Gel Coat Cracks adjacent to the backstays & other assorted questions

Duane Siegfri

At the transom/hull joint on both sides the gel coat is cracked from top to bottom.  While we're in a boatyard I'm thinking of doing a repair, so I'm soliciting suggestions on the repair method.

I've read here that these cracks happen on most SM's, and looking from inside the lazaret, it appears they are in the gel coat only.  I am a bit concerned that these cracks were not reported on the 2015 pre-purchase Survey in any form, as if they weren't there then.  I think they were there then, but don't know if they have gotten worse.

The fiberglass repairman working on the boat (collision damage) suggested "radical surgery" including grinding off the gel coat over a wide area on both sides of the crack, adding fiberglass and then new gel coat.  His opinion was if he just repaired the gel coat it would only crack again.  Then he pointed out several areas where the gel coat had been "touched up" to hide the crack, only to subsequently crack in the same place.

I can see there is some water intrusion on the stbd side at the crack.  I'm thinking of filling it with Marine-Tex. I don't want to damage the structural laminates below, so any grinding/prep would be limitied to opening the gel coat crack to 1/8" or so.   <<<Any thoughts about that?>>>

I'll take some photos after the sun comes up.  

I'm up early with sore muscles/joints after buffing and polishing the boat the last three days, and I'm only half done!  The red gel coat on the rubrail was terribly oxidized, but I've been able to get it back to "pretty good" with some aggressive rubbing compound and then a polishing compound.  The bootstripe also got the same treatment and looks great now.  I used the polishing compound on the white gelcoat and that seemed to even out the color.  I just started waxing yesterday afternoon.  I've used the Collinite Fleetwax before and it would last a year on a freshwater lake.  I'll see how it goes in saltwater.  <<<Does anyone have a favorite wax that makes removing the diesel soot smudge easier?>>> 

One of the yard workers recommended "Marykate On&Off Hull&Bottom Cleaner" for the scum line.  It says it also removes the diesel soot smudge.  I have had trouble removing that smudge with ANY cleaner.  Last time I worked on that in the water I had to use a rubbing compound by hand.  <<<<Any recommendations on a product?>>>>



Wanderer, SM#477

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