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September 2005

Gel Coat Repairs

Very stupidly I clipped the rear wing and badly chipped the gelcoat, resulting in an unsightly mess. This had to be repaired but the question was how.

According to various people I asked in conversation or on web forums etc the following methods would work.

Mix 50% gel to 50% hardener and leave for a minute

Mix 97% gel to 3% hardener and leave for a week

Cover it with plastic or not

Do an Indian rain dance

(OK I made the last one up) but you can see the problems with getting a useful answer out of people. In desperation I went to Tiger and asked them how they did it, tried their technique and it worked perfectly.

Clean the area that you are repairing so there is not dirt or loose particles in place.

Obtain a suitable mixing container (I used a yoghurt pot) a mixing stick and some Clingfilm.

Mix up a small quantity of gel and hardener. I used the following quantity a teaspoon of gel to 6 drops of hardener and mix thoroughly.

Apply to the area to be repaired and fill evenly so it is just proud of the surrounding surface.

Cover with Clingfilm to prevent it being in contact with the air. If gelcoat is in contact with air it will never dry, the other advantage of Clingfilm is it gives a good surface when you are repairing a curved panel as I was.

Leave for up to an hour depending on temperature obviously the warmer it is then the curing time will be shorter. I would leave it for a minimum of 30 minutes though.

Finally peel off the Clingfilm to leave yourself with a completed repair, the colour might not match exactly as gel like paint is mixed in batches which can vary slightly and the surface will need cutting and polishing to match the rest of the bodywork but this method does work.

I don't have any photographs though - although hopefully this will be helpful to other owners.