View Full Version : Repairing Fiberglass

05-07-2009, 08:28 AM
I made a sweet buy on craigslist the other day- a fiberglass canoe for $50. I'm super excited, the only problem being it nees a small patch. There's a hole about 2 inches in diameter from where the canoe was damaged in a wind storm.

So- what's the best way to repair the canoe?


05-07-2009, 08:51 AM
Super simple as long as you're not too concerned with matching color and the overall appearance of the patch. If you want it to look like it's never been patched then it is very difficult. If you're not concerned with aesthetics then it's easy. I've had to patch my father in laws catamaran and fiberglass boat in Fairbanks several times (not the same area) but he just pulls them out of the water on to the beach and they prematurally wear. Then I get to fix it. Here are the steps I use.

1. Cut the hole a bit bigger.
2. Sand the hole to taper (you want to get as much surface area for the new fiberglass to bond to as possible.
3. clean everything with a strong cleaner
4. tape a non stick backer on the inside. I used wax paper glued to a piece of sheet metal.
5. cut the fiberglass and mat to the size of the hole. (home depot sells a fiberglass patch kit that comes with the mat, the fiberglass fabric, the resin and the hardener)
6. Start with the mat and layer the fiberglass over it alternating the layers till you reach the desired thickness
7.paint over everything with the resin
8.paint over everything with a hardener. I would recommend using a small roller to apply the hardener so you can squeeze out the bubbles and get a smooth look.
9. remove the backer and sand everything. You can then apply a laquer to get the 'shine' back if necessary.

Good luck.

05-07-2009, 10:06 AM
Though I've never done it myself, I remember watching my old man doing patch jobs almost identical to the way nelson described. :2thumbs:

05-26-2009, 02:11 PM
Well- the canoe is fixed- I've taken it out a few times and it's awesome! It's still not pretty- and probably won't ever be again, but at least it has several good trips left! Thanks for your help guys!