quarter size chip in gelcoat

Would someone please review the basic repair steps for me.

It is a kevlar kayak with a quarter size hole in the gelcoat. You can clearly see the kevlar fabric but it isn’t damaged.

Just as important as the steps is where to buy the necessary epoxies/resins/etc. So please tell me where I can order the stuff needed over the internet.

thanks ahead for any replies.


gelcoat repair
Take it to a boatyard or marina that repairs fiberglass boats. They can fix the gelcoat in less time than it will take you to find the supplies and read the instrictions on how to do it.

If you decide to do it yourself try West Marine or Boaters World. They should have the supplies you need.

Similiar Panic Attack
I managed to knock a chunk out of my yak a while back also and after flipping out for a while, consulted a surfboard shaper I know and consulted a local kayaker guru and looked around the internet a bit, it becames obvious what I needed to do and after doing the job, IT WAS QUITE EASY

to do a good clean job. Im ready for the next one.

Go to a marine or boat supply store such as WEST Marine, about 250 stores nationwide and pick up the 2 part marine fibreglass repair putty in the color you need or mix the color the best you can. Mask or tape off the surrounding area, I used duck tape so that I didn’t have to worry about going through masking tape with the sandpaper. Keep your patch area to a minimum, make sure the area is dry inside and out, probably a good idea to remove the hatch cover to the area and make sure the wound is dry inside and out, otherwise any moisture will suck from inside to out. Give your putty a good mixing, lather it on, give it the alotted drying time, start with a courser sandpaper and work your selfdown to a very fine grade, 1000 or so and might even take some fine

plastic steel wool to the masked off area. Another key is clean the surrounding area to the natural color before application of putty so that your not applying new putty over blemished gelcoat. Believe me its quite simple, just sand gently, slowly and pay attention. Wax upon completion.


Check out…

Brian has a great site offering visuals for such a repair.


if the cloth is not damaged, all you need to do is fill the chip with gelcoat. you should be able to order matching gelcoat from the dealer. if not, go to west marine or some other boating store. it’s really not that hard, although you’ll have to take a little more time to make the repair blend completely with the rest of the boat. i did a similar repair on my canoe, although the chip was about the size of a silver dollar.

Not this Brian
Another Brian

A bit more; loose gelcoat at edge?

– Last Updated: Oct-08-04 8:49 PM EST –

If the boat hit something hard enough to smack a quarter sized piece of gel coat off you need to check the edges of the ding for damaged gel coat. You also need to check for damaged cloth in the area. Start by shining a light through the hull at the point of damage.

Nystrom's webshots site, which you have already been referred to, is more helpful than I could ever be to you medicine man, and covers removing loose gelcoat and others items quite well. Honestly Nystrom, Scott B and the other folks who have managed to put up great albums on repair could be selling pdf files on ebay, and I appreciate their generousity.

gelcoat repair kit
I dropped my canoe on the driveway and chipped out

a 3 inch by 1/4 inch piece of gelcoat. I repaired it with this kit:


It was good to fix it myself, as I don’t agonize anymore about chipping gelcoat. I know now I can fix it myself with a $20 kit which has several uses.

thanks to all for excellent replies
seems like I need to get the $20 kit to keep in the yak-never know…and one should know how to do this repair, or an expedient one anyway.

I have found the local repair people so I’m tempted to let them do it, will see how much they want next week when i get off.

Again thanks to all for the knowledge.

That would be me
If you have any questions after viewing the pics, either post them here or drop me a line.

Hey Brian
Nice job! On a boat that has the usual assortment of dings , dangs and scratches: Would you consider thinning down the gel coat and “painting” overall the gelcoat to get rid of the scuffs and scratches? My Jensen has a mottled two toned effect from repairing individual bad areas. I even bought the repair gel from the manufacturer! I guess the aging just makes the new stuff look too good!


Honestly, no

– Last Updated: Oct-15-04 11:24 AM EST –

It's really not worth the hassle, IMO. Gelcoat will not bond well unless the scratches are cleaned out. You'd need to sand the entire hull, then pay special attention to any scratched areas.

If you want to get the hull as smooth as possible, it's easier to:

- Sand it to remove the smaller scratches.
- Fill the deep gouges.
- Apply high-build primer, sand and repeat until the hull is smooth.
- Paint with a good hull paint, like Interlux Britesides.

It's possible to thin gelcoat and spray it, but it requires equipment that most of us don't own. Paint is simpler and a good finish can be acheived using the "roll and tip" method (roll it on, then tip out the bubbles with a brush).

On my own boats, I don't even do that. I just fix the worst of the damaged areas and paddle. Hulls get scratched; that's just a fact of life when it comes to kayaks.

I have revived a couple of sun-bleached decks by wet sanding, compounding and buffing. It's a lot of work, but I do it both for the learning experience and because I like the results. It will only work on boats with thick gelcoat and I've only done it on VCP boats to date. I just finished an Anas Acuta which now has and interesting two-tone deck, cherry red where I've refinished it and orange in the hatch/compass recesses where I left the sun bleached (but shiny) color alone. I sanded up to the decals, then removed them and buffed the resulting "tan lines" into the surface. Combined with black abrasion tape patches, coaming, hatch covers, compass and deck rigging, it's pretty striking, if I may say so myself.