How To Repair Fiberglass Boats

Do you to know how to repair fiberglass boats? If you have some spare time and will to do it yourself, you can save a lot of money by repairing your fiberglass boat with your own hands. You can also make some extra cash using your new abilities to repair someone else´s boat.

What you need to repair fiberglass boats:

  • Nitrile gloves.
  • Particulate respirator.
  • Safety glasses.
  • Epoxy with hardener.
  • Fiberglass cloth.
  • Second quality chalk.
  • Flat tray.
  • Roll, as the ones used for painting.
  • Sand paper.
  • Several pieces of plywood.
  • Wire and bolts to fix plywood to hull.

Steps to repair fiberglass boats:

  1. Identify and delineate the area to be fixed at one time. Given the speed at which the resin hardens, you must work by small sections at a time, or risking having to use resin too fast and achieve a poor overall result, or jeopardize materials.
  2. If you need to cover a hole, draw a solid shape around it. This way you will avoid going too far when applying resin.
  3. Place a plate of plywood enough to cover the surface of the hole on the inside of the boat. The plate must be backed with enough support from the inside to take some pressure. You can use a bag with sand or rocks to stabilize the plate.
  4. Once the plate of plywood is set, put chalk covering the hole´s surface, but not it´s sides. Chalk will prevent the resin from sticking to the plate.
  5. Cut four layers of thin fiberglass cloth with the shape of the hole, with an excess of two inches to every side. If you´re using thick cloth, two or three will be enough.
  6. Prepare the resin in a can. The quantity to prepare at a time should be just enough to apply one of the fiberglass cloth layers.
  7. Cover one of the fiberglass cloth shapes with resin. Use the flat tray, and make sure it´s thoroughly wet using the roll.
  8. Apply the wet fiberglass cloth to the hole, sticking the outside first and the trying to put some pressure on the sides of the hole. Let this dry for ten minutes before proceeding.
  9. Apply a second layer of fiberglass cloth with resin over the first one. Again, wait ten minutes before continuing.
  10. Remove the plywood plate from the inside of the boat.
  11. Repeat the process applying two layers of fiberglass cloth from the inside, allowing enough time between layers for the resin to dry.
  12. Check the thickness of the wall compared to the newly applied. If there´s a big difference, then keep adding layers of fiberglass cloth. Eventually, if the wall is too thick to fill with cloth, you can use thin plywood, that also has to be covered in resin before placed. But that´s a more complex process; you might want to get more familiar with resin before trying that.
  13. Let the patch dry for a day, and then sand it to even the surface with the rest of the boat.
  14. Apply a coat of paint. This will protect the patch from radiation.

Remember to always use safety equipment, as resin is highly toxic, as well as glass fiber. Breathing through them can lead to internal injuries. In case of intoxication or drowsiness related to the use of epoxy resin, see a doctor.

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