How to repair a crack in your fiberglass hull: Part 1

Fixing a fiberglass crack involves a careful preparation process.

Photo: Flickr user Dave Linger.

In our last article, we talked about how the fiberglass boat market has seen sales pick up lately. While this style of boat construction is popular, it's worth noting that fiberglass is more susceptible to cracks and fractures than aluminum. As a result, any boat owner who has invested in a fiberglass vessel should understand how to patch fiberglass in the event that they experience a collision at sea.

In this article we'll talk about the steps needed to prepare the broken fiberglass for repair. According to BoatUS.com, this is the process you should go through before applying new fiberglass:

  • Cut out the affected area: Before you patch the hole, you need to cut out the fractured or cracked part of the fiberglass.
  • Dewax the area around the hole: This removes wax coatings that can interfere with the grinding process, thereby making it more difficult to use adhesive to apply a new layer of glass fabric.
  • Grind the surrounding area: Using a 36-grit paper on a disk sander, grinding allows the resin to form a better bond.
  • Prepare the area with masking: Resin has the tendency to run and drip, so you'll want to mask areas where you don't want the resin to stick. Usually this involves using paper or wax to coat the area you want to protect.

Once you've taken these steps, you'll be prepared to apply glass fabric over the hole.

After you get your boat out on the water again, make sure that you equip it with the latest marine equipment and technology available. You can find great deals on the best gear by shopping at ePal, where you'll also receive free ground shipping on all orders to the lower 48 states!

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