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You can resolve the cracking problem with Captain Tolley's 
Creeping Crack Cure.  Defender and West Marine both carry the 
funny named but effective chemical in their catalogs.  I have it on 
good authority that it restores structural integrity and leak 
resistance at the same time.

Your lifted fabric sounds like gelcoat blistering.  You may need to 
remove gelcoat to uncover all of the affected roving, dry it 
thoroughly, and repair as necessary before recovering it with epoxy 
and barrier coat.

Check the star shaped crack and see if it might be a tiny gelcoat 
blister, too.  If it's hollow, grind it out with a Dremel tool and repair 
with fiberglass putty.  My rudder was covered with them, but they 
didn't show up until I got all of the eleven years of grunge off.

Bottom paint will hide a world of repairs.


On 12 Jun 2001, at 14:14, David Schultz wrote:

> Hi,
> Please excuse me if this is a second message.  I sentit out Saturday
> and have not received a copy in our box yet on Tuesday. Eager for your
> input.
> We are undergoing a nasty process of stripping the old, alligatored
> and chipping bottom paint down to the gelcoat.  Chemical stripper,
> vacuum orbital sanding and hand wet sanding. Ugh!
> The upside (and bad news) is that we now have access to seeing
> numerous hairline crazing cracks and a star shaped crack in the gel
> coat.  The keel seems to have a very thin layer of gelcoat which was
> quickly sanded off in spots and especially where it melds to the hull.
>  We plan to paint the whole thing with a coat or two of West Epoxy to
> make a barrier.  It also has numerous tiny chips to repair .
> Our big concern is what to do about the stress(?) cracks which appear
> to be under the bulkheads and around the bunkboard stanchions.  The
> only reason we were able to see these cracks at all was the residual
> blue bottom paint and a strong light made them visible while under the
> boat on a creeper. (We are doing this all in our barn.)  Most are a
> parallel set of up to 12 and up to 12 inches long in 7 spots
> altogether.  Two are a rainbow shape of parallel cracks.  Really fine,
> almost like sanding marks but not, unfortunately.
> Will appreciate any feedback on your experiences. This boat has spent
> most of its life on the trailer and was hauled to Washington state
> from N. Carolina by its first owner. Hoping any damage has reached its
> limits.
> The other worry is that in the bow Dave has spotted an area where the
> fiberglass fabric around the bulkhead is lifted up.  Suspect we will
> have to reinforce this somehow?
> Any tech tips about this topic would be welcome and thanks again, all
> of you, for making this site such a great resource to boaters.
> Thanks.
> Dave and Betsy Schultz
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Jack Chandler
Richland, Washington USA

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