After the fishing outing Pat (my Helena mom) stuffed me full of lunch, then took me into town to meet a couple local shop owners and then over to round up the re-supply package that my mother had sent down. After running errands Pat dropped me off at the building where I’m staying to get started on doing some touch up repairs on my boat.
When I hit the wing dam last week I’d gouged out two sections of gel coat on the front sides of my hull. In addition I detected slight signs of impact damage on the inside of one of the affected areas. I wanted to lay a layer of fiberglass on the inside as a preventative reinforcement of the impacted area then clear coat the gouges with resin to seal out water until I can get to a location where a proper gel coat repair can be done. It’s all really just preventative maintenance but I can’t fool around and risk water intrusion considering how much time this boat is going to be in the water over the next several months.
In order to do the repair I needed to get the boat up to at least 60 degrees so the resin would set up. To do this I placed the boat on top of an old table then put two borrowed electric space heaters beneath the boat and a work lamp inside the front hatch where I‘d be laying the glass patch. Next I laid my ground tarps over the boat essentially creating a tent over the heaters to hold the heat in. It worked like a charm and in a couple hours the repaired areas were almost completely set. I’ll let it cook for a while then unplug it before I go to bed.
One thing I should mention is the temporary/emergency band aid fix I’d used before I could get back to civilization. What I used is a product called “Protecto Wrap” which is used to seal around windows in new construction. This very pliable and incredibly sticky product comes in 4” wide 25’ long rolls and can be found at most building centers up north for less than $12.00 per roll. You can cut it easily with a knife or scissors and to apply it you just peal the protective plastic off of one side and press it over the area you want to cover, exactly like a band aid. I had put these patches on up in Memphis and after two full days of paddling they were still fixed solidly to the hull of my boat. In fact I had to work hard to scrape the stuff off with a knife. I was just trying to keep water from contacting the intact but exposed Kevlar of my hull. I’m certain this product would work well to patch an actual puncture. Find some if you can I recommend it highly.