How To: Fibreglass boat repair: six steps to fixing gelcoat blisters with Six10 epoxy
What do you do when you find blisters in the gelcoat of your boat? Leave them and hope they may disappear? If you do that, you could be creating a bigger fibreglass boat repair job for yourself in the future.
Blisters in your fibreglass boat don’t have to be the end of the world but leaving them to their own devices could cause deterioration.
Blisters can lead to a far more extensive fiberglass boat repair than you might’ve been prepared for.
Blisters can lead to a far more extensive fiberglass boat repair than you might’ve been prepared for, with your hull needing a full gelcoat removal and a whole new barrier coat applied – a great deal of unnecessary and entirely avoidable stress.
The solution is WEST SYSTEM® Six10® Thickened Epoxy Adhesive. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to perform a repair job on gelcoat blisters in no time.
- Open the blisters with a small abrasive tool. Ensure you have removed the entire blister, including the edges of the dome of the blister.
- Use an alcohol prep pad to wipe the cavity completely clean. Change the pad frequently to remove any contaminants. Repeat the wiping process and leave the laminate until it is dry to the touch.
- Use the static mixing wand to dispense the Six10 adhesive into the cleaned-out cavities.
- Spread the Six10 adhesive flush with the surrounding hull using a putty knife or plastic spreader. Be sure to avoid overfilling!
- Wash the area with water or wet sand it with 80 – 120 grit sandpaper. If working in cool temperatures, allow the epoxy to cure overnight before sanding.
- Apply your chosen paint.
How does Six10 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive work?
WEST SYSTEM Six10 adhesive is an epoxy thickened with fumed silica.
When the Six10 adhesive is dispensed into the blister cavity by using the static mixer, the void is filled with air-free epoxy. It’s important that it is air-free because if small bubbles occur in coatings they create shortcuts for the moisture to permeate into the hull structure, which degrades the moisture barrier. Therefore, Six10 results in a moisture barrier that is better than the original gelcoat.
This treatment will maintain your hull in good working order.
This treatment will maintain your hull in good working order – blisters are generally slow to develop so by providing the best protection and with careful monitoring your hull should be in good condition for two to three years.
Keep in mind that if blisters do occur extensively then you may need to go for a complete overhaul of the gelcoat and barrier coating. Please note that this method of repair is only intended for localised blisters or temporary repairs prior to a complete anti-osmosis treatment, as detailed in the Gelcoat Blister Manual.
If you want to see the benefits of using WEST SYSTEM Six10 epoxy for yourself, then find your nearest stockist. Our thanks to Tom Pawlak for his great ideas on blister repairs.
Image credit: mastercraft.com