Fixing Holes in a Fiberglass Boat Floor
A fiberglass boat comes in handy during the summer when you want to go fishing, sailing, or water skiing, but as with all boats, wears and tears can become a hindrance to your plans. If your fiberglass boat has minor holes you do not need to call in the experts to fix it. Fixing holes in a fiberglass boat floor is not a difficult task. With the right tools you will be able to have your boat fixed and ready to sail.
Step 1 – Prepare the Boat
The first thing to do is get the boat cleared out since it is easier to work from the back side of the floor of the boat. Though this may not be possible in some cases, it is the ideal way to start fixing the floor of your fiberglass boat.
Step 2 – Cut & Clean
If the hole that needs to be fixed is jagged, use the jigsaw to cut out the jagged portions. It is better to fix a hole that is free from jagged edges. Clean the surface that needs to be fixed properly. Not all impurities are clearly visible. Epoxy will not stick well if the surface is dirty. Ensure that the surface is completely dry after you have cleaned it. Do not use bleach to clean the surface since bleach and epoxy do not mix well and will not allow your bonding to set properly.
Step 3 – Cut Out a Piece of Fiberglass Sheet
Take a wire bristled brush and rough up the surface that needs to be fixed. Measure the size of the hole and cut out a portion of the fiberglass sheet. For example if the hole is 2 inches wide, you will need to cut a piece of fiberglass sheet that is 3 inches larger on all sides (8/8 inches). It is very important for the piece of fiberglass sheet to overlap the hole properly.
Step 4 – Apply the Adhesive
Apply the adhesive properly to the fiberglass and to the underside of the floor. Ensure there are no air bubbles and wrinkles from the fiberglass sheet. You need to have a clean finish to the new piece of fiberglass you have just fixed to the floor of your boat.
Step 5 – Sanding
Use a 400-grit sandpaper to sand the area where you fixed the fiberglass sheet. Move upward as you go and ensure that you have a clean, smooth surface. If you need to paint the area, you will have to sand the area around the patched hole. Painting will show all inconsistencies, so make sure you sand the area smooth, especially where the new piece of fiberglass is fixed. Work your way well between the grits so that you get a smooth surface.
Once you are done, your boat will be looking as good as new.