Gel coat: Shake or stir?

I plan to repair the gel coat on my QCC 400X today using the gel coat received from QCC for this purpose. There are no lables or instructions on the 4oz bottles.

Do I shake it or stir it in the bottle before measuring out the desired amount to mix with the hardener, or just mix it with the hardener as it is?

This looks like the last weekend of the year that will be warm enough for this type of work.


Stir gently,
try not to mix very much air into the gelcoat.

I Stir
gently…lots more time in the year for you…can do gel down to about 55 degrees without any problems

You live in Ill. ---- practically in the tropics

Best Wishes


My gel coat is bad - too old.
It’s thick & gooey. Phil sent it to me back in March or April, I think.

I’ll have to call Steve for some more. Bummer.

I’m really tempted to just smooth on some white two part marine epoxy that I used last night to bond the 18" split in the seam. White epoxy along side white gel coat, what’s the harm? I know, the epoxy dosen’t flow like the gel coat does.

I thought I needed 70 degrees or above
for good results with gel coat, preferrably with low humidity?

Apparently you’ve gotten good results as low as 55 degrees, so maybe I’ll get it done yet this year. Next weekend’s high temps will only be in the mid 60s.

it’s turned to solid paste or you plan to spray it

it will still work

and if you don’t need it to be runny for some reason

When you spray it, you need it to be thin and fresh…if your just going to mix it and dab it on…thick stlii works…solid doesnt

take a spoonfull add about 8 or 10 drops of catalyst…put it on a piece of cardboard and walk away

if tomorrow it looks like it spread the way you figure it needs to for your aplication…then use it…(it can also be thinned with acetone…no more than 10 %)

(store your gel in a cool place (fridge) not hot sun baked outbuilding…don’t freeze it)it can last a couple of years sometimes…not just a few months

Best wishes


“Shaken, not stirred.”

–James Bond

I don’t have much to experiment with -
just about half of a 4oz bottle, so I’d just go ahead and apply it to the boat, rather than doing a sample patch first.

I may try thinning it a little with the acetone so that it can flow to conform to the shape of the kevlar cloth more completely.

I had been storing it at room temperature in a exhaust hood at work because the box it came in was so stinky. I didn’t want it in my house.

My next chance to work on it will be next weekend.

Thanks for the tips.

Nastiest gel repair ever!
The gel was really, really thick in the bottle. It was so thick that I could barely stir it around with a popsicle stick. I added some acetone to try to thin it out some, but I apparently didn’t add enough.

I added the hardener, made an effort to mix it in and applied it to the boat with a popsicle stick. There was absolutely zero flow and I couldn’t get it smooth because it kept sticking to the popsicle stick.

I put some Glad wrap over it, and trie to smooth it down with a resin spatula, but it had little effect, so it looks like I’ll have A LOT of sanding to do to remove the excess.

Oh well, it still looks better than the grey duct tape and, if it sticks, will provide better protection to the cloth than the duct tape.

Next time, I’ll either request fresh gel from QCC, rather than trying to make due with the old too-thick stuff, or use the two part white marine epoxy in the double syringe that I used to repair the 18" seam split - it was much easier to work with than the too-thick gel was today.

I learned some valuable lessons on how not to do gel repairs.

what’s up with QCC?
there seems to be a lot of praise about their boats’ speed but a bit too often we read here about seams splitting?

Is QCC listening?

Maybe one day they will consider a real joint between hull and deck: fibreglass tape inside and outside?

Or maybe that will bring the cost of the boat higher?

QCC seam splits are not very common- they were common on the Epic boats made a couple of years ago.

According to the warranty, QCC would replace the boat with a new one if he was the original purchaser.

I think instead of messing with trying to match the gelcoat color I would just get some new gel from West Marine and live with a quality job despite the color mismatch.

next time you want to do a gel …

– Last Updated: Oct-05-08 9:28 PM EST –

..... repair , think about spraying on in multiple thin coats ... ghost coats !!
Tape/paper off area after prep . Don't forget to taper gouge/scratch edges into the existing gel coat . Wet sand with 200-400 to feather new to existing gel coats at perimeter after tape/paper is removed .... use a fairing compound first if repair is any deeper than the existing gel ..

You can get a detail sprayer from any RC (radio control) shop ... it has a little jar and compressed air cans that are replacable , and various size tips .. thin/mix the gel properly with the MEKP , put in jar and spray in thin coats .

Practice on something else other than your boat first (larger tip , thinner mix ??) .. and "DON'T" use a gel coat that can not be left open to the air when curing ... (no crap covering with plastic or tape or whatever , rediculous for repair work, that stuff is for mould work with mould release in the mould , not after the fact repair work !!!)

Clean detail spray gun when finished by blowing a jar full of solvent or MEKP through it ..

Usual for spot repairs on kayaks…
to use gel coat that needs to cure with saran wrap or similar over it. Most of the repairs are localized, and quite amenable to a messy job being remedied with a little extra sanding. Usually that’s all of an extra half hour if someone (like me) did a really messy job. And the only reason I am going to bother to smooth down my last repair with the really fine grain stuff over this winter is that it’s under where I need to add a keel strip.

It’s probably worth the investment to do the sprayer thing for a motor boat or if someone plans to really resurface a large area of a kayak hull. But for most of us, the gel coat in the can works just fine. In Yanoer’s case, the repair was unduly complicated by waiting so long to do it and relying on the gel coat from QCC rather than getting a fresh mix from someplace like West Marine. His experience was not typical.

The boat was dropped
Granted that strong seams and fiberglass tape etc is good, but the boat in this case was dropped. It doesn’t say much about QCC’s performance when something like that happens after the fact.

The incident was back in the spring, it’s just that it took a while for the real repair to happen.

It fell 4’ onto concrete floor off of my

– Last Updated: Oct-06-08 11:51 AM EST –

hastily built rack and apparently bounces off the corner of my tool box on the way down. See this thread for a little more info:

The factory seam may not have been bonded well - the paint on the hull side of the seam was smooth and glossy, which indicated to me that it was never bonded to begin with, or some of the paint would have been pulled off when the seam split. It appears that all of the epoxy may have been squeezed out when the hull and deck were bonded.

I could have shipped it back to QCC and they would have happily done the repairs for me, but I bought the boat from the guy who won it in the sweepstakes, who lived four hours round trip from me, so I would have to pay for return shipping for the repair, since the free shipping was only to the original owner. I chose to attempt the repair myself to save the approximately $225 shipping cost with the understanding that if I screwed it up too badly, I could still ship it back to QCC for repair (of both the original damage and my repair efforts) and the reality that the boat will likely suffer some scuffing and dings at the hands of my wife and me during normal use anyway.

We're likely to own the boat for a couple years, so my main concern was for the boat to be sound for paddling and not that it be the prettiest possible. My wife, on the other hand, would prefer that it's the prettiest possible.

I may still end up shipping it back to QCC for repair, but my inclination is to redirect the shipping money to Patrick Onno for one of his kayak seats so that my wife can be comfortable paddling longer and we can do longer outings.

I will do my best not to drop the boat 4' onto a concrete floor again.

Edit: main damage thread link:

It was, however, typical for him.
Just kidding, yanoer. If the boat is unsightly, as most think like your wife does, you likely lost at least the current shipping amount in your future resale.

Oh well, use it, ugly and all, enjoy it, don’t sell it, and it’s never an issue.

Hope to paddle with you by 2010 or after.

I think most of us are familiar with the story. :o)

I agree that there was a fault with the adhesion of your deck to hull seam. These seams are glued with plexus high strength adhesive. Plexus is commonly used on large powerboats and is good stuff. Good enough that normally the surrounding glass fails before the adhesive bond does. Yours is an unfortunate case.

Luckily there are a lot of good glass repair resources on the net. Follow the guidelines and this will be a great learning experience for you. As for the gel-coat, no worries. You can always sand it back off and start over.

Can you cite any others?
Their seams are insanely strong, and lifetime warranted.

Not saying someone can’t get a bad one (though 100% covered if they do), but this is the only one I’ve heard of - and not a typical case either.

Probably not epoxy
rather a methacrylate such as ITW Plexus used on the seam bond. Such seams can be prone to adhesive squeeze out. Methacrylates are excellent bonding agents but can become brittle and are not the best sealers. There are variations.