Feather Edge Gelcoat Repair


I’ve completed a 2" gelcoat repair where I used mylar over the fresh gelcoat to get a smooth surface. Now I have a tiny (less than 1mm) “step” up at the edge of the repair. Step is the thickness of the tape I used to isolate the repair area from the rest of the hull. Because the repair and the hull both have nicely smooth finishes, I’m looking for a trick to feather that step so I’ll have a smooth transition from the surrounding hull to the repaired area and back to the hull. I realize I could sand the whole area with progressively fine papers and end up with polishing compound to get the whole area refinished. I’d rather not do all that if there’s a quick means of just feathering the edge. Any suggestions?



Carbide scraper should do the trick. n/t

Forgot the links…
This one is nice for small repair areas:


This one works great for larger and more aggressive work:


Suggest you go paddling, and cover
at least 500 miles before worrying about that step again.

But if that step causes you and your boat to go in circles, I guess you’ll have to scrape and sand.

Real world info here …
Sorry cannot pull link out so

go here:


scroll down to:


and click on that dude:


Why are you stressing…

– Last Updated: Feb-26-12 11:26 AM EST –

...over sanding a 2" repair area? It will take all of 15 minutes to sand with 400 & 800 grit to blend it, then buff it out with rubbing compound followed by polishing compound. There's no way to avoid sanding/buffing the whole patch if you want it to blend, so just do it. If you don't care having an even gloss, the scraper technique is as good as any and it's what I would do. I find the slightly convex curved Bahco blade is more useful than the straight one.

FWIW, I don't waste my time covering gelcoat patches with Mylar, since sanding is going to be required to blend the patch. Mylar won't conform to the compound curves found on most kayaks, anyway, so it's only useful for tiny patches.

I’ll use poly or wax paper (in a pinch) just to help bring the patch close to level with the existing gelcoat, but the only way to truly blend the repair in is progressive wet-sanding (I go up to 1200), then compounding, waxing, and buffing. Given how small the area is, it shouldn’t take that long.

Alternatively, you could consider the patch a battle scar and get back on the water. As long as it’s solid and no water is getting to the substrate, you could consider it done.

The convex blade will allow closer
the edge work too.

But still gotta WS and buff if you want it to blend.

Hopefully you peppped under the new gelcoat all the way out to edge and gelcoat went off o.k.

that’s right …

– Last Updated: Feb-26-12 9:41 PM EST –

....... "wet" sand , 400-600-800+ , compound and wax ... done . Will disappear except maybe not perfect color match .

Should take about 30 mins. while you sip your fav. beverage . Use a small wood block , helps .

Another old trick is to cut a piece of glass and scrape with the edge , very sharp .

Never had and never would have !!!
>>> Thought of the glass or could even be broken glass one … LOL … Was just showing a friend the places I have had stitches on my hands from doing dumb stuff with glass as a boy … Now I get another chance to mess around … Whooo hoo !

Thank you wingz : )

I had a similar tiny “step” up
After varnishing a wood kayak, the next day I saw a small missed area. ARGHHHHH!

I taped off a square surrounding the missed area and varnished that.

The resulting square looked like a piece of clear tape stuck on the boat. I left it. Supposedly I could’ve sanded it down to be even with the rest of the finish coat but I went paddling instead.

If it really, really bugs you that much, follow bynystrom’s advice and start sanding and polishing.

yeah , cut glass is very effective …

– Last Updated: Feb-27-12 8:46 PM EST –

........ it has to be scored straight w/a sharp roller blade . Scraps from a glass shop or frame shop are perfect . Hand size is what you want . In the carpentry shop we had a sheet glass cutter with the frame and cutter wheel guide . The glass cutter frame looked similar to that saw and frame you see in places like Home Depot that they cut panal (ply) sheets etc. , on except it was a cutter wheel sliding on the tracks instead of a saw and no electric .

I've used the scrap glass to plane fine carpentry items such as furnitures , 100 piece jewelry boxes and many other things . The edge on that glass will shave like a razor ... wear protective glasses and grab a new piece when it gets dull .

I typically sand to 1200 or 1500 grit
Which gives a pretty decent polish. I didn’t mention it because finding the really fine grits can be difficult and you can get the same results without them, using a bit more elbow grease.

As simple as working through the grits.
Fast, too, as you mentioned, and it really doesn’t require any elbow grease if you don’t skip any steps in the protocol.

Micro Mesh products are good for taking it to the extreme.