Boat Hull Repair
Learn how to repair the hull of your boat with these simple tips.
Holes do happen in a boat, and they’re actually common. Don’t get too upset when you get a hole in your valuable possession. But it is something that needs to be repaired as soon as you can. Most hulls are made out of fiberglass and have several layers, so you need to repair your boat in order to avoid corrosion or debris from damaging the inner layers of your boat.
· If your hole is under a foot in length, you can easily repair it yourself. However, if you have a larger hole, you’ll want to have it professionally serviced.
· Cut a rectangular opening around the damaged area. You can use an electric saber saw or an electric keyhole saw to do this.
· File the area around the hole you created. You want to create a 45 degree angle at the point you sawed. If you’re going to patch the hole from the outside, you want the angle to bend inward. If you’re going to patch the hole from the inside, you need the angle to face the interior of your boat. You can file the area either with a wood file or with 80-grit paper.
· Cut a piece of cardboard big enough to fit over the hole. You may also use wood or aluminum, as long as your piece is big enough to encompass the entire hole. Cover the backing with plastic wrap and tape that to the boat.
· From the side you’ll be patching the hole from, paint on a generous layer of gel coat to the cardboard backing.
· Cut several different sized pieces of fiberglass, so they’ll fit one on top of the other. You want to completely saturate each piece of fiberglass with resin mixture as you put it in the hole.
· After you add each mat, squeegee it to remove any air. Add the mat to the hole until the hole is completely filled with mats.
· Let the layers dry together, then remove the backing plate. Sand both sides of the patch with 400-grit paper. Then finish it with 600 grit paper.
· Buff the exterior until it shines.