Repair Question

Hello new here and I was given an American fiberglass canoe and it is in need of some repair. Its had some filler put on spots. Ive sanded most of it off since it was just put on and left. I’m pretty sure it doesnt have any holes in it. The reason for the filler was it was damaged in a storm when the wind blew it up against a tree.

It also has some small holes along the ridge on the bottom(not sure of the proper term) they don’t go thru bigest is about a 1\4 of an inch or smaller and it does have a chunck out of the ridge about 2inches or so.

I’ve got some bondo fiberglass jelly filler I think thats what it is for repair.

For repairing the holes should I get some fibrglass strips and fix those or can they just be filled in and sanded. I know I’ll need some for the chunck thats missing.

Its also got some spider cracks that I read were ok? but it does feel like in some spots it has a little more give than in others should I be worried about that?



For those small holes:
I just sand them a little bit and then fill them with two part Epoxy.

While it is still liquid, I tape a piece of clear plastic film, (like overhead projector or loose leaf binder page protector) over it. The next day take the tape and plastic film off. (it comes right off), and usually the repair is as smooth as glass and only need a bit of sanding.

If the holes are not in a flat surface, disregard taping anything down on it, and you’ll have to sand after the epoxy hardens.

If the hole is deep it might take several fillings.

For larger holes, I use epoxy wetted out fiberglass and still use the method described above.

Jack L

Use epoxy

– Last Updated: Dec-29-12 4:24 PM EST –

As Jack said, you want to use epoxy. Auto body filler is OK for just fairing in small defects like chips in the gelcoat, but it really doesn't have any structural strength.

It sounds as if your boat has a molded keel (the ridge you described). Many less expensive fiberglass boats had either a shallow, molded keel (projecting down into the water) or keelson (projecting up into the hull). These were typically added not to serve as a functional keel but to add stiffness and rigidity to an otherwise somewhat floppy hull bottom.

My guess is that the boat is probably not worth investing a lot of money in, but fortunately it won't take a lot of money to fix it. I would suggest you buy this kit:

This will probably give you enough epoxy to fill in the holes and fix the chunk missing out of the keel. To fill holes, it is best to use the colloidal silica powder (the white powder included in the kit) to thicken the epoxy. The fairing powder (the brownish stuff) is used to thicken the epoxy a bit but is easily sandable so that you can get a nice, smooth and fair surface before painting or laying on fiberglass cloth. The kit also includes some E 'glass cloth.

Before applying the epoxy you want to sand the area of repair until you see fiberglass cloth fibers, then clean it well with something like isopropyl alcohol. After completing the repair, wash the epoxied areas with soap and water and rinse well to remove the amine blush. Then just spray paint with a color that approximates that of your hull.