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Old 12-22-2013, 08:02 PM
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Gelcoat repair opionion, DIY or professional

I just bought my boat in September. The PO had a keelguard on it. The keelguard had a hole in it and there was a dime size piece of gelcoat missing underneath. I knew this when I bought the boat. The PO said this came from where the bottom of the boat hit the front trailer cross member. I figured the keelguard would trap water with the hole in it, so I removed the keelguard today. I found more gelcoat damage underneath the good parts of the keelguard but in the same general area. (The PO said that the one spot was the only damage when I directly asked him about it. He knew this other damage was there because he put the keelguard over top of it.)

The damage doesn't appear to go beyond the gelcoat. Basically looks like the impact of hitting the crossmember just popped off the gelcoat. The worst one in the picture is about 2" long. I have wetsanded gelcoat to remove scratches and then buffed it back out. That doesn't scare me at all. But, I have never applied gelcoat before. Based on the looks of these spots, do you guys thing that the Spectrum gelcoat repair paste would work just fine? Or should I get a professional to do this?

If I do it myself, is there anything that should be applied to the exposed areas before I use the Spectrum kit?

(The black stuff that you see on the hull is leftover foam backing and adhesive. I am still working on getting that off. It is a slow process.)
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:34 PM
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Those are easily DIY repairs with Spectrum paste. Did several like that on one of my previous boats. Clean the areas well and then build up the paste just a bit higher than the surrounding good gel so that you have room to sand it down level. Once it's buffed out no one will know. The good thing is that the keel is a pretty forgiving area to work on.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:09 AM
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DIY for sure... depending on your level of OCD on making it a functional and cosmetically perfect. Surface prep paramount
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:18 PM
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What type of surface prep should I do? I was planning on roughing it up with some 220 grit sandpaper. Then cleaning it well with acetone. Anything else?
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhawk View Post
What type of surface prep should I do? I was planning on roughing it up with some 220 grit sandpaper. Then cleaning it well with acetone. Anything else?
That is perfect but you may want to sand the gel a little around the area to get the layer of grime off so the paste will match better. I will be interested to see how well it turns out bc I have a couple spots to fix on my red hull as well. Worst case is if you are not happy with the results then a professional will have to fix or respray an area.
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by CC2MC View Post
That is perfect but you may want to sand the gel a little around the area to get the layer of grime off so the paste will match better. I will be interested to see how well it turns out bc I have a couple spots to fix on my red hull as well. Worst case is if you are not happy with the results then a professional will have to fix or respray an area.
+1 and localize the area with tape to minimize finishing...
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:57 PM
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Alright, I feel pretty good about doing this myself after hearing from everyone. I also found a good video series on Youtube that was done by West Marine. I think I will wait until Spring until I get a good warm day. Plus that will give those spots good time to dry out, just in case they are holding any moisture.

It took me an hour to get the actual rubber part of the keel guard off. Pulling that off left a foam backing that was over the adhesive. A heat gun and a plastic putty knife got the foam backing off. That took 2 hours. To get the adhesive off I used 3M general purpose adhesive remover. You have to really get the adhesive soaked with the remover, then you can use the plastic putty knife to start scrapping it off. Getting the adhesive off was another 2 hours. So, about 5 hours total getting that keel guard completely gone.
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhawk View Post
Alright, I feel pretty good about doing this myself after hearing from everyone. I also found a good video series on Youtube that was done by West Marine. I think I will wait until Spring until I get a good warm day. Plus that will give those spots good time to dry out, just in case they are holding any moisture.

It took me an hour to get the actual rubber part of the keel guard off. Pulling that off left a foam backing that was over the adhesive. A heat gun and a plastic putty knife got the foam backing off. That took 2 hours. To get the adhesive off I used 3M general purpose adhesive remover. You have to really get the adhesive soaked with the remover, then you can use the plastic putty knife to start scrapping it off. Getting the adhesive off was another 2 hours. So, about 5 hours total getting that keel guard completely gone.
A wooden spatula helps too - it does not soften form the heat gun... any pictures?
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:44 PM
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OK guys, I literally dug into this gelcoat chipping some more. I prodded around with my pocket knife and found more loose gelcoat. I got all the loose edges knocked off, so my wound is a little larger now. The long section in the pic is about 8 inches. With this much gelcoat to patch, I am looking at going with a professional repair. Seems like a big patch to try with the paste kit.

I got one quote back today for $800. This guy was recommended independently by 3 different marinas/dealers that I called. From talking with him on the phone he does seem to know what he is doing and explained everything involved with the repair. He quoted 10 hours of labor with the rest being materials and a quart of viper red gelcoat. What are your thoughts on that price? I had $500-$600 in my mind, but, of course, I have never repaired gelcoat before.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:15 PM
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whats the cost of a quart of gel $50 and your time?
if it doesn't look good enough for MCOCD then go to the pro's
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