Andy Miller
15175 Spruce Tree Dr
Herbster, WI 54844

110 Responses to “HOW TO REACH US
  1. Alan Young says:

    I love your show. I’ve been preparing Victoria, a Hudson Force 50 ketch for Bluewater
    cruising starting this fall. You’ve been a great help, especially when it comes to fiberglass repair and Awlgrip paint. Thank you.


    • ~Andy Andy says:

      Hi Alan, Thank you for the kind words πŸ™‚ I’d love to see some pics of what you’re working on! I’m going to be setting up a ‘Viewer Corner’ on my website for people to show what they’re doing / working on. If interested just email me a few pics with a brief desc and I’ll set things up on my end..

      Thank you! Good luck with your projects!


  2. ANDY
    1- CLEAN UP ?


  3. Kurt R. Wlasak says:


    I have to say that I am enjoying your videos! You seem to be a great teacher and a wealth of information….

    I am working on a Sears Gamefisher boat that I have had for three years now, and I am having the same issue over and over again with a leak…..So with the information in your videos I hope i can repair it once and for all……

    Thanks again,


    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Let me know if you have any Q’s!!

      Good luck πŸ™‚

      • Jon says:

        I also have a 12′ FG Sears Gamefisher that I just picked up for free. I plan on restoring it for fishing out in the creeks and Intracoastal river systems here on the East Coast of Central Florida. I used to work in the surf industry, so I’m pretty familiar with lighter duty glasswork along with epoxy and poly resins. I’d love to get any feedback, comments, or insight you may have. I really enjoy watching your videos and find them very easy to learn from.

  4. Mort says:

    I’ve a deck leak which I cannot find for the life of me. Any method you can recommend?

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      I can try but ill need a bit more info. Where on the deck, what kind of hardware is in the area (cleats, stanchions, portlights, etc). What kind of boat, etc.. where in the interior is the water visible?

      Look forward to hearing back πŸ™‚


  5. Kurt says:

    Great videos! I love all the detailed info. you provide.

    I recently purchased a 1980 O’day sailboat and the gelcoat is crazing, has cracks, is chalky etc.. I cant figure out if its better to try to “fix” the gelcoat with rubbing compound/sanding etc. or to go ahead and apply a coat of paint over it.

    Do you have any thoughts/suggestions/rules of thumb regarding whether one should fix old gelcoat or paint over?


    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      If the gelcoat is in relatively good shape (no major cracking, chips, de-lamination, etc) I would probably try cleaning it up with a heavy rubbing compound first to see how it turns out. If that doesn’t do it, then I would look into wetsanding the gelcoat with 800 grit, 1200 grit and buff the sanding with a rubbing compound. If you consider this option you’ll need to make sure that there is enough thickness to the gelcoat otherwise you may end up sanding through and having blotchy spots. If none of those options work then it’s time to look at re-surfacing either with paint or gelcoat.

      Gelcoat provides more wear as it’s a thicker material but it’s very labor intensive to apply and finish. Painting goes much quicker but will scratch very easily. That’s the major trade-off between the two options.

      Regardless the surface blemishes (cracks, chips, etc) will need to be addressed before anything can be done. Not doing so will just result in those spots printing back through the new material (doesn’t matter if it’s gelcoat or paint)..

      Hope this helps!

  6. Scott says:

    What a great sight this is! These videos are awsome, so specific and detailed thanks! I have a specific question. I am in the process of restoring my 57 Wagemaker 15 foot runabout. It is a cedar plywood moulded hull with mahogany decking. (The segement on coloring will be of great use with these different woods). One of the reasons I am doing this project is to restore the white caulking lines in the decking as they had yellowed over time, the caulking was varnished over so I guess it was actually the varnish that yellowed. I was thinking I would apply the varnish and then do the caulking last after the varnish work is complete, although I would not be able to sand it flush with this method. What is your opinion on the best way to get clean lines that will stand up to discoloratoion for some time

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hi Scott,

      Are you sure that it’s caulked and not painted? Most of the wooden runabouts have these pinstripes painted with Pettit Easypoxy (white).. Try digging your fingernail in to see if there’s any give. If it is actually caulking, try this product It comes in black, white and grey colors..

      If you do all the finishing on the wood then tape off either side of the “stripe” you can fill it with this caulking, smooth it over with a plastic putty knife then pull the tape; this will give you a nice crisp line that is slightly crowned (meaning to sanding necessary).

      If you haven’t seen this already check out this video.. It’s somewhere around 11 or 12 minutes into it that it shows how easy this caulking is to work with. Only different between our applications is that you would tape off where I didn’t πŸ™‚

      • Scott says:

        Andy, Thanks for the advice. It is caulking for sure…I already stripped it out and have the decking sanded to bare wood. I was thinking maybe I could fill the gaps with some pine 1/4 round temporarily tacked in to avoid getting varnish in the gaps. Of couse I would pull them before the varnish sets on each coat. Then when the coats are complete I would tape and caulk as you suggested. This will be time consuming but I can’t think of a better way. What do you think?

        • ~Andy ~Andy says:

          Hi Scott,

          I think if it were me I would not do anything with the caulking grooves; leave them open. Do any staining and varnishing that you need to do, and when that part is done then go over the grooves with a piece of thin wood and sandpaper wrapped around it to sand / remove anything that went into the caulking grooves. If you’re constantly pulling filler pieces of wood in and out every time you varnish you’ll end up lifting the edges of the varnish.

          By doing a final sanding only in the grooves will also help with adhesion of the caulking as it will be able to bond with bare wood. Afterwards vacuum the dust, tape off and apply the caulking πŸ™‚

  7. Steve West says:

    Hey Andy…Love your U tube videos. My wife and I are planing to build a catamaran to retire on. Big project with lot s of details and your shows are inspiring. I would like to give you a heads up that your web site isn’t really working very well when viewed on an IPad. Works fine on explorer, I’m sur it’s just a bug…P.S. Your little girl is just cute as a button. It was fun watching her get big show to show. Keep up the good work and we look forward to the next show.

    Stephen and Sue West
    New Jersey

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hey Guys! Thank you πŸ™‚

      Still trying to figure out how I need to export the video’s so they work on all the different viewing options (iPads, phones, laptops, etc).. I think I may have it worked out but need to make a few changes on my website πŸ™‚ Out of curiosity are the more recent video’s having issues on an iPad or is it mostly the older ones? Here’s the most recent, if you don’t mind could you let me know if it works? Thanks!

      Awesome retirement plan! What size boat are you building?


  8. Dave says:

    Hi Andy. Your youtube videos give me confidence that I could do this. I’m wondering if you have a video that might help me with my project.

    This summer I’ll be attempting to restore a fiberglass sailboat that was built from a kit in the 1970s. The hull orginally came in four parts – bottom, sides, & stern. 40 years later (and over a decade of neglect) the boat shows long, straight cracks extending the full length of hull on ‘corners’ where the parts of the hull were joined together. There is only evidence of this on the external surface of the hull giving me hope it can be saved.

    It appears to be a patch job but with what techniques and products I’m uncertain.


    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hi Dave,

      I would make sure to take a very close look at the interior glass on these areas. If it is indeed only the exterior that is showing signs of stress this should be a fairly simple project πŸ™‚ Even if the cracks extend through the interior, it’s still fairly simple (just double the work πŸ™ )

      To be on the safe side, if you could post a couple of pics on my Facebook Page that would help me better understand the condition..

      Thank you!


      • Dave says:

        Thank you for the quick reply and your willingness to help. I’ll try to take some quick photos tonight to share.

  9. Scott says:

    Hi Andy, I will be applying my final coat of varnish to my 57 Wagemaker soon. (I posted a photo to your facebook page) I have a nice mirror finish but still have minute bumps in the finish. I’m not sure if it is bubbles or dust. What do you recommend for the best outcome for the final coat? I am using Interlux Schooner un-thinned at this point. Would thinning make it less prone to hold air? I was also thinking just to give it a light 1000 grit sanding and apply a paste wax at the end.
    My other dilema is weather or not to put in the white line caulk, which was my plan from the beginning. I am liking the uncaulked look though, what do you think?

  10. john says:

    Hi Andy. Your video on building a toboggan was a real help to me while i was building one for my grandson. What are your thoughts on using Lacquer, instead of varnish on a toboggan ? Thanks John.

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hey John,

      I’d think that lacquer would work just fine. I used a poly based varnish for the toughness, but really any kind of hard, moisture resistant finish should work πŸ™‚

      If you think about it, sent a pic of your sled to my facebook page

  11. Jeff says:

    Hi Andy,

    Better than a sikcomb… : ) Keep um coming.


  12. Kevin says:

    Great videos! I just bought my first boat, an 85 Grady White. Lots of stuff to be done. Please post more videos. They are the best

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Thanks πŸ™‚ As soon as our baby comes, we’ll be getting back to video’s! If you do the facebook thing, please ‘Like’ my page (it tends to have more up to date info on what’s going on).. Here’s the link…



  13. Troy Baker says:

    Hey Andy,

    I just wanted to say hi and say that I hope all is going well with your wife’s pregnancy. Make sure you post some pics on Woodtalk so we can all see your “Latest Project” when it arrives.

    God’s blessings,


  14. Danny says:

    Hi Andy, we love what your doing, videos are very detailed. I use to paint cars in my early years starting out and always wondered how to work with fiberglass. After viewing these you’ve cleared up “a lot” of questions I’ve always had but never baked to get answered. I’ve had several boats but a couple years ago purchased a 1998 ’27 Grady that needed some work. Being very talented I was going to do a bottom job myself next to my house. After several days of working outside on this project, July in Florida I decided to build a carport. Going from blocks to the trailer my boat fell on me crushing my L1 vertebrate and spending the next six months recovering. Luckily I’ve made a good recovery and going to attemp this project again but keep it above the water line. I want to thank you for inspiring me to dive back in and give it a try…again. I have one question, do you have any plans in the future for a video on bass boat type of metal flakes repairs? I’m more interested on how to work with the deep looking heavy flakes that are on bass boats. Thank you, Danny.

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hey Danny,

      Thanks for the kind words and good to hear that you’re ready to jump back in! It’s hard to say if I’ll be doing any metal flake repairs anytime soon. If I happen to get a request for it from a customer I will certainly video the process!

      Good luck with your project!

      Let me know if you have any Q’s


  15. Martin says:

    Hi Andy,

    I’m working on a project building a 21foot trimaran. You mentioned that you had been doing some tests with vacuum bagging (and infusion?). I’d lv to see some of yout thoughts on this.

    greetings from Hamburg, Grmany

  16. stan says:

    I am in the process of refurbishing a 1973 fiberglass signa trihull and I am going to paint the hull and top of this boat and am wondering if there is a paint that can be sprayed on and after applying the paint what would I use for a clearcoat over the paint or do I have to use gelcoat

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      There are always exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking MOST marine paints do not require any kind of a clearcoat πŸ™‚ Typically it’s either paint for a topcoat, or gelcoat (but never both).. What paint are you looking to use?

      • stan says:

        totalboat underdog bottom paint through jd distributors for the bottom of boat and still looking for a pearl white for the top part of the trihull also I have decided to put some silver and maroon metal flake in the blue bottom and I think that if not the pearl white then just a white with metal flake in the white I have really enjoyed your videos very much and it has been very informative to me, and now I am tearing this boat down to hull and am going to convert over to a flat deck boat and long ways to go and am going to repair the bow scratch and want to paint the outside before I put all my fiberglass and wood inside bottom of boat building from the bottom up I will send some picsi when I am done yet will take all the advice along the way that I can get

  17. Bill Phillips says:

    In your last video post, you said you were looking for questions for an upcoming FAQ session…Here goes:

    I need to cut down the corners of 2 gelcoated fiberglass seats and reshape them to fit into a smallish cabin. The modified area is a rounded multi-contoured shape and I want the seats to match, so I think I need to build a mold. These are the steps I think I need to follow:

    A: Build a plug of the new shape by (1) carving/sanding a foam shape to fit, (2) covering the foam with epoxy with mico-bead filler to get a hard surface, (3) final sand the epoxy surface.

    B: Create a mold of the foam plug using fiberglass and release wax.

    C: Use the fiberglass mold to create the modified section of each seat. I think the layers are (1) gelcoat to match the seat, (2) Glass mat to conform to the shape, (3) glass fabric to add strength.

    Are these the right steps? Is there a faster way to do this?

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hey Bill,

      It’s a little difficult to say without being able to see exactly what you’re working with, but if I’m understanding correctly your process sounds good. Let me know how it works out!

      Good luck


      • Bill Phillips says:

        Thanks Andy,

        Couple more related questions:

        – How many layers of mat and woven fabric do you recommend?
        – Do you recommend polyester or epoxy resin?

        Your video series is great and never miss an episode.



        • ~Andy ~Andy says:

          I’d think that 2-3 layers should be enough (maybe a little extra re-inforcement in corners). Also, I’d probably go with poly resin the the glass work then coat with a tooling gelcoat. sand, wax and pva.. should be good πŸ™‚

  18. John Ryan says:

    I am staining marine plywood that is okoume faced. These panel are used for interior of a century speed boat instead of using vinyl fabric covered panels I am using the panels to be varnished. My question is that once I stain these panels and apply epoxy coating and then apply varnish as needed What would happen if I left the varnish part out and just stay with epoxy? What difference will it make if I don’t go with the varnish part? The stain I am using is Z-SPar 1095 Standard Mahogany as some of the deck panels have been done with this product. I can’t tell if they have varnish over the epoxy or not. What is your recommendation. I just finished watching your two part series in epoxy & varnish series. Thank you for your consideration and comments.

    John Ryan

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      If you’re using these for the interior, I think I would probably skip the epoxy all together. Do the staining, then go overtop with Pettit sealer, light scuff and build with their regular varnish. Final coats I like to use their satin varnish just so it’s not so glossy. I tend to use high gloss for exterior applications and satin for interior (easier on the eyes) πŸ™‚

  19. aaron says:

    Great website! I love these super helpful tutorials… any chance you will be getting on any epoxy/glueing and shaping of wooden spars like bowsprits from sailboats?

  20. Michael H. says:

    Andy, I’m really grateful for the information that you have placed on the website. I bought a 21 foot contender and shows to repair it myself.I was wondering if you could shed some light on on orbital sanders. sending is not one of my favorite things to do and I decided to spend a little money too make my job a little bit easier for me. can you explain to me what’s the difference be between using a orbital sander, like a quick cut sander verses A Mirza Ceres Sander?

    • Michael H. says:

      I’m sorry, I spelled that incorrectly “Mirka Ceros Sander”

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Basically the couple suggestions I’d make for working / sanding fiberglass is:
      – Use a sander that has a lot of head movement (6mm or more is pretty aggressive). This will remove the material much faster than a head with little movement.
      – With glass, I like to use a sander that can be hooked up to a vac for dust extraction. The more dust that gets sucked up at the source, the less will be floating around in the air πŸ™‚

      Fein makes great products (although you do pay for it)! Wet sanders like Quick Cut are great for their intended purpose (finishing) but not aggressive enough for sanding bare glass. Finish sanders have a 1.5 – 3mm movement on the head..

      Don’t have any experience with Mirka πŸ™ I believe they are more designed for sanding wood rather than glass..

      Hope this helps!


  21. Jared Colclough says:

    Hi Andy,

    Been watching your “hole in my boat” & gel coat repair from across the pond in the UK,
    Fantastic, very very helpful.
    I need some advice and or help, I’ve got a 1974 Fletcher arrowsport, that someone put 2 skrew hols in the hull, problem is, I can’t get to one side because of the floor, can I do a suitable repair without removing the floor?
    Also, I’ve recently been helping out a stranded village cut off by flood water here in Somerset, in the uk, check me out on goodle lol, problem is, I’ve grounded the boat out a few times on the road surface and I’ve chewed the gel coat off the keel and taken out some fibreglass, any advice on the repair needed for that? It hasn’t gone through entirely.

    Great videos and thank you so much

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      You’ll need to replace the glass that has been removed; you should be able to use a combination of 1.5oz csm and 1708 πŸ™‚ As far as the screw holes, something that small you can likely dish the surface in a 2″ diameter, lay in a few layers of csm with poly resin, fare the surface with adtech and topcoat (paint or gelcoat)..

  22. Bryan Clements says:

    Hi Andy, let me first say like everyone else great job on the videos, very good motivational and teaching. Im working on a 1979 ski Nautique. I didnt know how bad of shape it was in when i bought it back in the summer. I cut the old stringers out one side at a time so the hull would not loose its shape, i now have all the stringers in and starting to glass everything back in. I was wanting some good advice on the 1708 and epoxy, i have somewhat rounded over the tops of the wood so the glass would go over better and the glass is going to be to stiff to stick. Will running two layers of 1708 to the top of the stringer and capping 2 layers of CSM over the top be strong enough or should i do the 1708 up and over in one 2 layers.


    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      1708 should be able to take those contours in one solid piece. Just make sure to fillet the edges where it meets the hull. As long as the edges are rounded 1708 is actually pretty pliable!

  23. Joerg K. says:

    Hi Andy,

    great website! And great tutorial videos!!! Just watched the whole Gelcoat series yesterday night.
    Truly fantastic, and I think I’ll be able to tackle my gelcoat repair jobs this spring now!

    Quick question:
    After you color match the gelcoat (without catalyst of course) how and for how long can you store that gelcoat before you have to use it? Can you color match one weekend and start the application the next?

    In one of your videos you have a gelcoat color fan from, I think, Maxguard? Where can I get one of those?


    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Thanks Joerg πŸ™‚

      If stored properly gelcoat will last up to a year without any issues. After that it may, or may not still cure properly.. As far as getting a fan deck for colors, you can try calling Express Composites to see if they have any avail, or can order one for you πŸ™‚

  24. Randy says:


    I’ve done everything short of what I’m about to ask you…I have a small 30′ sailboat and under the port settee there is an aluminum fresh water holding tank that I have tried for two days to get out. I am at the point where I think the only solution is to cut the settee and get the tank out.

    If I have to cut the settee (have you ever heard of this?) how do I replace the pieces that were cut out, how to I reattach the seams of the settee? I’m freaking out!

    If you can advise me even just a little I would be forever grateful, oh and I wouldn’t have had the courage to have gotten this far on the restoration if it wasn’t for you…thanks so much!



    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hey Randy,

      If you’re trying to remove the tank because it’s leaking I’d go in with a sawzall and cut the tank apart rather than the settee πŸ™‚ As a replacement the heavy bladder style tanks work very well and would be easy to re-install.. Let me know if I’m on the right track with what you’re trying to do πŸ˜‰

  25. Baldimar Rios says:

    Hi Andy
    I love your YouTube videos, good information for people that want to fix the boats they own. I have two questions that I would like you to give me information on. The first question comes from watching one of your videos. On this video you say that epoxy over polyester resin can be done, but polyester over epoxy resin can not. So my question is, how can someone tell what type of resin the boat was made out of. So that the right materials can be used in the boat repairing process. My second question is about marine adhesive. I would like to know if there is on the market a good marine adhesive, that is durable underwater. If you could answer these questions for me, I will appreciate it very much.

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hey B.R

      Most likely (unless it’s a very expensive boat) it was built with poly resin. Older boats; definitely poly resin πŸ™‚ As far as the adhesive Q, what specifically are you looking to use it for?

      When you have a chance please let me know..



      • Baldimar Rios says:

        Boat was made in 1987, and the adhesive I wanted to use on some decorative aluminum parts that I think will always be below the water line. And also will be hit on by waves constantly.

        • ~Andy ~Andy says:

          Really any of the 3M caulks would work very well (4200, 4000uv) even 5200 but don’t plan on being able to remove and re-bed down the road! 4200 would probably be my choice. I’m guessing that the trim pieces are also fastened with screws?

  26. Bob Walker says:

    Hi Andy,
    I have a 73 13′ whaler with original gel coat and a number of extra holes and cracks that I want to repair to a high level of quality. I also want to learn to do this for future projects. I was wondering if you would consider a road trip to Maryland’s Eastern Shore to train and work with me for a few days. I am sure there are gel coat experts locally, but finding a good teacher is often more challenging.
    Thanks for considering this.

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hi Bob,

      I’m afraid I have too many irons in the fire to take any trips right now πŸ™ If you have any Q’s as your working through the project just let me know. Also, going back over the glass video’s I have out should give a pretty good idea on the process..


  27. Ensign Pullver says:

    I’ve been working on a rudder project rebuilding a rudder for an O’Day 302 and your videos have been a great source of info. Could you give me your thoughts about whether i need to gel coat the rudder or is barrier coat an acceptable substitute for gel coat to an area that’s below the water line?

    Looking forward to Gel Coat 101.


    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Gelcoat is really an over used finishing surface for repairs. The main reason it’s used for new production is because it aids in popping the parts out of the mold and provides a nice shiny surface πŸ™‚ For a rudder (I’m hoping that I’ll have the time to get the last vid of the rudder re-build series out soon) I always go overtop the glass with a barrier coat, then bottom paint (no gelcoat).. Barrier coats are epoxy based and allow much less water absorption than poly (gelcoat).

      Go with the barrier coat (I’d recommend Pettit’s brand) and you’ll be good to go..

      Hope this helps!

  28. Terry says:

    I really enjoyed your tutorials (ALL OF THEM) . I’m on the recoup from knee surgery and was looking for gel coat/ fiberglass coarse to take and found your website . I got bitten by the sailing bug almost a year ago and plan to get my first boat in the near future. Between your videos and Don Casey’s books I feel confident to self survey and not get stung . I was curious to hear your thoughts on converting a Bermuda rigged boat into a junk rig. There are some older hulls that need new rigging and thought this could be a option. I heard that single-handing and the ease in reefing are benefits of a junk rig .Which I think would work good for my situation because I have a disabled wife and if I could eliminate excess heal by reefing and control the boat by myself it would benefit us both. Thanks for taking the time to pass the knowledge. Terry.

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hey Terry,

      It’s hard to say which kind of rig would work best for you as it’s more of an issue of the layout of the boat than the sail design πŸ™‚ To be honest, you may want to keep your radar open to sloop style boats that have been set up where all the control lines are led back to the cockpit (making it much easier for single-handling).

      Sloops have a lot going for them in that they typically sail better in various weather, point better into the wind, and with multiple sails are able to reef down to accommodate the weather conditions. A headsail with a roller furling would be a bonus in your situation..

      Depending on the size boat you’re looking at I may be able to make some recommendations on brands πŸ™‚

      Hope this helps!


      • Terry says:

        Thanks for the input. A sloop is probably my best option for my goals. I was leaning toward 28-33′ range preferably with a shoal keel or centerboard.. I was looking at the Morgan out islands for their roomy cabins. If you have a builder or model that you would recommend or avoid your opinion would be appreciated. I would like an older solid layup boat (fixer upper). I’ll be doing most of my sailing on the great lakes with a trip around the” great loop” and probable down to the Caribbean to live aboard in about 5 yrs. (God willing).This will probably be my one and only sailboat so I’m trying to get as much input as possible. Thanks again!

        • ~Andy ~Andy says:

          It’s not a real high end boat (but very popular), but I know a few people with physical limitations that sail an Islander 28 due to the large companionway for going down below and deep cockpit for safety. Personally I am not much a fan of Morgan O/I. Everyone I’ve worked on has been a nightmare dealing with original construction issues.. Personally I’d cross that one off the list. Other Morgans are better, but the O/I is in a class all it’s own πŸ™

  29. Stan Blackledge says:

    Hi Andy,
    I’ve watched all the video material on fiberglass repair. You are very informative and a great teacher. I do have a problem that perhaps you can help me sort out. I started a deck refinish project this winter on a cc. The original owner bought two proto-type boats from a company going out of buisness and finished them out. From what I have found in stripping the boat to the fiberglass, it was’nt prepped properly and the paint was flaking out in big chunks. Instead of removing the paint, it was covered over with a woven fiberglass fabric, but definitely not a pro job. Lots of highs and lows. I decided to take that layer out also. This created my latest problem. Some of the rear deck area has some very low spots that start at some seams of the core material. Where the seams meet there are almost inverted V. The material is solid, but where I sanded, I was sanding fairly aggresively at this point, I broke thru the original glass to the core. I understand how to prepare for new glass, from your video, but is there a fix for the lows and highs without creating a lot more work. I,m 50-60 hours of sanding into this project and I don’t want do redo next season.

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Do you plan to topcoat with gelcoat or paint? If paint then a good fairing epoxy will be your best friend πŸ™‚ If it’s gelcoat then the best bet is to lay up CSM to get the shape fairly close and do the final fairing with AdTech p-14 or something similar.

      Let me know if you have any further Q’S!

  30. Baldimar Rios says:

    Andy, I would like to know if you could give me some guidance on a issue I was wondering about. I was looking on the web, and some places say that when you are using a gelcoat you do not need to put a primer underneath. It is applied only so the background basically does not show later on through the gelcoat. I started looking into Duratec Vinyl Ester Primer 1799-005, but it seems to me like that product is overkill because it says it is for yachts. It is a product that is made for something that would sit in the water its entire life span. Is there another primer made by Duratec that you would use for a regular boat that’s going to be in and out of the water, or is this product something that you would use in your shop all the time for whatever kind of boat. I would hate to see a lot of work put into fixing a boat only to have it look like crap at the end. πŸ™‚


    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      No primer needed prior to gelcoating. Most of those products are used for mold making and repairs; not necessarily repairs on your boat πŸ™‚

  31. Stan Blackledge says:

    Hi Andy, great website. Lots of great info gleaned from your tutorials, you’re a great teacher. I have a question. I found some laminate broken loose on the fish deck of my cc. I cut it out, saving the laminate, as the wood is still solid but wet. How long will it take for the wood to dry typically. I have entertained the idea of drilling some 1/4 inch holes to allow more air circulation for drying. Your thought on the best course of action would be appreciated. Thanks again for a great website.

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Honestly, you’ll be there for many months (or longer) for it to dry πŸ™ Best turn-a-round would be to remove and replace with new material. The whole git-rot approach sounds good in theory but it’s a band-aid; not a fix.

      Are you dealing with ply or balsa as the core?

  32. Larry Wills says:

    Hi Andy,

    I have been reading up on polyester over new plywood. There is a common sense, that one should only use epoxy? My Albin Vega is a 1976, were they using epoxy in production boats in 1976? Anyway, what do I use? And how would I go about it? Please help.

    Thanks Larry

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      I’ll be doing a video on how to properly glass over plywood πŸ™‚ But, yes it can be done using poly resin; it’s how your boat was originally build back in the 70’s

  33. Jerem Anger says:

    I just stumbled upon your podcasts/video’s staying up with my 2baby boy. I just had to say I love this website. I bought a small sailboat , com-pac 16, a couple years ago to get my 1st son n family out on the water to familiarize himself with sailing. The boat could use some general work but has been a huge hit with our growing fam!! Just wanted to say this is awesome and exactly what I was searching for. Lots of marine background but none in fiberglass so lots of help. I will support, small business and families!

  34. Eric says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share your skills and knowledge with the DIY community and world.

    It would be great if you had a project to show renovating a boat to be more modern looking.


  35. Zachary says:

    Just found your channel. Sort of a commercial trim carpenter and door guy right now, but have far more interest in the sort of stuff you’re doing. Always had a fascination with having the skills to build my own things, I think the little toy ideas you’ve done are amazing. If you need an apprentice… just sayin πŸ™‚ πŸ˜› Awesome stuff though!

  36. Paul says:

    Andy, thanks for the wonderful videos. I have been β€˜glued’ to them all night. I have a question.

    I have a 1981 CC 35 foot Sailboat. The starboard Plexiglas (Acrylic) window broke. I removed the window. It mounts directly on the cabin…no aluminum casing. It was mounted with some fairly tough material…likely the 3M 5500. Almost impossible to get out but I have got it out. In taking it out, I have taken some of the gel coat from the exterior window casing. Approximately a quarter inch in thickness to the fiberglass and in some cases 4-5 inches along the window edge, and 1/2 inch wide. I am thinking I can use a 3M Fiber filler to reshape the window edges, then sand, and then put the gel coat on. I don’t think I need any fiberglass. I could be wrong. I didn’t lose any glass in the process just gel coat and maybe some shaping filler. Any tips or tricks on how you would do this job.

    Appreciate it.


    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hi Paul, I prefer using Adtech-p14 for filling any of the gelcoat chips. Also, when re-mounting the new glass try using 3M VHB tape (Very High Bond).

      Get whatever width tape you need depending on the reveal of the molded lip of the gelcoat behind the glass. Have the tape run all the way around the glass making sure any cut seams are butt up tight to one another and lay flat. Lastly, glaze around the perimeter of the glass with Dow Corning 795 or 791 silicone to water seal after it’s stuck in place.

      Hope this helps!

  37. stephen says:

    I’ve made a new kick-up rudder out of wood. I’m not quite sure if I should us fiberglass or carbon fiber cloth. I’d like to do a bagged infusion process and was wondering if you’ve done anything like that. If so, do you have a video of that process….. Love your site and have learned a bunch…u da Man!

  38. Bill LaCovara says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your videos helped me tackle a huge project, bring a 1968 Correct Craft Mustang ski boat back to life. Cut everything out, re-stringer and re-gel. I learned all about stripping paint, spider crack repair and lots more. You have the best boat repair videos on youtube! My project as documented on correctcraftfan:

    Thanks again!


  39. Adam Malone says:

    I have owned my own company working on boats for the past 17 years and am now 35 yrs old and still own my own company here in Charleston,SC. First thing is that your unfathomable talents that you have displayed on your videos while you say it is a hobby but not really enough to put food on the table. Your talent here is worth about a quarter million dollars. THAT is no exaggeration. Big industry small amount of good honest boat repair company’s. Thanks for all you do!!!
    Now having said that, what is your take on Sikkens Cetol Marine. I noticed you like using petit products. The only thing I use petit for is bottom paint. Not saying good or bad. And everyone has a preference. Just curious of your thoughts on the produce.
    Thanks again
    “The best teacher is a student”

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hey Adam,

      Thank you for the very kind words πŸ™‚ The video’s are one of my “hobbies” but marine repair is my business. I operate under Miller Boatworks, Ltd πŸ™‚ As far as Sikkens, it’s one of the finishes I keep in my back pocket depending on the customer and their level of ambition. I mainly see it as a decent finish that is very user friendly but needs annual touchups which are very easy. It looks good, but does not hold a candle to finely varnished brightwork. That being said, it also doesn’t carry the price-tag or up-keep of traditional varnish. I guess it all depends on what they want out of it. If appearance is more of a priority and maintaining it isn’t necessarily “hands on” by the customer then they tend to lean towards varnish and budget accordingly. If it’s more of a DIY that wants a nice looking finish that won’t require them to spend a significant amount of money or time each Spring (or every other season) keeping it looking good then I generally lean them towards Sikkens.

      Personally I’ve found the key to avoiding the “painted” look is to use the Sikkens Light, apply 2-3 coats (on bare wood) using a foam brush and set aside a weekend each Spring to go over with a scotchbright pad, clean and re-apply with 1-2 fresh coats. Any more and the pigments start to mask the character of the teak / wood making it look painted :-/

  40. Bob Bethel says:

    Hi Andy, I’m your newest monthly contributor! I’ve watched most of your fiberglass and gel coat vids, and I’m so grateful you have taken the time from your girls to enhance my confidence while I rehab a 65 Chris Craft 27′ Commander Express that has been abused and neglected. One future project is going to be a swim platform for the back of this beautiful boat. I’m curious if you have or plan a teak swim deck video? Your skillset obviously encompasses this type of project, so I’m curios if you would/are/have. If not, I’d really appreciate any information, or advice on this type of project, including mounting it to the boat. I’m grateful!!!

    Super appreciative of your videos!!!


  41. Jim says:

    How to fix gelcoat, I forgot to add MECK

    Help please


  42. Hi Andy.

    I have just become a supporter on Patreon which I heard about for the first time a few days ago. I don’t know much about it so I hope it works-out for you. My very small financial support is a small thank you to you for the enormous amount I have already learned from your top-quality videos. I know they are top quality because I have tried making videos myself & I know how hard & time consuming it is to achieve your standard – take a look at this one for example of me repairing the window on my 1983 Freeman 33 cruiser Lady Kathleen (WARNING: it’s boring!!! πŸ™‚ ):

    And that is the very reason I have been watching your videos – Lady Kathleen. I bought this boat in September last year having only ever owned a Laser 1 sailing dinghy & done a small amount of maintenance on her. In other words, I know nothing about maintaining a boat like this & I am very much out of my depth (excuse the pun πŸ™‚ ) with all of the jobs which I need to do to fix-her-up. Since buying her last year, I have spent probably hundreds of hours watching how-to videos online of different jobs & yours are by far the best & the most informative. Based on your hole-repair video I have bought the West system kit & I will shortly be removing the old horn, antenna & spot-light from the roof & filling-in the holes as per your instructions. Your know-how is invaluable & you have clearly spent a long time perfecting how to share it via videos. So thank you & keep up the good work & I hope my small contribution helps you to do so.

    P.S. If you have time, I think a video on how to repair leaky windows would be very popular as it’s such a common problem. I know it’s tricky subject as there are so many different types of window. If you have any advice on alternatives to traditional rubber seals for bedding window glass I’d be very interested to hear it please – I’ve heard something about a two part putty but I can’t find out the details.

  43. Steve christie says:

    Hi I’m getting started on redoing my 35 endurance sailboat, top to bottom. I would like to purchase the products I need form your sponsors. When will they be listed on your web site? I love all your videos!!!!

  44. Gary Thompson says:


    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hi Gary, I’m in northern Wisconsin (on lake superior) about half way between superior and bayfield. I prefer rotary buffers with wool bonnets. The buffer I have is made by Fein, but unless it’s a tool that you’re using a lot the price may be hard to justify. Any brand will work fine, just look that it is a variable speed. Good luck on your project!

  45. Yvan says:

    Hi Andy, do you still use the Quickcut sander that you presented a couple of years ago, how has the tool performed?

  46. Tim Sullivan says:

    Kudos to ya. I’m a boat carpenter out here in Mass. but I worked for 5 winters in in the late 70’s and early 80’s in St. Pete Fla. at a boat shop. It was a hotbed of glass boat activity back then and I learned a lot from some talented individuals. Recently our glass guy took a month off to go to China in search of a wife so I was asked to fill in for him for a bit. I figured Youtube might be good place to catch up on changes in the glass industry over the last 30 years. Well I watched all of your videos and you gave me a nice refresher course. Surprisingly not that much has changed since then. Mostly the practice of epoxy in repair work. I always cringed when I’ve seen it done but your test videos have given me some food for thought and experiment.
    Thanks and keep up the good work.

  47. Tim says:

    Andy I have a different kind of project. my project doesn’t float and has gone to the dogs. I have a 1984 ford f150 4×4 truck and I am taking the pickup bed off and putting a animal control box on. I have bought a used Swab animal control box and its all fiberglass and it has a internal steel frame that has completely deteriorated, I know I’m going to have to cut the fiberglass to reinstall the new steel frame. This truck and animal control box is going to see a lot of dirt roads and off road conditions. what I’m asking is how hard is it to replace the frame structure back into place with fiberglass. I have also been looking at using carbon fiber material vs fiberglass material for add strength and holding in the harsh conditions and off road beatings. The internal frame that I’m taking out is a two part frame one in the front and rear which is held together with strap. the replacement front & rear frames are 77″ W X 36″ L and steel tubing is 3″ x 1 1/2″ and the strap steel 1 1/2″ X 1/4″ also fiber glassed in. Want to know how to prep the old fiber glass for the new steel and fiber glass install. everything will be under the truck so you wont really see it but want it to look nice. what is the best things to use and what I should do. I know this is going to take a lot of work and materials but I sure could use some input, support and directions. Thank you Tim

  48. Dave says:


    Nice article in Epoxyworks about your epoxy and gelcoat testing! Keep up the great work.


    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Looking forward to seeing it! I got a copy of the proof, but not the same as reading it in an actual magazine πŸ™‚ I didn’t realize they had gotten them shipped out yet! Cool!

  49. Jacques Leblanc says:

    I love your YouTube shows Of all the videos Ive watched you are the most technical and trust your opinion over the rest . Im buying a 1980 hunter 30 it was a Katrina victim and I would like to paint it . I will have to do a lot of faring and sanding before I am ready for a finish coat my question is Do I need to regelcoat than paint or sand and paint with what is there. and I have the same question for bottom paint. Im an auto body tech by trade and in our field we sand, bondo, maybe feather fill sand than prime or seal for our foundation to spray final coat on . what are the steps for boats . any help is appreciated.

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hi Jacques!

      No need to gelcoat if you’ll be painting. Much like a car, you’ll do rough shaping with a sander / grinder, thickened epoxy for general fairing, primer, then come back and fill in pin holes / defects, 2nd prime coat then topcoat. For bottom paint, if you’re seeing blisters you’ll want to open them up, fill with thickened epoxy, apply a barrier coat then finish with bottom paint. Pettit makes a great line for bottom applications! Hope this helps πŸ™‚

  50. Chris says:

    Hey there

    First off I wanna say thanks for some very good and useful videos. We recently bought a sailboat which will need some minor repairs next winter and so far I have got pretty much all the answers that I need from your videos…even tho I guess that there’s going to be more questions and issues that I come across so I’ll most likely throw you a mail or something later on.
    Keep up the good work! πŸ™‚

  51. Derek says:

    Hi Andy
    I hope you don’t mind but I requested that your videos are made available on an up and coming website
    It is a website that helps sailing minded you tubers find content easily.

  52. Barry says:


    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your video about replacing fixed portlights. I’ve been confused by all the opinions and experiences I’ve read about — Sikaflex, 4000UV, 795, etc. I wondered ‘How am I gonna keep my plexi in place while the bedding drys?” “The ports need to bend a little to match the arc in my cabin top… how am I gonna force that bend without squeezing out the bedding?” I finally found your video about VHB tape and everything finally made sense! Thank You!

  53. Larry says:

    Hi Andy,
    I just found your videos – they are not just informative but entertaining (you have a knack for engaging the viewer). I have a 1984 Nordic 44 that I spent many years on in the Caribbean and have started replacing the deck matting. The original covering was a fabric like material that was laid down with some different adhesives in different places on the deck. On the bow, it seemed that someone used 5200 so it’s a bear to get up. In the stern/cockpit, I could almost just pull up the material with my hands. I don’t want to use Treadmaster or similar since it VERY expensive so I decided to use an non skid paint and have seen many good reviews of Kiwi Grip. I saw your videos using AwlGrip non skid and was wondering if you had an opinion of KiwiGrip as a non-skid product.

    Thanks for your great videos.

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hi Larry!

      I don’t have any personal experience with it, but friends of mine that have used it were very pleased with the results! Very tough coating that is pretty easy to apply. I’d say go for it!!

  54. Bill says:

    Hello Andy
    I recently moved to Florida and landed a very nice job at a marine. I ran across and bought a Matrix 5.5 catamaran at a very good price but didn’t know exactly what I had but come to find out from some friends here that its a classic. From what I know they only made 200 of them and only some of them have skegs. I noticed that the fiberglass repair done on the rear portion of one of the skegs the fiberglass is still tacky and pressed in about 2 inches covering about 10 to 12 inch area but very weak.. The catamaran has being sitting for a few years so I’m thinking that they never put a finishing resin on the last coat of fiberglass and didn’t do a very good job with the repair, would I be right? if you could give me some advise on how to correctly solve this problem that would be nice. Also I would like to say I really like your videos on fiberglass and other things you do and will be watching more of them in the future.

    Thanks, Bill

  55. Adam Hughs says:

    Hello Andy,

    Watched your shows a few times now. I would say the best information and presentation on youtube about DIY boat building. Everytime I hear a new point that I need or skipped, oops.

    My wife and me are building a Frankenstein Jon Boat / Dory / Trimaran. Small lake boat. Ive included a link to my project pictures from wood delivery to today. Its our first project, please be gentle. Shes our baby

    Question: the rub rail on the bottom and trim around the sides, i got over eager and glued screwed in place, how would you go about fiberglassing around them? I.E. hopefully not 100’s of feet of fillets.

    Im using totalboat 5/1 epoxy, 4oz cloth exterior, barrior coat, paint, and spar. Custom steering, electrical, helm, lots still to do. Probably overkill.

    You have a great family, a pair of little cuties, hope all is well on your side of the dock. See you on the water.

    P.S. Your new (slightly used) sailboat much have been an experience to move, looking forward to the progress.

  56. Patrick Maruska says:

    Andy, I wanted to leave you a note of thanks for your time and effort to produce the videos and more importantly, the fantastic delivery and style of your productions. I do not work on boats but I have used your advise, methods, and reassurance to do several repairs to my Lotus cars. Recently I have been thinking about picking up an older Laser sailboat and look forward to being able to utilize more of your techniques and methods. Take care! -Patrick Maruska

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