Trailer to hull damage

06Rinker27006Rinker270 Washington, DCPosts: 1,136Member ✭✭✭
I had my boat hauled out a few weeks back using a hydraulic trailer.  It ending up putting a few large gouges in the hull.  My tech, who I trust, told me I can use some sort of fiber glass puddy filler and then bottom paint over it.  This worries me that that is not an adequate fix.  I will post pictures later.  I really dont want to run this through insurance as it would be a second claim this year but I will if it needs substantial work.  Any opinions or advise is much appreciated. 

Thanks in advance. 
06 Rinker 270


  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Posts: 1,758Member ✭✭✭✭
    If the gouges are not too deep you can absolutely fill them in with a two part epoxy like West System with a thickener to make it like peanut butter and then fill, sand and paint. 
    Wine-N-Down -- 2006 342 Express Cruiser

  • raybo3raybo3 Revere MAPosts: 3,684Moderator mod
    Shouldn't the hauler be responsible for the damage? I would have him file a claim... Just say'n 
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA.
  • 06Rinker27006Rinker270 Washington, DCPosts: 1,136Member ✭✭✭
    What is too deep?  These are quarter inch or so.  
    06 Rinker 270
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Cape Coral, FLPosts: 6,540Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Repair properly then bottom paint
  • Glassguy54Glassguy54 Posts: 427Member ✭✭✭
    1/4" deep is definitely through the gel coat and into the fiberglass. I'm with Handy in recommending a proper repair instead of a band aid approach, and yes, I too think it should be the hauler's responsibility. 
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Cape Coral, FLPosts: 6,540Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I dont like the idea of body putty under water although I know what they would be using and it may hold up but blisters could develop around the area. It would not be hard to fix the right way. 
  • icoulthaicoultha Niskayuna NYPosts: 525Member ✭✭✭
    I agree, sounds like a hauler insurance issue. 



  • AlswaggAlswagg Posts: 2,230Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Whoever pays for it make sure the repair is using vinylester resin and putty for underwater.  Do not use Polyester resin or putty.     
  • zaverin1zaverin1 Saint Clair Shores,MIPosts: 1,253Member ✭✭✭
    Ye deff marina or whoever trailered the boat needs to pay for the damages unless there is more to the story.
    get it fixed right when time comes 
  • 06Rinker27006Rinker270 Washington, DCPosts: 1,136Member ✭✭✭
    Thank you everyone for the feedback.  One happened when I was pulling the boat on the trailer and the other happened when the trailer was being pulled off when on stands.  Im more concerned with getting it properly fixed at this point.  My tech is going to do the fix but I just want to be positive on the product.  I trust his work but I like to double check with my Rinker brothers who I know dont cut corners. 

    @Alswagg ;Will this do? Any other steps between sand and paint?  Appreciate it.


    06 Rinker 270
  • bluewatersailorbluewatersailor FloridaPosts: 23Member ✭✭
    I'm basing the following on your description of the damage being 1/4" deep and resulting from pressure or impact; I'm also figuring that the damaged area is maybe 3x or 4x times that across. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

    I've been doing fiberglass work for 20+ years, on and off; both helping others and doing it on my own boats. I'm going to put this in the strongest possible terms: do not patch this, and don't allow anyone else to do it. You must do a proper repair, or you're looking at a chance of sinking your boat.

    Item #1: In boats, the fiberglass in the hull is not just a structural material; it is both the container for the air it displaces and a designed load-bearing structure. All of it - the entire thing. Any significant damage to it means that it is no longer capable of carrying the load, or distributing the forces that it was designed for. Patching may result in the hull looking fine cosmetically, but it does not correct the structural damage; in fact, given that boats "work" when they're at sea, it provides an entry point from which the entire hull can destroy itself.

    Item #2: What you're showing is the marine version of Bondo. That stuff is fine for patching little dings, but it is not flexible. And given the temperature-based expansion and contraction that the glass on your boat goes through every day, it will crack and flake off. Whatever subsequent damage your boat takes will most likely not be covered by any insurance company when they find out the method that was used to "fix" it.

    Do yourself a huge favor: glance through the Gougeon Brothers "Fiberglass Boat Repair and Maintenance" manual. It is the bible for understanding fiberglass repair, and it will teach you everything you need to know in about 100 pages. Here's an online copy:

    In fact, here's a quick cite that reinforces what I'm saying:

    "A fiberglass boat is a composite structure, made of many layers of various reinforcing fabrics and core materials, bonded together with plastic resins. [...] The continuity of these resin/fiber skins is critical to the integrity of the structure. It is often necessary to cut through the skin while carrying out repairs, even though the skin itself may not be damaged. Keep in mind that one objective will always be to rebuild for skin continuity to return the load carrying ability of the fibers in the laminate to original or greater strength."

    In short: you need to have a professional examine the damage; it will most likely need to be cut out, or at least ground out if the damage has not gone all the way through (but at 1/4", it probably has), and a proper repair will need to be made.

    If I were you, I'd be on the phone to my insurance company right now. Hull damage must be treated with extreme seriousness.

    A ship in the harbor is safe... but that's not what ships were made for.

  • bluewatersailorbluewatersailor FloridaPosts: 23Member ✭✭
    Alswagg said:
    Whoever pays for it make sure the repair is using vinylester resin and putty for underwater.  Do not use Polyester resin or putty.     
    Yep - trying to cheap out with polyester glue and putty leads to nothing but grief, and lots of it. I've seen boats sink as a result.

    Making a good-quality secondary bond is a pretty high-level skill, and I've seen people screw it up even with all the proper tools and materials. I sure wouldn't recommend doing it yourself unless you really know your business.

    A ship in the harbor is safe... but that's not what ships were made for.

  • J3ffJ3ff Posts: 1,676Member ✭✭✭✭
    1. Is the hauler a professional company? If so, it's on them!!  Even if you pulled the boat on to the trailer (which they shouldnt have let you do) - also they shouldnt have let you drive the it onto the trailer either.. (if thats what you did)

    2. As mentioned, insurance and forget about it.

    Lets see some pictures. 
  • 06Rinker27006Rinker270 Washington, DCPosts: 1,136Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2017
    I really appreciate all that info @bluewatersailor and I am 100% with you on getting this taken care of properly.  It sounds like my tech is going to take care of it for me but Im not sold on it.  I think I will follow the advise and go through insurance.    

    Know anything about Fiber Strand or Kitty Hair?  Then gel coat, then paint.  These are the products he recommended.   

    Has anyone had two claims within one year? Will this dramatically increase my premium? 
    06 Rinker 270
  • AlswaggAlswagg Posts: 2,230Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just make sure the resins are vinylester.  Not polyester 
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaPosts: 2,666Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    As a general rule for insurance (not just boat insurance), make three claims in 3 years and they will drop you.  Two claims is a coincidence, but three is a pattern.
  • bluewatersailorbluewatersailor FloridaPosts: 23Member ✭✭
    Hey, @06Rinker270 - Kitty Hair (lots of other names; Tiger Hair, etc.) is fiber strand, or what some call chopped strand, mixed into the Bondo. Still not a good solution if you assume matrix damage (and, again, unless the damage is grossly obvious, you won't know until you dig in.) The strand will make the patch itself a bit more resilient, but will not restore the strength of the hull.

    To give you an outline of how an actual repair would work: you cut out or grind out the damage, feather/dish the edges, thoroughly wet out the entire area with a good quality epoxy - this is the critical bit! - and then lay in shaped pieces of epoxy-wetted glass mat until you've completely filled in the repair area and come up a bit above the hull surface. Let it kick off, grind it flat, and sand it down just a bit below flat, then lay down your gel coat (with a vinylester tiecoat under it if the area is bigger than a few square inches.) Half a day to a day's worth of work for a pro.

    A ship in the harbor is safe... but that's not what ships were made for.

  • Dude_HimselfDude_Himself Charleston, SCPosts: 336Member ✭✭✭
    Agree with bluewatersailor - fix it right now or fix it again later - if it destroy the boat.

    I looked at a boat that had a screw hole (don't ask how) below the waterline that slowly let in water for a few months. Owner found it the end of the season and used 5200 from inside, then ignored it - the bilge pump kept up. The stringers nearby were starting to rot out.
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