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Discussion Starter #1
I got a crack in the hull from my Spark hitting my other ski broadside. The crack is about 2ft long, and 1/4" wide at its largest spot. The 1/4" wide part is partially due to the impact pushing part of the plastic under the plastic next to it. The repair was a combination of a plastic welder that I know, and myself. We had to trim some material on the part that was pushed under, and use several screwdrivers to pop it back out.



This pic shows the length and location of the crack.



Here's a closer view of one end of the crack (near the sponson)



Here's the other end of the crack.



And finally, a zoomed out view of where the crack is.



First, the welder ground down an area over the crack to get better adhesion. The stuff near the sponson hole (and the vertical lines above it are where my plastic welding guy was trying to get different materials to stick. None of them adhered properly, so I obtained a destroyed scrap hull, and we cut thin strips that would go through his plastic welder.



Here's the middle section of where we ground down material near the crack




and another




Here's a pic of us starting to plastic weld.




Welding in progress



After he used his plastic welder to add material, I used one of the cheap ($19) Harbor Freight plastic welders (basically a soldering iron with a triangular tip) to smooth it out a bit. The weld isn't NEARLY as visible in real life as the camera makes it look, but I still plan on sanding a bit to smooth it even more.




This should give you a pretty good idea of what you'll need to do. Some tips:

1. Use a grinder to grind an area around the crack to promote adhesion of the new material.

2. Use the material that the hull is made of to weld with. You're going to be welding at around 500 degrees.

3. Do your final smoothing with a harbor freight plastic welder. You'll want to let it preheat for about 10 minutes to get it hot enough.


If anyone is in Colorado and looking for a repair, let me know, and I can get you contact info for the plastic welder who did mine. He has over 30 years of experience (which is why I went with him), and can do the repair for around 3-400 dollars. Last I heard, he was looking to get a damaged hull to use as material in his repairs.

Check with your local dealer first to see if they have a damaged hull that you can have, but if you can't find one, shoot me a message. I have a hull that I can cut pieces out of and send to you. Price would depend on how much you need, but just looking to cover my time cutting it up, and shipping.

Hope this saves someone from a ~$3k repair bill.
 

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Thats gets the job done. By chance did you reinforce the damage from the back side by melting in stainless steel screen? I know its not a high stress area but it is a long crack.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I didn't add the mesh. Plastic welder guy said that it would be stronger than new, so I didn't bother adding a foreign material to the mix.
 

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Better to use epoxy and glass cloth rather than polyester. Difficult to get a good chemical bond on old GRP with polyester. Difference in cost is minimal on a smallish repair. If you can get at the inside, then do the reinforcing from the inside having first ground out the crack on the outside. Then fill the outside again with epoxy - you might need some cloth if the crack is deep - then prime and paint. Good information on repairing GRP using epoxy on the Wessex Resins website. You don't have to use their West resin, but it is good.
 
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