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Old 02-18-2017, 10:34 AM   #1
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Chip in front of trailer

We discovered a small chip (1/8") in the front of our Escape 21, likely caused by a rock. Is it a simple fix that we can fix by ourselves? What would you suggest we use to fix it? Do we need to fix it soon?
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Old 02-18-2017, 10:37 AM   #2
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We discovered a small chip (1/8") in the front of our Escape 21, likely caused by a rock. Is it a simple fix that we can fix by ourselves? What would you suggest we use to fix it?
I would use some white epoxy on it. It won't match perfectly but in a chip that small it should be close enough.

White epoxy
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Old 02-18-2017, 10:51 AM   #3
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Another option is to pick up a gelcoat repair kit. Pretty easy to match colour, especially when near white. Maybe Escape could let you know what the colour is, as it is not pure white. I know there was a small bubble in the gelcoat of my 19, and it opened to be a superficial but unsightly wee hole, and Reace sent me some gelcoat for an easy repair.
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Old 02-18-2017, 10:56 AM   #4
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Another white 2 part epoxy

I've used Marine-Tex on my legacy Casita for filling rivet holes as well as sailboats. It is not a perfect color match, but pretty inconspicuous. West Marine is a retail store /internet chain that would have this and other gel coat repair products, some you can mix colorants with for a good match. Buy some JB weld and Marine-Tex and see what color matches best. Either, with good preparation, will bond well.
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Old 02-18-2017, 10:57 AM   #5
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Another option is to pick up a gelcoat repair kit. Pretty easy to match colour, especially when near white. Maybe Escape could let you know what the colour is, as it is not pure white. I know there was a small bubble in the gelcoat of my 19, and it opened to be a superficial but unsightly wee hole, and Reace sent me some gelcoat for an easy repair.
Something like this, Jim? Gel Coat Repair I think they are epoxy with colors included.
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Old 02-18-2017, 12:55 PM   #6
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Don't use epoxy on polyester unless you are doing a structural repair.

You can do an invisible repair if you get a small amount of color matched gelcoat.

Clean area. Use a small dap of gelcoat. Tape a clear piece of thin plastic over the repair and move your finger upwards to move air up and out. In the old days this was called cellofinishing.

Use the right amount and you will end up with a repair that is shiny, flush and virtually invisible.

Use too much and the repair will be proud of the surrounding surface. It can be wet sanded and buffed. It will then be invisible.

I've done a few of these repairs. After taking my f.g. boat through 450 locks in Europe I had a few chips to deal with.

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Old 02-18-2017, 01:31 PM   #7
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Both of my other Escapes developed some spider cracks due to hitting a bird or one of those large Canadian grasshoppers, Reace looked at the damage and said not to worry, so I didn't.
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:15 AM   #8
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Yes even a hard headed Canadian grasshopper could damage a gel coat at 94 miles an hour. Which is where Jim has his cruise set when he's not in a hurry. Hemi means halfway to the sound barrier right Jim?
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:06 PM   #9
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Not that Ron's sage advice needs any help, but I just watched this https://youtu.be/3XCQ9ne7KXc and it demonstrates what he explained nicely. FWIW
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:14 PM   #10
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Reace looked at the damage and said not to worry, so I didn't.
That was probably because he knew you'd sell it and move on before they became a problem.

Crazing, given moisture and especially freeze-thaw cycles will cause small pieces of gelcoat to come loose and fall out. It's just a matter of time.

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Old 02-19-2017, 01:22 PM   #11
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demonstrates what he explained nicely. FWIW
Well, not exactly. Key words are small dab. Just enough to fill the void and no more. Using masking tape as he did guarantees that the repair will be proud of the surrounding surface and require sanding. And the amount of gelcoat that he plastered on

I don't know how many gelcoat chips I've filled over the years, maybe not hundreds but many, many dozen. If I'd have slathered it on as he did I'd still be sanding

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Old 02-19-2017, 01:44 PM   #12
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Yes even a hard headed Canadian grasshopper could damage a gel coat at 94 miles an hour. Which is where Jim has his cruise set when he's not in a hurry. Hemi means halfway to the sound barrier right Jim?
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Well if they can not see me then they can not ticket me? You do not want to know what my plans are for the upcoming rally in May, but they are speedy.
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:10 PM   #13
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Well if they can not see me then they can not ticket me? You do not want to know what my plans are for the upcoming rally in May, but they are speedy.
When I'm making tracks I average about 400 miles a day. I call them Junior Jim Days.

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Old 02-19-2017, 04:22 PM   #14
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For the bigger jobs...
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Old 02-19-2017, 05:14 PM   #15
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Looks like Myron is ready to open an Escape fiberglass repair facility!
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Old 02-19-2017, 05:54 PM   #16
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Looks like Myron is ready to open an Escape fiberglass repair facility!
His Al-Can Highway Recovery Kit..........
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:57 PM   #17
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Well, not exactly. Key words are small dab. Just enough to fill the void and no more. Using masking tape as he did guarantees that the repair will be proud of the surrounding surface and require sanding. And the amount of gelcoat that he plastered on

I don't know how many gelcoat chips I've filled over the years, maybe not hundreds but many, many dozen. If I'd have slathered it on as he did I'd still be sanding

Ron
Maybe he's planning on using a grinder ?
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Old 02-20-2017, 03:28 PM   #18
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Seriously now, with some spots you just got to grind it out.
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File Type: jpg FibrglRepair1.jpg (65.0 KB, 17 views)
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Old 02-20-2017, 04:27 PM   #19
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Joking aside, just to be clear, it's possible to repair individual chips so that no grinding or wet sanding is required. Takes a lot of practice but it's possible. In most cases only very minor wet sanding is required.

For the damage repair show, yes, grinding is required in some areas. Although I wouldn't grind the crazed areas. I'd just V them out and fill. Helps keep the original contour.

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Old 02-20-2017, 05:23 PM   #20
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I've repaired a number of gel coat oops (boat owner) and find using wax paper to cover the repair while it cures works well. Clean the area to be repaired with acetone, apply the gel coat, and place the wax paper over the repair smoothing it out. Using painters tape to hold the wax paper, I let it fully cure before removing.
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