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Old 23-03-2016, 08:50   #1
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Awlgrip Vs Gelcoat

Am ordering a new 40' cruiser. Builder is offering the standard gelcoat or awl grip paint. Trying to make best decision for a down east style boat subject to Florida sun. Recommendations?
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Old 23-03-2016, 09:01   #2
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Re: awlgrip vs gelcoat

I believe Gel coat will last longer
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Old 23-03-2016, 09:07   #3
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Re: awlgrip vs gelcoat

if your life revolves around the pleasures of waxing the hull get gelcoat..

otoh.. Awlgrip is very low maintenance.. in my case in over 5k nm i had spent all of 8hrs polishing the hull once...and even that was discretionary.

A big fan of awlgrip
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Old 23-03-2016, 09:15   #4
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Re: awlgrip vs gelcoat

If you're going to be actively cruising you'll more than likely encounter a few dock dings, piling rubbings, and pier rash from a misplaced bumper or unexpected tides. A painted hull would be easier to repair with a little filler and paint. A gelcoat hull would be more work to repair any damage.

I too am a big fan of the LPU style paints they tend to hold their gloss very well. They also seem to be (in my experience at least) very resistant to scratches, the layer they make is pretty hard. Not soft like an enamel.

Tough choice, I'm not sure what I'd choose.
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Old 23-03-2016, 12:06   #5
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Re: awlgrip vs gelcoat

Awlgrip does not have the longevity that gelcoat has - not even close. I keep hearing you need a complete new paint job every 10 years. My boat came with awlgrip and is gorgeous but it will cost a small fortune to repaint it. You can repair gelcoat damage fairly easily IME, other than color matching which is an art. Both are easier to match when new and not discolored by weathering. Gelcoat can last the life of the boat if maintained well. If it were me I would get gelcoat. Others will prefer awlgrip.
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Old 23-03-2016, 12:22   #6
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Re: awlgrip vs gelcoat

Factor in all the polishing and waxing to keep up gelcoat and the paint job in 10-15yrs isn't so bad.


Gel will last a long time but takes a lot of work to keep up if you want it shinny. Eventually gel coat does wear out as the polishing gradually wears it away.
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Old 23-03-2016, 18:02   #7
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Re: awlgrip vs gelcoat

My awlgrip requires polishing at least annually - wiyh the official awlgrip polish/coating. It is easy to use. I do not know if it has any compound that removes part of it or not.

You don't have to use aggressive polishes with gelcoat if you keep it protected with the right products.
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Old 23-03-2016, 18:53   #8
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Re: awlgrip vs gelcoat

I do not believe awlgrip is easier to repair than gel coat.

there are even better paints for repair than awlgrip.

always been a gel coat guy so I will leave the awlgrip versus other paints discussion to those better qualified.

the painter at my marina preferred Imron for easier repairs but awlgrip for durability.
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Old 23-03-2016, 18:54   #9
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Re: awlgrip vs gelcoat

If the boat was white I'd probably go gelcoat but if it was a darker color and I lived in a sunny climate I would use awlgrip.
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Old 23-03-2016, 20:48   #10
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Re: awlgrip vs gelcoat

Awlgrip or any paint cannot be "brought back" is has to be redone and that's expensive. I would suspect it would be far cheaper to pay someone to maintain your gelcoat at peak shine than it would be to pay for a repaint of awlgrip.
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Old 23-03-2016, 20:57   #11
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Re: awlgrip vs gelcoat

Try bringing back a dark blue hull after a few years in the tropics, it lasts a couple of months and you get to start all over again.
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Old 23-03-2016, 21:16   #12
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Re: Awlgrip Vs Gelcoat

And I'll bet the builder charges a lot less for Awlgrip than for gelcoat.


I've always heard "once you paint the hull, you will have to repaint it every ten year" and yes, Awlgrip counts as "paint". OTOH gelcoat can make 30-40 years easily, as long as you wax it once in a while to prevent chalking.
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Old 23-03-2016, 21:34   #13
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Re: Awlgrip Vs Gelcoat

Quote:
And I'll bet the builder charges a lot less for Awlgrip than for gelcoat.
Why would that be, HS? Gel coat is a one pass spray inside the mold, while doing a decent paint job involves a lot of prep, sanding, priming and finally painting several coats.

For original build, I'd think Gel would be much cheaper (geeze, they even use it on Hunters and Bennies!).

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Old 24-03-2016, 04:43   #14
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Re: Awlgrip Vs Gelcoat

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, crs.
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Old 24-03-2016, 06:28   #15
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Re: Awlgrip Vs Gelcoat

Gelcoat scratches and gouges are easier and cheaper to repair than Awlgrip, if you go with gelcoat, have the builder supply several quarts of matching gel. I can repair a good scratch in an hour, especially having pre-matched gel.

Awlgrip repairs, require application of primer (545) then 2-3 topcoats a day apart. If sprayed could go faster. It should not be compounded in, although I have seen this done, it creates another problem. To "hide" the repair...it is common to paint a panel, sheer to boot. A small spot will nearly always show. You will see the repair.

If you leave a wet cushion, towel, rag, leaves...leave a fender hanging against the hull, trapping water...whatever, on Awlgrip...it will blister and bubble wrecking finish.

Awlcraft 2000 can be repaired, buffed in and hide as it it acrylic...but it is spray only.

Once painted with Awlgip and you are certain it is Awlgrip (same applies to other Lpu brands over themselves) it can be sanded with 400 grit, any small repairs done with 545 (with topcoat build coat) and directly painted without a full prep and full coat with 545 primer. With one topcoat...much cheaper than full conversion.

If it were me I would have gelcoat...hands down, and I paint.

AwlCare is the protectant, great product...use it on my car.

Curious what mineret will say...

Congrats on new boat!





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