Repairing Deck Dings Page 3

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

GELCOAT DECK REPAIR

To repair a gelcoated antiskid surface, roll on a fresh layer of gelcoat and wait for it to become tacky. Then go over the surface again with the same roller to pull the gelcoat up in a random pattern of peaks. To find the optimum length of time to wait before rerolling the gelcoat, experiment on another surface. A gelcoat that has wax added to it helps ensure a good cure.

Matching a molded gelcoat antiskid pattern is not easy and should be attempted only if one is very familiar with the materials. If that’s the case, patterns and detailed instructions for a variety of styles and sizes are available from Gibco Flex-Mold.

MOLDED DECK REPAIR

Repairing a molded antiskid deck calls for a different approach. First mix a small batch of epoxy and filler until it has the consistency of mayonnaise. Next, put the batch in a sandwich bag, cut a very small hole in a lower corner of the bag and “decorate” the deck with tiny dots, much as one decorates a cake.

Another way to get stippling between the dots is to dip the tip of a small disposable bristle brush in the epoxy and then touch the deck surface with it. For best results practice this maneuver on a test platform before trying it on the real surface. When the surface has cured, prime and paint.

Whether you are repairing a ding, filling a bigger hole or repairing a section of worn out antiskid, the goal is to make a repair that is not only waterproof, but also attractive and safe. If you prepare the surface well, plan in advance, and schedule enough time to do the job right, the result should be a handsome and professionally finished surface.

EPOXY TIPS

1. Use a new mixing pot and stir for every batch.

2. Add filler in small amounts and continue to add until the epoxy reaches the desired consistency.

3. If the mixture is too thick, start over.

4. Be sure the dispenser pump puts out epoxy on the bottom of the mixing pot, not on the side.

5. For accurate measurements, press the dispenser pump down fully and let it come all the way up before depressing it again.

6. To keep heat from your hand from speeding up curing, hold the mixing pot at the top rather than at the bottom or sides. Keep the pot out of the sun for the same reason.

7. Plan ahead carefully; once epoxy is mixed you must work quickly and accurately.

Related

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

anchor

Know how: Ground Tackle

Your ground tackle is like a relationship—the more you care for it, the longer it will last. So, how do you enhance the relationship? First up, think of the accommodations—a damp, salt-rich, often warm environment, just the kind of thing to encourage corrosion. What can be done? ...read more

DSC_7522

Boat Review: Beneteau Oceanis 46.1

The Beneteau sailboat line has long represented a kind of continuum, both in terms of the many models the company is offering at any given moment and over time. This does not, however, in any way diminish the quality of its individual boats. Just the opposite. Case in point: the ...read more

shutterstock_1016585167

Cruising: Memories Made by People You Meet

Steve greeted my boyfriend, Phillip, and me as soon as we tied Plaintiff’s Rest, our 1985 Niagara 35, up to his dock on one of the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. He was tall, cheerful and clad in a hodge-podge of clothes one might wear to paint a house: oversized, grungy and old. ...read more

_98A7540

Cruising: Dogs Afloat

We dog owners understand the general expectations of ourselves in public places, like picking up after Fido and keeping him on a leash. There are, however, certain places where additional unspoken rules or expectations may apply—as in harbors or marinas. If you sail with your ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Log the glass  A week ago I set out after breakfast on a 50-mile passage. The day’s forecast via the internet was for 14-18 knots. It never happened, and I spent the entire trip adjusting my genoa ...read more