Bell Flashfire Refurbish-Color Skids?

-- Last Updated: Mar-16-12 8:46 AM EST --

Well, stickers are gone and hull cleaning up and not nearly as ugly. Hope to get old gunnels off today and new vinyl gunnels next week.

I'm going to 'glass in some skid plates on the Flashfire I'm refurbishing for the wife. I know that old, Bell "Heron Blue" will be impossible to match, but thought I could get some kind of pigment in there? Never colored the 'glass before. What do I use? Color in the resin too?

Also, the old, smooth parts of the old, ugly yellow skid plates. Do I rough it up and 'glass over, or do they need to be sanded completely off, which would be nothing short of a miracle? Thanks!

Adding pigments

Can you fair the edges of the skid
plates, so that an added layer or two of glass will lay close to the hull at the edges? Otherwise I would be inclined to remove the skid plates. Instead of sanding, you might try carefully down-cutting with a fine saw, maybe 60% or the thickness. This would be done to isolate small patches of skid plate so that you could use a chisel to attack the junction with the hull. Instead of pushing straight ahead, one might slice the chisel sideways to saw away the bond.

If things go well, the down-sawed segments may pop loose once the chisel work cuts and wedges them clean.

Careful use of a hair-drier and
a 1" putty knife with a smooth, blunt edge might help.

If they’re on there good, though, just fairing and painting them might be an option, too.

I Could Fair Them…
…I believe. They’re on pretty solid generally, but they have a few small “Chunks” gouged out of them.

I wouldn’t know how to deal w/ the fuzz.

– Last Updated: Mar-16-12 11:22 AM EST –

Maybe fill the gouges with thickened epoxy or JB Weld or some other putty, grind it all "smooth", and try a layer or two of bias-cut S-glass over the whole mess if you can get it to lay flat?

I like that canoe, BTW. Definitely worth an overhaul.

I Hope So
Thanks all!

I fixed the stems on a few boats, and that’s the way I’d do it.

As for tinting the epoxy, I wouldn’t bother. I’ve tried that approach and either I did a very poor job of it (very likely) or it takes a whole lot of tint to make it look right (most definitely in my case).

I would suggest going by WalMart or some other store with an extensive spray paint selection, finding something that is close match, and spray painting over the skid plates, obviously after masking around them. Mad River, back in the pre-Confluence days, recommended that approach. Sort of. They recommended that you buy their $18 can of color-matched spray paint, but it didn’t work any better than what I bought locally.

Congratulations on the boat. That’s a great hull. We used to have one and it put a smile on my face every time I paddled it.

That’s the same color as my Wildfire.
I like that color.

Heron Blue?
I’ve only seen 2 boats that color, this one and Miriam’s. I like it too!

I call it blueberry. I didn’t know it
was officially heron blue. But yes, my Wildfire is that color and has the 1 piece gunwales.

The chalky bloom does remind one
of blueberries. Buff in the 303 and it’ll be back to Heron.

I don’t think mine is chalky.
I just didn’t have another word to describe that color of blue.

You’re right.
I wonder how 303 might work on blueberries?

Well …
Well I don’t know how those blueberries would taste with 303 on them, but I bet they will photograph well – nice and shiny just like those taken by professional food photographers.