Discussions (1313)

Gel coat cracking

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Super Snoopy 050 says:

We're having a bash at curing Snoopy's sagging roof. In addition to the springiness when walking on top, there are loads of "spider's web" cracking in the gel coat, which we think may be leading to ingress of water to the balsa core. What's the best way of dealing with these cracks?
11:12AM, 30 January 2011 PDT (permalink)

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sailing bye1 says:

On Sailing Bye there were cracks around the block at the base of the mast and water ingress into the balsa core, we ended up with an area of 8ft x 4ft of gel coat and balsa being removed to get back to dry material. We could count 3 attempts at trying to repair the problem so built up area with resin and glass cloth, no problem over the last 3 years. As the cabin on sailing bye is similar to the A24 it could be an option.
I have had her out in a 5 with full sail, still stiff and she handled fine, but i don't race. Watchet is not the calmest of seas.
105 months ago (permalink)

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Skykomish E29 says:

The normal way of repairing cracks in gel coat is to chase them out with a dremmel type grinder attachment to form a "V" in the gelcoat along the crack, then fill with marine filler, as colour will not match you will be forced to paint when complete,
105 months ago (permalink)

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songeur2010 says:

I think you will need to grind the gell coat back to see if the cracks go into the glass, if they do you will most likely need to grind the glass back and re glass with as many layers as you take off. I had to do this on the hull of Songeur, it took some time but is worth the peace of mind. Might pay to get a friendly boat builder to look at it if you can.
105 months ago (permalink)

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Eclipse 1 says:

Eclipse had some sodden balsa just uder the mast area, caused by leaky cable sockets next to the mast step. To fix, I cut out the inside fibreglass skin with a small angle grinder under the affected area, and removed the rotten balsa.
Replacement balsa sourced and cut to size. This new core then fixed to outer fibreglass skin with a generous resin mix.
Finished off inside with fibreglass 'tissue' mat- several layers, resulting in a neat (ish) but strong repair.
No problems since.
If youve got sodden core, then crazing could well be a result of the weakened structure.
ps Fibreglassing upside down is possible (but a bit messy)
104 months ago (permalink)

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