Gelcoat Crack Repair

Its now September which means that sometime within the next six months its not going to be 100 degrees anymore.  This is exciting news because it means that I can finally paint the aft deck with an epoxy primer and cover up all the not so pretty fairing.  In preparation, I wanted to take care of a couple gelcoat cracks.  Even though they were small and more or less superficial, I didn’t want them to flex down the road and crack the paint.

I started out with a Dremel tool and ground the crack down to the fiberglass:

 

Here is what they looked like after all the dust was vacuumed up:

I then cleaned up the area with xylol and mixed up a batch of epoxy thickened with colloidal silica and put down a thick layer with a paintbrush.

I let the epoxy cure and after a week I came back out and carefully sanded down the epoxy to start the fairing process.  Its a bit difficult since the cracks are along angled edges but it made for a fun challenge.  I began with the orbital:

 

And then sanded the details down by hand:

DSC_7116.jpg

After the epoxy was sanded down to the general shape that I wanted I mixed up a medium sized batch of epoxy thickened with colloidal silica and 407 fairing filler.   This is an easy to sand mixture that will fill in any little undulations in the epoxy and make the area silky smooth and ready for paint once sanded down.

 

I prepared the area with xylol:

DSC_7117.jpg

 

And then got to work with a popsicle stick laying down the fairing epoxy:

DSC_7121.jpg

 

Here is what it looked like after I was done:

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The next time I’m out at the boat I will sand this down and the aft deck will be completely ready for the epoxy primer!! This is years in the making and it’s quite exciting for me.  I cannot even imagine what the deck is going to look like in brilliant white!


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