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Old 04-06-2015, 04:57 PM
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Default Fiberglass Drift Boat Hull Repair?

Hey All, Not really sure where is most appropriate section to post this one may be but here goes; I have a Clacka WF 16 and I’m resigned to fix the bigger gouges in her hull before I take her to a river again, have some time before I head off the mountain on Sunday. Hoping someone has done this sort of work before, or could point me to videos, books, websites’ for me to do some more research. Clacka sold me some Marine Tex for the job but their guy for me to talk to is in Alaska so I’ve been looking on my own, from what little I can find its similar to drywall mud, fixing lathe & plaster walls etc, apply with a flexible putty style knife, let it set, sand it smooth and move on; I’ve flipped old houses for 15 years and am pretty handy...just seems all the dozens of “how to” videos I’ve invested a couple hours in on the product, like this one; Drift Boat hull damage, or youtube for “fiberglass hull repair” are for serious breaches; drilling/sanding out breaks, glass fills, painting & clear coating etc.….I am admittedly ignorant on the topic but don't think this is that kind of fix, she’s a river work boat to me & while if someone maliciously scratched her they would lose some teeth, I don’t blink when she scrapes while fishing; that’s pretty much what you would expect from the hull of a drift boat; just want to give it some proper/effective TLC & am concerned if I need to prep the surface with any acid, cleanser, primer or what because I’ll be doing this job 60 miles from a hardware store meaning I really need to do my homework ahead of time, bring the right tools etc. Any advice/experience/direction is appreciated.
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Old 04-06-2015, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: Fiberglass Drift Boat Hull Repair?

Quote:
Originally Posted by red feather troutbum View Post
Hey All, Not really sure where is most appropriate section to post this one may be but here goes; I have a Clacka WF 16 and I’m resigned to fix the bigger gouges in her hull before I take her to a river again, have some time before I head off the mountain on Sunday. Hoping someone has done this sort of work before, or could point me to videos, books, websites’ for me to do some more research. Clacka sold me some Marine Tex for the job but their guy for me to talk to is in Alaska so I’ve been looking on my own, from what little I can find its similar to drywall mud, fixing lathe & plaster walls etc, apply with a flexible putty style knife, let it set, sand it smooth and move on; I’ve flipped old houses for 15 years and am pretty handy...just seems all the dozens of “how to” videos I’ve invested a couple hours in on the product, like this one; Drift Boat hull damage, or youtube for “fiberglass hull repair” are for serious breaches; drilling/sanding out breaks, glass fills, painting & clear coating etc.….I am admittedly ignorant on the topic but don't think this is that kind of fix, she’s a river work boat to me & while if someone maliciously scratched her they would lose some teeth, I don’t blink when she scrapes while fishing; that’s pretty much what you would expect from the hull of a drift boat; just want to give it some proper/effective TLC & am concerned if I need to prep the surface with any acid, cleanser, primer or what because I’ll be doing this job 60 miles from a hardware store meaning I really need to do my homework ahead of time, bring the right tools etc. Any advice/experience/direction is appreciated.
Is just gel coat damage or down into the fiberglass it'self?

Jack
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Fiberglass Drift Boat Hull Repair?

I have done a few glass repairs over the past decades. I don't enjoy it but it isn't overly complicated if you avoid a few pitfalls. I don't regard myself as glass expert but I have repaired a few Vettes and boats. Here are a few bits of advice.

1. Attention to detail when mixing the resin and catalyst in the proper proportions. If it is too cool out it doesn't set very fast. If too hot it sets very quickly. You don't want to get in the middle of an application and have it set before you are done.

2. Use protective equipment. Surgical gloves are great when applying. The stuff is nasty to get off hands and fingernails. Wear eye protection and dust mask when sanding it, especially if using power tools (which I highly recommend). Long sleeve shirt and an old hat is good too. I am not overly sensitive to glass sanding dust but some people are.

3. It is somewhat like working drywall mud and reinforcing cloth. But pretend like it is actually concrete and don't over apply. It goes on WAY, WAY easier than it sands back off. Put it on a half inch too thick and you will pay dearly. Better to go a little thin and add another layer. Have a straight edge handy so you can keep track of your application vs the desired finished surface level.

4. Have some very coarse sanding material around while roughing out the first coat or two. Leaving it rough is preferable for a subsequent coat of resin for better adhesion anyway. It doesn't matter if it is pretty at first as long as you don't overbuild it.

Hope this helps. PM me for my CELL # if you like. I'd be happy to give more detailed info but don't have time to type a 1000 word essay tonight.
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: Fiberglass Drift Boat Hull Repair?

Thanks Folks.
Jack; mostly top layer dings of various lengths but there's two deep gouges that are pretty serious, don't have pics with me but I'd say upwards of .25" deep where you can see layering in the hull material itself.
IA: appreciate it - lots of good info here, have everything & will pack the appropriate gear before the weekend. 99% is on the bottom of the boat so I'm not worried about aesthetics as much as structural integrity, addressing it so there's no further damage, and making sure I do the job right.

BTW: Clacka has been very helpful, their guy is back from Alaska & I should get a call in the next couple of days to walk me through his recommendations, will post up his info and try to get some pics of the actual process to post up here for the next guy when I get back in town next week.
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Fiberglass Drift Boat Hull Repair?

Marine Tex is amazing stuff but it is hell to sand down if applied too thick

how tough is it...you can repair a cracked engine block with it or you can fill in a spark plug hole then drill and retap it and it holds

like I said amazing!!!
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Fiberglass Drift Boat Hull Repair?

Get some UV resin and a black light to cure it. Quick and easy.
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Old 04-08-2015, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: Fiberglass Drift Boat Hull Repair?

Hey All, the Marine Tex arrived today, instructions call for cleaning with lacquer thinner, or acetone & light sanding prior, apart from that, mix correctly and apply w putty knife, sand/file smooth after cured and paint over it; although it does say gel coat wont adhere well if someone reads this later for that kind of job on theirs.
Overall easy enough for what I need to do...I might not be able to get to it this weekend as planned, says it needs 55 F or warmer to cure & doesn't look like I will see that so the actual work will wait until a warmer Sunday down the road.
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