Boatworks Today: How to Prepare for a Fiberglass Repair Job

Andy Miller is beginning to work on a fiberglass sailboat in need of many different repairs, from filling pinholes to repairing crazing and actual holes in the boat. The most important step is to determine your end finish. Finishing with gelcoat will have a process that is different to that of using paint for your topcoat. Andy’s advice is helpful for understanding how to proceed with complicated repairs without wasting time using the wrong product. To all the customers wondering when to use certain fiberglasses and resins – this video is for you!

With so many options for repairing fiberglass, it gets very complicated, and it’s important to get every step right for ultimate success. Andy demystifies how to determine which resin to use and how to go through the steps ahead to make sure you have prepared yourself for what lies ahead. Older, used boats can be solid and seaworthy, but often problems are hidden below layers of paint and old repairs. Don’t despair, plan ahead, and get the right tools and products ready because mistakes hurt!  Have you had confusion when repairing fiberglass? Share your tips with us in the comments below.  We can all help each other do better boat work. Enjoy!


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6 responses to “Boatworks Today: How to Prepare for a Fiberglass Repair Job

  1. I always enjoy your video’s. Although I have a wood boat, I want to understand the fiberglass methods as one day I’ll have to go to a “plastic” boat! (As wood guys sometimes refer to fiberglass!) Anyhow, keep up the good work.

  2. I appreciate your expertise. I will rethink my plans to re-gel coat my 71 whaler. Structurally very sound…never had bottom paint. College kids repainted white in early 1980s….much spider cracking in paint….any types appreciated…thank you again..Eric

  3. Because this external restoration is largely cosmetic, and you are using chopped strand, are you sanding all the way down to the fiberglass matting?

    I ask because I am in the early stages of restoring a 13′ Whaler, with the same external issues.

    Thanks Andy!

    1. Hi Pat,

      There will be bare patches of glass but for the most part just looking to get the gelcoat sanded down pretty thin. As a cosmetic layer, the CSM will bond perfectly fine overtop the well sanded gelcoat 🙂 I did all the sanding with 24 grit.

      Good luck with your project!

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