How to Fix a Hole in a Fiberglass Boat

If you ask any boat owner what their all-time worst fear is for their boat, you’ll probably get an answer that’s some version of a hole or a leak. After all, a hole in the boat can not only lead to water damage—which in turn leads to problems like mold or mildew—but it can be a genuine danger to you and your passengers. We don’t want that to be the case. Learn how to fix a hole in a fiberglass boat to ensure the safety of your vessel and those who enjoy it.

How to Patch a Fiberglass Hole

Let’s be clear—if there’s a hole in your fiberglass and a hole that goes deeper into the structure of your boat, you may need repairs that go beyond the scope of this article. That’s when it’s time to consult a professional who can give you an estimate on what it will take to restore your craft.

But let’s say that the hole is affecting your fiberglass alone. What do you do?

The Tools

The first step is to acquire a fiberglass repair kit. It should include the materials you need to patch the hole, but you must also have the following tools to apply it to your boat:

  • Disc sander or electric drill with a sanding attachment
  • Buffer attachment for the sander/drill
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sanding block
  • Stir stick
  • Mixing can

Applying the Kit

With a kit in hand and the proper tools at your disposal, you’re ready to tackle the following steps:

  • Sand down the hole. Begin by enlarging the hole that’s already in your fiberglass, and sand it down so that the resin will be easy to apply. Tape off the areas you want to remain unaffected.
  • Mix & wait. Following the instructions of the resin, make sure to mix properly and wait the proper amount of time as directed.
  • Apply the patching kit as directed. This may require working in several layers. Don’t worry, this is normal and relatively simple, even though it may make the process seem more complicated than it really is.
  • Dry overnight. When you’ve applied all of the proper layers, allow everything to dry overnight. Make sure that your boat is in a well-ventilated, protected area.
  • Sand again. Once dry, you can then work with the sander to ensure that you have a smooth patch. The goal here is to make it look consistent with the rest of the hull.
  • Finish with a gel coat. Keep in mind that you may have to contact your boat’s manufacturer to get a gel coat that matches the rest of your boat.

Maintain Your Boat with BoatLIFE Products

Knowing how to fix a hole in your fiberglass boat is important, but what’s even more imperative is the maintenance of your boat. If you take care of your vessel each and every day, the chances of getting a hole in your boat will surely decrease. Stock up on our boat cleaning and repair products to better prevent this problem from occurring!

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