Topic-icon Repairing different layups

3 weeks 3 hours ago #30257 by HangTen
To all the composite repair specialists(Ranga and any others on the forum) and those with first hand experience getting their boats repaired, what is the relative difficulty of repairing different layups?


The general impression I get from different tid bits of information on different forums is that:

- fiberglass is the easiest; a lot of that may have to do with just the relative ease of finding someone qualified in fiberglass repair regardless of geographical location, correct me if I'm wrong.

- carbon is more difficult; that may have more to do with the greater scarcity of information and depending on where you're located, access to skilled repair specialists as well as the different coring used with the lighter layups than due to the difficulty of the carbon fiber itself. Again, correct me if I'm completely wrong, this is just the impression I've gathered

- kevlar is most difficult because of the nature of the fabric itself and the way the fibers "fluff" when you try to grind/repair as well as probably even greater scarcity of information on repairing and finding specialist skilled in using kevlar.

- hybrid layups; I would imagine combining the different fabrics in a single boat increases the complexity of the repair, especially any boat that includes kevlar. But is a glass/CF hybrid boat more difficult to repair than an all glass boat or an all CF boat? Is a glass/CF boat repaired with just CF? Or is the sandwich recreated with glass and CF(if the area where the repair is needed is a CF/glass sandwich; I know some manufacturers selectively use different fabric on different parts of the boat)?


Your thoughts are all appreciated. Thanks!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

2 weeks 6 days ago #30258 by Ranga
Sorry to burst your bubble but all are similar to each other. I think the wool has been pulled over your eyes by the some repairers.

The biggest problem is bonding to existing substrates as you don`t know what resin has been used. The solution is to use the best resin available, that being epoxy, it will bond well to most if not all existing resins.

The biggest expense is the finishing, faring the patch and the colour matching. It is almost impossible to match and old gelcoat as the UV has degraded it. Even if you have the same gelcoat that the crafty was built with it will not match after time, but it is still the best option.

I personally use carbon fabric (generally uni directional) and epoxy resin for most my patches as you can use less for the same strength therefore less of a protrusion to try and fair in, especially with sandwich construction skis.

Hope this helps.
The following user(s) said Thank You: HangTen

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

2 weeks 6 days ago #30259 by HangTen
Thanks for dispelling any misconceptions. No bubble burst, just the impressions I've gathered from reading the forums and such.

Is the relative availability of specialists experienced with fiberglass vs carbon fiber and the more exotic fabrics a factor at all? I imagine in certain areas you luck out with a local surfski repair specialist but I imagine in most other geographies you'd only find glass repair shops.

Ranga, where are you/your shop located?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

2 weeks 6 days ago #30260 by AR_convert

Ranga wrote: The biggest expense is the finishing, faring the patch and the colour matching. It is almost impossible to match and old gelcoat as the UV has degraded it. Even if you have the same gelcoat that the crafty was built with it will not match after time, but it is still the best option.


I'd love to see the look on your face when the first Revo ski comes in for repairs :P

Current - Carbonology"Flash" Vajda "Supersonic K1" Previously ~Finn"Molokai Mk II"~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

2 weeks 6 days ago #30261 by Ranga
Yes you are correct there are not a lot of small craft repairers, most are for the large boats, and generally no high tech needed there unless they are top end racing boats.
I am in Perth, Western Australia.

As for the Revo ski, not sure about that one. The biggest problem with such skis is that your product always looks terrible after the first bit of damage, not very good for resale. Even sprint kayaks get damaged.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Comments

Latest Forum Topics

Protected by R Antispam