In this case the cracks need to be examined closely, even chipped away at, to see if they extend through the gelcoats 0. Now that the cracks are ready, mix your gelcoat repair kit and the hardener together. Aside from the durable shiny luster gelcoat adds to any fiberglass boat, most owners know little more than wash and wax it frequently. Spider cracks are nonstructural damage to the gel coat of a boat. One step finish gel coat white discount boat parts and. What does really concern me is that hitting the dock from the wind blowing and not at speed causing this to happen has me wondering if the gel coat is ok. They appeared around 18 months after manufacture and were mainly on flat panel areas and sharp corners. How to fix spider cracks, hairline cracks, and crazing in boat. Thermal fatigue cracks when gelcoat repeatedly expands or contracts. If your boat is more than a few years old, youll probably be surprised. If that is too painful, take a dremel tool or similar and open the cracks up so you can get a thickened epoxy resin filler into the cracks. I striped my boat a few weeks ago with scrapers it took 5 hours with lots of beer and.
I have not had the boat for a while, i got it through a trade. If the gel coat is not chipped but only spider webbed, wash the bad areas with acetone, scuff with 320 grit, blow clean and use a small finish roller to apply several coats of gelcoat thinned with about 20% styrene. I striped my boat a few weeks ago with scrapers it took 5. All about fiberglass boat stress cracks fiberglass boat repair.
First thing you want to do is look at the surface on which you want gelcoat applied. Anyone else having this problem i have a 2000 triton 186 that the gel coat has been getting hundreds of tiny white cracks on the right gunwale since 2008, when i first noticed it. To fill in damaged areas, start by sanding them with coarse 36 grit sandpaper to remove any. Our test boat has had a few spider cracks since a few months after.
Repairing minor damage to the gelcoat surface of your boat west. That could very easily be pushed to the abuse category given it was caused by the trailer, whether that is the reason or not. Jan 21, 2020 epoxy filler, although a great product is not suitable for a gelcote top coat. Below you will find a detailed gel coat preparation guide on how to apply gelcoat to your boat, rv or other surface. Cracks spreading out from the center, much as you would see in a spider web. If you own a boat, you may know that it is important to give your boat a gelcoat cover to help protect it from leaks and cracks. If your boat is more than a few years old, youll probably be surprised at the number you find. Youll want to take care of any damage on the fiberglass first so you have a smooth surface to apply the gelcoat to. Does the gelcoat on your boat look chalky and old and need to be restored to shine once again. Over time and with use, the gelcoat on your boat can become dull, making your boat look old. I would check with mm and see if anty place is more wet then others if so i would grind the cracks let dry with some heat and epoxy coat.
May 27, 2009 in this case the cracks need to be examined closely, even chipped away at, to see if they extend through the gelcoats 0. Cracks like that are typicaly from thick gel coat and some flexing. The highest quality iso npg marine finish gel coat to permanently repair or replace original, highglass finish. Gel coat is basically a resin to which a large amount of coloring pigment has been added, pigments that are oxides of metals like aluminum. Being the boat is brand new i really want to take care of it. The tape will help to ensure that your fresh layer of resin doesnt go too far across the surface. This thicker gelcoat cannot stand any flexing without showing cracks. Although not boat related, i had a grp bodied specialist car many years ago that had identical looking gel coat cracks to yours. To maintain your gel coat and your hulls integrity, follow this simple gel coat repair guide. Gelcoat oxidation can sometimes be repaired, but if the damage is extensive the gelcoat must be removed. Dec 06, 2017 our test boat has had a few spider cracks since a few months after she came out of the mold. Since 1968, west marine has grown to over 250 local stores, with knowledgeable associates happy to assist.
Obviously these areas take a lot of weight and pulling which is no surprise why there would be stress cracks in the gel coat. This damage is often caused by slight flexing of the hull. Although this usually starts off as a matter of cosmetics, in severe cases these surface cracks can grow, deepen, and eventually threaten your boats structural integrity. On both sides of the hull in the same general area. Repairing hairline cracks and how to do repair gelcoat. Polyester gelcotes will not chemically bond to epoxy. How to repair gelcoat, fiberglass boat repair boating magazine. Spider cracks in gelcoat moderated discussion areas. Radial cracks spider cracks, star cracks caused by impact or by a fixture bolt that puts strain on a certain area of a boat and cracks occur around the hole. The gelcoat can then be sanded smooth, finer and finer to 1500 grit and then polished out. Faded, chalky, oxidized gel coat can be brought back to its original luster and shine, with these simple steps. I would be more concerned with the structural integrity of the boat. Magic fix for hairline cracks in gelcoat practical sailor. We were surfing at the time we hit the submerged oject, so speeds were very low and visually, i hadnt even noticed the gel cracks.
These cracks are generally cosmetic, and indicate flexing of the hull. If its reads the same all over then it not a problem. Aside from the durable shiny luster gelcoat adds to any fiberglass boat, most. White gel coat, precolored gel coat, clear gel coat, neutral tintable gelcoats. Crazing in gelcoat, also known as spider cracks or stress cracks, plagues countless boaters and is an incredibly common issue on modern fiberglass boats. How to repair gelcoat, fiberglass boat repair boating. The easiest repair method is to sand the surface heavily and roll on two coats of epoxy primer followed by two coats of twopart linear.
Over time, the gelcoat can fade, oxidize and become pitted and dented. It has been getting progressively worse since i discovered it, and spreading to the re. A prior owner had fixed a few with evercoat gel coat scratch patch gel. Gel coat chip or crack sea hunt boats owners group. Restoring your gelcoat can help restore the shine of your boat and protect its surface. Once youre sure youre dealing with these types of cracks in the outer gel coat of the fiberglass, your fix can be limited to the fiberglass exterior. Take care that they are completely mixed together, otherwise the hardener and gel coat will not set properly, and you will be left with a sticky mess for weeks.
This thicker gel coat cannot stand any flexing without showing cracks. Crazing in gelcoat, also known as spider cracks or stress cracks, plagues countless boaters. Spider cracks are nonstructural damage to the gelcoat of a boat. Add a cap full of sanding aid wax to the gel coat to seal the surface. I really dont recommend this except the smallest of hairline cracks on the older, thick gelcoat boats. Stress cracks in fiberglass bass boats, canoes, kayaks and. My plan is to remove the many coats of antifouling paint below the waterline, then apply three coats of the west system epoxy and repaint it. When i was looking at boats, all of the cracks were around the tower legs and near the swim platform brackets. For easy, yet permanent repairs on hairline cracks, small scratches, and chips in fiberglass try evercoats marine gelcoat repair kit. Use to fill gouges, chips, scrapes and deep scratches in the fiberglass gel coat. If the cracks on your boat were caused by impacts, such as around rub rails or where a heavy object was dropped, move on to step 1. Hairline cracks, stress cracks or spider cracks star cracks that occur in gelcoat surfaces on fiberglass boats or other water craft are.
For resurfacing, reduce gelkote with evercoat acetone and hibond styrene 10% to a thinner consistency to use for sprayer applications. If the surface of your boat looks like a cracked eggshell, the gelcoat is suffering from crazing sometimes called alligatoring. Gelcoat is a resin that will protect any fiberglass structure with a strong shield. The application of gelcoat and by pretty straight forward when you follow this guide determine the existing surface. Spider cracks are small, hairlike cracks that appear on the gelcoat of boats. In most cases this is true, however it is important to seal them correctly otherwise water may penetrate into the fiberglass and cause more serious damage. Hairline cracks, stress cracks or spider cracks star cracks that occur in gelcoat surfaces on fiberglass boats or other water craft are often seen as a cosmetic issue. The gel coat is in pretty rough shape cracked, chipped and pitted.
Jun 06, 2018 addressing spider cracks part 2 duration. If, however, the spider cracks appeared at an attachment point or in a highstress area, theres a good chance theyll simply return after you fix them. Used this product to make a repair to boat gel coat after fixing some minor fiber glass damage. This premium marine grade gel coat may be as gecloat for boats, gelcoat for pools or many other applications. No problema little elbow grease, a buffer, some basic cleaning supplies, and a few hours of your time is all it takes. Sometimes, theyre merely cosmetic, meaning they dont penetrate the gelcoat.
May 17, 2015 the boat is in pretty good condition for its age in my opinion, but the hull does have some minor hairline stress cracks. Aug 05, 2008 if the gel coat is too thick, the permanent fix is to grind the gel coat down to the frp lay up. Our test boat has had a few spider cracks since a few months after she came out of the mold. Repairing gelcoat on fiberglass boat the topic of gelcoat is often a mystifying subject for boat owners. Bottom cracks hi markus most boats have some cracks in the bottom. If the gelcoat has broken through, the damaged area needs to be sanded down and a new gelcoat layer applied. I didnt see any gelcoat damage, but after my progressive agent carefully inspected the boat very impressed with progressive. These hairline fractures also occur in boats of the mid 1970s vintage which often had thicker gel coat layers than newer boats. Hairline spider cracks must be opened wider and filled with an epoxy filler to be permanently repaired. Gelcoat is the protective coating that covers most fiberglass boats. Gel coat hardened too quickly or with improper curing temperatures and conditions can also promote stress cracks in the gel coat itself. May 23, 20 if your gel coat already shows signs of aging, its time to repair it or to reapply a fresh layer to revitalize your boats look. Heres an easy way to fix and color stress cracks in seconds and its so tough it comes with a 3 year durability guarantee magicezy hairline fix is a revolutionary precolored fiberglass and gelcoat repair product that fixes and colors fine stress cracks spider cracks, and hairline fractures fast in one application.
If the foam in the hull starts to deteriorate it can allow more flexing to take place, this can put more stress on overly thick gel coat and cause cracks. Epoxy filler, although a great product is not suitable for a gelcote top coat. The next time youre cleaning and waxing your boat, take the time to look for small cracks, scratches and chips in its gel coat. Gel coat cracking on 2000 tritonanyone else having this problem. Because of this all builders of fiberglass boats using gel coat will have disclaimers in the written warranty to limit the coverage of the gel coat. Being that my boat is 10 years old she has a few fine gel coat cracks here and there.
Sometimes, they go deeper and threaten an underlying laminate, which in many cases is cored. Gel coat is easy to use and looks great when finished. Youll need an under 3,000rpm disk grinderpolisher with a foam pad to grind the epoxy smooth after it sets. Extensive spider cracking common on older boats is due to aging of the gelcoat. For more details on some of the things that can go wrong in the fiberglass during the manufacturing process please refer to the blistering article. Crazing is an incredibly common issue on modern fiberglass boats, and although it usually starts off as a matter of cosmetics, in severe cases these surface cracks can grow, deepen, and eventually threaten your boats. These premium quality isophthalic npg gel coats are formulated to meet rigid requirements in the boating, transportation, and sanitary applications and. Boatus magazines mark corke shows you how to easily repair those pesky spider cracks that show up in your boats fiberglass gelcoat. The secret to a good finish is to apply gel coat properly. In this report, they offer the magic fix for hairline gelcoat cracks. If the gel coat is too thick, the permanent fix is to grind the gel coat down to the frp lay up. Gel coat is a wonderful durable substance for protection and appearance on a boat but it is not particularly flexible, and it can shrink and crack from exposure to sun. How to repair spider cracks in fiberglass boatlife. How to repair spider cracks on your fiberglass boat.
Repairing hairline cracks and how to do repair gelcoat magicezy. Gel coat is easy to use from application to sanding. I know i can buy a paste style gel coat, route out the cracks and then fill and sand down as i have done it before, but i feel like there has to be a way to maybe scape out the crack real fine and just apply a self leveling thinned out paste or thickened white matching paint that is flexible. You can successfully complete basic fiberglass boat repair by following these steps. Painting over cracked and chipped gel coat moderated. These hairline fractures also occur in boats of the mid 1970s vintage which often had thicker gelcoat layers than newer boats. Found some gel coat cracks when cleaning today on the underside in the general vicinity of the third picture. If your gel coat already shows signs of aging, its time to repair it or to reapply a fresh layer to revitalize your boats look.
The boat is in pretty good condition for its age in my opinion, but the hull does have some minor hairline stress cracks. Upon inspecting the underside, i noticed a crack in the gelcoat about 2 feet long on the bottom side of the hull under where a passenger seat would normally be located. Your gel coat may be tough, but it will succumb to the constant battering of the marine environment over time. As for painting above the waterline, the light blue interior and white exterior gel coat need refinishing.
The gelcoat seals the fiberglass and can be left alone or painted over. These might be in a parallel pattern or a nondirectional pattern. I have read some older threads about gel coat bubbles or voids which crack or break off when touched or banged lightly. Stress cracks, spider cracks, and hairline cracks in the decks of older boats are, of course, not rare. These are cosmetic repairs, but they can add significant value and enjoyment to your boat. How to fix spider cracks, hairline cracks, and crazing in boat gelcoat. Since 1968, west marine has grown to over 250 local stores, with. We also carry products that make short work of minor surface damage.
Diy gel coat spider cracks microskiff dedicated to the. If, however, the spider cracks appeared at an attachment point or in a highstress area, theres. In larger cracks the bonding problem of gelcoat to cured epoxy becomes an issue. How to fix crazing in gelcoat, also known as spider cracks or stress cracks which plague countless boaters. We tried west marine gel coat scratch patch, and although very careful, the results werent really an improvement. Most people that use there boat eventually will develop some type of stress cracks in there gel coat. The primary reason why stress cracks appear in gel coat is because gel coat is brittle and the laminate to which it is bonded is less so.659 571 400 125 1324 1492 1474 444 1465 353 112 1571 644 28 274 1069 259 924 1477 460 620 1096 62 348 1287 990 1030 752 945 716 1202 146 1403 1160 27 317 632 1317