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Old 09-03-2013, 09:31   #16
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Re: Faded and porous cockpit surfaces

Wax, polish...hmph...just rub penetrol on it....Just try it once...you will see...
I can't believe no one knows about this.....I did it years ago...it worked!
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:15   #17
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Re: Faded and porous cockpit surfaces

White the hardest to match-lol! Whites are easy. Colors are a nightmare. My average bill time for a perfect match on most whites is two hours. For cool colors 4-6 hours. For warm colors, could be anywhere from 4 hours to 16 hours to match a large batch, if it happens at all. Red is by far the hardest color to match. The height of my color matching career was a perfect match on Donzi Red. Took me most of a work week. Insanely difficult, everyone said it wasn't possible, but the owner really didn't want to paint the boat. We bill close to $100 an hour, so this guy paid almost 4k for a perfect match! I guess if you own a Donzi it's no big deal, and it did save him from a 20k paint job, while leaving him with the original ultra prestigious Donzi Red. The 20k paint job wouldnt have looked as good...
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:13   #18
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Re: Faded and porous cockpit surfaces

What, if anything, is recommended for the molded-in, non-skid portions of a gel-coated deck? The non-skid accounts for the vast majority of my deck, as I imagine it does for most decks. Seems to me that compounding/polishing will wear it down and make it even more slippery, and waxing would be an onvious no-no (although I've seen at least one spray wax which claims not to be slippery).

I know one can paint and apparently even re-gelcoat using various grit products, but what I'd like to know is if there's any process for cleaning up & protecting existing molded-in gelcoat nonskid.

Thanks!
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Old 09-03-2013, 14:40   #19
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Re: Faded and porous cockpit surfaces

Exile, a dependable and economical nonskid application can be achieved with sand and linear polyurethane paint (LPU). First, scrub the existing fiberglass deck with tsp or other detergent cleaners (assuming you haven't waxed the deck recently). Then wipe it down with acetone. Roll and tip (a technique described elsewhere in Cruisers Forum) a base coat of LPU in all the area THAT WILL NOT BE NON-SKIDDED. Do this at least twice, to get a beautiful, smooth area for the waterways. Then, tape (with the blue 3M stuff) the outlines of the existing non-skid texture of the fiberglass deck. Mix up another batch of LPU, roll a uniform coat inside the borders of the blue tape. Scatter clean sand, about 30 grit, uniformly over the fresh paint. Don't worry about too much, as only the first grain layers will be trapped in the grip of the LPU. Come back the next day and lightly brush (or better, vacuum) off the sand that hasn't adhered to the first coat of LPU. Then roll LPU on top of the sand, followed by two more coats, allowing each to get sufficiently tacky first. The next morning, peel away the tape, then mask another panel or section for non-skidding, and repeat until all the deck and cabintop are completed. Open up several bottles of industrial solvent (ales, beers, whatever..) and pat yourself on the back for a job well-done.
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Old 09-03-2013, 15:32   #20
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Re: Faded and porous cockpit surfaces

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Originally Posted by Exile View Post
What, if anything, is recommended for the molded-in, non-skid portions of a gel-coated deck? The non-skid accounts for the vast majority of my deck, as I imagine it does for most decks. Seems to me that compounding/polishing will wear it down and make it even more slippery, and waxing would be an onvious no-no (although I've seen at least one spray wax which claims not to be slippery).

I know one can paint and apparently even re-gelcoat using various grit products, but what I'd like to know is if there's any process for cleaning up & protecting existing molded-in gelcoat nonskid.

Thanks!

Not really. It's also heinously difficult to do repairs on. I've talked a whole lot of people into grinding off their molded skid and replacing with Griptex during the course of a paint job. It's more comfortable to lay on, easier to clean and maintain, and you can do repairs to it fairly easily. Looks nice too.
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Old 09-03-2013, 16:39   #21
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Re: Faded and porous cockpit surfaces

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Not really. It's also heinously difficult to do repairs on. I've talked a whole lot of people into grinding off their molded skid and replacing with Griptex during the course of a paint job. It's more comfortable to lay on, easier to clean and maintain, and you can do repairs to it fairly easily. Looks nice too.
That's what I thought (re: not being able to do much with molded gelcoat non-skid except re-paint with Griptex, etc.).
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Old 09-03-2013, 16:48   #22
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Re: Faded and porous cockpit surfaces

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Exile, a dependable and economical nonskid application can be achieved with sand and linear polyurethane paint (LPU). First, scrub the existing fiberglass deck with tsp or other detergent cleaners (assuming you haven't waxed the deck recently). Then wipe it down with acetone. Roll and tip (a technique described elsewhere in Cruisers Forum) a base coat of LPU in all the area THAT WILL NOT BE NON-SKIDDED. Do this at least twice, to get a beautiful, smooth area for the waterways. Then, tape (with the blue 3M stuff) the outlines of the existing non-skid texture of the fiberglass deck. Mix up another batch of LPU, roll a uniform coat inside the borders of the blue tape. Scatter clean sand, about 30 grit, uniformly over the fresh paint. Don't worry about too much, as only the first grain layers will be trapped in the grip of the LPU. Come back the next day and lightly brush (or better, vacuum) off the sand that hasn't adhered to the first coat of LPU. Then roll LPU on top of the sand, followed by two more coats, allowing each to get sufficiently tacky first. The next morning, peel away the tape, then mask another panel or section for non-skidding, and repeat until all the deck and cabintop are completed. Open up several bottles of industrial solvent (ales, beers, whatever..) and pat yourself on the back for a job well-done.
If, ultimately, I wind up painting my decks, I like your idea of starting with the waterways & areas w/o nonskid first. For a novice, it eliminates the step of applying the grit and could therefore make it a bit easier to get used to the process.

Hopefully it won't turn out like the 3 teak lazarette hatches I just rebuilt. The only one worth viewing closer than 7-8' is the 3rd one! It can take a little while longer for the inexperienced. Hey, at least all 3 are now watertight.
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Old 11-03-2013, 20:05   #23
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Re: Faded and porous cockpit surfaces

I painted an old dingy with 2 part paint I rolled it on then tipped it, went in for lunch came back a couple hours later to find what looked like a sprayed on paint job... no kidding the paint is made to flow out. I used to paint cars back in the late 70's early 80's and I would never believe you could get a finish like that by rolling, brushing but I did it and I impressed myself (which is hard to do). One thing though, the prep HAS to be done correctly as does the wash down (dewaxing) and priming any bare spots. Use the best recommended roller and brush and follow the instructions to a T, the paint companies spend countless hours and dollars researching the best method, materials, prep to give you the best finish for your process. GLUK (good luck. LOL) with whatever you do, and keep us posted.
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:43   #24
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Re: Faded and porous cockpit surfaces

This thread has convinced me I can preserve if not improve my gelcoated decks for a few more years. The nonskid portions will wind up with small patches of smooth gelcoat where there were dings & dents but that's a reasonable trade-off for awhile.

My hull topsides, however, are painted in a dark blue ("Flag Blue") Awlgrip, and they are about 15 yrs. old. In remarkably good condition but I'm sure matching the color to deal with a few scratches & dings will be a challenge after so many years. My first step will be to clean thoroughly with Awlcare to reveal the actual color. Some of the scratches are down to what looks like a light blue primer underneath the paint?

My question is whether you can color-match Awlgrip by blending colors, or whether you're stuck with one color only. There appear to be at least 3, slightly different dark blue's on Awlgrip's color chart. Although getting a close match would be nice, my main concern at this point is getting something on there to protect where the primer is showing. Buffing/polishing is supposed to be a no-no with Awlgrip. Anyone had success with this?
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:07   #25
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Re: Faded and porous cockpit surfaces

I have just started on replacing some fixed portlights on an old (1977) Islander 34, having just replaced the forward and main salon hatches with Lewmars. The color match between the hull gelcoat and the Sterling "Moon Dust" was so perfect that the owner has decided to do the job right. As a result, I will be painting the entire cabinside, after replacing the fixed, and opening,ports. I'll send pics in succeeding days. I put a few swatches of LPU on the deck, cockpit and cabin front to show him the transformation. The only downside is that he has to wear sunglasses in the future to handle the shine. After the cabinside, we will do the deck, cabintop and cockpit, including the nonskid. It should take a couple weeks to get the ports and cabinside complete, so you will have a timely answer to the questions of how difficult this painting with LPU is (that's a joke, by the way). And nonsense about rubbing out LPU paint. That's one of the beauties about this system. You can repair it, as opposed to the greater fragility of polyester gelcoat. Here are some pics of how the deck hatches turned out, and one of the fixed ports that are about to be transformed: Over the next couple months, hopefully, we will gradually replace all the dull deck and cabinside faded gelcoat with shiny LPU, then do one final coat to make everything look seamless and brand new and make the nonskid truly so.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:50   #26
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Re: Faded and porous cockpit surfaces

Had my topsides painted last year. In consultation with the guy who sprayed the boat, decided NOT to go with AwlGrip. The painter has been working with fiberglass, making surf boards, repairing FRP boats, and painting boats for more than 40 years. I consider him an artist when it comes to paint and glass work. He thinks it's nearly impossible to do repairs on AwlGrip. He'd tried to do it a number of times using every trick he could think of or find. The results were not up to his standard and probably cost more than repainting the entire hull. Better to suffer with the existing condition or do a complete repaint. You can't beat AwlGrip for long lasting beauty but repairing boo boos is not in its resume.

AwlGrip makes another two part LPU paint that doesn't have the hardness of their main paint but can be repaired. There are also a bunch of other LPU paints out there competing with AwlGrip that are also repairable. My painter uses AwlGrip primer no matter what the top coat. For dark colors, the dark gray primer, white for light colors. With a dark color top coat, the gray primer doesn't show the inevitable scratches as badly and vice versa with light colors.

!0 years seems to be the life of AwlGrip for a 'yacht' finish. 15 years is a tribute to the paints longevity.
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:12   #27
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Re: Faded and porous cockpit surfaces

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Had my topsides painted last year. In consultation with the guy who sprayed the boat, decided NOT to go with AwlGrip. The painter has been working with fiberglass, making surf boards, repairing FRP boats, and painting boats for more than 40 years. I consider him an artist when it comes to paint and glass work. He thinks it's nearly impossible to do repairs on AwlGrip. He'd tried to do it a number of times using every trick he could think of or find. The results were not up to his standard and probably cost more than repainting the entire hull. Better to suffer with the existing condition or do a complete repaint. You can't beat AwlGrip for long lasting beauty but repairing boo boos is not in its resume.

AwlGrip makes another two part LPU paint that doesn't have the hardness of their main paint but can be repaired. There are also a bunch of other LPU paints out there competing with AwlGrip that are also repairable. My painter uses AwlGrip primer no matter what the top coat. For dark colors, the dark gray primer, white for light colors. With a dark color top coat, the gray primer doesn't show the inevitable scratches as badly and vice versa with light colors.

!0 years seems to be the life of AwlGrip for a 'yacht' finish. 15 years is a tribute to the paints longevity.
The first 10 yrs. or so of my boat's Awlgrip job was spent (by the PO) in Maine & stored indoors in the winter. That may have much to do with its now 15-hr. longevity.

I certainly don't have the expertise to discount your painter's opinion, but I can tell you that I had scratches from an errant docking maneuver successfully repaired on my Awlgrip several yrs. ago and the repair remains invisible. I'd like to provide more details but I wasn't around when the repair was done.

My current painter is a 30-hr. guy & went to the Awlgrip "school" they apparently offer for trained techs. He claims my current round of scratches, dings, etc. can be repaired & successfully color-matched. Again, I have no personal expertise so can't vouch for any opinions, which is why I thought I'd ask on CF. If feasible, I'd like to find out if it's realistic as a DIY job. I'd like to save the funds for the pros when it comes to the inevitable repaint of the entire hull topsides.

I think the alternative Awlgrip topcoat you mentioned can only be sprayed, if I'm not mistaken. I can't remember the name at the moment . . . .
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Old 12-03-2013, 14:11   #28
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Re: Faded and porous cockpit surfaces

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The first 10 yrs. or so of my boat's Awlgrip job was spent (by the PO) in Maine & stored indoors in the winter. That may have much to do with its now 15-hr. longevity.

I certainly don't have the expertise to discount your painter's opinion, but I can tell you that I had scratches from an errant docking maneuver successfully repaired on my Awlgrip several yrs. ago and the repair remains invisible. I'd like to provide more details but I wasn't around when the repair was done.

My current painter is a 30-hr. guy & went to the Awlgrip "school" they apparently offer for trained techs. He claims my current round of scratches, dings, etc. can be repaired & successfully color-matched. Again, I have no personal expertise so can't vouch for any opinions, which is why I thought I'd ask on CF. If feasible, I'd like to find out if it's realistic as a DIY job. I'd like to save the funds for the pros when it comes to the inevitable repaint of the entire hull topsides.

I think the alternative Awlgrip topcoat you mentioned can only be sprayed, if I'm not mistaken. I can't remember the name at the moment . . . .

Yeah, it's totally doable. Successful Awlgrip repairs are done every day all over the world, it's no big thing. You can mix bases to change a tint, but that only gets you close as the color changes a bit when you convert and reduce, especially if you accelerate. This means you need to be working with two converted colors and limits the amount of time available to match and shoot. Planning and preparation is key.

The alternative you mention is Awlcraft. It is not an LPU.
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Old 12-03-2013, 14:22   #29
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Re: Faded and porous cockpit surfaces

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Yeah, it's totally doable. Successful Awlgrip repairs are done every day all over the world, it's no big thing. You can mix bases to change a tint, but that only gets you close as the color changes a bit when you convert and reduce, especially if you accelerate. This means you need to be working with two converted colors and limits the amount of time available to match and shoot. Planning and preparation is key.

The alternative you mention is Awlcraft. It is not an LPU.
I KNEW we could count on Minaret to chime in! Waiting for something at the yard to cure, no doubt.

What might explain the light blue primer that's showing underneath the dark blue Awlgrip on my boat? Does some of the topcoat leach into the primer during the original bond? I assume you can always sand off & try again if (or I should say when) you initially get the color match wrong?
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Old 12-03-2013, 15:48   #30
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Re: Faded and porous cockpit surfaces

My experience has been exclusively with LPU paints. Minaret's comment about Awlgrip made me wonder, so I checked: Products by type. They make a variety of topcoats, from LPU to acrylic urethane to polyester-based paints. I prefer 2-part polyurethanes for their ease of application, durability, abrasion resistance and color retention. They may not have the high-end shine of some coatings, but I'm more interested in boating finishes, not showroom finishes.
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