repairing chips cracks and dings in hulls

I was wondering what people have used to fix minor imperfections in their hulls. I was told epoxy works but that it will show unless painted. I am thinking that the 3M vinyal (sic) ester resin might work but I am concerned about the shredded glass in the resin absorbing water which may mean a gel coat repair.

Thanks in advance for your replys.

Scratches and chips in the gel coat can be repaired with a Gel Coat Repair Kit available in most boat stores. The kit also includes colors to match colored gel coats.

Claus FS5074 Ames, IA |

The one I am looking at is definitly deeper than the gel coat.

Repairs to gelcoat are difficult. Even if the color matches when applied, the sun will probably cause it to fade differently than the surrounding area. Unless the scratch or gouge goes all the way through or the core is exposed or there is a crack that can be seen on the inside, the only reason to repair is for cosmetics. A scratch or gouge will not cause the laminate to fail or the balsa to get wet even if it is through the gelcoat.

The problem with cosmetic repairs is that in most cases they show almost as much as the original scratch. I think most cosmetic blemishes are best left alone until there are so many that it is worth it to just regel the hull. If you think regel may be in the future, stay away from epoxy fillers because polyester gelcoat doesn't stick well to epoxy.

If you want to try a cosmetic repair, the Evercoat gelcoat repair kit is a good choice. If the gouge is deep, use milled fibers (short fiberglass strands that look like dust) in the first mix and fill the majority of the gouge. Use straight gelcoat for the outer few 1000ths as the gelcoat with milled fibers will not polish to a good gloss.

Obviously, the best way to beat scratches is to avoid getting them. I sail a black boat, so I am paranoid about scratches. We just finished our third Midwinters in this boat with no scratches that go through the gelcoat. We use a really big fender (24" dia.) that we just leave on the dock with our name on it. When we come in it is there to help fend off the boats next to us and keep us off of the sea wall at the hoist.