How do you repair gelcoat so it will last?

How do you repair gelcoat? I've got some minor damage from loading onto my trailer, nicked the side and need to repair about a quarter size of gelcoat. Whats the best way to go about this to ensure it will last and not chip off in the heat of the day?


  • Gelcoat is just tinted fiberglass resin so its easy to repair minor chips. In order to repair gelcoat, the most important step is properly prep the damaged area. You want to sand and clean the damaged area so you have a clean and fresh surface. Then you want to tape around the damaged area to contain the new mixture and prevent more work than you need to do. Follow the mixture directions for the resin, this cures pretty quick so make sure you have everything clean, prepped and ready before you mix the resin. Then use a small tongue depressor or a disposable putty knife to firmly press the resin into the prepped areas as best as you can while avoiding any air bubbles. Let it sit and dry for the recommended time frame. Once it has fully cured, you can wet sand it to match the existing surface level and there you have it! Freshly patched gelcoat ready to hit the water.

  • The prep was key! I was able to find a gelcoat repair kit that matched my hull from West Marine and it turned out perfectly. West Marine also had this small scratch repair that I used on some of the minor scratches from my coolers sliding around before I secured them. Its called MagicEZY 9 second fix. I took care of those scratches and picked up an extra tube for the future. This gelcoat repair is awesome and motivated me to put some more time into sprucing up my boat. Thanks so much for the quick response!

  • @MinnKotaTroller That ( second fix gelcoat repair is awesome for smaller surface scratches. If you ever see fiberglass or the weave below the gelcoat make sure to use the thicker stuff with the 15 min cure time. It is definitely more resilient for those hull chips and will end up looking better and lasting longer. One thing I like to use is a heat gun or a blowdryer to make sure that the gelcoat repair is pushed deep into the damaged area. I'm not sure if this is necessary but it definitely makes me feel better.

  • Use Acetone to clean the area before you apply the gel. Also make a small amount to test the color. looking at the sample color on top of cardboard is very similar to the look it will have on top of hull fiberglass. Let it dry on a piece of cardboard and you can add colorings if you need to change the brightness. Make sure to wet sand and use a polishing compound after its fully cured and you'll be happy with your DIY gelcoat repair.

  • I just found a very detailed 4 part instructional video on how to repair small gelcoat chips. I had to do some repairs myself last month and they turned out great thanks to these videos. I would have never had the confidence to attempt it myself otherwise.

    Part 1 is the tools and materials you will need,

    Part 2 is prep and application,

    Part 3 is wet sanding and finish work,

    Part 4 is buffing and waxing the gelcoat once you've finished.

  • geogeo
    edited September 2022

    I have a similar chip in my gelcoat. I see the MagicEzy9 mentioned for minor scratches. What about the Evercoat Gelcoat Repair Kit. ..Any experience with that ?

  • @geo,

    I've used the MagicEzy9 it is as it claims. Easy to use and does the job. I used it on my boat. In a high foot traffic area.  Same with Evercoat. Both really good products.

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