Gel coat repair

Dec 1, 2016
7
7
Perthshire
Funster No
46,322
MH
Kon Tiki G649
Exp
2 years
Any advice from you experienced guys out there. I've just damaged my Kon Tiki on the eaves of my house (you can never relax can you?). Local repairer wants to do a fibreglass repair and paint which doesn't seem right. She's quite a new van, 2017. He says I won't get a proper gel coat repair in Scotland, obviously where I live. Is it easy to do yourself? Attached a pic which makes it look a bit worse than I feel it is. Any suggestions? Cheers.
 

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Dec 6, 2011
4,796
5,134
South Wales
Funster No
19,136
MH
Coach built Adria
Exp
Since 2007
i guess there are a few boat yards in Scotland. that would be my port of call ( Pun intended ;))

they are generally expert at gel coat repairs of boat hulls and cabins.
 
Dec 6, 2011
4,796
5,134
South Wales
Funster No
19,136
MH
Coach built Adria
Exp
Since 2007
a phone call to one of them for a bit of guidance might give a glimmer of whats the best type of repair.
 
OP
N
Dec 1, 2016
7
7
Perthshire
Funster No
46,322
MH
Kon Tiki G649
Exp
2 years
Thanks Phill, much appreciated. I'll try that. Open to all suggestions. Once I've stopped kicking myself! I only moved it to clean the driveway!
 
Dec 6, 2011
4,796
5,134
South Wales
Funster No
19,136
MH
Coach built Adria
Exp
Since 2007
as you say Nick, cant relax for 1 second. good luck. just need to keep the gash clean now pending repair.
please let us know how it was best reapired..... might need it myself :cautious:
 
May 7, 2016
962
1,380
La Châtre, Centre-Val de Loire France
Funster No
42,958
MH
Coachbuilt Low profile
Exp
Converted a Fiat Ducato PV a while back
Actually it is very easy to do yourself, I totally destroyed my rear light surround and rear corner bumper, smased like glass in several bits far worse that yours. Fixed mine ok myself

As yours is just a cracked surface remove what you can and use gel coat filler, glass mat, and sand with wet and dry. Finish with matching spray paint.

Drill small 3mm holes at end of cracks before filling to stop cracks spreading in time.

easy and you will never see it
 
May 7, 2016
1,697
1,190
Poole, Dorset
Funster No
42,951
MH
Carthago Compactline
Exp
Since 2003
Not something I would attempt but a boatyard that specialises in gelcoat repairs should do a good job.
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
19,491
19,889
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
Took a bit chunk out of the front of my last van. Local boat repairer did a superb job.
The problem with doing it yourself is matching the gel coat colour, although you could spray it, far better to do the job properly with matching gel coat.
 
OP
N
Dec 1, 2016
7
7
Perthshire
Funster No
46,322
MH
Kon Tiki G649
Exp
2 years
Thanks guys. Might try it because of where it is. Not easy to see from the ground. Doesn't have to be perfect but I will make other enquiries too.
 
Nov 5, 2014
845
3,508
Borders
Funster No
34,127
MH
Van Conversion
Many years ago when sailing, the boat I was in got badly holed by another boat. The damage was quite bad but a local boat builder sorted it out and somehow managed to spray the gel coat finish onto the hull and it looked like new and very hard to see the repair.
 
Aug 6, 2013
7,863
6,635
Kendal, Cumbria
Funster No
27,352
MH
A Class
Exp
since 1999
I tried local boat builders for a rear skirt repair recently because i was advised a gelcoat repair would be best (I agreed). The only two to have a look wouldn't touch it because of the labour involved in the finish. So I'm doing it myself.
 
May 7, 2016
1,697
1,190
Poole, Dorset
Funster No
42,951
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Carthago Compactline
Exp
Since 2003
Sometimes the skirts are plastic not fibreglass, which might not be a boatbuilders speciality. When I had a damaged rear skirt the repairer said they were designed to be replaced rather than repaired, which surprised me because it didn’t look that impossible. I didn't argue because CalMac was paying.

A boatyard specialising in osmosis treatment might be a good place to look because they are specialists in repairing and matching gelcoats.
 
Apr 13, 2011
365
239
West Yorkshire
Funster No
16,030
MH
A Class Frankia
Exp
since 2005
I've just repaired my holed and torn fibreglass rear apron corner and would recommend trying it yourself. For the surface finish, I used gel coat repair stuff from a tube, with accelerator.
I saw a YouTube video about using superglue's capillary action to seal cracks in the gel coat. It's worked for me so far, in that the cracks haven't spread.
If you can't see the repair unless you're 8ft tall, I'd use aerosols for the base coat and the clear coat.
 
Mar 10, 2016
530
529
Scotland
Funster No
41,942
MH
A Class RMB 750HE
Exp
Three years and counting, 30 years a tent tower.
Nickg J Borthwicks at Newton St Boswells here in the Borders did an amazing job on RH after a run in with a tree branch. I cannot see where the repair was done. They do commercial vehicle repairs (and servicing) and are familiar with this sort of repair. Commercial vehicles use the same sort of panels etc as motorhomes do nowadays.
 
Aug 6, 2013
7,863
6,635
Kendal, Cumbria
Funster No
27,352
MH
A Class
Exp
since 1999
Sometimes the skirts are plastic not fibreglass, which might not be a boatbuilders speciality. When I had a damaged rear skirt the repairer said they were designed to be replaced rather than repaired, which surprised me because it didn’t look that impossible. I didn't argue because CalMac was paying.

A boatyard specialising in osmosis treatment might be a good place to look because they are specialists in repairing and matching gelcoats.
It is GRP.
 
Jun 13, 2012
153
2,154
Wyboston, Bedfordshire
Funster No
21,458
MH
Renault Master self build
Exp
On second van now since 2012
Here's how it's done;


Obviously this is only a small repair but I have seen the same method used for larger repairs like the damage to your own.

I have a small repair similar to this in the deck of my boat which I haven't got around to yet, but I will be using this method.

Best of luck with it.
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
19,491
19,889
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
Here's how it's done;


Obviously this is only a small repair but I have seen the same method used for larger repairs like the damage to your own.

I have a small repair similar to this in the deck of my boat which I haven't got around to yet, but I will be using this method.

Best of luck with it.
I don't think much of that method.
Whenever I've used Gel Coat I try to fill the hole exactly then smooth sellotape over the top, peel off when dry and with luck a perfect finish, if it does need sanding I use 3000 grade wet & dry.

As for him using 180 grit paper, unbelievable, that will wreck the surface. I wouldn't use anything less than 2000 grade on Gel Coat.
 
Jun 13, 2012
153
2,154
Wyboston, Bedfordshire
Funster No
21,458
MH
Renault Master self build
Exp
On second van now since 2012
I don't think much of that method.
Whenever I've used Gel Coat I try to fill the hole exactly then smooth sellotape over the top, peel off when dry and with luck a perfect finish, if it does need sanding I use 3000 grade wet & dry.

As for him using 180 grit paper, unbelievable, that will wreck the surface. I wouldn't use anything less than 2000 grade on Gel Coat.
I can only say that I have seen this method used many times with great success. Any sanding should be kept to a very local area as he did in this video, and you can see that he didn't wreck the surface..

It is important to gradually use a smoother grit though, but I have always been told to leave a proud surface and then wet and dry because the compound will shrink during the drying process.

I have only watched this process at my local marina and haven't actually tried it myself, so I will soon find out!
 
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