Spider Cracks: The Guide

Spider crack DYK

Spider Cracks are a thorn in many boaters side. They seem to appear out of nowhere, and for no reason. Fixing them can involve more than just slapping on some gelcoat, however, and that is where we come in!

The first step needs to be ensuring that your spider cracks are just that, and not a sign of a soggy core, or a broken support. If the underside looks solid, and the surface is steady, then a spider crack is just a spider crack.

For properly fixing a spider crack, you will want to open the cracks to properly fill them. Usually, the easiest way to do that is with a Dremel. Once you open the cracks to a good size, you can lightly sand the surface and wash it down with soap and water, or Acetone to get the surface clean.

From there, you will want some Gelcoat Putty. Gelcoat putty is sold in many sizes, and only requires you mix in a 1-1/2% ratio of MEK-P Catalyst. Once mixed properly, you can use a putty knife to work the putty in the cracks. Once dry, you will sand to a nice, smooth surface and you are ready for the last part.

Now that you have a nice, smooth surface, you probably notice your white patch is still, well, white. Now you want to apply some gelcoat over the top to cover your patch. We can match gelcoat to a sample you provide, or you can check out the stock colors we have. We even have a brushable gelcoat that just requires you to brush it on and be done.

So, there you have it! Your patch is done, and that pesky spider crack is gone, and your boat is good as new! If you have any questions, you can call our technicians or comment in the section below. We are here to help!

Product Spotlight: Kay-Cel

kay-cel

We offer many types of Coring materials here at FGCI. Each material has different uses and benefits. Finding the right one for your project can be challenging. We are here to help! Today’s product spotlight is on a foam coring material called “Kay-Cel.”

Kay-Cel is a reinforced Closed-Cell Polyurethane foam panel. The surface has 18oz Woven Roving on top and has a density of 25 pounds. We sell the 4′ x 8′ sheets in everything from 1/2″ thickness to 2″ thickness.

The great part about Kay-Cel is the strength and the relative lack of weight. The sheet is 30% lighter than plywood, but unlike plywood, the sheets will not rot. That is extremely important for projects like transoms and stringers, where the product could be introduced to water. The foam uses a cross-linked polymer foam that allows the foam to not absorb water. As a result; it’s structurally sound, and great for use in marine applications.

You can check out our Kay-Cel selection on our website HERE. 

 

5 Tips for Using Brushable Gelcoat in the Summer

jorge-vasconez-642329-unsplashImagine sitting on a secluded beach with an ice cold beverage, listening to the waves crash on shore, and the birds chirping in the palm trees. Sounds relaxing? The summer months can be a perfect time for a vacation, but when working on a project, the heat can be a big problem. Here are some helpful tips on how to work with brushable gelcoat during the hot summer season.

  1. Cooling the gelcoat, by refrigerating the product to around 65 degrees, will give you up to 15 minutes of working time.
  2. Humidity can be another factor, so, make sure the mold and surrounding area is dry before applying your brushable gelcoa134054t.
  3. Make small batches of gelcoat at a time and catalyze at 1 ½ % to avoid the material from getting hotter. When spraying the gelcoat, make sure you catalyze at 2 %. If you choose to use Duratec, please note, the product must be cool as well.
  4. If you seek to roll on the gelcoat, the product should be applied evenly at 14 mil thick.
  5. Do not apply gelcoat in direct sunlight.

Technician Interview: Carbon Fiber

Many FGCI customers and subscribers have asked questions that were related to a better understanding of Carbon Fiber. So, we sat down with our technician, Pat Hery, and informed him of the common questions, and we must say, the responses were quite interesting!

 

 

 

Interview:13227156_1285749204772979_8868784239727017846_n

What are the common uses for carbon fiber?

There are many common uses for carbon fiber such as golf clubs, bicycles, aircrafts, automotive, iPhone cases. But, we usually see carbon fiber used as aesthetics, like car parts, hoods and speaker boxes. Unless used for race car or boats were speed is the demand.

What are the advantages of using carbon fiber?

The advantage is, it has the same thickness compared to steel. And as far as stiffness and strength the comparison will require more fiberglass to get the same yield. 

What is the prep method before the application process?

The method depends solely on the mold or if they are overlaying a part. Using epoxy or Vinylester can also be a determining factor. Now let’s say they decide to use epoxy, then, they need to determine if the epoxy is high temp due to the fact that most epoxies will soften up in Florida or in an area that is hot. If they are overlaying a part or making a one-off, they will laminate the carbon, put an extra coat of resin, sand with a 320 and apply an automotive clear.

What are the different ways to apply?

The different methods to apply carbon fiber depend on the surface area one is trying to go over. Carbon Fiber doesn’t like anything but a general curve. When it comes to the application, most will spray super 3M 77 so once the carbon is put in place, it won’t move when doing a thorough wet out of the carbon.

Does the thickness of the carbon matter?

When it comes to thickness of the carbon, this will be important as it can dictate the maximum strength you are looking for. Lastly, the thickness of the layup will depend on what you are trying to achieve.