For the few members of this forum who do not know me, my name is Nicholas Smoak. I am the owner of Smoakin Concetps Composites and the creator of the Lil Snoozy
. I designed the laminate schedule (the fiberglass) for the Lil Snoozy
. I am also a recognized authority in the Flexible Membrane Vacuum Infusion technique.
I would like to thank Mike (AMSCRAM) for posting his concerns on this forum giving me the opportunity to impart my knowledge and give advise. As I have assured Mike, this blemish, in no way affects the structural integrity of his camper. This is also not unique to the Lil Snoozys, it is a common issue with any fiberglass construction called “Alligatoring” See this website for an in-depth look (alligatoring | FiberglassBlog.com
Simply put, “alligatoring” is a wrinkle in the gel-coat. We all know gelcoat is simply a colored resin, with no structural importance. It is sprayed on and allowed to dry before any fiberglass is applied. In a vacuum infusion process, this wrinkle can partially fill with resin causing a color difference and an alligator skin like appearance. Notice in the picture, the darker color. This is resin that has penetrated the gel-coat. (we tint our resin with black pigment in order to see it flow during the infusion process) Notice also the absences of any fiberglass or coring. This is because alligatoring does not affect the laminate.
To fix this blemish there are a number of methods. The method I will use is to mix up a putty using tan gelcoat and cavasil
(a fiberglass powder). This produces a substance similar to bondo in consistency but the exact color of the camper. Also using gelcoat as the base will guaranty proper bonding. The repair site will be sanded and wiped with acetone and the putty applied. After it has cured, I will sand and buff the area. The patch will be nearly impossible to see. (If anyone is interested I will explain in more detail and post pictures on how to repair spots like this)
Once again, if anyone has this issue it is NOT a structural issue. Many of you know my reputation with my campers, I stand behind my product. If I had any thought at all that this was a serious problem, I would have been on the road immediately to fix the problem personally. I have, however, been in contact with Mike and made arrangements to travel to his home to fix this blemish over our Christmas holiday.
I hope everyone is having an enjoyably Holiday Season!!