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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:10 am 
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Hello everybody. I have a 2009 Getaway...
Which is the best way to fix the wear are tear on the underside of the hulls due to normal use in a beach (scratches and larger scratches due to smalls rocks)?
While I know that fiberglass doesn't stick well enough to the rotomolded plastic for structural repairs, will it stick well enough just to cover up the scratches and give more life to the bottom of the hulls? If so, which will be better, polyester of epoxic resin?

Guillermo


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:35 am 
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I'm not sure about the Getaway plastic, but I plastic-welded a transom (with the help of a cutting board from WalMart!) on a defective (un-warranteed) Tandem Island:

Before:
https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/c0.0.403.403/p403x403/231145_10151255122172103_137445219_n.jpg

After (a few hours):
https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/c0.0.403.403/p403x403/311125_10151255122782103_1479708864_n.jpg

Maybe you could plastic-weld the appropriate donor plastic along the keel. It won't look pretty, and the color may be a bit burned (black/brown) in spots, but you should be able to heat/smooth it by hand fairly well. It is quite time consuming, but kind of fun!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:43 am 
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Location: Oceanside, California
The Getaway and Wave are molded of "cross linked polyethylene" and can not* be welded.

* Cross linked polyethylene is chemically different than linear and once fully cooked can no longer create the bonding needed for welding. The material is stiffer and has a brighter surface than linear.

Typically scratches on the keels should just be left alone. The material fuzzes up a bit and continues to offer wear protection. If removed, you just start wearing deeper into the material. The keels are very thick and only in rare, very high use (rental / resort) have I heard of one wearing through.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:35 pm 
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Whoa! That's good to know, Matt. So, for those who do a LOT of beaching, what options do they have for repair... or prevention of the keel line? (I will mainly ramp launch and tie up dockside and occasionally beach on soft sand, so I don't think this is an issue for me personally, but for others, like resorts, it would be good to know.)
Thanks for your expertise, Matt.
Scott


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:45 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
SailScott:
The hulls are very thick on the bottom, and you can easily scrape the scratches off probably several hundred times before starting to worry about scraping through the hull. Typically if you leave the really deep scratches alone, and fix all the shallow scratches, the hull will look pretty good when done.
To scrape the hull you take a single edge razer held vertically and just swipe it back and forth, it peels the outermost layer off yet leaves a nice shiny and even finish (once you get the hang of it. I used to own and operate a rapid prototyping and engineering house, and this was how we would finish the plastic models made from our SLA and SLS machines.
Though I have never tried it on a Getaway, if your really handy you might be able to use an electric heat gun (looks like a hair dryer) and carefully wave over the surface to shine it back up after scraping. I don't recommend using a blow torch (just too risky), and you must scrape first or you will trap the dirt in the plastic. Regardless of what type of heat you use, you have to be very careful as to not overheat the hull, do small areas and move around a lot, I use a water hose to cool the areas down (so do it outside).
Usually the scraping is all that is needed to make the hull bottom look good, the electric heat gun is probably overkill on the hull bottom.
I have also put on a very thin coat of Krylon clear plastic spray paint after scraping with pretty good results (it bonds to the plastic chemically). After 24 hrs it's un-removable and looks nice (an easy way to get a nice shiny finish). Like I said I have not tried any of this on a Getaway hull but all this works nicely on most standard kayaks (most brands).
Hope this helps you
Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:41 pm 
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SailScott wrote:
So, for those who do a LOT of beaching, what options do they have for repair... or prevention of the keel line?


I don't think a recreational user would use the boat enough to worry much. We have boats in rental service for many, many years that don't have an issue. They get used every day... all day long. If you really care well for your boat... you use Beach Wheels!

Image

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Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:35 pm 
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Thanks, Bob, for the clear steps in restoring plastic hulls.
And thanks, Matt, for reminding us of one of man's greatest inventions: the wheel... whether on a Hobie trailer, Catrax, main sheet block, halyard pulley, winch gear, etc.... What a gift! :)


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:09 pm 
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Bob, I used a razor blade at a right angle, but the gouges were pretty deep so I ended up carefully shaving/slicing the area (2" square), and now it looks much better and smoother. I'm afraid to use any kind of heat, but maybe someday someone will have a way (e.g., iron/aluminum foil?) to smooth/shine plastic dings and scratches. Thanks again.


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