What should I do about this exposed fiberglass?

Thread starter #1
image.jpg I recently bought this boat and I noticed it has a little bit of exposed fiberglass on the bottom of the hull from being beached. I was wondering how I would go about repairing it.
 
#2
Hello,

The picture makes me think the boat was dragged over something angled and sharp, like the cross beam on a trailer rather than from beaching. The reason I say this is that only one side is scraped and the scrape seems only on the aft section of the boat. I would think beaching the boat would wear on both sides, and that it would extend further forward.

Regardless, assuming there is no damage to the fiberglass itself, you can reapply gel-coat with thickener. You can use colloidal silica and then smooth it out as best you can with a squeegee. I travel a bit for business, and I find the key cards are good for this. You can then cover it with wax paper to help smooth it further, and some gel-coat formulas (i.e. waxless) require the wax paper to cure anyway. Depending on how deep it is you might need more than one coat. If it is really deep, and the texture is fibrous, I might "paint" a layer of resin on first. Once this is done you can wet-sand the repair fair.

Before taking this on you should just make certain there isn't any structural damage. You should be able to tell by pushing on and seeing much it gives. When I got my boat, it had what I thought was just a gel coat crack in my keel. When I ground it down a little to affect a repair, I saw that some of glass was more opaque looking indicating damage, and when I pushed on it I could see one side of the crack moving more than the other.

There are many people on this forum that know much more than I do about these things, so perhaps some others will chime in.
 
#3
Sounds about right to me. Inspect carefully for soft spots, cracks or discolored areas of in the glass where water may have seeped in. If you are clear of all that, just add some new gel coat. Preferably one-step finishing gel coat thickened a little or Gel coat paste. Sand the area well and about and about an inch to either side to feather it in. Painting in on with a foam brush is probably the best approach. Then sand it smooth 250/400 grit and finish with 600 to 800 paper (auto parts store). Unlike paint, it's best to get it in one heavy coat. Layering gel coat takes some knowledge and several more steps.

If you do find problems, take some closeup pics and let us see what you are dealing with.

Also, assuming there's no damage to the glass underneath, it's fine to day sail it as is. Just don't leave it in the water.
 
Last edited:

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#4
Assuming there is not significant damage to the fiberglass as noted above, I have very successfully sailed for years with the problem area sanded smooth, filled with filler and sanded again, and then spraypainted. The spray paint will not stand up to abrasion like gelcoat, but if you are careful with the boat it works fine.
 
#5
Assuming there is not significant damage to the fiberglass as noted above, I have very successfully sailed for years with the problem area sanded smooth, filled with filler and sanded again, and then spraypainted. The spray paint will not stand up to abrasion like gelcoat, but if you are careful with the boat it works fine.
While I agree this would work fine as a shortcut, I'd be concerned this could cause more issues down the road if you need to make another repair. Once you paint over gel coat, new repairs require you to remove all the paint first. Using finish gelcoat is pretty easy. If you mess up you can just sand it and try again. Even if it doesn't look perfect ,it's way better than exposed glass and it's on the bottom of the keel that gets beat up quickly anyway.
 
#7
Evercoat polyester gelcoat is what i usually use. Their One-step finish gel is typically the best. They also make a gel-paste that works well for gouges and cuts but you have to add color.
 
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