Advice for repairing large chip in fiberglass.

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Advice for repairing large chip in fiberglass.

Postby Guest » Mon May 26, 2003 10:34 pm

Any recommendations for a DIY repair of a large chip in my daysailer's fiberglass?
The chip is about 1" square, and goes all the way down to the underlayment (black fiberglass). It is right on the edge of the seat, so I would like to get it repaired before it gets any worse.

markr (

Postby Roger » Tue May 27, 2003 4:17 pm

I just did a similar repair on the weekend on the gunwale. I used two part Bondo brand epoxy putty. I created a mold out of duct tape, by running a strip under the rub rail and folded it up part way to form a partial edge. I applied the putty, then covered the area with another strip of duct tape. It was hard within about 4 minutes. I pulled off the tape which left it close to the finished form, and I was able to shape it with a cheese grater type rasp. I then applied a two part gelcoat (Bondo)and sanded to a finish. I have a hard time finding the repair visually, except that it isn't dirty yet!
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Postby Peter McMinn » Wed May 28, 2003 1:14 pm

To fill chips of this kind, I first check to see that the fiber under the gelcoat is still sealed. If fiber is exposed/unsealed, use a light mix of resin to seal it up. I remove any lose pieces and slightly sand the edges of the chipped area. Then I use a high quality epoxy resin (West Marine) with a heavy mix of micro-balloons or silica for maximum bond and durability (you can also add tint to this mix). When I have the right viscocity (like luke-warm peanut butter) I apply the mix to the chipped area using a narrow flat stick and allowing it to spread slightly onto the sanded gelcoat. After the patch hardens up, I use a sanding block with 220, 400, 800 to 1000 grit wet sandpaper to grade the surface to conformity. Finally, I apply a fiberglass rubbing compound to protect the patch.
Good luck!
Peter McMinn
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Location: Portland, OR

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