Category Archives: Fiberglass Boat Repair

Triple Threat, 38 years old and counting

A case study in remediating gelcoat blisters

By Bruce Niederer

My father, rest his soul, and I bought Triple Threat together sometime in the mid-’80s. We raced our ’81 Pearson Flyer hard together for the next 15 or so years, including 12 Port Huron to Mac races. The purchase date is lost to history, but the details surrounding how many times the boat needed a new bottom—meaning a new epoxy barrier coat—are forever etched in my psyche. It’s all the sanding that accompanies repairing gelcoat blisters that has addled my IPA soaked cranium. One just doesn’t forget those seemingly endless hours of self-imposed torture. Continue reading

WaveRunner repair

Fiberglass Repair on a Yamaha WaveRunner

By Jordan Teddleton

I wanted to purchase a personal watercraft so I’d be able to join my friends at the local lake for some fun in the sun this summer. Like most people on a budget, I searched Craigslist for the best deal. I needed something low maintenance, so a WaveRunner™ felt like a good fit. After a week of looking, I found a 2004 Yamaha GP1300r that appeared to be in decent shape; however, a strangely placed sticker on the top port side turned out to be covering a painful past. Continue reading

Hog Tide Deck Repair

By Greg Bull

Last summer Gougeon Brothers, Inc. partnered with Sail Magazine to produce a series of short videos showing how to repair a 1983 J22 sailboat that was brought into the Tech shop. The boat, named Hog Tide, needed the types of repairs we wanted to cover. The videos can be found at both westsystem.com and sailmagazine.com. Continue reading

Cockpit Sole Repair

by Don Gutzmer

As a technical advisor, part of my job is to guide our customers to the correct product selection and discuss proper repair procedures. Sometimes it’s a fun challenge to take on my own projects to stay busy, and it helps me learn what my customers are up against when they do similar projects. This project was repairing the cockpit sole (floor) of a 1994 Four Winns 190 Horizon. The pictures will help tell the story. Continue reading

Sea Ray 400 Seat Repairs

By Sam Magruder

I have a 1996 Sea Ray 400 Express Cruiser that I purchased in April 2014. The vinyl is in excellent condition in the cockpit. However, when someone sat in the front passenger seat (45″ wide) the back looked like it wasn’t attached. I went to the Sea Ray Owners Club website to explore the repairs and a fix for the seat. I learned that if I waited until the seat back broke, the vinyl would be damaged, and it would be costly to replace. Continue reading

Hog Tide Project

By Bruce Niederer

Last summer we partnered with Sail Magazine to produce a series of short videos showing how to repair an older J22 I had arranged to be brought into the Tech shop. The boat, named Hog Tide, needed the types of repairs we wanted to cover. The videos can be found at both westsystem.com and sailmagazine.com. Continue reading

Techniques for Fiberglassing Overhead

By Tom Pawlak

The prospect of having to fiberglass the bottom of a hull can be a bit ominous. Any type of overhead work can be frustrating, but the thought of trying to hold fiberglass in place while applying epoxy can produce nightmares for some people. This is especially true if you will be working alone. Continue reading

Talkin’ the Talk

By Julie VanMullekom

Here at GBI we’re not just your average epoxy “retailer.” We are the leading provider of quality epoxy products and service. Quality epoxy as in; we dream a big, sticky, epoxy dream, research it, develop it and produce it.  Service as in; packed within our 20,000(ish) square foot walls is a wealth of knowledge and experience so vast that it has enabled us to educate hundreds of people worldwide on the features and benefits of West System® epoxy.  Spanning from A to Z….Alaska to Zimbabwe. . Yeah, I know. Alaska. Mind. Blown. Continue reading

Profile of an American Craftsman

By Bruce Niederer

I hear it said increasingly often in the last couple years as I meet people during my travels “Who will be the next generation of tradesmen? Who is going to work on our cars, boats and homes?” This is a serious lament posed by today’s tradesmen, potential employers who have a very hard time finding apprentices and workers to learn their trade. The U.S. is in dire need of men and women willing to work with their hands and develop the skills necessary to build and repair all our…stuff. Continue reading

Rough Rider

Smiles All Around

By Mike Barnard

For some sailors, there is a common maintenance ritual that occurs every spring—repairing cracks where the leading edge of the ballast keel meets the hull. This annually reoccurring crack is sometimes referred to as a “Catalina Smile” because it often occurs on Catalina sailboats.

The crack can form due to a number of causes but probably the most common reason is the hull isn’t as stiff as when it was new.  Continue reading