Patch or Refinish

I bought a fiberglass QCC 600X last year and despite it being in decent condition, it had a lot of spider cracking and a handful of nicks along the hull. I knew I would have to address it some point, but trying to figure out if it’s better to sand down and gelcoat only the areas where there are issues or to sand down and re-gelcoat the entire hull.

Pics can be found at

I was going to suggest Capt Tolley’s Spider Crack stuff. I have used it on spider cracks on the upper side of my boats and a couple of times on the deck when I got to them early. It is colorless and years later the crack hasn’t altered or budged. But I am guessing the second photo is what you are calling spider cracks. It may appear worse in the picture than it is from standing next to the boat, but what I am seeing there is beyond what I would trust long term to Capt Tolley’s.

But weather is improving and that is likely to turn into a lot of gel coat replace and sanding - so maybe you don’t want to take it on right now. The loss of gel coat along the keel, particularly the bow where you will likely hit things, and adding something like an EZ keel strip may be a higher priority.

If this was early June and I was just three weeks away from loading up boats to go to Maine, personally I would handle what you are calling spider cracks with Captain Tolley’s reinforced with tenacious tape over the area. Knowing full well that when all comes off, you are looking at the full gel coat job. But the combo of those two would hold things together until sometime in late September when it might be a better time to have the boat out of commission for a bit.

I have no advice about the spider cracks - Celia is your expert there. Just wanted to say you have some beautiful photographs on your site. Thanks for the opportunity to view them.

Grind out and repair the gouges with gelcoat.
I’d leave the spider cracks untouched. These are probably occurring over such a large area because the underlying layup is more flexible than the gelcoat. Without strengthening the layup, your reapplication of gelcoat will do the same thing when the hull is flexed. If you see damage on the inside, you could consider cutting out the damaged area, doing a fiberglass repair, and then re-gelcoating, but you’re talking about a major repair, and it’s hard to get good-looking results. If it’s functional as is, you might be better off just repairing the dings and paddling a boat with an “experienced” look to it.

The scratches and small chunks in the gelcoat that I see on the keel line appear to be minor, and just from being well used. My #1 kayak has far worse along the keel line (It’s 19 years old, and heavily used) - like serious chunks of gelcoat missing along the keel. I filled the chunks with gelcoat, sanded it flush, and left it that way for years, with no issues. About 5 years ago or so, I filled new chunks with gelcoat, and sanded the entire keel line smooth (Just enough to smooth the scratches), and put an EZ Keel Strip on it like Celia said. Strip is tougher than gelcoat, and easy to apply. I see battle scars in gelcoat as badges of honor, as long as the layup is still intact.

Thanks everyone for the advice. Sorry for the late reply, I thought I would get emails when people responded so I didn’t see these until just now. FYI - I ended up selling my QCC to a buddy of mine and bought a Cetus MV, so problem solved!

Rookie - thanks brother. I appreciate it.

The 2008 QCC I had was blessed with spider cracks too.