Hi, I just picked up an old ~15.5’ fibreglass Canoe for next to nothing and need some advice on repair materials. It’s a SylRay from Surrey, BC, and I haven’t had much luck finding anything about this company online.
It looks to have been sitting for a number of years as there was moss growing along the gunwale and there’s a fair amount of UV damage to the underside. There are also a couple short pieces of angle aluminium used to reinforce the gunwales due to an incident causing a crack on either side.
Noob alert. This is my first canoe as well as fibreglass water craft.
There are more than a few spots that would need patching, but this is the worst of the damage.
I would say this outer layer is much thinner along the sides.
The red damaged material is gel coat. That is primarily cosmetic and does provide abrasion protection for the structural material underneath. You can search here for gel coat repair. Check the inside to see if any cracks are coming through. If so then those will need some additional structural patching.
In my case, I patch them & keep on going. I usually have some boat building epoxy (often West Systems) around so I’ll mix up some with some additives - (cao-o-sil and/or micro-balloons) to thicken, lay it in, sand it smooth and be done.
Be sure to grind/sand out the edges and remove loose material. That whole boat looks like a series of cracks and possible delaminations of the gel coat. Yes it is the finish coat. Yes it does provide protection but it also provides RV protection. The sun can do a lot of damage.
Thank you both @rival51 and @Overstreet
So, in the worst case scenario where the gel coat is fully delaminated from the fibreglass, would it still salvageable with properly applied patches to all structural cracks…or would I need to grind and sand down the entire gel coat and apply a new one?
The key is to remove the loose material back to good material. Then build up with new material to the thickness of the old surface. The trick is determining how much of the old material is loose. Cracks…at least chase 'em out and patch. But old and deteriated will likely need removals back a ways. Is the rest of the surface bad? Can’t tell. I can’t feel it from hear. Can’t tap it and listen for loose sounds. Can’t smell it…ok that one isn’t valid…hopefully.
Technically you should gel coat the patch. I’m not that patient and don’t do that much gel coat work. I’d figure out how much loose spots there are. Fill/patch with epoxy and cloth as needed sand the whole thing and paint with Krylon Fusion. Or just paint the patch. Painting comes close with color and RV protection.
Since you spent next to nothing. You might want to determine how much time and effort you wish to put into the project and the level of patch finish to be applied. Either way you’ll want to cover the interior layers. Note the surface needs to be clean before patching. Remove dirt algie dust etc. Then “wash” with denatured alcohol.
You have an early fiberglass boat. Good to learn on, but not very well made.
I agree with the other posters. You have sun damage and some serious damage to an average boat.
You can definitely fix it and get it on the water. But don’t stress it too much.