Temporary Gellcoat Protection?

A friend recently purchased a (carbon?) boat with a few deep gouges in the gellcoat. Is there an appropriate temporary repair that I can suggest until she can finally have a proper repair done? Thanks.

Use gelcoat
Just get some gelcoat, mix it, put it on with a small paintbrush and cover with wax paper or a plastic sheet. It’ll take 20 minutes and it will be a permanent fix.

If color matching is tricky, just fill it with white for now, and have it fixed professionally later, if you like. Skip the wax paper though, in that case.

She needs a simple fix
For her it has to be something simpler, like applying some kind of tape over the damage.

On another website, I saw a 3M product
which is vinylester based. It has some sort of microballoons in it as a thickener. It appeared to be specifically intended for spot gelcoat repairs. If I relocate the link, I’ll post it, but just reviewing 3M boat finishing products might turn it up.

If she’s not willing to do a real repair
Just leave it alone. There’s nothing that needs to be “protected”. Gelcoat is strictly cosmetic.

Temporary - colored cloth tape
Duct tape has been the traditional temporary (or even permanent) fix for scratches, gouges and cracks in composite laminates.

You don’t have to use the original gray duct tape. There are a variety of colored tapes now that you may be able to match somewhat closely to the gel coat.

I’ve had strips of tape over a complete tear-through on one of my flatwater Kevlar canoes for 30 years now. I do have to change the tape every decade or so. I put black tape on the outside of the tear to match the gel coat and clear tape on the inside. But it’s all only temporary until I’m motivated learn how to do fiberglass repairs.

do nothing
As mentioned; nothing needs to be done. Tape will do nothing to protect the boat, but if it makes her feel better go for it.

A gelcoat repair is not hard. You mix 2 things together and put it on. Baking a cake is harder, albeit tastier.

Yes, but…
…baking a cake does not require nitrile gloves or acetone or good ventilation.

Different Q about gelcoat
I put a scratch in the bottom of my hull yesterday; didn’t see a nasty submerged rock in time to avoid it. It’s fairly deep but not down to the glass. I just want to fill it in to restore the sacrificial layer; it doesn’t matter if the white is an exact match or not.

I have worked with epoxy before so not worried about being able to do the fix. What I want to know is, “Does it matter what brand or type of gelcoat I use?” I can probably buy gelcoat right in town here. Just wondering how critical it is to match brands.

The kayak is an NDK, if it matters.

Gelcoat repair

– Last Updated: Oct-07-13 9:36 AM EST –

Greetings Pikabike, from across the Atlantic. (It seems too long since we paddled together down at Cedar Key)
Gelcoat will not harden in the presence of air, unless some wax is added. I always use Flowcoat, AKA Topcoat, which is the usual name for gelcoat which has had included an additive to exclude air. Any brand of Polyester Flowcoat will be fine on your NDK boat, assuming it is not an epoxy/Kevlar/carbon boat. When in the USA I order my resins from Express Composites by mail:
You need to order white gelcoat with the Wax Surfacing Agent additive described at the bottom of the screen. The company will mix the wax in with the gelcoat at the correct proportions if you so request. I highly recommend this as the company has a mechanical agitator to ensure thorough mixing.
It would be worth phoning the company to discuss your requirements, as mixing is not offered on the website. I've found the staff to be extremely helpful.
With every best wish, from Nick Crowhurst.

Great info
Thank you, and hello back across the waters to you!

I will call today and order the gel coat.

Are you coming to the Gulf again this winter?

Gelcoat repair kits?
Is this product preferable to using one of the gelcoat repair kits available at academy sports or west marine or similar places? I assume kits intended for making small gelcoat repairs would be designed to harden appropriately. I’ve wondered whether the gelcoat repair kits available at local stores are suitable for canoe touch-up or whether it is necessary to order gelcoat from a canoe manufacturer or major online distributor.

These nice folks have told you how to do a simple gelcoat repair or to just leave alone it until your friend gets it repaired at the paddle shop. Why so hung up on putting ‘tape’ or something on it? If it’s that big a deal and your friend can’t manage it on their own, then get it to a shop! Beating a dead horse doesn’t fix anything.

Their point was valid - proper
conditions for doing gel repairs can be a bit more elusive than those for baking a cake, such as temperature and humidity.

One step VS wax
THis link should shed some light. http://www.evercoat.com/imgs/pis/gelcoat.pdf

I have had good luck with Evercoat one step finish coat. I try to keep boats that have white hulls for this reason (comes mostly in white). It requires no wax paper or any kind of cover, and cures rock hard. It is sandable, and using a file at low angles can keep you from roughing up the unmarked boarders that can happen when using sand paper. They have thicker gels to fill deep cracks, but I think they are talking deep, as in power boat big. The one step is plenty thick for kayaks/canoes. My pint has lasted years and still work well after multiple repairs. Cliff Roach

Fix it for real the first time with epoxy. You can worry about the gelcoat later.

Pikabike, any brand is fine, and white is certainly the easiest color.

There are two common types of gelcoat - “waxed” and “unwaxed”. (Sometimes called “finishing”, and “laminating”).

You need some air barrier, but rather than use a waxed gelcoat, i cover repairs with a plastic sheet, or wax paper. That way your repair dries really flat and smooth, and requires minimal sanding. So I use unwaxed gelcoat for everything.

This reminds me of the guy who called
his doctor referencing his friend while asking about treatment for erectile dysfunction.

For the boat and a quick fix: Marine Tex.



– Last Updated: Oct-09-13 1:36 PM EST –

nickcrowhurst said: "Any brand of Polyester Flowcoat will be fine on your NDK boat, assuming it is not an epoxy/Kevlar/carbon boat."

So what if it had been a "Kevlar/carbon" boat?

gelcoat is gelcoat
If all you’re repairing is the gelcoat, it doesn’t much matter what’s underneath, be it fiberglass or carbon/kevlar. You’ll do the gelcoat repair the same way.