Selecting the Right Facility...

At Aqua Fiberglass we take special care in restoring your fiberglass to the pre-accident condition. Our staff has over 50 years combined experience in fiberglass boat repair and maintenance. As a Fiberglass repair specialist, I urge you to locate a qualified fiberglass subcontractor for your repair needs, and avoid using a shop that occasionally repairs fiberglass such as an auto body shop. They are generally inexperienced and tend to use materials that they have on hand and are familiar with, such as bondo and paint. A boat has no bondo and paint on it when it is built and should not have any when it is repaired.

Engineers who design boats have a tough time designing a boat that is light weight enough to out perform other boats on the market, and at the same time be structurally sound and safe. Every layer of mat and cloth, core mat, and woven roving are there for a reason and must be replaced if damaged. There are also different types of resin such as general purpose, ISO, epoxy, etc. It takes experienced personnel to know which is needed for your application. Don't jeopardize your family's safety by letting an inexperienced person repair your boat just to save a few dollars.

Most people think that gel coat is sprayed on a boat like paint on a car. This is not true. Paint is sprayed on the outside of a fender after the fender is made. If you bend your fender, you buy one, paint it and put it on your car the same way it was done at the factory. A boat is built inside a mold, and therefore cannot be repaired the same way it was built. The gel coat is applied to the mold first. The dominant mixing color rises to the air surface, then the fiberglass is laminated in the paint job. When the boat is 'popped' from the mold, the gel coat is already smooth and shiny.

When we repair a boat, we first have to remove the damaged laminate and re-laminate the fiberglass and allow it dry. Fiberglass dries very hard and has to be shaped much like carving sculpture out of stone. This is a very time-consuming process because we don't have the luxury of working in a mold. When the glass is perfectly fared out, then the gel coat is applied last instead of first like when the boat was built. The dominant mixing color again rises to the air surface. Gel coat dries very hard and rough, and has to be hand sanded in several stages to achieve a smooth finish which removes the dominant mixing color. You have to really understand this in order to properly tint the gel coat so that a blend cannot be seen. A truly qualified fiberglass repairman cannot short cut this process to save time and thereby maximize his profit. Doing the job the right way is our primary concern, and that is the only way we feel that we can truly help the customer.

Tracy Hipp