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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through March 18, 2009 » Some DIY gell work. « Previous Next »
By "G" (grant_west) on Sunday, March 01, 2009 - 10:50 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I got some nicks and scratches that need to go. This is my first try at gell coat repair. Here are some pick's of what I have done so far. Like I said first time @ it so if you have any advice

I got the direct color gell from spectrum. They have all major brands of gell in factory colors. You can buy it in liqued (for spraying) or gell (for chip's and holes) I got the gell.
This is the chip I was gonna fill.
First things first. I got a space heater and got the garage nice and warm.
Then I prepped the aera with Acetone
Tape off the aera
Take a dremel and clean out the aera to be filled. The gell will have a better aera to stick to.
I filled the chip with gell and coved it with packing tape and then sanded it with 220 and then 400. The chip is VERY hard to see. went all around the boat and filled every deep scratch and or chip.

By "G" (grant_west) on Sunday, March 01, 2009 - 10:55 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
This is the first repair aera after 220 and 400.
The last picture above is holes that I filled. This is at the back of the boat below the water line where the orignal peedo tubes went into the boat. With the new Perfict Pass paddle wheel I don't need the orignal peedo tubes so I took them out. I figured this would be a great place to start and learn how to do it. That way if I messed up no one would see the repair.

By "G" (grant_west) on Sunday, March 01, 2009 - 10:58 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Filling the holes at the back of the boat.

By Peter Chandler (peter_c) on Sunday, March 01, 2009 - 11:11 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I really like your no fear attitude of DIY projects :-) Nothing like taking a grinder to your gel coat. Even more fun to drill holes in it though for the PP and other accessories.
By "G" (grant_west) on Sunday, March 01, 2009 - 11:21 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yea that's the WORST part you have a tiny chip and your supposed to widen it so the gell stick's. Nothing like fixing a small chip by making a gash your finish. 2 steps backwards to go 1 step forward LOL.
The holes in the back of the boat were there from the factory. When I got new digtal dash gauges they read speed from the Perfict pass wheel. So I took off the plastic peedo tubes and thoes holes were what was left behind.

By craig glass (my_malibu) on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 12:05 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
damn west takes wet sanding to a new level
going to hit the patch with 1500 and 200 then polish?

By scott voruz (svoruz) on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 6:10 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Nice work. I have a foot long scratch down the side of the hull. It's not deep, but it's very noticeable. Do I need to make the valley of the scratch deeper so that the gel coat could have something to hold on to? And how do I do that? Grinder?
By "G" (grant_west) on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 6:53 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Scott: quick answer IMO NO you don't. After I finished the sequencing trailer lights I launched my boat to test out the lights. The lake this time of the year is so low I have to launch where my trailer was st such a angle that my trailer guide pad floated off. I decided to load my boat with out the trailer guide pad. BAD IDEA. I put the same type of scratch down the side of my boat in about 4 spots. The scratches were just deep enough that if I wet sanded them out I think you would see the low spot's in the reflection. I decided to put the gell in the scratch aera to fill the low spot's so to answer your question I would say No just clean out the scratch aera with Acetone. Fill the scratch and then sand away the extra. Sand and polish the entire aera. That way you wont risk sanding threw your orignal color trying to get down to removing the scratch. thats what Im doing in photo #8
By J. Brenner (bjeremi) on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 7:46 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Man you do good work. How much for the repair gel?
By Trevor Gleadhill (trevorg7) on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 7:54 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Grant - You do great work.

I've wondered if there is a waiting list to buy your boat once your done with it? Someone is going to get a well sorted boat.


By "G" (grant_west) on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 8:39 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Trevor: Owning a boat you have 3 options #1 You have to have deep pockets to keep up with all the dammage you collect and pay some one to fix it all. #2 You just don't worry about it and fix what you can and try to keep your boat as nice as you can. #3 Roll up your sleeves and get after it. IMO stuff happens you can either drive yourself crazy and walk in and around your boat on egg shells and TRY to keep it free of dammage and even then it still happens. I was like that the first years of owning a boat. Each time I took it out and returned it with out dammage it was like a huge weight off the chest. When stuff started happining and it didn't get fixed and I would have to look at it stressed me out. I found if I just used my boat how ever I like and didn't worry about all the stuff that would happen and just fixed it later I had a much better time with my boat. I can't say I wasn't pissed and didn't fly off the handle when the weekend after I re carpeted my boat some A hole's cigrette from 3 boats away in a tie up burned a hole in my new carpet. Your boats never gonna stay in tip top shape unless you get busy.
By Richard Coop (mendo247) on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 10:10 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
That harry looking! Nice work!
By David_E_M (david_e_m) on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 2:22 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Is there anything that Grant can't do ...exceptionally well?

David E.M.

By J. Brenner (bjeremi) on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 2:52 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Answered my own question, seems to be about $22 for the patch kit. Was there enough in one to do all of your repairs? Now I just have to figure out if my supra is white or cream
By "G" (grant_west) on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 3:34 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
J. There is plenty of gell to do lots of small repairs. The thing is the "instructions say mix 1/2 of the gell in the container with 10 to 12 drops of MEKP (hardner) So you only get 2 batches of gell for the small container in the first picture.

If you could figure out how to mix it in smaller 1/4 oz quanitys I could easy see you getting 4 batches out of a small container. I just didn't want to try and guess and have the wrong amount of gell or to much hardener. To much hardner will cause pin holes or air bubbles in the gell.
I figured the $25 bucks I payed for the container was cheep if I only need'd to do it once. Truth is this seem's to be a very easy project. If you buy color matched gell the hard work is done. Im not done so im knocking on wood. But it would seem as if im close. I have sanded and polished the boat before and know what Im doing there. The stuff I had no idea about Im pretty much done with it. I would say if you know how to sand and polish then the gell repair is easy your golden. Pretty easy project.

If anything I messed up on is I used to much gell because I thought it would shrink a bunch
i could have saved a bunch of time and material if I wouldnt have put so much gell on each patch. You only need a tiny bit above the repair aera to account for shrinkage

By B.C.P...........Mike (wakeeater2003) on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 3:38 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
"Is there anything that Grant can't do ...exceptionally well?"

Spell or use proper grammar. Sorry Grant, I had to answer the question. Boat looks good!!! Almost Summer!

By "G" (grant_west) on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 3:41 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
LOL: True that Mike.
By Jman (jmanolinsky) on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 6:44 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post, sorry!

Great job, I can't wait to see the finished pictures. I patched some chips in my gell with Marine Tex. The sanding and polishing is the hard part.


By bill montanye (bill) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 5:18 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
nice job but you didnt just wrap the hull in Carbon fiber ? ;)
By Richard (nauty) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 6:45 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Grant, did I understand correctly that after applying the gel you put tape over the repair, let it harden, and then sand the tape off? I have a couple of spots that I need to fix, so any advice would be appreciated.
By "G" (grant_west) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 7:14 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Richard: I put the packing tape over the wet gell.
This way you can spread the gell and make a smooth surface. You don't need to do it. But I do think it drys a bit faster/harder. You will need to remove the tape and then wipe the repair aera with acetone.
As the gell drys it remains sticky. Putting the acetone on the repair aera will make it not sticky and will allow you to sand it with out the sand paper getting clogged.

IMO you should start with a small repair aera. Then when you sand with your first grit 220 the aera gets larger as you go up in grit's over lapping the edge you dont wanna get to close to a rub rail and end up against it.

By Richard (nauty) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 7:23 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
By Nacho (denverd1) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 7:47 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
grant, looks great! Nice details and pics. Of course, nice work as well.
By MattG (pierce_bronkite) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 8:11 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I wish I had those type of skills.

I only got skills like computer hacking, nunchuck skills and bow hunting skills.

By Murphy Smith (murphy_smith) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 9:00 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Grant, are you saying that once removed the packing tape and wiped with acetone...and then went on to sand.

I used spectrum about six months ago but the color match was off. There is a company called gel-coat products in Seattle that will do a custom match that you send them for about a $100 with paste and or gel coat.

By Shawn (helinut) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 9:30 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey Grant,

Are you saying that after you used 400 grit paper that the picture above was the finished product? Or did you hit it with even finer paper? From your pictures I'm not seeing what I would consider a "final" product.

Of course I could be wrong... :-)

By Ken Land (bulletlines) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 9:46 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Nice work Grant.

I'm sure the finishing steps vary..Here in Central Texas there is only really 1 true gel coat shop that all the Austin and San Antonio dealers use: and I got the following from them..

They sand with 400, then wet sand with 600 and 1000, use medium rubbing compound or Finesse It, and then use Nu Finish as the wax, polish, and sealer..


Ken Land
Bullet Lines

By "G" (grant_west) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 10:06 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yes Im not done. The last picture was with 400 grit. Ill finish it this weekend.

This is how it should go.
1.Acetone aera.
2.Tape off.
3.Sand or Channel out scratch aera.
4.Acetone aera
6.Apply gell
7.Packing tape (not required)
8.Let dry 4-6 hrs depending on how warm your aera is
9.Remove packing tape
10. Sand with 220,400,600,1000, 3m-Finesse it, ect

For tips on polishing

By tuneman (tuneman) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 10:55 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Nice work, Grant. I definitely recommend the packing tape over the top. It cures better that way.

A caution to do-it-yourselfers when repairing larger areas. Over time (1-2 years) it's likely that you'll see your repair. It's because you're curing the gelcoat the opposite way that the original was cured. Covering with tape helps this.

By scooter (spherren) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 12:41 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Tuneman, does that mean that mine will show up in 2 years. My dealer is repairing about 14 different cracks in the gell coat where the windsheild was drilled under warranty. Will they reappear?
By tuneman (tuneman) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 1:23 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
No, the cracks will not likely reappear, as long as the repair is done correctly. I'm talking about a slight variance of color over time, due to several variables. If the repairs are on white or a very light color, it's not likely that you'll ever see them. Darker colors are more difficult.
By scooter (spherren) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 1:39 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
By Knee Brace Boy (wstr01) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 2:01 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Ok, I'm gonna try this. I have a few small dings to patch. If I blow it I can always get it done by a professional (or take it to Grants house).

The only thing I'm not real clear on is when to remove the tape? While it's drying or after it's dry?

Great how too BTW.

By Ken Land (bulletlines) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 2:03 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

You may know the answer to this.. Let me know..

Gel Coat shops cover the repaired area with something for the gel to cure: very similar to what you did with the masking tape.. However, some of the shops use a spray on film that hardens, allows the gel to cure, and then the film is wiped off with a sponge and water: What is this spray on film called?



By Murphy Smith (murphy_smith) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 3:04 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

What you are referring to is PVA (poly vinyl alcohol) which you can spray or brush onto the new gel.

By "G" (grant_west) on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 3:09 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Knee Brace Boy:
7. Apply Packing tape
8. Let dry 4-6 hrs depending on how warm your aera is
9.Remove packing tape

Yes you remove the packing tape after the gell is hard. This takes 4-6 hrs. Im sure if its 80 degrees out and your boats in the sun its much faster

By Knee Brace Boy (wstr01) on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 6:18 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Duh. Geezo. I totally missed 8 and 9. I need to stop skimming over instructions. Comes from my youth when I would get a model car to build and toss the instructions right after opening the box.........


By Murphy Smith (murphy_smith) on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 8:12 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Grant, what tool did you use to spread the paste?
By Philip J. Mazzullo (phil2302) on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 9:38 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Wow,nice work, Thanks for the info.
I have recently purchased some gel-paste from spectrum and will be attempting the same type repair.
The tape you are applying over the wet/uncured gel is ordinary clear packing tape?
Isnt there any potential for the newly applied gelcoat to be pulled off the repair when the tape is removed after gel has cured?
Also, Anybody know if gelcoat adheres well to repairs done with Marine-tex?
Thanks for taking the time to post this repair of yours!!

By salty87 (salty87) on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 12:45 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
i've never tried but marine tex says gel coats don't adhere well
By Murphy Smith (murphy_smith) on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 12:50 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Marine tex is an epoxy...gel coat is a polyester based product

Poly don't stick to epoxy very well.

Instead of marine-tex. Use Evercoat formula 27.

By Kevin Hoye (wakebrdr38) on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 1:12 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
did mine about a year ago and it did pretty well. Close enough match seeing as it isnt in a real noticable area. I got a big one to do now though, is the chine the area where the side meets the bottom. My trailer has somehow hit that many times and has removed that edge right next to where the fenders are on the trailer. Dont know how hard its going to be to do those edges
By pete c (saceone) on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 1:20 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
can't wait to see more pics!

keep it up

By WakeShoe (wakeshoe) on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 1:44 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Don't mean to be a puss, but when you write "aera" you are meaning "area" aren't you? For some reason my eyes can't seem to deal with aera.

By Philip J. Mazzullo (phil2302) on Saturday, March 07, 2009 - 9:28 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Quote "Marine tex is an epoxy...gel coat is a polyester based product

Poly don't stick to epoxy very well.

Instead of marine-tex. Use Evercoat formula 27"

OUCH...I fixed the crunch with marine tex figuring I could then coat the marine tex repair with Spectrum gel coat. Guess I will have chisel out the Marine tex and redo with Evercoat formula 27.
Gel will def adhere to this?
Thank you Murphy

By BrianBASS (brianbass) on Sunday, March 08, 2009 - 9:08 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Grant, was that the chip from you dropping the Corona on your front bow on purpose? Hahahaaa not funny. I yelled at you even though it is your boat. If I would have known you were doing a gel coat project, I would have had alot more fun in your boat last summer It looks good. Ready to take it out and BUMP that shiot

(Message edited by brianbass on March 08, 2009)

By "G" (grant_west) on Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 4:34 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I had a chance to finish up what I started and I have to say Im happy with how it came out. The spots on the deck were the ones I wanted to come out the best so you wouldn't see the repair. I would say people with a bit of skill would have no problem fixing most small repairs
this is a shot of the first repair outside in the sun out in direct sun light it is almost impossable to see the repair

This is the back of the boat where I filled 4 holes.

This is the side of the bpat where I had like 4 pretty deep scratches down the side

This is the deck where I had a chip

In my garage under lots of floursent light if you know where to look you can see where the New gell starts and stop's. When taking the picks I had to look for a few min's to find the repair aera.

A quick review.
After the gell is set.
Tape off a small square around the repair aera.
And the repair aera with 220.
Remove the tape and make a larger square with tape. Sand with 400.
Remove tape and make a larger square and sand with 600.
Remove tape and make a larger square with tape and sand with 800.
Remove tape and sand with 1000 then 1500
3M Rubbing compound then 3M "Finess it" 3M hand glaze. Then Wax it. Done

By Dan (texastbird) on Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 4:47 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
?Hard to argue with results. Very nice!
By KEVIN (kko13) on Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 6:56 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
i bought my boat as a fixer upper. and used some of grants trix on the back transom as it was in desperate need of help. the first pic was when i first got it and it go way worse before i found the time to fix it.[/IMG
this pic is after 1000 grit wet sand,3M compound,3M finess-it #2,then a coat of wax.
It was not as tuff as i thought it was going to be.i have never wet sand or used a buffer b4 so i was a little concerned.But at the end of it all im real happy with the results.

By Andy G. (ottog1979) on Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 8:04 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

Awesome work! What are you using as a buffer? You don't do this all by hand do you?

By "G" (grant_west) on Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 8:28 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I use a Makita for large spots. I used a small air driven polisher for all the work in the picks.

By Scott Horman (scottieb) on Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 9:10 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

Very nice! Thanks for sharing.

Was the wet sanding done by hand or with the Makita? I need to wet sand my entire boat (recent purchase) to remove years of oxidation and am hoping to save my hands some hard labor.

By Newty (newty) on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 6:14 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
That is seriously encouraging for the do-it-yourselfer.
Thanks for the step by step. As always nice work, I love your attention to detail!!

By Brad D. Chesley (bchesley) on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 6:52 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Grant I am so disappointed in you. Those plat form brackets need some love.
By Sean Ellis (h2oproaccessories) on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 7:24 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
-hats off- good job!
By pete c (saceone) on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 7:57 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
good job grant! keep it up

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