How to Repair Soft Spots in Fiberglass On A Boat

How to Repair Soft Spots in Fiberglass On A Boat
Soft spots in the fiberglass body of a boat can become a serious problem if not taken care of right way. A soft spot in fiberglass can be caused by poor initial application or because of overexposure to sunlight. Over time, sunlight can damage fiberglass if the conditions are right. Fiberglass can be repaired fairly easily back to original strength if done properly. Fiberglass repair supplies can be purchased from a marine supply store.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Respirator Dye grinder Rags Acetone 2 oz. chopped strand fiberglass mat Razor knife Small bucket Fiberglass resin Catalyst Stir stick Palm sander 200 grit sandpaper
  • Respirator
  • Dye grinder
  • Rags
  • Acetone
  • 2 oz. chopped strand fiberglass mat
  • Razor knife
  • Small bucket
  • Fiberglass resin
  • Catalyst
  • Stir stick
  • Palm sander
  • 200 grit sandpaper
Step 1
Put on a respirator and grind out all the soft and damaged fiberglass using a dye grinder. Grind away all the white frayed fiberglass until you get down to solid fiberglass. Gradually taper the edges of the ground areas to give the fiberglass repair maximum surface area to bond to.
Step 2
Clean the areas that you ground with a rag and acetone. Remove any dust and other debris from the repairs.
Step 3
Cut the first layer of fiberglass mat with a razor knife so it fits in the bottom of the ground area. Cut each following layer 1/4 inch bigger than the last using as many layers as it takes to make the repair level with the surrounding fiberglass.
Step 4
Mix the fiberglass resin and catalyst in a small bucket following the directions on the containers. Use a stir stick to stir the resin.
Step 5
Wet the surface of the repair with a felt roller and apply the smallest layer of mat to the center of the repair. Saturate the mat with resin and remove any air bubbles from under the mat with an air roller. Add the next layer of mat and repeat the same process until all the layers are applied. Let the fiberglass harden.
Step 6
Put on a respirator and sand the repairs smooth with a palm sander and 200 grit sandpaper. The repairs should be level with the surrounding fiberglass and should have no visible edge line.

Tips & Warnings

 
Always wear a respirator when working with fiberglass materials.
 
Always wear a respirator when working with fiberglass materials.

Article Written By Jay Kurz

Jason Kurz has been a published writer for eHow.com and Trails.com for less than a year now. Kurz attended Kent State University of Ohio for Computer Aided Design.

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