Repairing Deck Dings

When someone drops a winch handle, spinnaker pole or outboard shaft on a fiberglass deck, it will sometimes produce a minor ding in the gelcoat and fiberglass. Fortunately, most of these dings are relatively easy to fix. Here’s how.Hole in oneTo repair a minor ding or hairline crack, first use a Dremel tool to smooth the gelcoat
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
ding1fffff

When someone drops a winch handle, spinnaker pole or outboard shaft on a fiberglass deck, it will sometimes produce a minor ding in the gelcoat and fiberglass. Fortunately, most of these dings are relatively easy to fix. Here’s how.

Hole in one

ding2f

To repair a minor ding or hairline crack, first use a Dremel tool to smooth the gelcoat surfaces down to the fiberglass. Remove any loose gelcoat or antiskid material, then use acetone and a clean rag to clean the area and remove any mold-release wax that may still be on the surface.

Next, mix a batch of epoxy and add a small amount of colloidal silica and fairing compound until it has the consistency of peanut butter. Use this epoxy paste to fill the damaged area and when the epoxy has cured, sand the area smooth.

ding3f

Deeper holes need more than just filler, because over time the filler will crack and fall out. Use a combination of 1/2 oz. fiberglass mat and 6 oz. cloth to make these bigger repairs. First measure the depth of the hole, then draw a circle around its center with a radius eight times the depth. Use a Dremel tool to evenly feather the depression up to the outer edge of the circle.

ding3

Next cut out a circle of mat and a circle of cloth. Give these circles the same radius as the circle you have drawn on the deck. Continue cutting mat and fiberglass circles making the diameters of the succeeding circles 1/2 inch smaller than the previous pair. Keep cutting circles until you have enough material to fill the hole. Then cut one more circle from the glass cloth with the same radius as the first. Use a straightedge to determine when all the mat and cloth layers are flush with the surrounding deck surface.

Related

Pestilence

Sailor-Punk and the State of Cruising

Back when I was a young man, sailing back and forth across the North Atlantic in an old fiberglass sailboat, it seemed fairly obvious to me how all that was wrong in the world might be set right. Everyone should be issued a boat at birth! Or so I declared to any who would listen ...read more

promoOnTheHorizon600x

Cats On The Horizon

Dragonfly 32 Evolution Denmark’s Quorning Boats has been systematically upgrading its line of folding, performance-cruiser trimarans in recent years as part of a long-term effort to incorporate the latest developments in yacht design, with the latest to receive this treatment ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com The double range  Every skipper knows about ranging two objects in line to keep the boat on track in a cross-current. What’s less obvious is monitoring both sides of a gap such as a harbor entrance. ...read more

FamilyCruise

Bareboating on Puget Sound

Depending on where you are, Puget Sound can look no bigger than a mountainous version of the Intracoastal Waterway. That’s what I thought when I first laid eyes on it from the lighthouse at Mukilteo Park on a sunny day last July. Then I went to the top of the iconic Space Needle ...read more

Bali4point1

Boat Review: Bali 4.1

Coming fast on the heels of its predecessor, the Bali 4.0, the Bali 4.1 adds a number of improvements, many of them inspired by feedback from owners and charterers. She’s an evolution of a concept that has already proven popular and very many benefits from its builder’s ...read more

Headsail

Ask Sail: Silencing A Rattling Headsail

Q: Our Pearson 26 has a 110-percent jib that tends to rattle very noisily at the top hank. We only bought the old boat recently, but it must have been happening for a long time, since there’s a deep groove worn inside that bronze hank. The jib has an unusually large and wide ...read more

Alerion2048x

Alerion Yachts 33, the 90 Minute Get Away

Easy to sail, luxurious, and swift; the Alerion 33 is the solution to your busy life. The intuitive, simple rig design, easy set-up, and put-away mean there’s no need to wait for crew to enjoy a weekend, a day, or an hour out sailing. Her beauty and comfort are evident in the ...read more