Soft spot repair worth it?

  • MCImes
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2 years 6 months ago #36909 by MCImes
Soft spot repair worth it? was created by MCImes
I have a soft spot about 4' from the nose from an impact on my SF-S Glass Vac.

Its about 6" wide and 2.5" long. See pics. Its is soft in the middle where the foam stringer intersects the impact. Not leaking as far as I can tell.

Is this worth fixing? Ranga, what's your criteria to decide when a soft spot is worth fixing vs leave alone?

If I were to fix it, how do you fix a soft spot in a Glass Vac layup? (no nomex core, I believe the Fenn Glass vac has fiberglass infusion mat foam mat core?) Sand out a divot slightly larger than the area and replace with carbon cloth, then paint/gel coat?


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2 years 6 months ago #36919 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Soft spot repair worth it?
This is not a soft spot per se, it is a crack. Soft spots are where the skin has not been broken. Yes it may be soft but your biggest worry is the broken surface that is damaging your ski from the inside out. Water will be filling the core and migrating behind the waterproof gelcoat, a recipe for disaster in the longer term. 
Yes a repair is 100% needed! First thing is to stop water from getting into the ski, good quality Duct tape is essential until you get it repaired.
As for repairing, it is essential to be dried out 100% before you can do anything. Sanding the gelcoat away to the first layer of fiberglass wherever it is soft will help this process. Gelcoat is your waterproof layer and will inhibit this from happening, trapping water behind it. Be very careful not to apply much heat as you will cause a lot of damage. I usually help the process along by taping lots of tissue paper over the fiberglass which draws out the water, obviously you have to get all free flowing the water out the ski that is in it otherwise every time you move it, it will contaminate the crack again with water, this can however take weeks to get all the water out. Don't laugh I get skis still full of water, not drips but litres.
As for the repair I use epoxy as I know it will bond even when not 100% dry whereas styrene based resins will not bond to anything slightly damp. 

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  • MCImes
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2 years 6 months ago #36923 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Soft spot repair worth it?
Thanks Ranga, that's very helpful!

Well $h17. That's worse than I thought. Not a huge deal I guess, I'll get to sanding it down this week.

Is there a good spot to drill a 2nd vent hole behind the rudder? I do have some water inside and its probably much easier to dry out if there were directional airflow from the regular drain hole to a 2nd one behind the rudder. Would there be any problems with adding a 6mm hole behind the rudder box?

I will for sure use Epoxy. Although its more expensive, I dont go through very much and the ease/strength is worth it.

So would you recommend I sand through the top layer of glass as well, and replace with 1 layer of carbon to fully fix the soft spot?
Or only remove the gel coat, let dry, apply epoxy, call it good with a soft spot still existing? I'd probably lean towards carbon patch unless you say its completely unnecessary.

Thanks again!

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