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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Toolbox - Repairing a Chine on a Drift Boat

I was cleaning up my Hyde drift boat after fishing the other day and noticed a bad ding on one of the chines. I had purchased the boat used from a private party and it had a couple of areas where the gel coat had been popped off along the chines. The biggest one was about a inch long. What I found was that I had an area that has grown to about 3 inches long with the fiberglass core exposed. I decided that I'd better get it fixed or fix it myself.

I started by doing an Internet search and low and behold I found a You Tube video put out by TAP plastics that showed how to go about repairing a damaged gel coat. This gives you a good insight to the process. This video shows a repair using "Gel Coat" material for repairs which is for primarily cosmetic repairs where the fiberglass is not exposed.

Gel Coat Repairs

Structural Repairs using "Goop-Supermend"

I also sent an email to Hyde Driftboats in Idaho Falls, Idaho and described my problem. They responded by saying that they recommended using a two part epoxy that is made by TAP Plastics called "Goop- Supermend", which is a putty-like epoxy for doing a chine repair. This product and application is slightly different than the process shown on the videos above.

One thing to point out is that the "Goop-Supermend" is a two part epoxy product and is not compatible with a "gel coat finish" You tint the "Goop-Supermend" to the color of the gel coat. You sand it to blend it in and you are done.

There are two TAP Plastics stores in Sacramento and I stopped by to pick up the necessary materials for the repair. A customer service person helped me figure out what I needed and how to go about the repair. This is the list of materials that I purchased for about $40;
  • Goop-Supermend Epoxy 16 ounces - $24.00
  • Mylar film - $5.60
  • Tap Plastics - Super Pigment white color $6.40
  • 1- 16 once plastic cup with ounce measurements - free
  • 2- 100 ml plastic cups with ml measurements - free
  • 4 - wooden sticks (large popsicle sticks 1/2" x 5" long) - free
In addition I'll need to pick up the following items;
  • Blue masking tape
  • Acetone
  • Wet/Dry sandpaper from 150 to 600 in graduations
  • Sanding block
  • Plastic Putty knife
  • Vapor rated dust mask
  • Disposable rubber gloves
  • Beg, borrow or steal a Dremmel tool.
I'll outline the basic steps as told to me by Tap Plastics. Once again, this is not a gel coat system it is a two-part epoxy repair material.
(1) Prepare the damaged area by grinding off all loose areas and sharp edges of the repair with a Dremmel tool or rough sandpaper or both. You want to remove any lose material to enable a solid bond with the Goop=Supermend epoxy.
(2) Clean the prepared area with acetone rubbing in one direction. Do not use a circular motion.
(3) Take the two 100ml plastic cups and pour one part of the epoxy into one cup and the equal amounts of the second part into the other in equal amounts. The epoxy has a thickness to it so use the wooden sticks to get it to level in the cups and make sure that you have equal amounts.
(4) Slowly add the white Super Pigment into each cup in equal amounts until you have the desired color to match your gel coat.
(5) Mix the two epoxy parts into the larger 16 ounce plastic cup. You now have 15 minutes to make your repair.
(6) Use a plastic putty knife to place the epoxy. Attempt to smooth out the epoxy slighly higher than the desired shape of the repair.
(7) Cut a piece of the mylar film and place it over the repair. Use one of the plastic sticks to do the final smoothing of the repair (Refer to video). You will be running the wooden stick over the mylar not the epoxy. Note: To use the mylar you will have to target smaller areas at a time to have enough working time.
(8) Remove the mylar once the epoxy cures.
(9) Let the epoxy cure for 5 hours and the use a sanding block and sand the repair with successive grits of sandpaper. Remember to use your mask.
(10) Add more "Goop-Supermend" if required and repeat the process.
Let your repair cure for 24 hours before abusing it again.
Hope this was helpful, Clay

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Have any Questions or Comments? Let me know, Clay.