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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Refinishing Bottom of Fiberglass Runabout

    I'm repairing a 40+ year old fiberglass runabout and the bottom has a few repairs from who knows when as well as a multitude of very fine cracks in the gel coat. The cracks are so fine that you can't feel them but they are visible since they're darker that the white hull. The boat was painted blue over a grey primer and I've sanded it all off. I have to do additional fiberglass repairs and refinish the hull. What are my options? Should I do the repairs in poly and gel coat the entire bottom or repair with epoxy and paint with 2-part polyurethane? And what can be done with the fine gel coat cracks? Please don't tell me to vee them out; I'll go crazy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    To help maintain your sanity you can cover the hairline cracks with 2 or 3 coats of high build primer, (Epifanes Epoxy Primer or Sikkens HI Wave Mid Coat} then sand and paint with Epifanes Polyurethane. This will work well as long as the boat is not in the water for more than a couple of weeks at a time. You can extend this by applying a couple of extra coats of paint below the waterline.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Noah, I want to leave the boat in the water for the season. What else can I use below the water that won't peel, blister or crack?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    I am not sure if you want to consider this possibility but there are some epoxy coatings out there similar to the garage floor paint that are rated for immersion use. Try a google for "Top Secret Coatings" - I think that was the one I found.

    Also, Coronado paints makes a 2-part epoxy paint (101 series I think) for fiberglass rated for immersion use in fresh or salt water.

    Although pricey, these paints are SUPPOSED to have enough solids to fill in minor defects - you are supposed to just have to sand things with 80 grit or so sandpaper and put it on. I can't vouch for the finish yet as I have not yet painted my boat (also a fiberglass runabout) but I'll let you know in a month or so if it turns out! I don't know if Noah's can get such a coating (I think they can get some stuff called Titanium finish which is only in white), but they should if it works.

    The ones I mentioned first are available in almost any colour you can imagine.


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