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Old 27-03-2015, 14:02   #1
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Crazing on deck/cockpit

Hi everyone, my boat search has intensified as the weather in New England begrudgingly improves and boatyards melt. I have a question about crazing on decks. I know why it happens, how to repair deep cracks and what lies underneath, so I don't need any tutorials or opinions on flex, boat production techniques or how to grind out and repair crazed areas around fittings and stress points, etc. What I do need advice on is the type of crazing that happens from prolonged exposure to sun. The boat has lived in the water most of it's life since '85, owned by a navy systems captain. Every part of the boat is in great shape, if not upgraged and refit EXCEPT the cosmetics. The hull is a hideous unevenly faded blue gelcoat, I can deal with that with some sanding and a buddy to tip while I roll. The deck is the issue. The crazing is extensive, however it is very fine and shallow and is only cosmetic damage. I have the help of a surveyor buddy, we have run a moisture meter and tapped everywhere, looked under the headliner, the glass is all in great shape, no soft spots or delams. The crazing is all over the deck EXCLUDING the non-skid, which looks great, although it is light blue, not my favorite. The boat has sailed New England in the summers and has spent the last 10 years wintering in the Bahamas. Lots of unrelenting sun. I have done localized gelcoat repair, dremeling, sanding, filling and painting, however I have never done a full deck and cockpit where the crazing was so fine and due only to sun damage. My question is in the process of restoring the deck to nice cosmetic condition. Is light sanding and then gelcoating going to be enough or should I consider taking it down to glass and going from there? What in your opinion is the process to repair cosmetic type crazing from the stern to the bow? If I were to refinish the whole deck and cockpit, what would you use other than gelcoat to improve the quality of the finish? Thanks in advance for taking the time to read and answer!
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Old 27-03-2015, 21:09   #2
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Re: Crazing on deck/cockpit

How thick is the gelcoat?? If it is thick especially on what would have been the low part of the mould when it was layed up upside down, you probably will have to grind it down to the underlying glass laminate. Gelcoat is a hard substance that does not flex like the underlying glass. If applied too thickly, it will crack and continue to crack ad infinitum. The deck on my last boat was laid up on a cold day in SoCal and the gelcoat flowed to the low parts before it kicked. The cabin top, the low point on the mold, was laced with cracks after a few years. Ground the cracks down to glass and filled with MarineTex. Would do all the cracks I could find and came back a couple weeks later to find new cracks on the cabin top. After months of this, bit the bullet and ground the deck down to bare glass and all was well.

There is nothing that is as durable as properly applied gelcoat. It is very difficult to chip, resistant to scuffing and, with waxing and mild abrasive, will go for decades. Unfortunately, it's not easy to apply once the boat is out of the mould. Linear Polyurethane paint is very durable but not as abuse resistant as gelcoat. It can be applied with brush or sprayed but best to practice if you are going to do it yourself. Will go for 10 years or more before it loses that 'yacht' quality look. Awl Grip is the king of the hill for shine and endurance but very hard to patch if you make a mistake. There a ton of other LPU paints out there all with different characteristics.
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Old 27-03-2015, 21:13   #3
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Re: Crazing on deck/cockpit

There's also this:

Captain Tolleys | West Marine

Then gelcoat over. W/no pictures to show the extent, Pete's advice is great.

Your boat, you choice to paint or do Maine Sail's hull & wax jobby:

http://forums.catalina.sailboatowner...d.php?t=117266
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Old 27-03-2015, 23:22   #4
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Re: Crazing on deck/cockpit

If you are interested in going down the paint route, take a look at the Interlux catalog, they make an epoxy primer specifically designed for filling in gelcoat cracks, called Epoxy Primekote. If the cracks are deeper then you can fill with epoxy, then go over with Primekote.

Finally, you'd paint with Perfection, a two-part polyurethane paint. Two parts are tougher than one-parts.
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Old 28-03-2015, 02:39   #5
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Re: Crazing on deck/cockpit

Something I'd like to mention here about 2 part LPU paints, is that those made for the automotive industry seem to retain their gloss better than those made for the marine industry. No idea why this is the case, but the chaps who painted our topsides 5 yrs ago told us so, and it has proved to be correct.

Still, if the OP has a look at minaret's thread Nauticat 52 Refit, there's a section there on doing the gelcoat, and it might be of interest. It is a lot of work, but as mentioned above, it would be a more durable fix than any paint ever will.

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Old 28-03-2015, 04:57   #6
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Re: Crazing on deck/cockpit

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Pate.
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Old 28-03-2015, 06:23   #7
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Re: Crazing on deck/cockpit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Something I'd like to mention here about 2 part LPU paints, is that those made for the automotive industry seem to retain their gloss better than those made for the marine industry. No idea why this is the case, but the chaps who painted our topsides 5 yrs ago told us so, and it has proved to be correct.

Still, if the OP has a look at minaret's thread Nauticat 52 Refit, there's a section there on doing the gelcoat, and it might be of interest. It is a lot of work, but as mentioned above, it would be a more durable fix than any paint ever will.

Ann
I find this curious... My last personal experience with Awlgrip was 18 years ago and that Jade Mist Green, clear coated hull looked new 10 years later when we sold the boat. I did all the prep on that boat myself. Longboarding the hull smooth, priming, sanding, priming, filling, priming, sanding....all winter long and the results where outstanding!

You can't see it in this photo but the paint was in lovely condition when we traded her for our current Sabre 386. I never want to do all of that work again personally (I did the decks at the same time, after removing EVERYTHING that screwed on to them first!) but if I ever need to paint a boat again, it will be Awlgrip! I should mention that the boat was in terrible shape when I began the project. It had lived a hard life in the Bahamian sun and it was cooked!
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Old 28-03-2015, 06:25   #8
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Re: Crazing on deck/cockpit

Thanks for the replies folks. I did a lot of research last night, looks like MarkSF's Interlux tip is the way to go, the crazing is so fine it will only need a light sanding, although it will be the entire deck and cockpit. I figure I might as well go ahead and do the non-skid too and get rid of the blue. It's a Moody 419 btw, beautiful boat, it has just had way too much sun.
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