Sale of Fillers for Boats

Are you looking for effective fillers for boat repair? The topRik marketplace offers a large selection of fillers, developed by the best specialists in the field of marine chemistry. This section presents products from Star brite, Boero Yacht Coatings, Veneziani Yachting, Silpar TK, etc.

If you find it difficult to choose, topRik experts will help you. These experienced sailors know all about the use of fillers in yachting. Right now, you will receive free professional advice if you use the Contacts section or call the phone number provided. You can also send your request by email, our address is [email protected].

Fillers in modern yacht building are one of the most important components of composite structures. Their main purpose in the production of fiberglass yachts is to increase the thickness of the glued laminate while simultaneously reducing its weight. As additional bonuses you get improved noise and thermal insulation, as well as increased body rigidity.

Fillers of epoxy and polyester resins are actively used during repair work to repair damage to the sides, decks, hull superstructures, as well as its underwater part. Since the properties of the final resin composition depend on the filler, it is important to know the features of each type of filler that is used in yacht building and boat repair.

Types of Fillers

Today, there are mainly four main types of fillers, each of which has its own subcategories:

  • tree;
  • foaming materials;
  • foam plastics;
  • honeycomb structures.

Recently, synthetic materials that have air-filled microballs or other air volumes and spaces in their structure, as well as fiber fillers for volumetric reinforcement, have begun to gain popularity. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages.


This is a traditional filler used in plastic shipbuilding for a long time. First of all, this is balsa, the average density of which in the dried state ranges from 120 to 150 kg/m3, which is about one and a half times lighter than cork and 3–4 times lighter than many tree species. Marine plywood is used much less frequently than balsa; other options for wooden fillers have not stood the test of time and have practically fallen out of use. The advantages of wood are quite obvious: relatively low price, ease of processing, good availability.

However, there are also many disadvantages. And if balsa’s susceptibility to rot was managed (or almost succeeded) with special impregnations, then other shortcomings of wood still look difficult to eliminate. Plywood is practically impossible to use on curved surfaces, which is why its use is limited almost exclusively to decks and bulkheads. Balsa absorbs resin very strongly, which increases the weight of the finished composite and increases the risk of insufficient saturation of the fabric layers adjacent to the filler with resin.

Foam Plastics

Today they are, perhaps, the first fillers in popularity and importance. The market offers a very large number of them in a wide variety of densities. However, it should immediately be noted that the vast majority of modern foam plastics, having a density equal to balsa (or lower), are significantly inferior to it in strength characteristics, especially in impact strength.

The bulk of structural foams are compositions based on closed-cell PVC, which have a minimum level of water absorption and excellent insulating characteristics.

Foam plastics do not rot, many of them have good fire resistance (either do not support combustion or do not burn at all), their basic properties are highly stable from batch to batch. Some brands of fillers can easily bend when heated, which is convenient when laying sheets of foam plastic on curved surfaces.

The widespread use of foam plastics was facilitated by the ability of the advanced chemical industry to produce such materials with various, predetermined properties. On the modern market it is easy to find both ultra-light foam plastics and foam plastics with increased compressive strength (which is necessary when using vacuum molding technologies); recently, special foam plastics have also appeared, designed for “baking” hulls in an oven.

Fiber Fillers

For the production of composite materials for structural purposes, various fillers are used, which serve to increase the physical and mechanical properties of the finished product. This effect is achieved through the introduction of special fibrous reinforcing materials, such as carbon fiber (chopped carbon fiber), chopped fiberglass, etc.

Thanks to the use of fillers, finished polymer products receive a significant increase in:

  • compressive and tensile strength;
  • impact strength;
  • durability of structures;
  • wear resistance;
  • heat resistance;
  • resistance to various chemicals - alkalis, acids, salts, etc.

Honeycomb Fillers

These are vertically oriented hexagonal honeycombs of thin, durable material bonded between two adhesive surfaces and are used almost exclusively to build extreme sports yachts. Now there are the following options for such designs: with honeycombs made of polypropylene (exceptionally lightweight plastic) or polycarbonate (quite durable material), from Nomex or Kevlar (for all their chemical similarities, these two materials differ quite noticeably in properties and price), from metal (relatively, only the version with aluminum honeycombs is common; stainless and titanium varieties are still harsh exotics, found only in the aerospace industry).

Polypropylene honeycombs are still almost never used in yacht building: the low strength of this material gives it a chance to be used only when making the furniture parts or unloaded bulkheads - where a certain thickness is needed, and not particularly high strength.

Air Capsules

Non-woven polyester material with air microballoons (microballs) is latest addition to the variety of fillers on the market. Other materials of this kind, for example, 3D fiberglass, are beginning to find their application in shipbuilding. Fillers of this type are relatively cheap, very technologically advanced and easy to process, which has made them popular, first of all, among manufacturers of mass-produced boats.

Microspheres, used as a filler for thickening epoxy resin, are regularly shaped balls with a cavity inside and a smooth outer surface. They are obtained by processing special crushed glass in gas plasma furnaces. Additional reagents can be added to the glass to promote the formation of gas, resulting in hollow microspheres. The properties of the final product are determined by both the composition of the glass and the unique shape of the microspheres. Externally, this filler looks like a light white fine-grained powder with low density.

Resin Fillers for Repairing Minor Damage

All of the above fillers are used in the construction of yachts or when repairing serious damage, when the hole is covered with fiberglass or glass mat, and then filled with epoxy or polyester resin of a certain composition, by the way, at the expense of fillers.

If it is necessary to fill cracks and cavities in vertical or inclined planes with an epoxy compound, or to glue vertically located objects of complex shape, as well as to eliminate small cracks and damage, either ready-made putties with appropriate fillers are used, or resins are mixed with fillers independently.

The first option is ready-made putties, which are presented in a wide range on the topRik marketplace. In this section you will find various fillers for mixing yourself. For example, Epomar, designed to precisely level a variety of surfaces, including wood, steel, aluminum and fiberglass, even when submerged in water.

Gelcoat filler is ideal for repairing scratches, chips and other defects in the gelcoat layer of your boat or yacht. It is also great for filling voids and smoothing rough surfaces. This filler adheres well to a variety of materials, including fiberglass, metal and wood.

Subcoat XT epoxy will be useful when repairing your boat while it is in the water or underway due to its ability to remove water from the surface being treated. It is 100% solids, providing excellent adhesion even on wet surfaces.

These are just three of the many compositions that the topRik marketplace offers, and which can solve all your problems with eliminating damage to different parts of the yacht in different climatic conditions. The characteristics of the new coating and the reliability of the repair largely depend on the choice of filler. This is the advantage of fillers - they change the properties of the resins according to your preference.

Benefits of Using Fillers

The main task of fillers for epoxy and polyester resins is improving the mechanical properties of resins. For example, microspheres have a number of properties that they impart to the composite materials in which they are included. These are lightness, chemical inertness, fire resistance and low thermal conductivity. When added to various materials, including epoxy resin, they make them lighter and increase their thermal and sound insulation properties. Using a microsphere, you can reduce the weight of the material by 50–60%.

Most often, microspheres are added to epoxy resin to increase its fluidity. The smooth, round microspheres move easily relative to each other, allowing the resin to better fill cavities and voids. Therefore, microspheres are often added to putty compositions or mixtures for filling corner joints.

Electrical conductivity can be improved by using aluminum or bronze powder or fine iron filings as a filler.

If it is necessary to match a putty made from epoxy material to the color of the surfaces being bonded, the color of the resin is changed using special additives, for example, graphite.

Graphite powder. In addition to the pigment additive, it is used to create sliding outer surfaces of racing boats. It is added to prepared resin to coat the bottom, rudders and centerboards.

Silicon dioxide is thixotropic additive, which eliminates resin smudges, especially on vertical and inclined surfaces.

Fibers. They are added to the resin to increase its viscosity when gluing. Resin with this additive perfectly fills gaps, saturates surfaces well and does not create glue-poor seams, especially on end surfaces. Fiber can be chopped glass, ground glass, synthetic and cotton. Cotton with cellulose has the least strength, but increases thixotropy and can serve as a replacement for microspheres for filling seams with resin.

Wood flour. Used to increase the thickness of putties or adhesives for natural wood finishing. Resin with such an additive is not at all like sour cream in terms of consistency and is not so easy to work with.

These are not all examples that demonstrate the variety and benefits of fillers. The modern chemical industry does not stand still, and this directly affects mass yacht building.


What Are Fillers and Why Are They Added to Epoxy and Polyester Resins?

Fillers are additives to epoxy or polyester resins, introduced to increase their volume, prevent smudges, and improve other characteristics of the mixture.

In What Proportions Should Fillers Be Mixed with Resin?

For each filler, the proportions for mixing it with resins are different, so before mixing you should carefully read the instructions for using the filler. By the way, you should measure a certain amount using a scale, not a measuring cup.

How To Properly Store Fillers to Ensure Their Longevity?

Storage of fillers is strictly specified in the description for each type, so carefully read the instructions for use.

Is It Possible to Mix Different Types of Fillers in One Resin?

If you are not sure about the chemical reaction from such mixing, it is better not to do it. But the main thing is to follow the mixing order. The filler is added only to the prepared mixture, otherwise (when added to pure resin) it is impossible to ensure mixing of the resin and hardener; a film of non-activated resin will remain on the surface of the filler grains.

Can Fillers Be Used to Repair the Underwater Part of a Ship?

For this purpose, special mixtures are produced - gelcoat fillers are made from high quality resins and pigments to provide a durable, long-lasting finish. In this section of the topRik marketplace gelcoat fillers are represented, for example, by Teroson® from the famous German chemical-industrial concern Henkel Group.

What Fillers Are Best for Improving Impact or Abrasion Resistance?

Any fibrous filler (glass and carbon fiber) has reinforcing properties, which increases the strength of the adhesive joint and surface coating.

Graphite powder is also used to coat the bottom of boats to obtain a durable, streamlined surface.