If you notice a hole in the floor of your boat very little can be more bothersome. If you possess a wooden boat, fixes can rapidly get pricey. If you are lucky enough to own a fiberglass boat, you will be happy to know that it will be somewhat easy to repair that hole in the floor on your own at a marginal cost. To make the fixes yourself, you will need the following items that are obtainable from any local boating supply store:
Required tools and Materials:
Sandpaper or disk sander
Fiberglass repair kit
Formica or Plexiglas
Step one: check the extent of the damage.
Holes in your deck will usually run past what is visible. Carefully examine the hole and the immediate area to determine the extent of the damage and remove loose material with sandpaper.
With the acetone, remove any wax that may be present on the floor.
With a marker, draw an oval round the damaged area and remove it using a knife or small hand saw then draw another oval that is at least a half inch away from all edges of the cut out hole.
Sand the area with the sandpaper or disk sander up the point of this new oval until it aspects completely dull and clean once more with acetone to get rid of the excess dust. If dust, dirt, or other impurities stay, they may prevent the patch from being effective.
Put On a thick coat of paste wax checking that you don’t get any on the boundaries of the hole. This will prevent runs from the gel coat from binding
Mix gel-coat according to the product’s directions, and apply to the hole/crack with a putty knife. If the damaged area is shallow, you might be able to apply the gel-coat with a brush.
Cover the gel-coat with wax paper.
Allow the gel coat time to harden. After the gel-coat has hardened, remove the wax paper and lightly sand it until it is smooth. Curing time for the gel-coat will depend upon the thickness of the application. This can take up to two hours but there is nothing wrong with letting it harden overnight if you have the time. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for this information.
Apply a coat of paste wax that will assist the gel-coat to cure fully. Putting On too much may however,
cause the application to cook resulting in in a weak repair.
Use acetone to clean the tools you used to make the repair.
Tips & Warnings
Work carefully and follow the directions that come with your repair kit step by step. Work in a well-ventilated area to protect yourself from the fumes of the acetone and the gel-coat. When sanding, wear a dust mask and protective goggles to stop breathing in of dust and to protect your eyes. Never try to keep broken fiberglass; always cut it out and replace it.
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