Fiberglass yachts are known for their outstanding durability. They also offer a number of advantages in that they require less maintenance compared to wooden boats. However, this doesn’t mean that they are not invulnerable to problems such as moisture, exhaustion, and damages caused by the forces of nature.
The following are the boat / Yacht repair and maintenance procedures to increase the life span and performance of fiberglass boats:
- Gelcoat blister and hydrolysis – Hydrolysis is one of the most common problems in a fiberglass yacht. The polyester resin laminate in the boat comes with water soluble materials, which blend with moisture to create an acidic fluid. This fluid then creates cavities under the gelcoat layer, eventually forming blisters, which are the main symptom of hydrolysis.
- This problem can be fixed by utilizing a superior repair material that can bond glass fiber, polyester resin, and other materials. Most fiberglass boat repair professionals use epoxy adhesives.
- Minor cracks and holes – These are a common problem in fiberglass boats. Epoxy resin can be used to fill out these cracks and holes but it is critical to first evaluate the severity of the problem. Typically, cracks are found in the laminate areas and near the window, bulkhead and cabin curve. Experts advise to look into the pattern of cracks and figure out the reason. If they are caused by an impact, the interior side of the panel must be examined to check whether they extend through the entire laminate.
- Stringers and floor damage – This is another common issue encountered in fiberglass yachts. Engine, areas under water tank, cockpit soles and hull lines are the most typical areas where stringent damage can occur.
Oftentimes, stringer damage is accompanied by sole delamination, so it must also be looked into. In the event that the fiberglass skin has delaminated, the problem may have resulted from deterioration. The suspected area of stringer can be found using a small hammer. If the damage is severe, one or two layers of fiberglass cloth or tape must be applied over the stringer. In doing so, the rigidity in that area will be secured.