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Old 15-11-2005, 19:58   #16
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Yeah I guess it's all how you look at it when looking from the outside. But in real terms, the main difference between Gelcoat and a paint system, is what and how it works. Gelcoat and flowcoat being Polyesters, interact with the Glass/resin applied and become one with the resin. Apart from the gelcoat not having glass in it, it is still basicaly a coloured resin and thus becomes one and the same with the glass/resin matting it mates with. This results in a gelcoat that is impossible to seperate from the resin(providing the systems were applied correctly).
Where as Paint aheres by keying" to the sub-surface, not a chemical/molecular bond. The paint and the substrate are two very different compounds and neither will mix at a molecular level with the other. Hence why when paint breaks down, it tends to fall away from the substrate.

Maybe it's called differently in your neck of the woods, but here in NZ, Awlgrip is a non-slip component. Awlcraft is the paint systems. How thin the paint is, is in how it is applied. As in No. of coats and amount it has been thinned. Thinning paint can reduce the long term life of the finished product. Often a paint system will fade badly and prematurely if it has been thinned too much. I have used Awlcraft and International/Epiglass paints and both have advantages and disadvantages. But yes, any paint system is suseptable to scratches due to it's very thin nature when compared to Gelcoat.
I think the reson why some boats are now being finished with Paint systems and not gel coat, is in the way the boat is constructed. Most hulls these days are being built on the outside of a mould and thus need a paint system to coat them. Where as Gelcoat is sprayed onto the inside surface of an external mould and the chopped strand and resin blown onto the Gelcoat. Two very different boat building processes.


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Old 16-11-2005, 05:42   #17
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Wheels - gotcha - thanks for the clarification. The fog is beginning to lift. I seem to be concluding that many owners decide to awlgrip - but the reasons are varied, with poor maintenance and excessive or improper compounding of the gelcoat being two opposite extremes. I am suspecting that marketing, personal taste and bad advice also contribute to the decision to awlgrip when other options still existed. My preference would be to avoid awlgrip (too late for "Whisper") and do only as much work on the gelcoat as needed to protect and maintain, removing as little material as possible. Interesting stuff.

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Old 16-11-2005, 13:28   #18
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You guys are great.

I think what happened with the hull is that some wax or protective coat was put directly on the gelcoat, and it's worn off after a few years, so there is a LOT of oxidation on the hull.

The Island Girl webpage looks very interesting.

Perhaps I'll try that.

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Old 16-11-2005, 13:41   #19
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Re: Island Girl


From what the Island Girl Webpage says, it looks like I may need an abrasive cleaner.

Do you purchase separate bottles or kits?

I'm considering purchasing Deluxe Kit on their webpage:


sv_makai once whispered in the wind:
IG is an annual waxing system not a paint or linear urathane finish like some others that are known to discolor or peal.

Do not Sand over the top of it. The gel coat conditioner lifts the oxidation out of the pores and the top coat seals and brings up the shine.

It doesn't peal off but needs to recoated every year like any other wax. We used it on our 88 hunter and the results were awesome and it lasted for a year. After the first year it was just a matter of cleaing and adding more coats. IG can be removed with cleaners and doesnot have to be sanded off.

If it just a case of bringing the shine back and not removing scrtaches I would recommend the Ig and just polish the areas that need abrasives. The more your cut and polish the thinner your gelcoat gets. If you fail to seal the Gelcoat or get all of the oxidation out it will just come back up in the gelcoat.

We love it and it works as advertised.

Try it before thinking of repainting or doing a complete buff, because you still need to protect after the buff or the same problems will occur.
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Old 16-11-2005, 15:05   #20
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No abrasive cleaner

The IG pink will lift most dirt and grime (it will lift 5200). We have not had to use an abraisve cleaner to remove grime. The only abrasives is to remove scratches.

Our first purchase was the kit and then we bought replacments as needed. The intail clean on the 88 took more of the cleaner/conditioner to get all of the oxidation out. It was pretty bad. after the first wax we needed less cleaner as we only had to rework areas after a year where we stripped the finish off.

The neat thing is that you can work an area on not have to redo the whole boat .

Captain Bil formerly of sv Makai -- KI4TMM
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