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​DIY Boat Repair - 5 Common Problems & Solutions



You have a boat to repair. But you’re not sure that you’re ready to shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars to an expert before you know if you can handle the repairs yourself. That’s why we’ve put together a list of five common DIY boat repair solutions that could allow you to keep your boat functioning at its best.

Problem #1: A Hazy Gel Coat

Solution: A cloudy or hazy gel coat is perfectly normal—and often a simple sign of age. The simple question is: how do you restore your faded gel coat to a like-new finish?

The best way to restore it may be renting a power buffer. You should also make sure to use the right kind of product to address your issue. For example, Fiberglass Rubbing Compound can restore the quality of your fiberglass without damaging the gel coat.

Problem #2: Dry Rot

Solution: Dry rot can be a vexing problem since it’s so difficult to get into the actual fibers of the wood for the repairs you need. That’s why we recommend a liquid epoxy solution like our Git Rot Kit. Git Rot will work through the fibers of the wood through capillary action and do much of the work for you. Make sure to read the instructions thoroughly before applying and to only mix the solution together when you’re ready to apply. There’s only a half hour “pot life” once the solution is properly mixed.

Problem #3: Emergency Leaks or Dings

Solution: When you have an emergency leak that needs addressing right away, that means you need a unique product. The product should be resistant to teak oils, gasoline, and diesel fuel. You should be able to use it below the water line. And once it cures, it should still create a waterproof seal that will keep your boat running smoothly. We recommend keeping a Life-Calk Sealant Tube handy for just such an emergency. This product bonds to fiberglass, wood, metal, glass—and even itself.

Problem #4: A Ding in the Gel Coat

Solution: The key here is knowing the steps. Sand down the gouges and clear them of debris, clean the area with acetone, tape off the relevant area and create a gel paste. Using a proper scraper, level off the application of the gel paste. Some repair experts recommend using a Poly Vinyl Alcohol spray to get the gel coat to harden. Let that happen after 24 hours, remove the tape, wipe it off with water to remove the PVA, and use a power sander to smooth the entire area.

Problem #5: General Hull Dings

Solution: We can’t tell you what to do in every DIY boat repair situation, but we can point you in the right direction. Use our Fix Repair Putty to address a wide variety of boat repair needs. Once it cures, it can be drilled, sanded, and even painted. This can give you the high-quality hull you need to fully enjoy your boating experience.

Stock Up On Boat Care Products

Want more boat repair assistance for DIY boat repair? We’ve got the sealants, cleaners, and maintenance products you need.

Life Industries Corporation
4060 Bridge View Drive
N. Charleston, SC 29405
United States of America

toll free: (800) 382-9706
local: (843) 566-1225
fax: (843) 566-1275


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