Fiberglass canoe repair

-- Last Updated: Sep-18-15 5:37 AM EST --

OK, so I finally pulled this boat out and started working on it. Initial damage was a couple of splits or breaks in the gelcoat (impact damage).

I removed the gelcoat and the top layer of fiberglass cloth that was also torn/split. Surprisingly the layer of glass underneath wasn't busted up like I thought it might be. However, I found that the top layer of glass cloth was relatively easy to remove from the layer of heavy roving underneath in an area of about 4 or 5 inches out from the initial damage, I assume this is called delamination.

I removed the top layer of glass cloth as far out as it easily pealed up. Seemed like I could have kept going with a little bit of effort, (took it back to the point that it take's the tip of a pocket knife blade to peel it up).

My plan is to remove whatever is bad and replace with a layer of new glass. Just wondering, whats normal, how much of this should I remove, where should I stop? I haven't worked on glass boats before so I'm not really sure about this, just seems like the layers of glass should be bonded together better than they are.

Any input or ideas, greatly appreciated.

Thanks John

can you take some pictures?
I would almost have to see the boat and feel it to say for sure. Usually you can tell when a layer of fiberglass has delaminated. Fiberglass which has been fully saturated with resin and is still bond to the laminate will be fairly clear (if you have sanded off the gel coat). Delaminated areas will have sort of a translucent appearance.

I would say that if the material appears to remain attached even when you press in on the hull structure, and there does not seem to be an unusually softness in the hull structure, leave the material. Your patch should overlap the remaining intact 'glass by at least a couple of inches.

There’s a tutorial on my site

It’s for kayaks, but the principles are the same.

Fiberglass repair
Pblanc and bnystrom, thanks for your replies. Sorry for my slow response.

There is no softness in the hull, the area feels solid. I’m just surprised by the lack of a real bond between the layers of glass. I guess I just expected that the layers would be more or less fused into one thick layer. I didn’t expect that I would be able to pull them apart.

I plan to take off whatever seems pretty loose, then sand off the gelcoat around the edges and glass over the damage.

I will paint the repair when all is complete.

I am thinking about using US.COMPOSITS glass and resin for this repair as that is what has been recommended to me, I know many prefer west systems, any thoughts on this companies products? Good,bad, other?

Thanks John