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Old 03-05-2011, 19:39   #1
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Gel Coat Loss and Repair

I have a Westsail 32. The decks have a white gelcoat, and it has apparently rubbed off in places over the years and the layers beneath are black. Aside from painting the entire deck is there any other solution? I have attached a pic, you can see the beige non-skid (also needs repainting) but you can see the large black patch where it appears the gelcoat has just worn off. The patches occur in many places on the deck, but not only in very high traffic areas.
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Old 03-05-2011, 19:51   #2
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Looks to me like fiberglass showing through, as if gelcoat has been buffed or wet sanded too many times.
If you can match the color, which is the toughest task, you could repaint gelcoat and try to buff it in to match.
Best bet is probably repainting decks, but obviously a lot of work.
I repainted my decks with interlux brightsides, after I helped paint another boats decks with same and they lasted almost 10 years before needing recoating.
Good luck!
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Old 04-05-2011, 21:18   #3
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Re: Gel Coat Loss and Repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by malbert73 View Post
Looks to me like fiberglass showing through, as if gelcoat has been buffed or wet sanded too many times.
If you can match the color, which is the toughest task, you could repaint gelcoat and try to buff it in to match.
Best bet is probably repainting decks, but obviously a lot of work.
I repainted my decks with interlux brightsides, after I helped paint another boats decks with same and they lasted almost 10 years before needing recoating.
Good luck!
Thanks, did you spray?
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Old 04-05-2011, 22:07   #4
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Re: Gel Coat Loss and Repair

Old gelcoat is very difficult to match and to repair. It is much easier and looks better to paint.
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Old 05-05-2011, 19:23   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AeridesII
Thanks, did you spray?
No, I rolled and tipped. Came out really nicely. Would have been flawless if I had been more meticulous about thinning it.

I also rolled and tipped the hull topsides in interlux perfection, the 2 part paint. Even in the most challenging color, black, it came out great. Looks sprayed from 15 feet away.

In my opinion if you have the time to do the job, which is all in the prep, the money to have a professional paint you decks and topsides can be better elsewhere, like a new engine or new sails which would actually allow you to enjoy your boat more...
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Old 06-05-2011, 18:32   #6
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Re: Gel Coat Loss and Repair

I have similar symptoms as described & shown by the OP. I am a bit unclear, however, on the difference b'twn gelcoat & paint. And how would I deal with the non-skid. Is this a separate part of the gelcoat that just gets painted over?
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Old 06-05-2011, 20:11   #7
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Re: Gel Coat Loss and Repair

On my own boat I've been doing cosmetic gelcoat repairs to stress cracks and small delaminations. I've learned to match the existing gelcoat but it is a painstaking task. If it is not perfect the repair will show up like a sore thumb. For a large area, I believe your best bet is to bite the bullet and repaint. One part paints are easiest but two part paints will last longer. I suggest you do a bit of research to decide which you have the skill and/or patience to do. No matter which, it will be the prep work that will make or break the job. The fellow on the boat next to mine did no prep work besides wiping down with acetone and then applied a one part paint using, of all things, a disposable nylon chip brush. From 50 ft it looks pretty good, but when you are within about 15 ft you can see the brush marks and the runs.

For the non-skid I've used Awlgrip with sand but it is now very expensive. Soon I will be re-painting my own non-skid and will try using Kiwi-Grip, a water based paint that has had some really good reviews. I bought a quart along with the special roller that gives it the non-skid texture. If it turns out alright, I'll buy another gallon or so to finish the boat.
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Old 06-05-2011, 21:21   #8
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Re: Gel Coat Loss and Repair

I recently had a section of my cockpit deck replaced by a good boat yard. There was no way for them to match the look of faded 20 year old gel coat. I had them paint it with AwlGrip. I was stunned at how good it looked. They of course had to paint the whole deck, not just the part they replaced. If I wasn't so lazy I could have painted it myself but I would have used Interlux Perfection. It has a reputation of being much easier to apply using the roll and tip method.
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