Bell BG clear gel crack & chip repair?

I just acquired a used 1994 (I think) black gold Bell Flashfire with aluminum gunwales, foam block floatation and solid color inner layer and it has:

  1. One chip about 1/2" diameter about 6" up the bow stem that goes all the way to the carbon cloth.

    I’d like to protect the cloth/resin from UV, so where do I get the appropriate clear gel to fill that in?

  2. Several cracks in the clear gel up to 12" long that show no signs of delam from the cloth. Do I need to do anything with these? Or do I leave them “as is” until something that looks more sinister starts to be visible? They can be felt with the finger tip or finger nail.

    Thanks and yes, I know that the aluminum trim on a Flashfire is anathema, but hey, it’s a Flashfire and I can leave it on the roof of my car as much as I want in all kinds of weather and not worry about the wood rotting or mildewing.

Clear Gel Repair

– Last Updated: Mar-13-12 8:48 AM EST –

First find a builder who uses clear gel. You might try Bell, but Nova Craft and Placid are still active.

Email me for the protocol on Gel repair or Get Pat Ono's off line.

The cracks are fine until then start throwing chunks, when.

Bell's Alu rails are fine too, the two part design gripping the laminate more tightly than the industry standard. [Note Swift has Winter's designed two piece alu rails too.] The issue is failure to pre-bend causes some straightening of the shear when rails are forced down on the shear line which results in less than intended rocker.

Thanks Charlie.
Email sent.

Some cracks are showing a little delam
within about 1/8" of the cracks. Should I treat the cracks in any way, such as some thinned gel or resin, or is there nothing I can or should do until chunks fall off? I’d prefer not to have chunks fall off, but I don’t want to do ineffective work that won’t reduce the likelihood of chunks falling off.

Charlie wrote “The cracks are fine until then start throwing chunks, when.”

How common was black gold hulls throwint chunks?

I’ve been holding off on the application of 303 until I’m sure I won’t be needing to do any gel or resin work (other than the 3/4" chip on the stem above the water line).

I’d just like the keep the hull serviceable without any major restorations for as long as I can.

Thanks again.

The best thing about clear gel coat is
that it lets you see and worry about every little deviation from the original.

Sun won’t get down those cracks. Very little water will get down in there, and it won’t hurt carbon or resin if it does.

I know S-glass plus resin is heavier than the same thickness of clear (or colored) gelcoat, but I wonder, how much heavier? I know it’s harder and stronger. Maybe customers just don’t like to see cloth right under the surface, getting scratched by rocks…

Here what I did
In some spider cracks that hadn’t chipped out,I tried rinning some resin in them and sanded the area flst. it didn’t look too bad,but they opened back up very soon. I then put some pressure from inside to open them up a little further to allow flow in,degreased them a little with solvent,filled them with the thin type super glue,and quickly removed the pressure so they closed back up. I couldn’t get the area to look as good,but they havn’t opened back up yet.


Fine cracks
I followed NT’s advice and used cyanoacrylic glue to fill the cracks in my B/G laminate. Worked like a charm.