Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Gelcoat Cracks"
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Thread: "Gelcoat Cracks"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Gelcoat Cracks

Bob Cooley

Bud, The previous owner applied an Awlgrip product to the extire deck, cabin top, and cockpit on Journey my W32 Hull # 103. It looked great when I acquired her over three years ago but after over 9,000 miles of sailing I have a bit of cracking showing along the cabin top mostly from the wooden hand rails outboard to the down turn on the cabin trunk. I sanded one test spot down below the Awlgrip layer into the gelcoat and can see clearly that the gelcoat has some cracks. I have read about making repairs to gelcoat cracks and would like to make spot repairs but am worried about what I don't see on the surface. Don't feel any spongyness or soft spots as I move about the topsides. What repair approach would you recommend for me on a very limited boat budget?


Bob Cooley

S/V Journey
W32 # 103


My boat has never had any deck work done and suffers from some fairly sever gelcoat cracking and crazing. I just posed a similar question to the Interlux people. This is their reply: "Sand the gel-coat with 80-grit paper wipe it clean with 202 Solvent. Brush in some Epiglass Epoxy resin on the areas that are crazed and after it cures sand flat. The epoxy in the cracks will stablize the whole area, Scrub the epoxy with soap and water and sand with 160-grit paper. Wipe with 202 and apply two coats of 404/414 Epoxy Primekote and paint with Perfection." Hope some of this is helpful.

Larry Smith

Bob Cooley


Thanks for your very helpful response. Just got back from taking my first step to follow the advice you gave by grinding part of the deck down to the gelcoat. Sometimes a project doesn't seem as intimidating once you get started.


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