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Old 08-11-2020, 11:39 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2019
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Repairing Holes and Reinforcing Bolt Holes in Pop Top

Good afternoon!

I've finally begun sanding down my Sportsmobile top for fiberglass repair before painting with bedliner.

I've hit a couple of snags and am unsure of how to repair them.

For starters...

I have a few holes in the gelcoat revealing the fiberglass underneath. The holes are pretty small, the largest being around 3" long and probably 1/4" wide. Originally my plan was to repair these holes with fiberglass. A member of a Sportsmobile group said that I should enlarge the area and build up a patch of fiberglass.

Another friend mentioned using Bondo but Bondo is not to be used on boats because it can swell if penetrated by water.

Should I stuff the hole with fiberglass cloth and then resin over it? Should I bondo the holes then fiberglass over those and sand it smooth?

Secondly, I want to reinforce the areas where the bolts go through the top and attach to the lift points on the top - since I've got some stress cracks around these bolt holes. Should I reinforce these areas with something such as a metal plate that I fiberglass over? I don't need for it to be particularly attractive or flush because no one will be able to see it, but I want it to be strong.

If this post is in the wrong area, please let me know!
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:09 PM   #2
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Garage
Evercoat Gelcoat paste tinted with pigment for the cosmetic stuff.
Glass cloth and resin for the structural problems.
3M makes a good marine grade filler putty.
A lot of folks swear by Marine Tex epoxy putty.
For the bolt holes through the glass encased wood stringers the West System method.
use a hole saw(1-1/4 or so) to drill through ONE layer of glass and the wood core. Fill the hole with thickened epoxy and re drill the bolt hole.
Start at Sec. 7.1 in the West System manual.

http://www.evercoat.com/product-deta...ber/100695/us/
https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-...94857497&rt=r3
http://marinetex.com
https://www.westsystem.com/wp-conten...anual-2015.pdf
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Old 08-18-2020, 07:45 PM   #3
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I'm in a similar situation, PW Traverse top. Mostly "crazing" cracks in the gel coat and one small "hole" less than an inch.

I'm planning on some sort of filler for the "hole", sand everything, and paint/spray with Raptor liner....but still researching.

Those 3M marine fillers are not cheap! Out of the question for my tiny fix.

I suspect Bondo (a 3M Company/label) has come a long way since the original product was introduced. 3M Bondo has a complete page for marine approved products:

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-...94857497&rt=r3

For my small fix, I'm thinking Bondo Glass Reinforced Filler or Bondo Fiberglass Resin Jelly. Both are under $10.

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