What causes hairline cracks in gelcoat?
Spider cracks can indicate impact damage or serious structural issues that will need to be addressed to prevent further spread, but more often they are the result of a relatively inflexible gelcoat that is too thick. Stresses due to thermal expansion or where partitions and linings have been installed may cause minor bending.
How to repair a damaged gelcoat?
Wet sand the cured gelcoat with 320 grit wet/dry paper on a soft sanding block. Confining the work to the immediate repair area, continue wet sanding with 600 grit paper until nearly even with the surrounding gelcoat. Finish wet sanding with 1000 grit paper; then buff with rubbing compound followed by a coat of wax.
Are cracks in the gelcoat bad?
With a well-maintained gelcoat, the need for larger repairs can be avoided. Scratches, gouges, and dents are the most common issues that need attention, but issues like blisters and cobweb-like cracks in your gelcoat can be a sign of more serious issues.
What is gelcoat cracking?
Crazing is caused by the expansion and contraction of the gelcoat over a given area. The cracked gelcoat must be removed. After the gelcoat is removed, sand the fiberglass laminate with 80 grit sandpaper. After sanding, make any necessary repairs to the area.
How to repair a small crack in the fiberglass?
- Drill a small hole at each end of the crack. This will prevent the crack from spreading further.
- Examine the crack.
- Wipe the crack with a dry cloth to make sure it is clean and dry.
- Fill the crack with a generous amount of fiberglass epoxy resin, using a plastic applicator.
- Let the epoxy dry for a day.
Can you paint spider cracks in fiberglass?
Dry, sand, clean and paint. After letting the gel coat cure overnight, you can smooth the area with sandpaper, clean the sanded area, then prime and paint the fiberglass if the color is off.
What is the best way to clean gelcoat cracks?
The instructions ask you to clean the cracks with a fine needle, then wash, rinse and dry. Although slightly tedious, the needle step is very important. Do not try to widen the crack – the Fix will seep into very fine cracks.
Can a gelcoat crack be repaired with Marine Tex?
Similar to Marine Tex, it was easy to use and can be finished with Crack Repair. We used it to repair two 3/16 inch voids left by bubbles during draping. How long it will last remains to be seen, but it certainly made for an easy fix.
Do you need to repair hairline cracks in the gelcoat?
When the boat is not leaking, there is no need to repair hairline cracks. Therefore, first and foremost do a leak test. If OK, go sailing. I’ll leave the splash guard issue to others more knowledgeable. I had a 1979 fish and the splash guard/hood was riveted; not sure for a 1973 boat. Also not sure if the rivets were saved. Thanks.
What is the best way to repair hairline cracks?
A quick and easy way to repair gelcoat stress cracks yourself is to use MagicEzy Hairline Fix – A DIY repair solution specifically designed for gelcoat and fiberglass stress cracks.