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Old 03-02-2020, 06:18 PM   #1
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Repairing scrapes

Any advice on repairing these types of scrapes. Yes, she’s dirty, just home from my 3600 mile journey. The duct tape is hiding the broken light over sewer outlet. Won’t disclose how it happened but it could have been worse!
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Old 03-02-2020, 06:23 PM   #2
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Start by washing it. The go the auto parts store and get some mild rubbing compound. Use that by hand to rub the scratches. You may be surprised that you can get some pretty deep scratches looking acceptable, just by using compound on them. Finish by putting a good coat of wax on it. if the compound doesn't fix it, you may need to visit a boat repair shop or possibly an auto body shop.
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Old 03-02-2020, 06:26 PM   #3
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I'd start with 3M marine products. There are several products, some more aggressive than the others.
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Old 03-02-2020, 06:54 PM   #4
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Start by washing it. The go the auto parts store and get some mild rubbing compound. Use that by hand to rub the scratches. You may be surprised that you can get some pretty deep scratches looking acceptable, just by using compound on them. Finish by putting a good coat of wax on it. if the compound doesn't fix it, you may need to visit a boat repair shop or possibly an auto body shop.
This is good advice. All of the scratches look to be cosmetic. And all look to be near the bottom of the trailer where scratches don't count. After using compound let it be for a year and see if it bothers you.
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:21 PM   #5
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I knew you would come thru! Thanks for the advice. She will look better once the red is washed off.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:53 PM   #6
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I knew you would come thru! Thanks for the advice. She will look better once the red is washed off.
When our trailer was new at the bottom rear was a messed up section . I could never get rid of it , cleaning ,waxing etc. It looked like someone when they did the underneath foam wiped a oops on the gel gloss . Then for just waxing bought. Shurhold Dual action polisher with their polish and on a fluke tried it and it removed the mess and put the shine back to the gel gloss .what a surprise . Just a thought ! Pat
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Old 03-02-2020, 10:11 PM   #7
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It depends.

It depends on two primary factors; the depth of the scuffs and the thickness of the gel coat.

If the scuffs are just that and not actually scratches with some depth to them then polishing compounds are an option.

If you're dealing with scratches all polishing compounds will do is leave a shiny, slightly improved but flawed surface. The way to make scratches disappear is to use wet and dry sandpaper with a backing block. 400 is a good starting point working up to 1000 and then polishing and buffing. It's important to use a backing block because only finger pressure will not work as well.

I agree that it depends on the area under consideration. Some more out of sight don't require as much an effort to make them factory smooth and shiny.

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Old 03-03-2020, 01:37 AM   #8
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It depends.

It depends on two primary factors; the depth of the scuffs and the thickness of the gel coat.

If the scuffs are just that and not actually scratches with some depth to them then polishing compounds are an option.

If you're dealing with scratches all polishing compounds will do is leave a shiny, slightly improved but flawed surface. The way to make scratches disappear is to use wet and dry sandpaper with a backing block. 400 is a good starting point working up to 1000 and then polishing and buffing. It's important to use a backing block because only finger pressure will not work as well.

I agree that it depends on the area under consideration. Some more out of sight don't require as much an effort to make them factory smooth and shiny.

Ron
Ron I tried the wet , dry sandpaper with a block for our situation just didn’t work . The polisher had different speeds and different polish , buffering compounds . It took awhile but finally got it off , that was 6 1/2 years ago and haven’t needed to do anything since except normal wax . I am pretty sure it was the foam wiped on gel gloss , it kind of felt a little rough and the gel gloss was flat . A section about foot by foot . Pat
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Old 03-03-2020, 09:10 AM   #9
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Surface of trailer is the smooth coloured gelcoat shell which covers the reinforced fibreglass resin and cloth. It has a thickness that can be worked with but eventually cured resin color can start breaking through. Reducing the thickness of gelcoat through continual buffing or sanding repair you run the danger of producing discolouration and exposing a porous layer in fibreglass build up and delimitation can occur.

My recommendation is cut polish to remove surface marks and clean those deeper scratch crevices. Polish will fill crevice but can discolour and need to be cleaned out again. If you want a smooth surface sanding must be done with care since you are reducing gelcoat layer and trying to polish like glass.

Other option is finding a gelcoat color specialist to blend and fill. This is extremely difficult since original color is not what the trailer is today given UV exposure.

Unfortunately it's only new once.
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Old 03-03-2020, 10:07 AM   #10
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It has a thickness that can be worked with but eventually cured resin color can start breaking through. Reducing the thickness of gelcoat through continual buffing or sanding repair you run the danger of producing discolouration and exposing a porous layer in fibreglass build up and delimitation can occur.
That was one part of the "it depends".

I've measured random samples of ETI gelcoat and while I have seen some thin samples most seem to be in the 20 mil plus range which would allow for light wet sanding without danger of exposing the underlying laminate.

In general there are 3 levels of gelcoat repair:

1. Surface scuffing; cut polish etc. can deal with that.

2. Surface scratches: enough to catch the finger nail but not deep enough to warrant filling. It's a judgement call. I use wet sanding first in this case.

3. Deep scratches; require filling. If cello finished is done by an experienced person then not much is required to blend it in. If the repair is still noticeable then wet sanding may be required. Then buffing to blend in. Old gelcoat may appear darker because, basically, it's dirty. Feathering out the buffing will blend it in.

Ron
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