View Full Version : Gelcoat Repair

tommy panfish
04-06-2011, 12:28 PM
Ok fellas....I need some input. We bought a 96 190 w/750 hours last year right around the 4th. PO kept the oil and impelar changed and thats about it. Ran it all last summer with no probs. I've been cleaning it since we bought it. Anyways, pics below show my problems. I've got one big gouge and then some scratches, PO must've beached it or hit trailer. I feel pretty confident I can fix these myself. Should I go to Spectrum or is their another source? I'm assuming there is a putty or epoxy to fill the deep spot and then I spray gelcoat, sand, clean, sand again, compound, wax and presto good as new. I need some on matching the hull color (white), what grit to use, etc. Anybody have any lessons learned from doing this yourself?

04-06-2011, 12:54 PM
Pretty easy repair, especially since its under the boat where it can't be seen. (Except it's a pain to get to!)

There's a couple threads in this section that detail repair methods quite well, take a look at those.
Spectrum can provide you color matched gel that you can either spray or paint on, or gelcoat putty. For a quick one time repair, I'd go with the gel putty. For my older boat ('96) it was not a stock color so they wanted as much for a small putty kit as a quart of gel, so I got the liquid gel.
Prep: Grind any loose 'glass out and fill the entire repair area with bondo.
Then sand grind down the bondo 1/16" (try to match the existing gel thickness, maybe a little thicker) or so and make nice sharp square edges on the exisitng gel to tie into. You don't want to "feather" it like paint. Fill with the gel putty, or a couple coats of gel with a paint brush (no need to spray anything on those litttle scratches), following the instructions.
I mix the gel a little hot and rough sand (400 grit) it after curing the gel for 45-60min. At this point it's soft enough still that it sands down easily. Wait another couple hrs and fine sand it just right, buff and polish.

04-07-2011, 09:28 AM
Thrall's technique would work pretty well for you. You just have to understand that the best way to repair that is to grind down to the glass leaving the gelcote with a bevel. Then whether you choose to use Bondo, epoxy mixed with a West System type of filler, or even some epoxy and fiberglass mat you must repair the fiberglass. Then you work the repair until the depth is the same thickness as your gelcote. Spectrum has color match gelcote available in several sizes. One variation is a thicker gel that may be easier to work with upside down.

tommy panfish
04-08-2011, 12:22 PM
The sanding part is where I'm a little unclear. Sand it down to the glass, what does that look like? Bevel or sharp edge on all sides? Seen any pics of a repair in progress? Thanks for the input fellas.

04-08-2011, 09:24 PM
I found this helpful when I was doing some repairs - http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/HowTo-Publications/Fiberglass-Boat-Repair-and-Maintenance.pdf