Wildcat F18 – Really wish we hadn’t looked – Part 2

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Finished Gel Coat
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One of the things we found early on of course was the ‘crack’ which turned onto a hole. We decided to hold off on fixing it until we had taken care of the rest of the hulls.

Loads of filler

It is an awkward fix because it is right on the turn of the bow of the boat. The hull laminates and gel coat are of variable thickness. The is hole is also going at an angle to the longitudinal axis as well. So not an easy fix all in all.

First step was to tidy up the hole, and cut until we had solid laminate to work with. It was surprisingly difficult, the number of voids in the laminate was a concern, but we did eventually find a solid base to work from.

Foam in the hole

Once we had solid laminate to bond too, we glued a piece of high density boat building foam into the hole. This we shaped to hull shape and a little bit below the lip of the laminated edge. We glued it in with Methylmethacrylate glue. This is an extra ordinarily strong glue which cures quickly.

Then we ground the gel coat back from the edge to give us a good bonding surface for the bi-axial glass fibre tape we would laminate over the foam.

Peel Ply

We laminated 4 layers of tape of increasing widths and length starting with one the same size as the foam to 1 cm wider than the hole.

After that a layer of Peel ply to absorb any excess resin and then tape over to push down on the laminate.

Tape pressure
Tape pressure

Gel coat

Final piece was the application of the Gel Coat, and then sand to finish. As with the rest of the hull, we used 240, then 400 etc. This proved harder than we planned for, the hull has had many repairs and the gel coat was thinner than planned.

Means we have had to have several goes at gel coating this repair, and have reached the point where it is ok, but its not perfect, but its not worth going all out until we confirm whether boat is genuinely competitive.

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