Composite & Fibreglass Repairs
Yacht Refit Asia specialise in using Glass Reinforced Plastic, also known as GRP or ‘Fibreglass’ and other high strength materials such as carbon fibre composites in yacht repairs and structural alterations as well as offering world-class yacht painting services throughout South East Asia.
GRP composites are created by combining thermosetting plastic resins with a reinforcing fibre to create strong yet flexible materials that are widely used in yacht construction and repair work for anything from small tenders to the largest of yachts.
Fibreglass is a great choice of construction material to be applied over wood and plastic substrates and is used for many applications because of its flexibility, strength, resistance to harsh environments and it can be used to build uniquely shaped structures. It’s a chemically inert composite material that has a long lifespan and is resistant to corrosion from the elements when coated with Gelcoat.
Our expert team will promptly assess your yacht repair needs and are dedicated to producing results to be proud of.
Here are some examples of typical composite and fibreglass repairs we have worked on, all resulting in an impeccable finish when completed.
- General fibreglass repairs
- Specialist carbon fibre repairs
- Structural, deck and hull repairs
- Stress repairs - reinforcement
- Delamination repairs
- Osmosis repairs
- Heat damage repairs
- Blister repairs
- Crash repairs
- Composite Diesel tank leak repairs
- Gelcoat matching
- Insurance claim work
“We give free quotations for all proposed projects.”
“All our composite and fibreglass repairs are covered by our Limited Warranty.”
Gelcoat is a popular choice of yacht coating that we often apply to Fibreglass and composite structures. Gelcoat is repairable, colour matching new Gelcoat with the current finish is possible and it can also be polished to achieve a very good standard yacht finish.
It is important to carry out regular maintenance of your yacht so issues such as Gelcoat dullness, delamination and osmosis are rectified before they become a serious problem.
Fibreglass Inspection Survey – Hull, Superstructure, Interior and Exterior Structures
We are able to offer a full inspection survey of your yacht prior to presenting a free quotation for fibreglass repair works. We will highlight in the report which are necessary repairs and which are recommendations. Here are details of the potential issues we will report on;
Dulness occurs when the Gelcoat covered fibreglass surfaces have not been polished and waxed often enough or it is reaching the end of its lifespan. To maintain a high gloss finish, it is recommended to polish and wax using soft pads and UV resistant products approxiamately every three months. If left to go dull, the Gelcoat begins to absorb more and more UV rays from the sun and will begin to oxidise. When this happens if you wipe your finger on the Gelcoat surface you will see oxidised Gelcoat powder on your finger tip. It may be possible to lightly sand, polish and wax an oxidised Gelcoat, but if it has oxidised badly, the best option is to sand the affected subtrates and re-coat. If you polish and wax a badly oxidised surface, it won’t be too long before it becomes dull again.
Delamination begins when the fibreglass layers and the resin that bonded the composite together separate from each other or from the middle core that the fibreglass layers were originally bonded to. Cracks in the surface layers of fibreglass and cracks in the Gelcoat or painted surfaces can allow water to enter the laminate, eventually travelling to the core. These cracks are most often caused by movement and flexing stresses as the yacht travels through the water and by the impact of waves on the yachts hull. Delamination can even be caused by crew and guests walking on a laminated area that wasn’t bonded well during manufacture, all of which we can repair.
Delamination is usually a gradual process that isn’t an issue for many years of service, but we highly recommend regular checks of all fibreglass areas and substrates.
When you have your yacht anti-foul system repainted for example is an ideal time to check your yacht’s hull for other potential repair needs, such as those caused by osmosis.
The osmosis process begins with small air pockets being trapped between the outer fibreglass layers and Gelcoat applied to the yacht hull mould when manufactured. When in the ocean, lake, river or canal, water molecules slowly diffuse through the Gelcoat and condense in these small air pockets or bubbles. (Water molecules can also diffuse through the Gelcoat from rain and high humidity environments). The solution created from water-soluble components within these air pockets cannot pass back through the Gelcoat, visible blistering then occurs as the liquid expands and increases in pressure. If left untreated larger blisters may well occur within the laminate, which can weaken the hull and ultimately shorten the lifespan of your yacht.
One way to minimise these air pockets is to use the vacuum bagging method when making and repairing fibreglass structures. The pressure from the vacuum removes most of the hair from the laminate and minimises moisture as the composite hardens. Because of the improvements in fibreglass yacht hull construction and yacht coatings over recent decades, osmosis tends to be more of an issue with older yachts.
Carbon Fibre & Dupont™ Kevlar®
Carbon fibre can be used instead of fibre glass for building yachts when weight reduction and increased hull stiffness and strength is required. This creates a smoother, faster sailing experience and is an ideal choice of construction material for high speed racing yachts.
Carbon fibre can also be clear gloss coated to create design featured panels and structures, giving your yacht a modern look.
For increased durability, strength and further weight reduction a polyethylene hull bonded together with very low maintenance Dupont™Kevlar® will further increase a racing yachts performance. This specialist material can also be used throughout the yacht.