Gelcoat crazing on hull

Thread starter #1
What should I do about crazing or little hairline cracks in the gelcoat? Would I need to reinforce the hull somehow? I need to find a gelcoat that is lime green.

Anything helps right now.
 
#2
Is the hull soft? Im guessing its an old boat... The big question is whether or not the integrity of the hull has been compromised. Also.... how hard do you race the boat? The repair for that is rather involved so if its a club level or a recreational thing I'd just leave it alone as long as the hull is reasonably stiff.
 
Thread starter #3
It is a 2001. I just race with my club, I'm just wondering if I could easily fix it up. The cracks are webbed out about 10 inches across near the shoulder under the stripe a few inches.

What would be the process for fixing it?
 

torrid

Just sailing
#6
I was told once that fiberglass and gelcoat have different expansion/contraction characteristics. With dissimilar materials right next to each other, cracking would be inevitable.
 
Thread starter #7
It seems to be a common problem with gelcoat. It happens from flexing too much. The hull doesn't seem soft and I think the fiberglass is fine underneath. I don't know anything really about gelcoat but if i were to try and fill the little cracks with gelcoat, it would just happen again.
 

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49208

Tentmaker
#8
Bingo

That's commonly called a stress crack. Usually caused by deflection of the hull. Gelcoat as a material is not very flexible, so when the section is deformed, the gelcoat cracks.

You can sand it smooth and forget about it, or remove all the gelcoat in that area (right down the the fiberglass laminate) and then build it back up again with new gelcoat.
 
#9
How does one "sand it smooth"? Should one not fill the cracks first?
I'm asking because I discovered hairline cracks near the centreboard slot and
under the mastfoot on my hull. The cracks are not long nor many,
but I'd like to get rid of them (so that the fibreglass does not soak
up water). The hull is not soft.

I did not see the cracks when I bought the boat (several months ago).
I'm not sure how they appeared. The boat had been in storage for
more than 10 years, and in the past months I sailed it a lot,
sometimes in heavy air.

Yours Bernhard
 
#10
What kind of trailer do you tranpsort the boat on?

Does it support the hull underneath the bottom on long boards (bunks)?

Do you attach the boat to the trailer using ratchet tie down straps?

The pattern of these reminds me of boats that I've seen that have been "crushed" onto the trailer by overtightening the ratchet tie down strap.
 
Thread starter #11
When I got the laser it had some of the webbed cracks on it. I got the hull for $100, so I figured it will probably be worth it. I only race in the evenings with my local club so I don't think the cracks will make much of a difference for me. My boat handling is more important than that.

I hope I made a good choice in buying the laser.

Sorry about the picture, its from a phone.
 

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#12
$100 dollars? Definately a good choice. What I would do is file out the cracks and then refill with new gelcoat. It's an easy project if it's on the white part of the hull. The difficult part is if it is on the green, as matching colors exactly is a pain. I just did my gray hull and I actually had to mix back and white gelcoats to get the dark charcoal color. You'll probably be fine with gelcoat pigment. I don't believe laser performance stocks your color green. Perhaps there's a place near you that could mix it for you?

Just weigh the choices to fix it carefully. Gelcoat is expensive. A pint is like 44 dollars... which is about half of what your hull cost. I would do it... but I'm also one of those people who has the mindset that a boat never dies... it just needs more repairs!!!
 
Thread starter #13
Yeah, the hull is surprisingly stiff and there are no cracks on the green stripe. I figured it was a good deal because of the cam cleats, autobailer and hiking strap that I got the boat with. Thats over $100 right there right?

Do you have an opinion on spraying on gelcoat on the parts that need it? I'm not sure I will end up doing anything, but maybe for a winter project?
 
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