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Old 09-09-2008, 16:46   #1
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Gel coat Restoration

Any help for gel coat that is cracked and neglected-

Color is "polar white"--the pro's say can't buff and wax--needs paint---

One hears about "Vertglas" by Lovett Marine--

Any feed back on the various cures for Oxidation and Chalk--

ComPac 19--

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Old 09-09-2008, 16:51   #2
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Grind, fair, paint.
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Old 09-09-2008, 17:11   #3
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Any help for gel coat that is cracked and neglected-
You can wet sand, compound, polish and wax but you'll still have the cracks though for the most part you can still make it a good 20 footer. Up close though it will still looked cracked but shiny..


Quote:
Originally Posted by LexLocal View Post
One hears about "Vertglas" by Lovett Marine--
Any of the acrylic coatings will look the same shiny but still cracked..

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Originally Posted by LexLocal View Post
Any feed back on the various cures for Oxidation and Chalk--
Is it "oxidation and chalk" or is it crazing and "cracked"??

I've yet to find a fiberglass boat that I can't make shiny again with a four step wet sand, compound, polish & wax. This little dink is from the sixties and for the last 18 years was upside down and un-covered. That shine is 30 minutes of wet sanding and a quick compounding. It was never even hit with polish or wax..

If you're willing to put in the time you can probably make her look lots better. Painting is pricey even on a 19 footer..!
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Old 09-09-2008, 17:34   #4
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You have only 2 choices. One is to have it re-gelcoated, expensive, or painted with AwlGrip or similar paint, also expensive. To remove and fill all cracks and prep surface for whatever, is going to be very time consuming.
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Old 09-09-2008, 20:35   #5
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Really old gelcoat is a lost cause. I would fill and fair it. Do all your own prep work. Next time they are shooting a large boat whose color you like at a boat yard, have them shoot your boat as well. It might save you some bucks if the painter does not have to prep and set up just for your relatively small boat. In my opinion a good LPU paint job looks better than gel coat.
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Old 09-09-2008, 20:50   #6
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Really old gelcoat is a lost cause.
I hear this all the time and it's because people generally don't know how to properly restore it.

If it's cracked and crazed it's toast but can still be made to shine around the cracks. If it's just oxidized it can be restored with elbow grease, the right technique and the right tools about 90% of the time.

I've restored the shine to many, many boats where so called "experts" told them the gelcoat was done.

Before:

After:

This boat looked like a chalk board when I started:

Oh and 19 year old red Imron can also be restored (do not try this with Awlgrip!!!):
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Old 09-09-2008, 20:50   #7
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Having Worked with it most of my life I would suggest you dry sand it well, preferably with 150, 240. Than apply (spray)paint a Filler/primer (this should cover the cracks) sand this wet with up to 400 and use Awlgrip to (spray!)paint it. You get all the money worth back and it is not as much work as and difficult as you think. Get on to it and cash back whenever you sell the boat. Good Luck!
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Old 09-09-2008, 20:56   #8
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To Acoustic:

Nice pics but I don't see any technical info. Elbow Grease...????? And then? Simply Buff it? Tell us the whole process and maybe I'll see the light.

But when it looks like a crack, feels like a crack and smells like it. It's I think a crack and you can't buff away a "deep cut" in my opinion.
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Old 09-09-2008, 20:58   #9
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I hear this all the time and it's because people generally don't know how to properly restore it.

If it's cracked and crazed it's toast but can still be made to shine around the cracks. If it's just oxidized it can be restored with elbow grease, the right technique and the right tools about 90% of the time.

I've restored the shine to many, many boats where so called "experts" told them the gelcoat was done.
That's what I meant...if its REALLY beat up.

I too have polished up badly oxidized gelcoat and had it come out pretty nice. But if the damage is dings, deep cracks and other really nasty things, then fuhgeddabout it.
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:01   #10
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Our boat has the cracked gelcoat thing going on. I tried heavy rubbing compund, etc. I finally used Comet cleanser followed with a fine compound buff and Fleet Wax. I was trying for the "new boat"-shine but now I'm more inclined to have the "just circumnavigated"-look. I've read that considering the costs, using something a simple as Interlux Brightside thinned with MEK rolled on and tipped is just as good. It obviously isn't going to look like a sprayed on job, but at 20 feet they all look the same (to me).

Just as an FYI, buffing a boat hull is a royal PITA when one has osteoarthritis!
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:25   #11
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Owning an older boat, I'm naturally curious about this thread.

If you have an area that's seriously sun damaged.. meaning deep cracks and crazed, can't it be sanded down to glass and regelcoated? The edges then faired into the surrounding area??

Just curious
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:39   #12
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Yes Rick, in smaller areas. It is really no different than repairing areas of collision damage. As the owner of three previous boats that had been professionally painted with awlgrip (or equivalent), I should point out a couple of things:

1. It is nowhere near as resistant to surface scratches/abrasion as gelcoat.

2. It is not designed to be used under water and hence will bubble if the paint is applied below the water line (even when covered with antifouling); indeed, it will also bubble if the boat is stored in shrink rap and the plastic cover is allowed to trap water against the topsides for any significant period.

So no, it is not a win/win situation. If your gelcoat is restorable, that would be my first choice. There is also at least one company that now provides gelcoat that is computer colour-matched to your boat - this certainly makes the process much easier.

Brad
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:09   #13
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I recently picked up an old book on sailing by Pearson. I was surprised to read that Mr. Pearson assumed that when a fiberglass boat was a few years old it would need to be painted. They never expected a gelcoat finish to last indefinitely.
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:30   #14
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Acoustic, I printed off your technique when you posted it a while back and intend to use it on my little lake boat, a Hunter 19. If you weren't so far away, I would try to make a deal with you.
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:28   #15
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Some of the companies in UK are now spraying a new gelcoat layer (after appropriate prep work) on the basis, that although it is a wee bit more expensive, it lasts a lot longer, is easier to patch up, and is much more robust in those little incidents.
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