Chipped the gelcoat

right under my bow tonight. It’s a fiberglass boat. Little chip about the size of a dime. Is this anything I need to worry about? I’m not worried about the cosmetics, I just want to make sure that leaving it won’t lead to more damage. I found a couple kits online, or I could take it in to the shop I guess. Do I need to bother?

If you want
You can get some Marine Tex. It works very well. You can find it at most chandleries.

here is a URL

The First Ding Is The Hardest
If you don’t see fiberglass, you don’t have to worry about it. If you do, then you may want to cover it up to stop the glass from getting dinged. If see glass, I put a dap of epoxy over it. Of course, if I were to ever gel coat the boat over, I would have to sand it off. Some folks save all the dings, scratches and dings to a point where it becomes unbearable, then the sand the whole hull and do gelcoat to get a brand new look entirely.

You can find small gelcoat repair kits at West Marine. There is one in Dedham, right off Rt 128. on the Exit just before the Route 1 south exit. West Marine carries different things that can be useful to kayakers.


Thank you all for the

– Last Updated: Jun-21-05 6:50 AM EST –

info. I must confess, the cosmetics do bother me a bit. But that is cause it's my first boat, and it's brand new, I'm sure I will get used to it. I will probably stick to sandy launches for awhile, it was all jagged rocks where we put in, and despite the fact that we got in and out in knee deep water, it seems like I had to have hit something. Back to sandy Wollaston for me!

No worries
Just patch it up before you go out again and get the layers in between wet.

The repair is easy


If you want to get a repair kit,

– Last Updated: Jun-21-05 9:57 AM EST –

there is a West Marine on Wood Rd in Braintree (behind the Ford Dealer) on Rt 37 (Granite Ave) just before Rt 128 and the South Shore plaza. Also R n R Marine on 3A in Hingham (just before the Hingham Shipyard), or Monahan's on Rt 58 in Weymouth.

You can also check out some hardware stores like Curry's or O'Malley's (Billings Rd in North Quincy) sometimes they will have fiberglass repair kits too!

So which landing do you think did it? Bumpkin, Grape or the Weir River?


I think it

– Last Updated: Jun-21-05 3:11 PM EST –

was the Quincy Yacht Club out on Houghes Neck. We wanted to do Peddocks last night, so we decided to try out there. I got out on the dock, and lifted my boat up, I think I might have just tapped one of the tie downs, or it might have been setting it down on the rocks down by the water there, there was a lot more wind than the weatherman predicted, so there was a lot of chop. We were bouncing around pretty good.

I'll check out that marine supply store. It is really a pretty small ding, no biggie. Just hate to see it, she's such a pretty boat. (just a tool, just a tool, just a tool . . . )

I probably won't get out again until the weekend now. I'll have to touch base with you later in the week Craig. Gotta get a paper done this weekend too, while the library is open. I'll get some epoxy on it now, and sand that off when I have a repair kit to do it right.

I am told…
I have been told that fiberglass fibers and kevlar can wick moisture into the layer between the gelcoat.

I can’t prove it, but the article I read said to seal any exposed fibers, so moisture doesn’t cause problems later.

I understand your feelings about cosmetics!

Good Luck!

A quick fix.
Mix a little two part epoxy and have it just thick enough so it won’t run, and fill in where the chip is. Let it sit overnight or until it is hard and them spary paint it with a automotive spray paint with the color that matches your yak.

You can get just about any color you want at the automotive supply stores.



Thanks again
for all the suggestions. Fixed it last night, came out awesome, it’s a real confidence booster to know I can fix it up if it gets chipped.

Here you go…
…a great link to repairing this type of damage.

It is explained and shown to you quite well thanks to this site.

PS - Yeah, love flat sandy beach launchings too…

I’ve always wondered about that
Glass fibers do not absorb water; afterall, they’re GLASS. The only way water could get into a fiberglass layup would be if the glass wasn’t completely wet out and there were air spaces along and between the fibers for water to invade.

Kevlar fibers may absorb some water; I don’t know.

I’ve got gelcoat repair pics…
…in a Webshots album at:


start on page 19…

Which of the
methods did you use. I thought the two part epoxy with the automotive paint would be the easiest. Just curious.

Thanks for the link
It appears that I was correct about fiberglass, voids, etc. Additionally:

  • Kevlar DOES absorb moisture.

  • The resin may be a bigger factor, with vinylester being the least absorbent and epoxy being the most.

For what it is worth…
I got that method from Phil at QCC after I dropped my 700 from the roof of my 4x4 pickup and took a hunk of gelcoat about an inch wide by three inches long off the bow at the water line.

That was in March, and the yak has many many miles on it since then and you have to examine it real closly to see the repair job.



chip/gel coat repair
What did you end up using to do the repair? Where’d you obtain the materials?



I ended up

– Last Updated: Jul-01-05 2:28 PM EST –

using a gel coat repair kit that came with 4 different pigments. Picked it up at a chandlery in Braintree. I build cabinetry, so I when I looked into it, I already had the tools: a dremmel and a random orbital sander with some 600 grit. I picked up some 3M Marine rubbing compound, and put a coat of marine wax on to finish the job, ($27!!!! for a can of boat wax, ouch!) I was really surprised how easy it was. The gel coat doesn't cure if it's exposed to air, so you lay a sheet of mylar over it and work out all the air, which also made the patch flush and smooth. When I peeled the mylar off it already looked better than I had hoped for, the sanding and rubbing was almost unneccesary! Next time I'll take more time with the pigments, it isn't really a great match, but I didn't expect the job to come out as nice as it did, so I wasn't too worried about the color. I should have taken some pics, I say that every time I finish a piece in the wood shop too. Never think about the camera once I start a project.