Minnesota Fiberglass Boat Repair and Restoration Minnetonka MN
Winter is a great time to check the condition of your boats gelcoat. It is the best time to catch small problems before they become major ones. Get up close and personal, and use your eyes to visually go over items that can lead to trouble.
No matter how careful you have been, the gelcoat finish of most boats does get nicks and scratches. With every scrape and scratch on boats comes the likelihood that the watercraft will probably need to be repainted.
Do a thorough examination of the hull, keeping a careful lookout for blisters in the gelcoat. The first sign of blisters is a wake up call, warning you that the hull is not happy.
Regardless of the quality of construction, osmosis blistering and water absorption into the laminate occur in most boats sooner or later. It’s estimated that one in four fiberglass boats will get gelcoat blisters in its lifetime. It’s the nature of the beast!
Blisters indicate the integrity of the gelcoat has been compromised by water intrusion, and if not taken care of promptly, can lead to serious problems later.
There are preventative measures you can take to slow down and delay this occurrence. The first line of defense is your boats gelcoat. Apply a barrier coating to new hulls before commissioning. Other protective measures such as dry storage, frequent spot repair of defects in the gelcoat and additional hull coatings will help slow down and delay the possibility of blisters forming.
Also check for stress cracks which most often occur near the bow. If stress cracks are present, you may want to contact a professional. Finally, pressure wash the hull to remove dirt and debris. If barnacles are present, scrape them off and then sand.
Good boat maintenance is reflected in the appearance of your boat, which is almost totally determined by the condition of the gelcoat. A badly maintained gelcoat can lead to oxidation, a dull, chalk-like finish that diminishes the aesthetics of your boat’s finish. Oxidation also leads to greater damage through water intrusion. In most cases, oxidated gelcoats are easily restored to their formal shine with cleaning, oxidation removers and waxing. Medium to heavy cases of oxidation require polishing compounds and possibly the handiwork of a professional.
Good fiberglass and gelcoat repair people did not start yesterday. It is an art that requires many years of dedication, time and patience. A Minnesota boat repair and restoration professional can keep your boat looking like new, or restore it to its former glory.
Time on the water is precious. You’ll never get back any of those spring days you lose because your boat isn’t ready to go. Poof! They’re gone. Throw in a cracked engine block or major hull damage from improper storage, and you’ll lose a whole season (and a small fortune to boot).
You spend all winter dreaming about getting your boat back in the water. Some of the things you may take for granted once the season is under way have a way of getting run down during those months of inactivity.
When you and your old friend kick off the next boating season without any maintenance hiccups, you’ll be glad you took the extra time to make sure it is seaworthy.