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Discussion Starter #1
After spraying the gelcoat I noticed a bunch of these hair line cracks on all the bulkheads that were replaced and further inspection of this showed me that these cracks are in the wood itself.
So how do I go about getting a nice smooth surface? What fillers to use? And how far down do I need to sand to use fillers, all the way to the wood or can I just rough it up and go from there?
I've read that some use bondo to fill small holes and some use resin? It sure would be alot easier to just lay carpet all over this but thats not at all what I want!
Below is a pic of the these cracks and also included what gelcoat Im working with.
stuff_001.JPG
paint_001.JPG
 

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I'm going to throw out the proverbial "I no expert but..." did you shoot this straight on the wood? I think to get the finish you're looking for you need to fiberglass the wood first to both seal and smooth the surface. Wood being a what it is will swell and shrink with solvents and fluids applied to it. You may now be able to fill the cracks with a filler, but I'd bet you the will crack again when it heats, cools and gets around moisture.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply

It had black flow coat on it before but it looked like crap so I sanded it and shot it. Couldn't see these cracks when I started.

I paid someone alot of money to do this for me the first time and can't believe I have to sand on this for the 2nd time. Oh wells!!

I will sand it all back down and fiberglass and resin over it till I get the surface I want, then rough it up and shoot it again! 3rd times a charm right! lol
 

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On the right track. Any type of fillers or gel coat will only be a temporary fix for a crack. Cracks will return if not properly repaired, prior to gel coating or painting.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update

Thank you for the advise!:))THumbsUp

Alrighty...spent the day sanding the main bulkhead and side gunnels. Geez I should of done this along time ago.
I didn't sand all the way down to the wood (hope thats ok), just roughed it up and took down the high spots. Used one layer of fiberglass mat and 2 coats of resin. It already looks better.
Tomorrow, I'll rough it up one more time and apply 2 more coats of resin, take out the high spots and get it ready for gelcoat. I hope this works...somebody please speak up if I'm doin this wrong.
side_gunnels_8_.JPG
 

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Looking good. Remember that resin by it self is only half the equation, the other being the glass. What I mean is they need to be used together. So you don't want to have to much of a build up of straight resin. Maybe consider a light cloth with the resin top coat. You can then brush or spread on a couple heavy resin coats over the cloth. This build up will help flatten out your work area and then allow you to sand it down with out exposing the glass. Then you'll be ready to apply your flow-coat. Good luck!
 

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Your wood has to be glassed to prevent it from breathing, remember that its a boat and moisture is your enemy, even the lightest weight of cloth or mat will go much further than just a coating! your glass guy should know this and maybe offer him up a little info if he doesnt. Typically when doing a bulkhead of any sort, I like to grab the wood just after final fitting and laminate both sides of the piece, scuff the edges to be tabbed into place then you are good to go. if you have not done this.....you just shot your self in the hoof a third time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the advise guys.
My boat hasn't seen water in 2 years and now I need to start rockin n rollin on this!
TRG - Be alot easier to just carpet everything but I really liked the way that 'Busby's' gullwing 'windwalker' came out, that just looks so freakin sweet!

Now, I have 2 layers of fiberglass mat and 4 coats of resin on both sides. I still have the main bulkhead to do. Then I'll go back and scuff everything up for when its time to spray the gel.
Waiting for some warmer weather to continue.
 

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Resin alone has no strength, or purpose, will only crack. When you set/lay your fiberglass mat/cloth, you should minimize the amount of resin.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update:

Okay, here's what I ended up with. 1 layer of fiberglass with 2 coats of resin on both sides.
I put a very light 3rd coat on the front sides, which will get sanded down and evened out before spraying new gel.
If those cracks show through now after I spray it, Im gonna freakin loose it!!!!!!!
3rd_coat.JPG
 
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