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Old 29-08-2011, 13:34   #16
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Nyack, NY
Boat: Westsail 32
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Re: Gel Coat Help Advice

Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Ah, a fellow sailor who knows something about color matching. Here is my secret tip. Prep and polish a spot as described by cabo. Make it a spot near the repair, a color can very dramatically from bow to stern due to less than perfect mix in the drum at the factory. You are trying to restore the original color so you can match to it. Sometimes you can find the inside of a hatch or something which has not been exposed to weather and that can help. Once you have selected and prepared your spot, acquire a piece of clear mylar film. Cut it into one inch squares. In a pinch cigarette cellophane works fine. Put a daub of prospective color match onto your prepped area. Then take a square of the mylar and lick one corner to get some spit on it. Put the dry corner onto your daub of gell. You will see a clear demarcation line between the spit and the gell. Gently rub the mylar until the spit line touches the gelcoat. You will be able to see even the smallest color difference using this technique. I can't explain why it works, but iff you try it you will see why this is the deepest darkest secret of the color matchers art. With practice anyone can match better than any spectrograph.
I rescued a 28' San Juan adrift with no power in 25 knots off Lagoon point, Whidbey Island, in between typing paragraphs on this post. Smartphones are awesome!
This is a great tip, however the issue for the amatuer is knowing what color tints in what proportions to add to get the final match and this comes with much on the job experience.

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