Gel Coat Repair?

I have a fiberglass canoe where the gel coat has chipped off (about the size of a grain of rice) in a few areas. What is the usually method of repair for this type of damage???

depends on cosmetics desired ??
… invisable repair or a dot of maintenance ??

Road dings from stones during transport ??

Contact the MFG for gel coat. If you
cannot get the factory mix you can attempt to tint your own or take the boat to a commercial automotive paint store and have them scan the hull. They can sell you Imron, Awl Grip, or some other new marine use paint that you can use in place of gel coat. Dab it in the chip so that it is higher than the surface, let it dry for a day or more. Wet sand at 220 if fairly high, start at 600 if not, then 600 ,1200, 1500, all wet. wheel with 3m heavy duty rubbing compound, then finish with 3m Finesse it. This procedure works well with gel coat or paint. Your best color match will come from a supply of gel coat from the MFG. Anything you use will require a hardener, if not don’t use it. Good Luck. Bill

personally I…
Just dab some epoxy in smaller chips (and even in larger ones for that matter). I fill them so they are water tight and smooth them off with some tape and thats been good enough.

The boats I have had to do this on are old enough and used enough that it would be hard to match the gel coat, so the working fix is more important to me than a cosmetic fix.

West Marine
Purchase the small and affordable Gel Coat kit. It has multiple pigments for color matching and directions for mixing colors and doing the repair.

Prep and clean surface well (a little acetone goes a long way). Mix and dab into spots with a tooth pick.

Sounds easy, right?


Here’s a quick over-view with photos…

Check out my instructions on Webshots

I might be able to do this!!
I have a FG Solstice that I got used. It’s got a couple of what looks like cracks on the top side and a big impact looking spot on the underside (like you might see if you ran your boat straight into a submergered rock just as your coming up on land) The impact spot looks like someone put gel coat over it. I’ve had this boat in the water, it doesn’t leak. The spot just looks weak because it’s not the same thickness as the rest of the boat. Question: Can this spot be sanded off and fiberglass layers added on to bring this area back to looking right???

Gel coat
doesn’t add any strength to the boat, besides being cosmetic, it keeps water from intruding into the fiber glass layers. If you are worried about the “weak spot” apply a layer or two of glass mat and cloth over it on the inside.


– Last Updated: Dec-22-08 10:20 AM EST –

You can certainly fix it. I would suggest checking it out from the inside, if possible, to see if there is any damage to the glass. If you can't see it, you can push on the patched area to see if it is more flexible than the surrounding area, which would indicate glass damage.

If the glass is damaged, removing the damaged material and replacing it is the best way to repair it. If there is no damage to the glass, you can just do a cosmetic gelcoat repair on the outside and be done with it.