confused:
 

shorefun

Active Member
Let me ask you a question or two.

How important is color match and color match over time?

Marine Tex is very white to start off, but changes color over time. It also does not wear/ scratch like gel coat and will become noticable over time.


How important is it for the repair to hold?

All the mentioned solutions will need something to let it grip. Filling a scratch may not leave a very good surface for a hold. All the above methods needs something like 80 grit sandpaper to get some hold. I mean I might work fine, but it might not.

Minor scratch can be handled with a light sand and buff. Serious cracks and gouges should be sanded out and leveled.

This past summer I got to see what all sorts of repairs look like over time. Marine Tex can do a lot of fixes, but honestly it stands out and holds dirt different from gel coat. So years later it makes the repair stand out. I did some fixes for repairs where the person just put, name filler here all of them, and the filler was coming off from poor adhesion.
If you want it to work right you need to sand it out and have a taper.

Honestly, unless the scratch on the bottom is to gel coat. Just do a light wet sand with like 400 to 1500 grit and compoud it. This will lessen the look of the scratch. Know that the bottom will just keep getting more scratch. Again, I saw the boats that people tried to keep pristien and as much as they try the boat will get scratches. You can do a ton of work and spend a lot of money trying to keep your fish look nice.

Keep it simple and practical and sail more is my advice.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Shorefun gave you good advice if you want to do a really nice job on the bottom of your hull. On the other hand, as long as you are not entering a concours d'elegance for Sunfish hulls, wouldn't you really rather go sailing?
 

Ticktack

Member
Let me ask you a question or two.

How important is color match and color match over time?

Marine Tex is very white to start off, but changes color over time. It also does not wear/ scratch like gel coat and will become noticable over time.


How important is it for the repair to hold?

All the mentioned solutions will need something to let it grip. Filling a scratch may not leave a very good surface for a hold. All the above methods needs something like 80 grit sandpaper to get some hold. I mean I might work fine, but it might not.

Minor scratch can be handled with a light sand and buff. Serious cracks and gouges should be sanded out and leveled.

This past summer I got to see what all sorts of repairs look like over time. Marine Tex can do a lot of fixes, but honestly it stands out and holds dirt different from gel coat. So years later it makes the repair stand out. I did some fixes for repairs where the person just put, name filler here all of them, and the filler was coming off from poor adhesion.
If you want it to work right you need to sand it out and have a taper.

Honestly, unless the scratch on the bottom is to gel coat. Just do a light wet sand with like 400 to 1500 grit and compoud it. This will lessen the look of the scratch. Know that the bottom will just keep getting more scratch. Again, I saw the boats that people tried to keep pristien and as much as they try the boat will get scratches. You can do a ton of work and spend a lot of money trying to keep your fish look nice.

Keep it simple and practical and sail more is my advice.
Thank you so much for your input & your time. I’ve over filled the areas in concern & am working on wet sanding back to acquire a smooth, fair bottom. I’m probably over concerned about this but most of the time this boat is on the water it’s racing. Some of the areas on the bottom resembled a cheese grater which really didn’t look or feel fast ( I need all the help I can get)!!
Thanks again for everyone’s help & input,
Sail Fast!!
 

shorefun

Active Member
You know they are putting scallops on the surface of things to have less surface friction.

My experience with racing, which is not much, is that your skills with understanding the winds, your ability to adjust or fine tune the sail, and how you place yoru body on the hull are the biggest factors. The people who have raced all their lives can be on pretty crappy poorly set up fish and still win.

If you get that good that some scratches on the bottom of the hull are an issue then you need a new fish and likely need to change it out every few years.
The newer hulls are lighter and not as thick as the old. The current production are even lighter and thinner and likely will not take the abuse of previous generations.

Fill any areas that you can see the glass to protect the glass. Sand some just to take off the oxide top layer, then compound and wax.
Having a nice well waxed smooth upper deck looks nice until you almost slide off into the water, want to know how I know? :)
 
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