Cosmetic Repairs

This page will outline the multiple types of cosmetic repairs that you can make on your boat.

These are cosmetic repairs, but they can add significant value and enjoyment to your boat.

Spider Cracks

Spider cracks are small, hairlike cracks that appear on the gel-coat of boats. They are also referred to as "crazing". These cracks are generally cosmetic, and indicate flexing of the hull. Sometimes, however, spider cracks offer a path for water to get into contact with the fiberglass structure under the gel-coat. Prolonged contact with water can cause blisters. It is very common for older boats to show signs of spider cracking, as the gel-coat layer was often very thick. The thicker gel-coats can not withstand flexing well.

Blisters

Blisters are caused by water staying in contact with the resin-cloth structure of fiberglass. The water interacts with byproducts of the resin curing process. This interaction forms an acidic substance that decays the fiberglass and gel-coat.

Blisters often appear as small, circular defects in the gel-coat. They may be raised spots where the gel-coat is thin, or they may have opened up a hole to the surface of the gel-coat.

Where you find one blister, you often find MANY.

Scratches

Scratches are the most common form of damage to fiberglass boats. Since fiberglass is a relatively soft material, almost ANYTHING can cause a scratch!

These seldom cause any problems other than the anguish of the boat owner.

If you have a boat, it will eventually get a scratch... ...then another, ...then another, and another!

Oxidation

Oxidation is also a fact of life for boat owners. Luckily, it is a SLOW process caused by exposure to the elements. Oxidation can make boats look dull and chalky. This can be repaired easily and quickly.

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