I hit a submerged rock on a surf landing and lost some white gel coat on my QCC 400. There are 3 missing patches of gel coat, about 1" by 2". You can see the fiberglass but it looks undamaged. It leaks a little now, about 3 cups of water after 2 hours of paddling. What should I use to repair the damage, brand name of gel coat, and how do I do the repair? Thanks in advance.
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
Kayak & Canoe Outriggers
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Posted by: dc9mm on Sep-24-12 12:44 PM (EST)
Here are two links for repairing gelocat. I recently bought a fiberglass kayak so I found these ahead of time. I have never done it but thought this would help. Good luck.
Call Current Designs/QCC...|
Posted by: openboater on Sep-24-12 1:06 PM (EST)
and buy the materials. They'll have good advise, too.
Should not be leaking|
Posted by: scott_f on Sep-24-12 5:04 PM (EST)
If the leaks are from the damaged spots, then more is damaged than gelcoat. The gelcoat is really just there as a scuff it up, looks good, UV protectant layer. Don't dispair though, glass repairs are fairly easy. Can you confirm the leak is from the damaged areas?
Instructions are on the gel coat|
Posted by: Celia on Sep-24-12 6:20 PM (EST)
We get ours from West Marine, most gel repair stuff (get the gel and an additional tube of goop to mix in) has instructions for use on it. Wear a mask and/or do it outdoors. The gel is pretty nonreactive stuff, but it gets much more interesting when you add the goop.
Posted by: charlied on Sep-25-12 7:18 AM (EST)
Thanks for the info. I put the kayak up on some saw horses and poured a bucket of water in the back hatch. The water slowly leaked out the damaged areas. I talked to Steve at QCC and he says without the gel coat the boat will leak.
That is really weird|
Posted by: pblanc on Sep-25-12 7:30 AM (EST)
I agree with Scott. Fiberglass (or any other synthetic cloth) that has been completely impregnated with epoxy should not leak. Many composite boats are not gel coated.
I've seen soaked fiberglass leak|
Posted by: Celia on Sep-25-12 10:48 AM (EST)
If anything, over time some seepage is the norm if the glass layer has a chance to stay wet for a while, at least in my experience. I did not have this problem on the trip home when I took a hell of a chip out of my NDK boat pulling in for the lunch break, but that boat has a custom layup with extra reinforcement all along the keel line. It is not the normal situation.
Fiberglass fibers can't get soaked|
Posted by: pblanc on Sep-25-12 11:08 AM (EST)
if they are impregnated and imbedded in intact resin. That is the problem. When the fiberglass breaks away from the resin matrix, the fabric is no longer waterproof, and perhaps more importantly, it lacks strength.
Dry it out|
Posted by: roanguy on Sep-25-12 9:17 AM (EST)
Mix up some two part epoxy, and cover the holes.
Lay down in multiple layers|
Posted by: Celia on Sep-25-12 10:50 AM (EST)
If it is deep, the stuff won't dry right if the layer is too thick. Will just have to redo it in a year.
The white auto paint .....|
Posted by: roanguy on Sep-25-12 11:36 AM (EST)
was recommended by the late Phil from QCC.
Posted by: Celia on Sep-25-12 11:50 AM (EST)
The last time I did this I figured that a final thinner layer of gel coat polished really well (that last layer was where I lost interest myself since the boat was fixed up to work fine) would have been my last step. Auto spray is less work.
Sometimes, when we don't care ....|
Posted by: roanguy on Sep-25-12 4:00 PM (EST)
about aesthetics, we don't use either gel coat or spray paint and just let the epoxy show.
In that event|
Posted by: pblanc on Sep-25-12 4:35 PM (EST)
I would at least cover the epoxy with some varnish containing a UV blocker to protect in from degradation.
Wouldn't have worked for me|
Posted by: Celia on Sep-25-12 4:38 PM (EST)
This was a drop on concrete, an edge at that, at a dock. The gel coat had come off right to the reinforcement along the inside keel, where the gel coat tends to be the thickest because it was where the hill starts curving up and narrowing. Very noticeable divot...
That's how I would do it.|
Posted by: jaybabina on Sep-26-12 3:53 PM (EST)
I didn't want to put my head on the block when gel coat was mentioned. Trying to match get coat is almost impossible and trying to get a smooth finish is tough too and almost not worth it. But an epoxy fill, sanded smooth with 300 wet paper and touched up with auto paint will look perfect.
Fiberglass and gelcoat repair|
Posted by: bnystrom on Sep-26-12 7:03 AM (EST)
It sounds like you need instructions for both. I have pics and instructions at:
Thanks, and a question|
Posted by: DaveO1 on Sep-26-12 8:40 AM (EST)
Thank you Mr. Nystrom, your albums were very helpful to me. If I may ask, in your opinion, is a respirator advisable/necessary for this type and scale of work, and if so, would you have a recommended type/brand? Dave
For polyester resin and gelcoat....|
Posted by: bnystrom on Sep-27-12 7:02 AM (EST)
...you absolutely should wear an organic vapor respirator. The fumes from these materials are strong and toxic. There are several good brands, but the most commonly available ones seem to be AO Safety and 3M.
Lot's of Info|
Posted by: charlied on Sep-26-12 9:43 AM (EST)
Thanks again for all the info, I should be able to fix my boat now. Right now I am probably going to brush some epoxy on the fiberglass and then follow Brian's photo guide on how to repair the gel coat. Nice work Brian.