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Old 04-12-2012, 09:46   #16
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Re: Hans Christian 43 topside painting, Awlgrip?

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Way more durable, much cheaper. But much more work, as well as more technically challenging. Also vastly easier to repair.
You make me want to take that route, especially having sprayed gelcoat with great results in the past, but i am confused as to few things...

So people go for awlgrip and two part paints instead of gelcoat, cause you can roll-tip it and get away with a professional look without wet sanding. I get that.

And what about professionals that spray awlgrip? Why wouldn't they spray gelcoat instead of spraying awlgrip?

I know that it was a pain to get the mixture right. Styrene, duratec, pigment, gelcoat, then adding just the right amount of kicker... and where I didn't get the mixture right, or couldn't see as my glasses got fogged up with gelcoat mist, i got the orange peel look. So it is very technically challenging.
But one would think that professionals would have that mixture preparation and spaying down to a science, so i don't get why we don't hear more often of boatyards spraying gelcoat?
The only other reasonable explanation that i can think of would be that awlgrip or 2 part epoxy paints last longer.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:01   #17
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Re: Hans Christian 43 topside painting, Awlgrip?

Nothing comes out better than Awlgrip sprayed by an experienced professional. It's not even close. The problem is that there is a learning curve to doing professional level Awlgrip jobs. If you want perfection then hire an experienced professional. You can save yourself a lot of money by doing all the prepwork yourself. The prepwork is where most of the expense with a excellent paint job is anyway. Have the boatyard or the professional painter give advice with the prepwork...that will save you a lot of money. The painters time will only be about two hours of setup time, spraying and cleanup, three hours at the absolute most. I think most people who own a 43 foot boat boat can afford to pay someone three hours of labor.

When you think about it, does it make any sense to spend hundreds of dollars in finish paint and apply it yourself risking it coming out looking like crap when you could have spent another $300 to hire a professional to spray it who also guarantees it will come out looking excellent?

Over time, gelcoat does not look as good as Awlgrip, as long as you are not beating up your paint. Gelcoat oxidizes and eventually thins out over time. There are boats that have Awlgrip jobs that are as shiny as the day they were sprayed. You can't say that with 10 year old gelcoat that has been sitting out in the sun all its life.

Brushed on still looks brushed on. It's not bad if done right but its still nowhere near perfect. If you saw a car with brushed on paint that is the first thing you would notice about the car....it doesn't look perfect or quite right.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:49   #18
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Re: Hans Christian 43 topside painting, Awlgrip?

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Originally Posted by phorvati View Post
You make me want to take that route, especially having sprayed gelcoat with great results in the past, but i am confused as to few things...

So people go for awlgrip and two part paints instead of gelcoat, cause you can roll-tip it and get away with a professional look without wet sanding. I get that.

And what about professionals that spray awlgrip? Why wouldn't they spray gelcoat instead of spraying awlgrip?

I know that it was a pain to get the mixture right. Styrene, duratec, pigment, gelcoat, then adding just the right amount of kicker... and where I didn't get the mixture right, or couldn't see as my glasses got fogged up with gelcoat mist, i got the orange peel look. So it is very technically challenging.
But one would think that professionals would have that mixture preparation and spaying down to a science, so i don't get why we don't hear more often of boatyards spraying gelcoat?
The only other reasonable explanation that i can think of would be that awlgrip or 2 part epoxy paints last longer.
Simple, gel coat requires regular work to maintain, such as regular polishing and waxing, and Awlgrip doesn't. And as said above, Awlgrip looks better than anything else, it just has a depth and gloss that cannot be achieved by any other method I have seen. I'm doing my hull now, and we're restoring the original gel coat but restriping with Awlgrip. We'll also Awlgrip some of our varnished teak since we're headed out and don't want to maintain it.
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Old 04-12-2012, 13:14   #19
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I was under the impression that gel coat is sprayed into a mold which provides a near perfect mirror finish if the mold is in perfect shape when a hull is being made.

Spraying gel coat requires wet sanding and finishing to get a polished, smooth look, which is why it is great for repairing small areas of gel coat, but to do a whole boat would never be practical which is why nobody does it.

Awlgrip has a water like consistency when sprayed or brushed and also has leveling properties which allows for the mirror like finish even when brushed.

Gel coat is far more durable, can be polished which is a benefit over Awlgrip, can be repaired which is a major benefit over Awlgrip.

I am now prepairing my boat for Awlgrip. The gel coat lasted 30 years, Awlrip will last 1/3 of that.
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Old 04-12-2012, 13:28   #20
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Re: Hans Christian 43 topside painting, Awlgrip?

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
Nothing comes out better than Awlgrip sprayed by an experienced professional. It's not even close. The problem is that there is a learning curve to doing professional level Awlgrip jobs. If you want perfection then hire an experienced professional. You can save yourself a lot of money by doing all the prepwork yourself. The prepwork is where most of the expense with a excellent paint job is anyway. Have the boatyard or the professional painter give advice with the prepwork...that will save you a lot of money. The painters time will only be about two hours of setup time, spraying and cleanup, three hours at the absolute most. I think most people who own a 43 foot boat boat can afford to pay someone three hours of labor.

When you think about it, does it make any sense to spend hundreds of dollars in finish paint and apply it yourself risking it coming out looking like crap when you could have spent another $300 to hire a professional to spray it who also guarantees it will come out looking excellent?

Over time, gelcoat does not look as good as Awlgrip, as long as you are not beating up your paint. Gelcoat oxidizes and eventually thins out over time. There are boats that have Awlgrip jobs that are as shiny as the day they were sprayed. You can't say that with 10 year old gelcoat that has been sitting out in the sun all its life.

Brushed on still looks brushed on. It's not bad if done right but its still nowhere near perfect. If you saw a car with brushed on paint that is the first thing you would notice about the car....it doesn't look perfect or quite right.

Finding a really good pro boat painter to "pull the trigger" for you is actually quite difficult, for several reasons. All the really ace painters are at big yards and are heavily booked up. Moonlighting is generally frowned upon to say the least. This is because these are the guys who shoot the most paint and have the most experience. Most painters and most yards will not shoot paint over someone else's prep work. Because they are expected to provide a perfect finish and they know that if the prep isn't perfect that won't happen. And their name is attached to that finish. You might find the odd roving boat guy to shoot your boat for less on your prep work, but odds are you won't get the same results this way. And in fact any more many yards will not allow it. And you will probably not get a warranty either. Really good painters get cultivated in the big yards, they are paid a ton of money, and treated well so they are not tempted to moonlight. I have seen some shameless cases of head painter thievery between businesses as well.
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Old 04-12-2012, 14:23   #21
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Re: Hans Christian 43 topside painting, Awlgrip?

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The high gloss additive and spraying made my white gel coat finish look very nice on deck. No wet sanding needed. There seem to be way too many opinions on whats more durable gelcoat or alwgrip. I thought that original gelcoat that was laid out in the mold is more durable since its chemically bonded to the substrate. Spraying gelcoat on a 30 year boat is not as durable as that original one.
Hey phorvati- brought some of the duratec HG additive - will be spraying my cockpit this spring- was wondering what type of gun you used and did you still have to thin it before spraying?
thanks
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Old 06-12-2012, 20:43   #22
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Re: Hans Christian 43 topside painting, Awlgrip?

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Hey phorvati- brought some of the duratec HG additive - will be spraying my cockpit this spring- was wondering what type of gun you used and did you still have to thin it before spraying?
thanks
I rented one from home depot, cant remember the nozlze size. Thinned it with styrene, you have to, alot. I kept it pure white, no pigment, added 50:50 duratec, then after everything got thoroughly mixed I added kicker(on the shy side) since it was so hot.

Thining depends on the day. It was a sunny day in June in RI, and it got hot. I was still under shrink wrap, so it really got hot.
I get all of my fiberglass supply here...
No Wax Gel Coat
At the time, it was 40$ per gallon. I looked at it now it's $62. Not bad after 8 years. I used air dry on the last coat only.
My first gallon I got at Jamestown distributors, and at the time, it was 80$ gallon. I said ouch, that's steep, and asked the kid at the counter where they get it from. He said Merton's. I was amazed to see it half the price at merton's. Btw, I looked it now its 92$ at Jamestown distributors.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:16   #23
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Re: Hans Christian 43 topside painting, Awlgrip?

Thanks phorvati-
My boat has a light beige tint to the topsides, deck and cockpit. Not as strong as an Island Packet and I wanted to match it -found Fibreglast website. They custom mix over 900 colors, rented a color chart and got a perfect match. Brought some Duratec- been filling and sanding the bad areas. Can't wait till spring...
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:31   #24
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Re: Hans Christian 43 topside painting, Awlgrip?

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Originally Posted by Bluemansailor View Post
Thanks phorvati-
My boat has a light beige tint to the topsides, deck and cockpit. Not as strong as an Island Packet and I wanted to match it -found Fibreglast website. They custom mix over 900 colors, rented a color chart and got a perfect match. Brought some Duratec- been filling and sanding the bad areas. Can't wait till spring...

No way you got a perfect match off the Internet. I custom match gel, we get color matches from other yards because we match spot on better than a spectrometer, which is almost always off. Most matches take me a minimum of two hours. You won't know if you have a match till you have polished a blend.


Achieving flow with gel coat is very tricky. It has as much to do with conditions at the time of shoot as with mixing. Note that such heavy use of Duratec will dramatically reduce the amount of pigment in your mix, which means you will need more coats for coverage. An old boatyard trick for very difficult color matches is spray your matched blend, then mix 20% Duratec into your match and spray a little bigger, then 40% Duratec and a bit bigger, then 60%, etc etc. This will make a tricky color match like a bright red that is almost but not quite perfect invisible.

Reduction with high volumes of styrene monomer or MEK can provide good flow, but it can also lead to problems. Flash times need to be much longer, or you will have problems with solvent popping. This can lead to gel coat porosity. It's really much more complicated than shooting straight gel. What is the intended method of surface cure, for instance? Hasn't been mentioned here.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:44   #25
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Re: Hans Christian 43 topside painting, Awlgrip?

We'll see- I had their chip chart and they have a variety of beiges and off whites. One matched near perfect to my cockpit. So I'm not changing the color just adding extra protection and finish coat. Did do a test spray on the back of my locker door and we couldn't notice a difference in color between the old and new colors.

Are you familiar with the gelcoat coloring from Fibreglast?
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:53   #26
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Re: Hans Christian 43 topside painting, Awlgrip?

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Originally Posted by Bluemansailor View Post
We'll see- I had their chip chart and they have a variety of beiges and off whites. One matched near perfect to my cockpit. So I'm not changing the color just adding extra protection and finish coat. Did do a test spray on the back of my locker door and we couldn't notice a difference in color between the old and new colors.

Are you familiar with the gelcoat coloring from Fibreglast?

No, I'm not familiar with them. But I am more than familiar with process of color matching gel. If you test sprayed the back of a locker door, I'm assuming it was an unfinished area and wasn't wet sanded and polished afterwords. That is not a good test. If you will be shooting an entire area with no blends, a perfect color match is not necessary. If there will be a blend, it needs to be spot on. I would never even attempt to match gel off a chart. Only pure luck could get you an actual match this way.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:41   #27
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Re: Hans Christian 43 topside painting, Awlgrip?

The one thing I will say about Imron paint is that it is hard enough that you can sand out any runs etc, progressively sanding and polishing until it's perfect.
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