Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Non slip repair
Ian,toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
If you are dealing with a small area, it is possible to lift a copy of the deck pattern using a mold which can be used to create a patch of gel coat that can be fitted into the deck. It is fairly tricky work and you often end up with visible blend lines but if you want to keep the original deck this could be something to consider. You will need gel coat that will match the existing deck AFTER it is cured/ ages and this can be one of the difficult steps. If you match the gelcoat at the present time it usually ends up being too dark. Most gelcoats also change colour after they cure so be sure to used cured samples when evaluating the colour. In determining the colour to match, remove the oxidation of the area that you plan to repair and get to the base colour. Your first step after obtaining the gel coat is usually to temporarily repair the damaged area and replicate as best you can the wood grain. You can use something easy to machine like bondo since it is just temporary. It might however be worth first carefully looking over the deck to see if the simulated wood grain pattern repeats in other areas and if so you can lift your mold from an undamaged area without having to recreate the damaged area. I have had the best luck in creating temporary molds for this kind of work using Epoxy rather than polyester since you can eliminate the shrinkage factor of about 3% which helps with matching things up. The lifted mold would be prepared with a release agent such as Mequiars Mold release wax a coating of PVA, or both. The gel coat is applied to the mold, cured and followed with one layer of 3/4 ounce matt to make the gelcoat patch a bit stronger. The area to be repaired on the deck would then need to be milled down so that the repair part is a good fit and bonded in place. The gelcoat joints would need to be set in a matching gelcoat and later trimmed/sanded to make a good blend. Using a bit of a scarf at the ends will make the bond between the new and old gel coat a bit stronger. The repair pc, of course needs to be set at exactly the correct height and position for all of the detail to match up. Regular gelcoat is air inhibited to keep it tacky in a mold to help with the bond of the fibreglass to follow. This is fine if you are applying the gelcoat to the temporary mold but if you apply gelcoat anywhere that the finished surface is exposed, you must seal off the air from the gelcoat to get a hard cure using PVA or adding wax. A really good fibreglass guy should be able to handle this for you if you don’t want to go through the process yourself..there is a definite learning curve! If the area to be repaired is really small, it might be possible to patch with gelcoat in the normal way and to then carve a pattern to match and blend into what is there.
Best of luck,
SV Sueno, Maramu #220