BY Tom Pawlak Download PDF version of this article
If the patterned non-skid on your production-built fiberglass boat needs repair, you may be interested to know flexible molds are available for making professional looking repairs. Gibco Flex-Mold™ produces the non-skid patterns used to mold the non-skid on fiberglass boat molds. They also produce flexible molds designed for repairing existing non-skid patterns used on hundreds of production fiberglass and one-off boats. You can call them to see if they have the pattern you are looking for. If the damage to the deck is more than cosmetic, repair it prior to continuing. Refer to the procedures for structural repair as described in our 002-550 Fiberglass Boat Repair & Maintenance manual.
The Flex-Mold is designed to lock into the existing molded pattern on your boat and works best if the pattern has not been painted over. If paint has been applied or if debris has accumulated in the pattern, the fit will be poor at best and the repair will be harder to blend in. Mold release is applied to the Flex-Mold at the factory so epoxy or the polyester gelcoat used to make the repair will not stick to it.
If the damage went beyond the base gelcoat thickness, or you are finishing a structural repair, you will have to router a void to fill with a thick enough layer of gelcoat to make an opaque base for the pattern. This layer of gelcoat is then machined with a shallower pass on the router, to level the opaque layer and establish the base of the non-skid pattern. Break the corner of the routed area with sandpaper.
If you are interested in doing your own non-skid repairs, contact Gibco Flex-Mold at 817-236-5021 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Epoxyworks 22 / Winter 2004