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Gelcoat keel scratched off - how to fix

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Well I either missed this in my once over when I purchased the new to me 2008 boat last fall or somehow I scratched it right through loading on trailer my first time perhaps!

The gelcoat is gone from perhaps 3/8” wide by 5-6” long...see photos ...

I’m planning on keeping the boat for a number of years and not really concerned about looks but I want to fix it structurally sound...

I have experience with West System Epoxy and various fillers..

Would the West system be a good way to fill it and then sand so it roughly follows the contour of the keel or what is the best way to fix this?




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If that's up near the bow, maybe the p.o. beached it a lot.

Couple ways to handle it; fix it or put a keel strip over it.


I think I have one of these in my attic that is white or off white if you decide to go this route.


Here's some good reading from one of my old ones that looked a lot worse than yours if you decide to fix it:


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Thank you both. The good news is It’s on a lift so until today it’s been drying out for 6-8 weeks.. I will get some marine Tex and check temps for application.. it is supposed to touch 66 next week though overnight is 45 :(

if it was from the trailer prop guard ... is there a keel guard like material I can add to the trailer to help protect it (in addition to making sure I back the trailer in far enough)... I assume everyone floats these boat in from 2008?

i may circle back to you on a keel guard too... 

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If you hit the prop guard with the front keel of the boat you either have the shallowest launch in the world or you tried to pull up on the trailer way before you should have. No way you should ever hit the prop guard with the bow keel. 

I’ve seen air voids in that area pop after time. That could be it. It’s hard to tell from the pictures, is the damage just through the gel or is it into the fiberglass as well? If it’s just the gel I’d bet on air void that could have been broken by beaching the boat or something minor like that. 

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I could be wrong but I don’t think there were any bubbles per se. I just tried to pressure wash the hull. I think the surface felt a little rough plus some reflections from the water below. It’s not a great photo. I was standing in my dry suit with an iPhone X a bit nervous about possibly dropping it in the water :)

when I go under again to apply the marine tex I will check the surface again.

 I have a buffer from griots and I plan on going over the hull with it and some 3m to see what I can take care of myself and if that does not work well I will look for a marine detailer here in Seattle or nearby (probably for some of the scratches to take those out)...

at least that’s the plan for the moment :)

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