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Old 01-04-2014, 11:22   #1
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Can gelcoat be skipped?

I took out a square foot of gelcoat while stripping the deck. Under it is raw, uncolored fiberglass. I plan on putting down 2 coats of primer & 2 coats of interlux boat paint for the deck. This is an area that gets walked on a lot. Do I need to put new gelcoat over this before painting? Can I just put down some polyester resin, hardener & a little filler, & then sand it down?
Does it really need sealing w/ something? Most fiberglass blisters don't leak, so this probably won't.
Anyways, I had the stripper down & in the middle of it my neighbor's anchor started giving way & he called for my help. Next time I'll pay more attention.
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:35   #2
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Re: Can gelcoat be skipped?

Gelcoat is just polyester resin with some coloring and a bit of talc to make it slightly thicker. No problem with simply fairing that area out and painting.

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Old 01-04-2014, 12:29   #3
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Re: Can gelcoat be skipped?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Gelcoat is just polyester resin with some coloring and a bit of talc to make it slightly thicker. No problem with simply fairing that area out and painting.

Mark
+1 for this advice. You are all set.
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:36   #4
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Re: Can gelcoat be skipped?

You can skip it.

There are three good reasons not to:

Gelcoat is the fastest ways to get it slick and the same color as the rest of the deck.

You also don't get get bleed through from the fairing compounds.

You won't have to prime that spot an extra three times so you won't have a dark spot in the paintjob.

Roll on three coats, the first two with no wax and the last one with wax. Acetone wipe, sand flat... Prime and paint.

I've spent a number of years of my life devoted to fairing epoxy boats with epoxy fairing compounds, so I jump at the opportunity to start and finish a job in polyester within three hours instead of three days of sanding, puttying, waiting.

If you do use putty, use some good stuff like Adtech P77 or 3M's vinylester you'll end up with wee small blisters. Bondo, and acrylic glazing putties are fast but they take on water and make wee little blisters. No such issues with Gelcoat.

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Old 01-04-2014, 12:43   #5
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Re: Can gelcoat be skipped?

He is painting, so the color of the repair does not matter. He was planning on using thickened resin, so bleed through of cheap fairing compound does not matter.

BTW, what fairing compounds are you using that bleed color? I haven't had that problem, but mostly I just thicken resin for fairing. I have used 3M's stuff with no problem. Bondo and acrylic glazing are no-no's on boats altogether.

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Old 06-04-2014, 09:33   #6
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Re: Can gelcoat be skipped?

Glad I don't need to. The main thing I want is to keep the water out of the wood under the fiberglass-deck.
This is a 50 year old sailboat deck. I don't want it shiny or perfect, but functional, and something that give off the impression of "poor & desperate outboard motor thief alert", as the articles about liveaboards seem to dictate these days.

Wouldn't it be OK to just use a paintbrush and paint a layer of polyester resin over the exposed fiberglass, let it dry, sand it, & then 2 layers of white primer & then 2 layers of top-side Interlux boat paint w/ sanding in between?

I should probably raise the issue of grip in another post, but, for some reason I get a feeling that it's better not to use grip. Wouldn't it be OK to just use 120 grit sandpaper on the gelcoat & paint over that? Wouldn't that provide enough grip? Maybe 80 grit?
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:00   #7
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Re: Can gelcoat be skipped?

You mean non skid or to just make sure the paint sticks? If non skid, just mix some sand into the paint for your top coat and that should be good for you.

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Old 06-04-2014, 11:56   #8
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Re: Can gelcoat be skipped?

Yes, your plan for resin, primer and paint sounds good if that will be enough to make the surface fair.

If you want it to not be slippery, you will need to put some type of grip on it. Sanding with course grit before paint will not be enough and will look very bad.

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