Advice for fixing up poorly done repairs?

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Advice for fixing up poorly done repairs?

Postby pboulanger » Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:12 pm

I've got a DSII that is overall in solid shape and sails great, but has a lot of little cosmetic dings and bangs from over the year that haven't been repaired particularly well. How would you go about cleaning up repairs such as these?

https://imgur.com/a/0bhneyM

Thanks!
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Re: Advice for fixing up poorly done repairs?

Postby badgley » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:36 am

Mine is covered in those also (as are most 36 year old boats...). The approach really depends on a) what is in there and b) how cosmetic you want the end result. But basically, the process is that you need to get that stuff out/off, and then build it back up with something permanent that you can then finish properly. As far as (a), I'm not sure what that orange stuff is, but if it's rubbery you'll probably have to peel/dig and if it's hard you'll probably have to drill/sand to remove it. Right now, if it's anything really messy filling an old hole or crack, I've just been reaming/drilling/digging it out and refilling with thickened epoxy, and then sanding smooth - lightly, without removing surrounding gelcoat if possible. The microballon filler is great for that (as long as you're not making a structural repair) because it sands easily. If you're not familiar with epoxy repair, and the different fillers you should use for different applications (bonding, filling, etc.), look up some resources on the web and familiarize yourself first.

That leaves the root of the repair visible, but at least gets rid of the 'overflowing goop' look. If (b) above is also important to you, and you really want it as close to original you'd have to do either paint or, better yet, gelcoat repair on top of that. I plan to get to that eventually, but even just getting rid of the original mess does wonders for my pride and vanity! It's worth noting that it looks like someone used a lot of silicone around some of those bolt heads, and that can be a headache to finish over, so you might want to work on getting that stuff off too. I had good luck with peeling it off and then a very light (like 400 wet) sanding. There are articles everywhere on the web about removing silicone.

The nonskid is tricky. I have a couple of those also and I don't think it's possible to retain the original pattern and clean up the mess, unless it's something you can peel off or dig out. I plan to just sand down and repair with some gelcoat repair and if the spots are a little more smooth than the surrounding area, so be it. They will still look way better then they do now and as long as the areas are small enough they won't affect traction much. I'm sure others have other ideas.
Brian Badgley
1982 DS II #10911 EGRETTA
Blacksburg, VA, USA
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Re: Advice for fixing up poorly done repairs?

Postby GreenLake » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:04 pm

For replicating non-skid patterns, you might be able to use modeling clay!

Some people decide that painting the cockpit is the route to a shiny new look. It's a bit of work but can be done. My boat was painted by a previous owner decades ago and the paint was tenacious. There are a number of scratches which expose the original turquoise colored gel-coat (like the inside of a pool), but the paint shows otherwise no sign of wanting to let go.

If that's the route you want to go, the result will look spectacular and the prep can be simple. As @badgley suggests, soft stuff has to be peeled off, but hard stuff only has to be sanded down and then faired. (System Three's QuikFair is a very nice epoxy based fairing compound that's easy to use). The usual prep for painting involves cleaning, degreasing/dewaxing and then scuff sanding and priming as required by the paint you choose. (Get a good boat paint).

Spot repairs where you restore the gelcoat are possible, but gelcoat is not the easiest to work with. It needs to be covered to cure (whether by a stiff plastic foil or by internally via mixed in wax - augmented by spraying on PBA release agent, as the wax doesn't seem to work 100%). It also is sensitive to temperature. You will find many good manuals or videos on this, as of course, it's a standard technique in boat repair. Oh, and you'd have to match the tint of your old gelcoat.

If you'd simply rather have a white repair than yellow, and if there are repairs that are soft/gooey, you could remove a bit and then use a white epoxy repair paste like Marine Tex to redo the repair. Epoxy will cure in air and I'm sure you could tint it a bit to match the off-white used on your boat. Epoxies bond well to gelcoat; they do not, generally, like UV exposure, and are normally painted, but I believe the white pigment in Marine Tex solves that issue (but some internet search should help you find out whether it can be left unpainted). With some technique like that it may be possible to find a good compromise between visibility of the repair and minimizing the effort spent on non-structural repairs.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Advice for fixing up poorly done repairs?

Postby pboulanger » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:59 pm

Wonderful, thanks for the tips! I think once the boat comes out of the water in October, I'll reassess just how many little dings there are and whether or not there are enough of them that when all said and done, it's worth painting in addition to the patches. Maybe it's just getting used to the boat (we've had it two years now...), but I feel like I notice more and more dings and blips.
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Re: Advice for fixing up poorly done repairs?

Postby GreenLake » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:35 am

There are definitely two schools on this. One just focuses on keeping the hull watertight and the rigging in good shape, function over appearance. The other likes a well-cared-for look. Just know which you are and be happy with the the results of your efforts.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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