spiderweb and hairline cracks (in gel coat only?) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-16-2013, 09:16 PM   #1
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Name: Angela
Trailer: Boler
nova scotia
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spiderweb and hairline cracks (in gel coat only?)

I've finally finished sanding the 7 layers of paint that were covering my 13' Boler. I've uncovered numerous areas, especially around the rivet holes and the belly band on top, where there are lots of small hairline cracks. I think they are only through the gel coat.

Through reading other people's posts on his topic I think I am going to try this http://www.epoxyproducts.com/capt.html for the belly band area. I believe this is only good for horizontal areas, very thin and runny, so I am looking for tips in what to do for the areas around the rivet holes. Have most people just sanded them a bit and then paint over? I've read it's really not worth trying to fix them because if they are stress cracks they will just reappear over time.

The only crack I am really concerned with is the one in the door frame. This one seems to be through more than just the gel coat; not sure if it's all the way through. Should this get sanded into a groove and then repaired with FG mat?

I'm getting so close to painting! The prep is the longest but it will be well worth it when I see it newly painted!!
Attached Thumbnails
cracking around hinge holes.jpg   spider web crack.jpg  

door frame crack.jpg  
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:47 PM   #2
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Not sure where your link is supposed to go, but my computer wouldn't take me there...

You might want to try some of this stuff. I have used it on both fiberglass boats and fiberglass hot tubs with great success. FWIW.

Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:25 PM   #3
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Link should be http://www.epoxyproducts.com/capt.html in the original link it has the http twice.

I read on one of the marine FG product sites that gel coat gets less flexible with age, at a greater rate than FG itself. When the material is old FG flexing more than gel coat can gives spider cracks that are cosmetic rather than structrural.

But if you live someplace with freezing and thawing cycles (like Mich.) if not sealed water getting into the cracks and freezing will make them worse over time.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
Not sure where your link is supposed to go, but my computer wouldn't take me there...

You might want to try some of this stuff. I have used it on both fiberglass boats and fiberglass hot tubs with great success. FWIW.

Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure

Yup, that's the stuff I'm referring to. I am going to order some of that for the horizontal areas, ie the flat ring around the belly band on top. I just don't know what to do, if anything, to repair the cracks around rivet holes etc, where it seems the crack cure will just run down the side of the camper. If it's just cosmetic I may leave it. I have enough work to do
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:18 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=But if you live someplace with freezing and thawing cycles (like Mich.) if not sealed water getting into the cracks and freezing will make them worse over time.[/QUOTE]

I'm in Nova Scotia so we definitely get fluctuating temperatures. I am guessing that it's just something I have to deal with because of it's age and general wear and tear....
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:30 AM   #6
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When I restored my old fiberglass speed boat, I was advised to sand out all the cracks in v-grooves to a point where you could no longer see the crack. Then fill with kitty hair or if the crack was not deep, plain microlite body fill. Deeper areas, or areas with lots of cracks I ground down and sometimes used fiberglass mat and resin. You can see (and read about) the restoration here: Power Cat Boat
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:19 PM   #7
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Here is that link to west systems instructions on FG repairs, also has some images and descriptions to help determine from shape what caused cracking. Chapter 2 seems most applicable.


http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/HowTo-Publications/Fiberglass-Boat-Repair-and-Maintenance.pdf
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:32 AM   #8
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Thanks for the tips, everyone!
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