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hethj7

Wow! Gelcoat work is expensive!

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hethj7

So, over a month ago we hit an underwater object while surfing. I could see no visible damage except what looked like a nick on the tracking fin, which was slightly loose. However, there was a slight vibration at certain speeds, so we trailered the boat immediately and got it to the shop.

I didn't see any gelcoat damage, but after my Progressive agent carefully inspected the boat (very impressed with Progressive!), he had concerns over some spider cracks near the strut and rudder. We were surfing at the time we hit the submerged oject, so speeds were very low and visually, I hadn't even noticed the gel cracks. Well, I got a call from the agent and gel shop today and there is just over $3K of gelcoat work back there :crazy:

I also had previously crossed the trailer with the boat while loading, shortly after we bought it. It left about 6 deep chips along the bottom of the hull, so I went ahead and had the shop quote those repairs as well. Another $3K in work, which I'll put on a separate claim. Granted, they are also fixing some previous scratches with these chips, that look to be from previous owners beaching the boat, but the work still seems minimal in my mind.

When I bought the boat, the previous owner disclaimed that he had bent the shaft while loading the trailer and produced the shop ticket for it. That ticket also included several thousand in gel coat repair. I figured that had to be from a really hard hit to cause that much damage, but he assured me the gel damage was very minor and nothing was hit hard. Seeing how I had the repair ticket from a Malibu dealer and I didn't see any evidence of the repairs, I skeptically bought his story and ended up buying the boat.

Well, now I'm a believer that even a small hiccup out on the water can lead to lots of money being spent on gel repairs.

Edited by hethj7

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Murphy8166

Or your insurance agent inflated the price of the repair so that you would be forced to pay the deductible and feel that you needed to use your insurance. Did you take it to the dealer to see what they would charge.

Here is an example. We had a pipe burst in our bathroom over the winter and the leaking water damaged some of the hand scraped hardwood flooring. Farmers Insurance came out and wrote a check on the spot for $2,750. I called the same guy that installed the floors and he fixed them correctly for $375.

Not to mention, two claims in a year - i bet your rate goes up or yet get canceled.

Insurance companies are in business to make money - next time you think something seems a bit fishy with the insurance....you might want to think twice.

I had a new prop, strut, rudder and shaft along with 18 hours of fiberglass work fixed for 3750....and these were not little nicks.

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JTech

Not what I wanted to hear. :cry: I have a 2 inch scratch down the side of mine and a deep chip just above my prop that needs to to be repaired before I put it away for the winter.

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hethj7

Or your insurance agent inflated the price of the repair so that you would be forced to pay the deductible and feel that you needed to use your insurance. Did you take it to the dealer to see what they would charge.

I suppose this could be the case, but for one claim, I already had it open for the mechanical work at a separate shop (the ex-Malibu dealer). The mechanical work is being done at the ex-Malibu dealer, but they don't do gel work. The shop they use for that was recommended to me by several other sources, so I feel like I can expect good work from that shop. The gel work at that shop is being done under the claim at the old Malibu dealer for the mechanical work, so I don't see any reason anyone would have to inflate the gel estimate there (unless the shops themselves are pocketing extra money from the insurance company).

And, if the insurance agent is just going to cancel me for a second claim, why would they inflate the 2nd estimate so I felt I needed to use the insurance? If they are in the businesss to make money, why would they want to get me to make a claim? I suppose anything is possible and the ramifications of two claims in a year may bite me later, but for the time being, I think I'm headed down the right path.

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footndale

I've had a 3' x 1' foot section repaired last year for only $400. The gel coat was shattered from someone hitting a dock to hard. $3000 seems really high, unless it is tricker underneath.

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hethj7

I've had a 3' x 1' foot section repaired last year for only $400. The gel coat was shattered from someone hitting a dock to hard. $3000 seems really high, unless it is tricker underneath.

Well, that info certainly makes me question the pricing I'm getting. Maybe I'll call the shop to get a better breakdown. It is in a tricky spot, as the chips are right on the bottom chine of the hull. The shop said they'd go ahead and re-gel the area from that bottom chine up to the first straffes on the hull, on both sides. So all the work is on a contour, which could add to the cost.

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Jimmypooh

Well, that info certainly makes me question the pricing I'm getting. Maybe I'll call the shop to get a better breakdown. It is in a tricky spot, as the chips are right on the bottom chine of the hull. The shop said they'd go ahead and re-gel the area from that bottom chine up to the first straffes on the hull, on both sides. So all the work is on a contour, which could add to the cost.

Still seems awfully high. Youtube "gelcoat repair" and you'll get an idea of what work is involved. It's not that much labor. The hardest part is matching the color. Mix, apply, dry, sand, sand , sand, polish. I'm actually planning on doing some DIY repair on on the bottom of my hull next year. I wouldn't do my own if it was easily visible, and it helps that it's black and easier to match.

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Love2Ride

I had a chip the size of a dime repaired at the end of last season for $80. Just my $.02

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nyryan2001

if all you have is nicks and gouges on the underside gel of the boat, slow down, no need to rush to failure. You made no mention of any fiberglass damage.. just gell gouges & cracks? But if the fins are loose, that does suggest FG damage...are those screwed into FG or thru bolted thru the hull?

I'd suggest you slow down. Boating season is pretty much over for you anyhow. Nothing drives up the price of this type of work like a customer that wants it fast. And nothing drives up the price further than like 50% more FG work this year at all the dealers in the mid and southern regions from everybody and their mothers hitting submerged rocks due to drought and the low water levels this year. Talking with the Dallas dealer, his #1 service issue this year has been FG repair.

FAST, QUALITY and CHEAP. ----> pick 2 of these, you cant have all 3.

Wait a little bit, and slowly approach the quality FG/Gel folks in your area, tell them you are in no hurry, what price would they come to if they were to take their time, work it in as they have time. Offer to leave the boat with them for a long time if need be. This may or may not be your Malibu dealer.

Also, You'd be amazed as what you can do yourself with MarinerTex and some wetsanding...especially on the bottom where is doesnt have to be absolutely 100% perfect. White hull underneath?

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jcon44

I had a chip the size of a dime repaired at the end of last season for $80. Just my $.02

I should get into the gel coat repair business. I repaired a chip on the bottom of my boat last winter that took me about 20 minutes. it was on the bottom and all black so it was easy to match. I would definately try doing it yourself first expecially on the bottom where noone will see what you doen but you..

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enelson

^x2 on the Gelcoat Business!

I have fixed several boats once you get the hang of it. It is really easy! If it's more then cosmetics then it can take longer but still not the end of the world. Just fixed a guys boat that his Girlfriend took out and tied up to a dock with a bolt sticking out tore up about a 4' long section of his boat that only took 6 hours to fix. 1 hour to grind everything out and fill it. 4 hours for it to dry. 1 hour to sand buff and polish the whole side of the boat. Can't even tell it ever happened. He kept the Girlfriend I would lost her at that point. :whistle:

Check out Wakeworld there is a write in there DIY section on gelcoat repair that Grant did it's step by step write up with pictures.

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Lakenut

3k seems high. We bumped something while the kids were swimming...hit the back/side corner of the hull. A 2"x4" chunk of gel popped off clear down to glass. $190 later, it and a few other random unrelated scratches were gone.

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Lakenut

3k seems high. We bumped something while the kids were swimming...hit the back/side corner of the hull. A 2"x4" chunk of gel popped off clear down to glass. $190 later, it and a few other random unrelated scratches were gone.

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hethj7

I've asked the shop to send over detailed breakdowns of their costs, but that didn't happen today. The shop its at actually is the recommended shop in the area. We'll see how it turns out. I'm not in a huge hurry to get it back as I'm so busy at work right now I've had little time to get on the water anyway. We'll see if I get some info from them tomorrow.

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hethj7

Well, I got the detailed quotes from the shop and both indicate there is some fiberglass repair as well as gel work. It seems a little odd to me (especially around the strut and rudder where I thought it was just spider cracks). As for the chips up front on the hull, I can see black, but I was under the impression black was the last layer of gelcoat before you got to the fiberglass.

The quote includes removing the boat from the trailer, removing the strut, etc., grinding the area, laying new fiberglass, then prepping and doing the gelcoat work. Most of their costs are in wetsanding and polishing the repaired areas.

After talking with them and the insurance guy (and knowing this shop is recommended by others), I feel like they are going to fix it right. But it still baffles me that this much damage could be caused by hitting a submerged object at surf speeds.

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