boat repairs

Ive got a small chip in the bow of my glass boat.Should this be repaired immediately? Any tips on making the repair blend right in ( first chip in my new kayak its killing me)

Thanks CFL

Makes you sick
There is no hurry if its not through the glass and just in the Jell coat, if you use it a lot get use to it. Kind of like buying an new car and getting the first parking lot dent.

I would probably fix the hole so it didnt start getting larger

sometimes their is a ir buble between the fiberglass the gell coat the gell coat has no strength so it will break up causing the chip to get bigger

you can get Gel coat repair kits in most any marine supply store or you could just use a two part epoxy

You think that is bad…
Last Feb I picked up my new QCC-700 the day before the B & B race down in Key Largo.

It was on the beach lined up with numerous other yaks prior to the race and evidently someones rudder found my front deck.

You should see the gouge in it.




– Last Updated: Aug-23-04 12:56 PM EST –

Nicks, chips and scratches are the badges that indicate that you actually paddle your kayak, not just drive around with it as a roof ornament.

Within four days of getting our new composite boats, we were paddling the coast of Maine. Have no idea when the first damage to the gel coat occurred.

My understanding is that unless you can see the fabric of the layup, it is not serious. Any chip or gouge that does not reveal the weave of the fabric is cosmetic. It can be something you fuss with when you can't paddle.

I grew up sailing. Friends, who had wooden boats, would spend the winter refinishing their hulls.

The most noticable chip I have is on the very tip of the stern (right on the point) from picking up the boat and swinging around and hitting a rock the last day in Maine last month...

get your self some gel coat from a marine supply that matches your hull color, sand the area, and then tape both sides of area to prevent over runs and then mix up a batch and fill it in. I don’t recomend epoxy although it works very well polyester resin (gel coat) will not stick to it. But I agee with other people that a chip is no big thing and will hapen with use.

Repairing gelcoat is easy.
The first step is to RELAX. It’s a boat, not a piece of furniture. It’s going to get scratches and chips, so just accept that and stop fretting over it. Otherwise, you’ll spend more time repairing your boat than paddling it.

Second, I’ve got photos and instructions for gelcoat repair in a Webshots album at:

You should be able to do the work based on the instructions in the captions on the photos. There’s really nothing to it and you can make a repair that’s completely invisible.

Water getting at the glass or Kevlar
layers will not hurt them. So in that respect, chips in the gelcoat are of no significance. Remember that some of the very finest layups are made without gelcoat. My no-gelcoat C-1, first out of the mold and bought from the designer and Olympic competitor, has many chips and scratches through the thin red color coat (an epoxy paint) and shows absolutely no degradation of the cloth and epoxy structure underneath.

It is a myth that gelcoat protects the layup from water. Gelcoat does protect from UV, and also serves as an ablation layer to save abrasion of the layup.

Water in Kevlar
I was told where I bought my Kayak that water will seep into Kevlar and cause a problem at a later date. I don’t know if this can effect fiberglass cloth the same.

I have heard from many, that if the chip exposes the cloth in the Layap, have it repaired as soon as possible. If the cloth is not exposed, don’t worry. I take a “fiberglass” polishing compound, and go over the edges of the nick (if it is a big one), just to remove any sharp edges. Then I wax it. I like the “Star Bright Boat Polish with Teflon”. It does a great job, and the teflon makes the boat real easy to wipe the water scum off of it. “Good Stuff”! :slight_smile: