Boat Repairs | Do It Yourself (DIY)

Here you will find a collection of some great boating repair tips and techniques to ensure your boat is kept up in ship shape condition. Check back often as we add additional helps and tips to maintaining and fixing your boat.

A step by step guide showing you how to mix, apply and finish repairs using Spectrum Color Patch Paste repair kits.

How to Change Outdrive Oil

Watch step by step instructions how to drain and refill the outdrive gear oil.

Changing your outboard motor lower drive oil is important to do on a regular basis. It is not expensive and will prolong the life of your lower unit. How often you should change it depends on use and climate. You should do it at least annually.

How to change or install

Gel Coat Repair and Care

Spectrum Color - Has several down-loadable documents on gel coat repair including spraying and finishing as well as non-skid repair.

Iboats gel coat repair kits - iboats carries a full line of factory colored gel coat repair kits. Check out this link to see how to repair your gel coat.

How to Spray and Finish a boat surface (Spectrum Color)

Prep at least 3 inches around the repair area with 280-320 sand paper. Mask the area to prevent overspray. Wipe the area clean with a solvent.

Mix 70-80% gel coat with 20-30% patch-aid and 2% catalyst of the total batch size in a cup. Apply the spray patch in an even sweeping pattern. The finished patch should look smooth and shiny. Do not apply any additional gel coat after it has reached gel stage, 5-15 minutes depending on temperature and type of patch aid used(see patch can for more information). Allow to fully cure and sand as instructed above before applying second coat. Allow for curing time of 45-90 minutes to 4-6 hours depending on the climate, temperature and type of patch aid used. If shooting any color, it is recommended that you let the gel cure over night before attempting to sand or buff.

Color area with a grease pencil, pencil or wipe with Dykem to highlight the repaired area.

Sand the patch with a 280-320 grit sand paper. Sand only as much as necessary to remove the orange peel. Color from grease pencil/pencil should be a guild for when to stop sanding. When color is gone stop sanding. Keep the block or sander flat to prevent a wavy patch. Stop sanding after markings are gone (grease pencil/pencil)

Re-color the area with a grease pencil or wipe with Dykem to highlight the repaired area. Sand the area with 600-800 grit sand paper. Sand only as much as necessary to remove the 280-320 grit scratches. Keep the block or sander flat to prevent a wavy patch.

Buff the area with a mild compound (Spectrum Color sm25 or sm20 to remove the 600-800 grit scratches. Repeat until the area is free of sanding scratches. Do not dry buff or over buff the area. This can discolor or remove all of the gel and require respraying. Polish (Spectrum Color sm35 or sm30) to a deep shine with a wax or glaze.

Wipe the area clean with a dry rag to remove excess compound or glaze.


How to repair chips, gouges, deep scratches (Spectrum Color)

A chip is an area where gel has been removed due to impact. Typically the resin underneath will appear dry and broken. This is because the fiberglass has been shattered and the gel has been torn loose. Often times stress will be visible around the chip depending on the severity of the impact. A gouge is caused from impact or scraping of the gel by a hard object.

Prep the area removing all of the damaged glass. Make sure the area is thoroughly prepped inside. Keep the repair as small as possible. Prep an area at least 3 inches around the damage with 280-320 grit sand paper.

Depending on the size and personal preference there are three ways to fill the repair area. Begin by wiping the area clean with a solvent.

Method 1: Mix catalyst to Spectrum Color factory color matched Patch Paste®. Fill the damaged area with the smooth drag leaving the patch paste slightly above the surface of the boat to allow for shrinkage. After patch paste is cured, follow instructions on finishing.

Method 2: Mix gel coat, 20-30% patch-aid and 2% catalyst in a cup. Mix in cabosil or silica (Spectrum Color #f11-1000)until it is a smooth paste. Fill the damaged area with the smooth drag. The smooth drag should completely fill the area and be smooth and even. A spray patch can be immediately applied directly over the smooth drag for better blending.

Method 3: Mix Cook 50/50 fairing putty(Spectrum Color part number F45-1000) and catalyst. Fill the damaged area. Use a razor blade to cut the flex putty as soon as it starts to harden. By sliding the razor blade across the gel surface it will cut down on the amount of shaping required. Re-prep the area with 280-320 grit sand paper. Wipe the area clean with solvent. The spray patch can be applied directly over the area. Follow spraying and finishing instructions.

Resource Links