How to Maintain and Clean Fiber Boats?

  •  24/03/2019
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The material, called fiber or fiberglass, is based on glass fiber and hardened with resin. It provides durability thanks to its composite structure of fibers. You may have also heard it as GRP as an English shortening. GRP means glass-reinforced plastic. In the world market, all boats and brands sold in mass production are made fiber-based. Fiber is a material that does not require much maintenance.

How to Use Fiberglass

Fiberglass, as a result of combining the basic building material with resin, is made of very solid composite materials. Fiber fibers can be fibrous or mesh-shaped. They can be used together to ensure robustness. Fiber fibres also have thicknesses according to the place of use and are named according to their weight in 300 or 500 square meters.

What should be the body material when buying a boat? you can check out our article.

Epoxy, vinyl ester or polyester resins can be used for fiber construction. Although all three different resins perform the same task, they differ in their lifetime. They also have different water resistance. The most robust and water-resistant resin for fiberglass is epoxy resin. Vinyl ester follows. At the bottom of the step is polyester resin. It's both cheap and not as durable as the others.

A suitably amount of resin is used for hardening and curing fiberfibers. The resin, which is overused, makes the material unnecessarily heavy. The underused resin cannot provide the necessary robustness.

Hand Deposit Or Vacuum – What is infusion?

Two different techniques can be applied during fiberglass production. One of them is the management of the deposit, which we can call an old-fashioned, paternal stay. After the fibers are spread to the surface, resin is applied with a roll or brush and left on hold for curing. After a few hours, the material hardens and catches up.

In vacuum infusion method, the fiberglass material is coated with special vacuum bags. Resin is applied to fiberglass material with the help of a pressurized machine. In this way, fiberglass material reaches its final form.

In fiberglass, air gaps can remain during hand deposit management, resin can be applied irregularly or thickly. With the vacuum method, the air gap cannot remain, the grp structure becomes more robust and lighter. Many boat manufacturers apply the hand deposit because the vacuum infution method is an expensive system. Sirena Marine company successfully implements vacuum infusion system in all its brands at world standards in our country.

What is Jelkot?

The outer surfaces of all boats and yachts produced from fiberglass materials are protected by a mazeme called gelkot. The outermost surface of all composite materials is coated with gelkot, beautifying the appearance of the surface and protecting the fiberglass material against water and the sun. We can call gelkot to the material that ensures corrosion resistance of all GRP boats.

Jelkot is applied to the outermost part of the boats with a thickness of no more than 0.5 to 0.8 mm. I mean, it's so thin, it's less than 1 mm. UV protection is applied to make them resistant to the sun. the reason they are discarded is that the gelkot material does not have much flexibility. The gelkot, which is thrown as a thick layer, will crack in the movements of the boat such as sprains etc.

Fiber boat owners clean and maintain 90% gelkotu, not fiberglass during boat maintenance. Because there's always a jelkot layer on the outermost surface.

Cleaning of Fiber Boats

The outer surfaces of the boats are covered with gelkot. Gelkot material does not wear out easily with cleaning products. However, acetone, thinner, teak care with the acids used to damage gelkot surfaces can be damaged if contacted for a long time. Jelkotta may cause a color difference and lose their brightness.

Therefore, cleaning boats with marin detergents or arabic soap will be the right way. In our country, the use of detergent in many marinas is prohibited. Excessive and unnecessary detergent should be avoided to keep our seas clean.

Fiber material, at least 3 years, even if it stays in dense sunny areas does not lose its brightness easily. So he won't need any extra cleaning except for the classic cleaning materials.

Maintenance of Matted Zones

The gelkot material on fiberglass boats can burn from the sun. If there is no protection for many years, the matting may begin. To prevent this, a thin cake should be applied and then making a protective polish will help capture the old shines.

Cake-wax application should not be applied to areas with new gelkota and non-matte. The application of cake is like fine sandpaper and causes the gelkot surfaces to thin. Some services even offer cakes to new boats in order to charge maintenance fees from customers. If you own a boat and have a new boat, do not allow it. Maybe two or four years, under the sun' conditions, you may not need a cake on your boat.

Carinaya should be taken care of;

Especially the carina parts of the boats waiting at sea during the year are under attack by sea creatures. Poisonous paint is applied to prevent damage to the underwater gelkot and the fiberglass structure covering it. Toxic dye reduces the adhesion of marine creatures, helping to create a slippery floor under the boat to prevent algae and mesotous from sticking.

Therefore, every year, the stranding of fiberglass boats and underwater maintenance will prolong their lifespan. Repair of all cracks and fractures, especially underwater, will prevent water from entering the fiberglass. fiberglass, which enters water into it, will start to decay and soften over time. This can have dangerous consequences.

Sintines should remain dry;

As with any boat, the sintins of the boats should always remain dry. More attention should be paid especially in fiber boats. The fiber structure, which comes into contact with water continuously, will be permanently damaged after many years. It'll cost him serious repairs.

Summary for Maintenance of Fiber Boats;

• Land regularly every year, regenerate toxic dye and, if possible, leave it on land for at least 15 days. The ventilation of jelkot and fiberglass in the carina is ensured.

• Repair all cracks and fractures, especially in areas where the boat comes into contact with water. Don't hold off on the rudder fractures.

• Polish twice a year for protection in the southern regions where the sun is abundant. In the summer, the polish will be effective. Pool, deck and board. At the beginning of the summer season in Istanbul, it will be enough once a year.

• Think twice about applying cake on new boats until the age of four. Don't bake or make cakes as long as you can't.

• Do not sand into the teak areas of the pool or deck. If necessary, clean with teak cleaners and with the help of plenty of water and felt.

• All holes that drill unless required to fiberglass boats must be closed with suitable waterproof sika material.

• Have sailing boats checked with the experts once a year for a direct trim. Climb the mast, look at the junctions, check the fiberglass and gelkot layered floors attached to the crucifixion bottoms.

• Repair gelkot stress cracks on the deck and prevent water from entering them.

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