Sunday, November 09, 2008

Hull Repair Follies

When I went out with Greg Paquin a few weeks ago, I put a few dings in the Q-boat's chines.
Many of them were small enough to fix with the one part gel coat scratch repair kit from West Marine. I squirted some in the ding and the goo magically hardened. I then did a little sanding to make them flush with the hull. The repairs look OK. The gel coat in the repair kit is white and the Q-boat is quill, so you can see the patch. The little blemish gives the boat character.
There were two dings, however, that were bigger than I felt comfortable using the scratch repair kit. Since there is a West Marine on H's drive home from work, I asked her to stop and pick me up some gel goat. The sales guy told her they did not have any and recommended a product called Marine Tec. It is a putty for repairing boat hulls. She called me to make sure it was OK and the sales guy told me it was perfect for patching gel coat....
I read the directions, donned some latex gloves - the stuff is apparently toxic through skin contact - mixed the putty with the hardener, and applied it to the dings. I did my best to smooth it out, but this is tough wearing latex dishwashing gloves. Then I waited. According to the directions, it takes like 18 hours for the stuff to fully cure. Since the Q-boat lives in the garage, I rigged up a lamp to keep the repairs above the recommended 55 degrees.
The next morning, as I was packing up the Q-boat for a paddle on the Charles, I realized the goo was still tacky. It had been 16 hours since the repair had been applied.
I asked JS about Marine Tec while getting ready to launch onto the Charles. He said it was crap and that I need to remove the stuff and replace it with actual gel coat. He also said I could use Solar Res.
I stored the knowledge away for the next repair. If the Marine Tec hardened up so I could sand it smooth, I was going to keep it...
When we got back from paddling on the Charles, six hours later, the goo was still tacky. A week later it was still tacky.....
It was going to have to come out.
Easier said than done. This toxic taffy requires a small sharp tool to dig out. I spent a good half hour working it out today and I'm likely going to have to spend another hour to clean out just one of the botched repairs....
Next time I'm just going to being it to Carl Ladd. He does excellent work and spares me the pain...

1 comment:

  1. The material Eric is refering to is Solarez