What's the best way to fix this...?

5 months 1 week ago #33910 by fitz
I damaged my surfski 6 months ago but no water comes in and have been using it twice weekly ever since.  See the 2 pics below which loaded upside down.  The damaged section is is about 14cm long.  How should I fix it? Thanks
[img]blob:https://www.surfski.info/739f1f83-0b9d-4d35-a1bd-e400bb92441a
[img]blob:https://www.surfski.info/12f4ba65-7584-4155-bc4d-70d8e1fe80e4

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5 months 1 week ago - 5 months 1 week ago #33911 by fitz
Sorry, the pics are below (I hope).


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5 months 1 week ago #33912 by Fath2o
I have some questions to start. How do you want this repair to look when done? How much time , energy and funds due you want put into this project? Are you at all familiar with this kind of repair and due you already have supplies and tools?
Functionally it is a relatively simple repair. Cosmetically the repair gets a little trickier.
It is much simpler repair when you already have some supplies in your tool chest. Can get a little tedious collecting all the supplies, usually much more than you need, and can be a bit of an investment. No problem if you plan on doing more such repairs in the future. The simpler approach is to sand the area, I like using a Porter Cable orbital sander with 80 -120 grit paper. Oh, should clean the area with Acetone or equivalent first. Epoxy a 2-3 layers of fiberglass overlapping cracked area a bit. Sand it all down. Apply a fill coat of slightly thickened ( West System 410 for example) and easily sandable epoxy. lightly sand smooth. Finish with can of white spray paint. Not real pretty, but, works.  I'm sure others will chime in here with many other options and suggestions.
There are many ways to do this repair and the best one is the one that works for you. Good luck with it.

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5 months 1 week ago #33913 by Ranga
Get some Luer Lock syringes ( they lock onto the syringe) and 18G x 1.5 needles, any pharmacy should have them. Epoxy resin, the runnier the better.
  1. Drill 2mm holes into the outer layer of the hull ( 1mm deep), do not drill through both layers of the hull. Holes aprox 50mm apart where it is soft.
  2. With a dry needle and syringe insert needle into holes drilled at an angle so as to join up the holes you drilled under the gel coat and first carbon layer, I usually bend the needle slightly to help to get the angle, essentially pocketing out the Nomex honeycomb, creating resin channels.
  3. Mix resin and with new needle inject into the holes slowly. Starting at one edge of the damage. As one hole fills with resin to join with another block first hole with clear packing tape and then proceed to second hole and so on. Make sure surrounding area is clean and free from resin otherwise tape will not stick, use long pieces of tape stuck on cross ways.
  4. When cured, remove tape. That will be good enough to just lightly sand excess resin away and be done with. To get a 100% finish is a harder job, requires a bit more skill as the colour is not white. A good car spray painter should be able to match paint or an even better composite repairer can do it in Gelcoat which is what the outer layer of the ski is made with.
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5 months 1 week ago #33914 by PSwitzer
With a fairly new boat where resale value is a concern I would go with the Fath2o method since I'm familiar with it.  Ranga's syringe method sounds pretty slick, I like the idea of filling it in from the inside out, however would want to see a video or someone do it in person since it's kind of hard to visualize. 

I get gelcoat damage like that frequently on my decade old beater boat,  i just pick off the loose gelcoat chips with my fingernail, give a few sweeps by hand with 100 grit sandpaper and a block, then paint on some fingernail polish or epoxy depending on the size.  if the edges of the epoxy cure too rough for my liking just sand it till it's reasonable.  Total time for a repair that size around 10 min total work.  If you deal with this type of thing sooner rather than later, water will wick under the gelcoat and it will start flaking off in bigger pieces so less work if caught early.

If the layup is actually breached with a crack that is visible or lets water through, that's a different story and would need to lay some cloth on there for strength.  
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5 months 1 week ago #33915 by Ranga
Just a note, I do this for a living.
You cannot crack the gelcoat without damaging the sub-straight (Nomex Honeycomb). The reason it is not leaking is because the inner Kevlar layer has not been breached, however I guarantee the whole area will be soft and have no structure and the Nomex will be full of water.
Yes if the area in question was structural  damage, caused by use on the water, I would definitely repair with external reinforcing. This damage however looks like impact and not structural.
Just fixing the gelcoat will never work as you have failed to secure the sub-straight it will just crack again because it is still soft underneath. The gelcoat is not coming off by magic, it has been hit hard, this gelcoat cannot bend much it is high quality and baked in an oven and does not like to bend at all. Hence the gelcoat on the Club construction Epic skis is different (more flexible) because the ski has more flex than the honeycomb sandwich constructions.

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5 months 1 week ago #33923 by fitz
Thank you very much for the great advice.  Will try the syringe method.

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5 months 4 days ago - 5 months 4 days ago #33966 by Fath2o
As Ranga , an expert surfski repairman, has illustrated there is more than one way to accomplish this structural repair. But as he posted the cosmetic repair can be a bit more complicated. As he posted  "To get a 100% finish is a harder job, requires a bit more skill as the colour is not white," The final finish is definitely the most delicate and difficult step to accomplish a perfect repair job. White spray paint is easy , but, does not match the original finish and no where near as durable as gel coat. Just a matter of what you are comfortable with. (and how much you are willing to spend $$$).
The method I previously described will probably add more weight to your ski than Ranga's method too!

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