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Old 24-11-2015, 10:38   #1
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2 pack paint or gelcoat for maintenance concideration on 50ft cat

I am looking at a 45-50ft cat which is a lot of surface area to keep waxed. My 40ft monohull in PNW is enough waxing for me. My goal is to have a simple boat with low maintenance. I would think it would take at least two full days to wax a cat this size if it had gelcoat. Does two part paint eliminate this maintenance. Would this be a deciding factor for two equal boats or is the risk of a scratch with two part a big turn off?
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Old 24-11-2015, 11:04   #2
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Re: 2 pack paint or gelcoat for maintenance concideration on 50ft cat

You can get a scratch fixed in either. If you were to start from new with each, it seems like you would just be washing it for many years with either one. Don't you start rubbing out gel later in life?
Do these aftermarket gel coat jobs have the same UV as a regular sprayed into the mold gel? There looks to be a lot of sanding, polishing to get the shine. Does that wear off any layer of solids etc?
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Old 24-11-2015, 11:54   #3
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Re: 2 pack paint or gelcoat for maintenance concideration on 50ft cat

Awlgrip can not be blended. Some of the other brands of 2 part can be. To keep gel nice you need to keep up on the wax. Yes polish is used later on to get it back and then more wax.
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Old 24-11-2015, 12:14   #4
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Re: 2 pack paint or gelcoat for maintenance concideration on 50ft cat

Gelcoat adds much more weight than paint. 2-part paint is more difficult to repair, but doable for some. Gelcoat needs wax for UV protection and best shine

Externally applied (not in a female mold) gelcoat requires wet sanding and polishing to achieve the smoothness like that in a mold. Extra is applied to account for this removal, of course. The end result is the same, provided a good job was done. The UV protection level is the same for both.

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Old 24-11-2015, 15:41   #5
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Re: 2 pack paint or gelcoat for maintenance concideration on 50ft cat

Just to be clear on the gelcoat weight consideration, that is due to the CSM tie layer which is required to prevent print through into the gelcoat. The CSM is resin rich ( up to 900 gsm) and adds up over the surface area of a big cat.

The holy grail of female mold boat building is how to minimise the tie layer and yet not get print through and other production gel coat issues.

Are you trying to make a decision between a female mold production built cat and a custom project?
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Old 24-11-2015, 15:52   #6
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Re: 2 pack paint or gelcoat for maintenance concideration on 50ft cat

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Originally Posted by BigBeakie View Post

Are you trying to make a decision between a female mold production built cat and a custom project?
In terms of the used market yes. For example a painted Schionning or gel Freydis. Two days work per year is two less days kitesurfing.
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Old 24-11-2015, 16:15   #7
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Re: 2 pack paint or gelcoat for maintenance concideration on 50ft cat

My last boat was repainted with a 2 part paint. On my current boat, I applied new gel coat on the deck areas. I have not noticed an increased need to wax the gel coat over the paint on my last boat. I usually wax 3 times a year (Florida). The techniques used are the same, light pre-wax cleaner and then Collinite wax, Now my current boat has a pretty shot paint job on the topsides and that requires wax much sooner than the new gel coat. But it is 31 years old. When the time comes, I will have to repaint the topsides. But if it were gel coat, I would re gel coat it. It is lots of work, but so easy to repair.
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Old 24-11-2015, 16:31   #8
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Re: 2 pack paint or gelcoat for maintenance concideration on 50ft cat

There is more to the weight than the print through mat (which is also required for paint). Gelcoat is applied at a greater thickness than paint.

Gelcoat is typically applied around 500 microns thick, while paint is 50 microns. Assuming similar weights, gelcoat is ~10x heavier than paint.

Gelcoat weighs 10lbs per gallon, and it will be a minimum of 50 gallons required for a 45-50' catamaran.

That's a lot of weight.

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Old 24-11-2015, 16:52   #9
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Re: 2 pack paint or gelcoat for maintenance concideration on 50ft cat

Our boat is painted, with automotive LPU. The paint is still glossy. Never waxed yet.
The paint is at least 7 yrs. old at this point. However, paint is much more fragile than gelcoat in my experience.

Buy the cat that makes your heart go pitty-pat the most.

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Old 24-11-2015, 17:04   #10
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Re: 2 pack paint or gelcoat for maintenance concideration on 50ft cat

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Buy the cat that makes your heart go pitty-pat the most.
Yes, this should have been the first and only response to your question.

The whole gelcoat/paint thing won't matter a bit over time - it is only an armchair concern unless you are having a new build where you can choose between them.

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Old 24-11-2015, 19:25   #11
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Re: 2 pack paint or gelcoat for maintenance concideration on 50ft cat

the two are so close I might need a tie break
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