Fiberglass Boat Repair Tips You Should Know

Some of the most durable boats of all are fiberglass boats. Compared to a wooden boat, they require little maintenance; however, they are not trouble-free. Some fiberglass boats suffer damages from collisions, exhaustion from age and moisture or damages due to the forces of nature. Repairing your fiberglass boat can enhance the performance and life of the boat.

One of the main problems fiberglass boats have is hydrolysis and gel coat blisters. Hydrolysis is a problem that is growing in fiberglass boats. The laminate in the fiberglass has fluid that creates cavities inside the gel coating which turns into blisters. One of the major symptoms of hydrolysis is blisters, and polyester resin is affected as well. The hydrolysis affects the hull, and its strength is reduced.

This is a problem you can fix using material that bonds polyester resin and glass fiber. Epoxy adhesives work great for repairing gel coat blisters in boats. Some people like to use polyester resin, but it is known to shrink which creates some stress around the repair joints. The epoxy is more durable than the polyester, so it provides a stronger structure and prevents moisture from piercing the laminate.

Another problem common in fiberglass boats is minor holes and cracks. Epoxy resin can be used to fill the cracks and holes. Always assess the holes and cracks first to determine the reason they occurred. If they happened due to some type of impact, you should examine the interior panel to see if the hole or crack extends entirely through the laminate.

Next, remove any contaminant such as wax, mold release or oil from the surface. Use a silicone remover or wax to wipe off the damaged area. Dry the area thoroughly with paper towels before the solvent has a chance to evaporate. Next, use a V-shaped tool to open the crack. This helps you grind out the deep crack and determine the cracks depth.

Fiberglass Boat Repair

Fiberglass Boat Repair

The minor cracks in the first strand of layers can be fixed with epoxy. Wet the cracks out with a hardener mixture or resin. Next, the cracks should be filled with a thick epoxy mixture. Remove the excess before it has the chance to cure, and let the remaining epoxy cure. Sandpaper will remove excess bumps, and the area can be finished with a gel coat. If the area was large, use a polyurethane paint to finish the area. Once the repairs are done, wash the painted area with a solvent that the paint manufacturer recommends.

Repairing your fiberglass boat will allow you to keep it a lot longer and keep it running more efficiently.

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