Category Archives: Boat Repair

The repairs are transparent and difficult to detect.

Repairing Dented Varnish with G/5

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Photo above: Dented varnish repaired with G/5 Five minute adhesive. The repair area is quite difficult to detect.

A few years ago a customer approached me at one of the trade shows to say he loves our G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive for filling dents in wood trim prior to reapplying varnish. I thought what a great idea. It cures clear, can be wet sanded in an hour (longer if you are dry sanding), and can be varnished over without a problem. It looks much better than filling with wood putty because it is clear. It can be difficult to match the surrounding wood color when filling with wood putty.

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Fast Blister Repair with Six10

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

This fast blister repair method is tailored to fixing individual gel coat blisters prior to bottom painting. The advantage of this method is it can repair blisters on hulls recently pulled from the water or hulls that have been out for some time.

Fast Blister Repair Method

  1. Open the Blisters

    Open blisters with a small abrasive tool like 3M’s Rolock™.  2″ diameter sanding disk with 60-grit sandpaper. Make sure you have removed the entire blister, including the edges of the blister dome.open the blisters

  2. Clean the Cavity

    Wipe the cavity clean with an alcohol prep pad or paper towels that have been soaked in isopropyl alcohol. Be generous with the alcohol and change towels frequently so the contaminants are removed rather than spread. Repeat the alcohol wipe process and allow the laminate to dry to the touch. It is particularly important to repeat the alcohol wipe on blisters that were fluid-filled at the time they were ground away.Wipe the blister cavity clean with an alcohol prep pad.

  3. Fill with Six10

    Fill the cavities with Six10 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive dispensed through the static mixing wand.Fill the cavity with Six10

  4. Spread the Six10

    Spread the Six10 Adhesive flush with the surrounding hull with a wide putty knife or plastic spreader. Avoid overfilling the cavities because Six10 is difficult to sand.Spread the Six10 Adhesive flush with the surrounding hull with a wide putty knife or plastic spreader. 

  5. Wet Sand

    Wet sand with 80–120-grit wet/dry sandpaper or wash with water (no soap, no ammonia) and sand dull with 100-grit sandpaper. If you are using Six10 in warm conditions, you should be able to wet sand and bottom paint later the same day. If working in cooler temperatures, allow the epoxy to cure overnight before sanding. wet sand the blister repair area

  6. Paint

    The final step is applying your choice of bottom paint to complete this fast blister repair job.Alkyd finish topcoat

Why this Fast Blister Repair Method Works

Six10 Adhesive is epoxy thickened with fumed silica, which allows the epoxy to remain an excellent moisture barrier. When the static mixer is used to dispense it the blister cavity&nbspis filled with air-free epoxy. This is important because small bubbles in coatings and putties degrade moisture barrier potential by creating shortcuts for moisture to permeate the hull. In the end, Six10 produces a moisture barrier that is better than the original gelcoat.

In our Gelcoat Blister manual, we recommend filling and fairing extensively blistered hulls with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy thickened with one of our low-density fillers (407 Low Density or 410 Microlight®). The hollow microscopic spheres used to make low-density fillers easy to sand, make them poor moisture barriers. So, the blister manual requires that an effective epoxy barrier coat be applied over the filled and faired surface.

Six10 Adhesive is an excellent option for filling ground-out blister cavities—especially if you don’t plan to barrier coat your hull.

More Good Reasons for Using Six10

Six10 is simple to use. No stirring is required when the epoxy is dispensed through the static mixer. The Six10 cartridge fits any standard caulking gun and always dispenses epoxy at the perfect mix ratio. Six10 makes filling blisters easy and efficient. This is comforting to know whether you’re doing the job yourself or paying someone else to do it.

A Quick Fix to a Broken Spinnaker Pole

By Meade Gougeon — GBI Founder

Above: Meade fixes his broken spinnaker pole with a blend of WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy and fast curing G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive.

Adagio, our 35′ trimaran, was already off to a bad start in the 100th anniversary of the first running of the Chicago to Mackinaw race with an over-early call by the race committee. Everything went downhill from there when we had to deal with a broken spinnaker pole. Continue reading

large wooden vessel repair

Thunderbird

A legendary commuter yacht

by Mike Barker

Above: The legendary commuter yacht THUNDERBIRD, underway on Lake Tahoe. She was built at Huskins Boat Works in Bay City, Michigan, which later became the manufacturing site of WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy.

A little history lesson. Last year a cousin of the Gougeon Brothers, David Huskins and his family, visited the Thunderbird Lodge on Lake Tahoe. He sent us a couple of photos of Thunderbird, the legendary commuter yacht designed by John L. Hacker in 1939. It was commissioned by George Whittell and built by Huskins Boat Works in Bay City, Michigan. Continue reading

Emergency rudder repair with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy and fiberglass cloth.

G/flex Saves the Race

by Grace Ombry

Above: Robert Patenaude performs emergency rudder repairs with G/flex so he can get back into the regatta and take first place.

Robert Patenaude had ten miles left to reach the finish line in the Bermuda One-Two offshore race when a 30-ton whale hit Perseverance, his C&C 41, seriously damaging the rudder. Not content to drop out of the competition, he called on his racer friends to help him remove the 160 lb, 9′-long rudder from the boat while it was still in the water. He reasoned that if the contenders in the Puma or Vendee Globe races could make major repairs without dropping out of a race, he could too. Continue reading

Royalex Canoe Repair with G/flex Epoxy

By Bruce Newell and Stan Bradshaw

Above: Stan and Glenda Bradshaw in the Mad River Freedom 16′ Royalex canoe repaired with G/flex Epoxy in August 2007 on the Blackfoot River near Ovando, Montana a couple of miles downstream of the Roundup Bar.

The wooden gunwales of Royalex canoes can rip a hull apart if left out in bitter cold temperatures. Somewhere south of freezing, the plastic body of the canoe shrinks while the dampish wooden gunwales expand. Unless the screws affixing the inwale and outwale are backed out, they pin a shrinking hull to an expanding gunwale, and something will give. That something is always the hull. Continue reading

D-Ring Pads and G/flex Epoxy

by Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

New Possibilities for HDPE Boats

D-ring pads are often attached to flexible surfaces with urethane adhesives to gain load-carrying capacity where there otherwise wouldn’t be any. They are used on waterproof fabric cargo bags, heavy tarpaulins, and inflatable boats. They are also sometimes used on the decks of canoes and kayaks to hold cargo in place on long trips. D-rings are not typically used on polyethylene canoes and kayaks because the urethane glues are not recommended for use on HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic. We experimented with gluing D-ring pads with G/flex 655 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive to HDPE plastic with that end-use in mind. Continue reading

12oz fiberglass patches for both the inside and outside were wet out with G/Flex 650.

Patch Holes in Aluminum Boats with G/flex Epoxy

by Rob Monroe

Above: 12oz fiberglass is used to patch holes in an aluminum boat. Fiberglass patches for both the inside and outside of the hull were wet out with G/Flex 650.

When we started testing G/flex Epoxy as a solution to leaky seams and rivets in aluminum boats, we put out a company-wide call for test boats. John Kennedy offered his old 15′ Michi-Craft canoe, saying he would bring it down from his cabin at the end of hunting season. Not smiling, he asked a few weeks later “just how big a repair we could handle.” It turned out John jack-knifed his utility trailer on an icy road, punching a fist-sized hole in the stern quarter of the canoe. Ouch. Continue reading

Fix Leaking Rivets in Aluminum Boats with G/flex 650

We have a video demonstrating aluminum boat repair: Fixing Leaking Rivets in an Aluminum Boat.

We wanted to experiment with using G/flex to fix leaking aluminum boats. I was quite surprised to find that every aluminum boat owner I talked to said they had some sort of leak. Within three hours, I had several co-workers volunteer their aluminum boats for the experimental fix using G/flex. Continue reading

transom saving tip

Transom Saving Tip

by Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Above: Tom’s transom saving tip is to epoxy conveyor belt material into place, protecting the transom wood from getting crushed by the motor mount screws.  

Ten years ago, I replaced the plywood transom in my 16′ aluminum fishing boat. It had gone bad due to the motor mount screw pads crushing the wood from over-tightening, and from shock loads involved in hanging a motor off the back of a boat and traveling down the road at 70 mph. Continue reading