Hobie Forums

Hull restoration
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Author:  tgrahmann [ Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:12 am ]
Post subject:  Hull restoration

Hello all.

First a thank you to all the forum member for the wealth of knowledge provided here, it has helped me make a well informed purchasing decision.

Now to business: I'm the proud new owner of an 84 Hobie 16 with white hulls (She's a rescue) and while it looks like hell, for the most part it's only just dirty. The hulls are in fairly good shape with a few exceptions. 2 minor soft spots on the port hull (one right between the pylons and the other behind the rear pylon both under 5 inches in diameter) likely both from previous owners climbing on from that side. Additionally there is one significant 2 inch ding (possibly breached through but solid when pressed) and standard wear on the keels (through the epoxy but not quite down to the fiber). I looked for 4 months for a decent boat, and this was the best I could find within 200 miles for the price (Central Texas)

So here is the main question: I have a fiberglass shop that has quick quoted me $500 to restore the hulls to "like new" condition. Does this sound reasonable? Or do I tackle the job myself. I'm pretty handy and everything but laying gel coat appears straight forward. Laying in material in cracks seems easy enough but putting down material (gel coat) on the keels after some repair work seems impossible without a spray gun.

Since materials and a spray gun would be needed as well as a larger compressor to run gelcoat, what sounds like a better idea?
If DIY is the answer, what material should I use? Git-rot seems to be the consensus for the soft spots but is there is a product to lay up gel coat or some durable and similar material without a spray gun? Aesthetics aren't critical, but safety and durability are.

Author:  LittleGrace [ Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull restoration

500... sounds like a paint job, and in no way is that a price for gel coat, and won't help your bottoms... imho.

You can do gel coat on bottoms... mask it off and layer it on heavy. Don't spray, just brush/roll it on heavy and layer as soon as its stiff enough to build up.... then sand it down with coarse screen type paper.... moving to fine as you get there... I use 5" diabolo disks from Home Depot.

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Author:  srm [ Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull restoration

It really depends on your comfort level working with fiberglass and what you hope to get out of the boat.

If you just want the job done, then $500 for a shop to do some minor repairs and clean up doesn't sound like it's way off base. I would certainly find out some specifics on what they're going to do (repair processes, new gelcoat, etc.?).

If you're handy, then I would think you can do most of what you described yourself. Cleaning, polishing, and waxing the boat will make a huge difference, it just takes some time and effort. Small delam repair and small fiberglass patches aren't too difficult, but they take some time and materials, and if you want a cosmetically perfect repair, then I would leave that to a pro. Bottom jobs are also, pretty straight forward, but they take time and there is material cost. Gelcoat can be rolled or brushed on the bottom, and if you're not too worried about looks, you can just give it a quick sanding after it cures and you're good to go.


Author:  tgrahmann [ Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull restoration

I've never done fiber work of any kind but I've been doing my homework on the subject and less and less put off by it. It looks like DIY is the way to go then. That being said from what I've seen brushing on a laminating gelcoat and applying PVA to cure seem like the most straightforward method.

So what products should I consider? Am I foolish to not look for a gelcoat with a curing agent in it already or is a PVA top coat reasonable enough?

Author:  Tim H16 [ Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull restoration

Rick Buchanan wrote a good illustrated article in Hotline, Volume 37 No.4, Jul/Aug 2008, pages 17&18 titled This Old Hobie - Spraying Gelcoat


Surf City Catamarans also has a good video on Hobie Catamaran Oxidation Removal


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