How to Repair Fiberglas in Boats

How to Repair Fiberglas in Boats
Boat Fiberglas is composed of layers of glass fabric that has been saturated with polyester resin or epoxy. Fiberglas watercraft won't rust or corrode. Fiberglas is also a strong substance that gives the boat good stability. It is, however, still susceptible to cracks, chips and breaches. Damaged Fiberglas on a boat can be disappointing, but fortunately, Fiberglas is able to be repaired with some precision and care.

Instructions

Difficulty: Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Jigsaw Dewaxing solvent Rag Disc sander (36 grit disc) Dust mask Safety goggles Paste wax Paint brush Masking tape Sheet of plastic laminate Wax PVA mold release solution Scissors Fiberglas fabric Cloth sheet Epoxy
  • Jigsaw
  • Dewaxing solvent
  • Rag
  • Disc sander (36 grit disc)
  • Dust mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Paste wax
  • Paint brush
  • Masking tape
  • Sheet of plastic laminate
  • Wax
  • PVA mold release solution
  • Scissors
  • Fiberglas fabric
  • Cloth sheet
  • Epoxy
Step 1
Cut a circle around the damaged area using your jigsaw and remove it. Many jigsaws have blades specifically designed for Fiberglas. Work from inside the boat if possible. This helps reduce refinishing work once you are finished.
Step 2
Wash the immediate area with a rag and the dewaxing solvent.
Step 3
Grind a 12-to-1 bevel around the area of the hole using the disc sander. A 36 grit disc works best for this. Make sure to use a dust mask and safety glasses to keep dust and splinters out of your eyes and mouth.
Step 4
Use the brush to apply paste wax to the exterior area around the hole. Be careful to not get paste wax inside the hole or on the edge. Use masking tape to avoid getting the wax in places you shouldn't.
Step 5
Cut a piece of plastic laminate out that is about a foot larger than the hole.
Step 6
Wax the back of the laminate and spray it with the PVA mold release solution.
Step 7
Tape the laminate into the outer surface. This will provide backing for the repair.
Step 8
Cut out the Fiberglas fabric to fit the repair. Begin with two layers of 1.5-ounce mat. After that, alternate the mat with 6-ounce cloth.
Step 9
Epoxy the layers together. If you will be using gelcoat, you'll need polyester resin instead. Add these layers until the thickness matches that of the surrounding material. Each layer hardens quickly when coated with the epoxy so you will need to add them quickly once the epoxy is applied.
Step 10
Remove the backing from the exterior once the repair is completed. Paint and finish as needed.

Article Written By Michael Davidson

Michael Davidson started writing screenplays in 2003 and has had a screenplay professionally produced. He has also studied martial arts since 1990 and has worked as a licensed security specialist. Davidson has written articles for various websites. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising.

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