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Old 04-23-2017, 07:51 PM   #1
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Gel coat damage.

After returning from a trip south this winter, we noticed some damage to the gel coat beneath our 17a, behind the wheels. There were patches where the smooth surface had worn off, leaving a rough pitted surface. This occurred on both the drivers side and the passenger side. We didn't do any off-road driving, but we did go through several nasty storms, wherevroadwashbcouldvhavevcausedvthevdamage.

The damage is in an area that is not visible, so cosmetically it isn't a concern. But we're looking for ideas on how to deal with this. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
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Old 04-23-2017, 08:00 PM   #2
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Living in BC I'd think a visit the ETI might give you the best answer. For the rest of us a boat shop would be worth trying.

I tried gelcoat repair once on a canoe, the repair was worse then the original issue.
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:37 PM   #3
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To say I've seen a bit of gelcoat damage of several types would be an understatement. But I've only once ever seen gelcoat that looked remotely like that. That damage was caused by the accidental application of oven cleaner to the gelcoat. The effect was very close to looking like your situation.

I doubt it's caused by sand or rocks being thrown up. The patterns wrong and after the Alaska Hwy. and Mexican roads with lot's of gravel etc. I only have a few very minor chips. The rest of the wheel well is smooth as glass.

It's a real puzzle to me.

Ron
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:49 PM   #4
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I can't quite picture where the damage is or the exact size of the damage. But, my first question is: are you sure the damage wasn't there before your last trip, is it original condition? It looks like bad gel coat, not good gel coat that has been damaged. Notify ETI.

Since it is not easily visible you might consider rough sanding, coat with thickened epoxy, sand smooth and paint.

For technical advice call WestSystems and email them the pics. The staff is helpful.
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Old 04-23-2017, 10:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viajante View Post
But, my first question is: are you sure the damage wasn't there before your last trip, is it original condition? It looks like bad gel coat, not good gel coat that has been damaged.
Good point about confirming if they're absolutely sure this condition wasn't pre-existing.

I have seen "bad gelcoat" in new layup caused by poorly catalyzed and incompletely cured gelcoat that then had the f.g. laminate applied. Areas can pucker up and look horrible. I don't think this is an example but I don't think that it's road damage either. Unless it's from a chemical spill but that seems like a longshot.

If ETI doesn't pan out, since we must live fairly close to each other, I'd be happy to look at it and perhaps be able to offer a little more assistance.

You can PM me if you like.

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Old 04-24-2017, 06:41 AM   #6
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On my 3 Escapes there have been small areas like that, as if the gelcoat did not adhere, all in inconspicuous places so it never bothered me nor did it ever get worse for wear.
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:03 AM   #7
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Hi: lyndamac... Send Reace those pictures by email and ask his opinion. Alf
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Old 04-29-2017, 04:10 PM   #8
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Thanks to all who replied to our post. I contacted ETI, and Reace responded within one day. He said the condition was purely cosmetic, the result of blemishes in the mold and would have been there from the beginning. Given that they are in an area that requires laying down and sliding under the trailer to be seen, we're satisfied.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-29-2017, 04:24 PM   #9
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And now you have photographs of the fingerprint for ID should the trailer be stolen.
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