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What's a quick-drying filler for gouges?

2015 August 18

Dear Boat Doctor,

There are some deep gouges in the bottom of my boat that I need to fill when I pull the boat out. I have used epoxy in the past, but it was a pain to thicken and took overnight to dry. Is there anything easier to work with out there?

Bill Ramirez

Chicago, Illinois

Dear Bill,

I have had great luck with vinylester fillers from 3M (www.3mmarine.com), both Marine High Strength Repair Filler and Marine Premium Filler. Both of these products are pre-thickened and use a small amount of cream hardener. High Strength Repair Filler has a bit of chopped fiberglass strand mixed in so it can be used in semi-structural repairs, this filler is hard to sand though. Premium Filler isn’t as strong but is an easily sanded fairing filler. They both can be sanded in about an hour.