Soft Spot - Gunwale

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#1
Hey Everyone,

Cover is off and i'm excited to launch! I noticed 2 softspots on the bow gunwale this spring and want to try and take care of them before getting in the water. Any suggestions on fixing this? The bigger of the two sports is about 1/2 wide and the smaller of the two spots is about 1/4 inch wide. I believe they are just surface indents but...

There is a bit of texture to the gunwale, how do I replicate it? Should I use gelcoat patch? Of should I just leave it for now and worry about it later?

Thanks for your help.
Ian
 

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#2
Well, you have to commit to at least drilling and filling those spots. What you find determines how much further you go.

If you just need to fill those spots, get MarineTex or similar and fill it in (once drilled out).
Don't widen the project.

If it were me I would do that and use white, fill it level and be done.
 
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#3
I second Skunkboat. That sounds like the easiest fix...might even apply some epoxy on the inside after drilling to seal the hole.

After filling the soft spot, if you want gelcoat or grit, maybe you could use some premixed gelcoat in a tube. Put one layer of gel coat down and then sprinkle something such as sand. Once that hardens, add another layer of gelcoat.
 

DennisG01

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#4
Those look (from the picture, anyways) to be a void... an air pocket from the lamination process. You can use a razor knife to remove it to double check, then a large drill bit (probably just do it by hand) to make a large divot. Then fill in any number of ways.
 
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#5
Great thanks everyone. Just to make sure i'm hearing you all correct, these seem to be my options:

1. Drill & Fill - Use MarineTex white
2. Drill & FIll - Use epoxy and MarineTex
3. Remove cracked gelcoat - Re-gelcoat and be done with it
4. Leave it as is and fix it later

Will spend some time tomorrow and see what the best course of action is...might be back to this thread with more questions!

Thanks,
Ian
 
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#6
Those look (from the picture, anyways) to be a void... and air pocket from the lamination process. You can use a razor knife to remove it to double check, then a large drill bit (probably just do it by hand) to make a large divot. Then fill in any number of ways.
I would second that looks like air pocket, I don't think she has core there, it's only fiberglass and you have a void between the gelcoat and the f/g.
If you pop the gelcoat off you should see the f/g . If thats the case you can leave it alone or fill it with spectrum color match paste , sand it and buff.
 
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#7
So I think everyone here was about right to some degree. I did follow DennisG01 & wrxhoon - popped out the gelcoat and found that it was an air pocket. Fiber glass is clearly visible and not damaged/soft.

I have patched with Spectrum gelcoat on the hull of my boat but haven't done any on the gunwale deck...they are different colors. For the deck, I assume that I can just use white?

Thanks!

Ian
 

DennisG01

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#8
The white will be close enough to make no difference. You can probably even use a stiff brush to try and mimic the non-skid a bit, too. Then smooth over the 'peaks' left from the brush with a little water and your finger. Experiment a little, first, if you want.
 
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#9
So I think everyone here was about right to some degree. I did follow DennisG01 & wrxhoon - popped out the gelcoat and found that it was an air pocket. Fiber glass is clearly visible and not damaged/soft.

I have patched with Spectrum gelcoat on the hull of my boat but haven't done any on the gunwale deck...they are different colors. For the deck, I assume that I can just use white?

Thanks!

Ian
You will find it's the same colour as the hull but has gone whiter over time because the sun effects it more on the top. Buff up around it and use the same spectrum paste you used before , it will be much closer than white. If you didn't repair it you won't have any problems with water rot .
As time goes on you may fine more bubbles like that on the gunwale but not on the top on the rough part usually on the smooth part on the sides. I have seen a few older boats with this issue in Florida .
 
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#10
I stand corrected, thanks wrxhoon. It is the same patch color. I’m up in Boston...the temps are pretty extreme from cold to hot. I’m assuming more dings will show up at some point.

I’ll take that advice and use a small brush to try and mimic the non-skid. Will be ordering the patch kit tonight, spectrum just approved my account.

Thanks,
Ian
 
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#12
Grady Whites are hand lied, not chopped, at times it is very hard not to get some voids between the gelcoat and the hand lied FG on very sharp and hard to get surfaces. The air pockets won't appear for several years of pounding . Not structural in any way, Grady's are very strong hulls and if you keep the moisture off the cores they will last a very long time .
 
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