Well with Gel coat, it is fairly simple. Providing you have no cracking or chiping, it is a simple case of sanding
to provide a key for your new paint system.
Choice of paint system is then up to you. The beauty of Gel coat, is you can paint anything you want onto it. The choice is up to you.
For hard waring and mirror finishes, two pot Urathane systems are they way to go. But I suggest you have these applied by a proffesional. They are toxic and to get the best finish, are best sprayed. They are also expensive, but will last the longest and can give a fantastic finish. Then you have tough Urathane single
pots systems. These aren't quite as bad to spray and some can be rolled and brushed, but it takes a pro to get a mirror finish with these. Epoxy
systems are next. They have finishes more like Enamels. They didn't used to be, but they are getting very good now. These also go very hard. Once again, not so easy to spray because of toxins. Then the ole faithful Enamels. These are the easiest to apply. Slow drying, but because of that, tend to be the easiest to Roll and brush. They don't have as hard a wearing surface, but the finishes are really getting there with them.
So to sum up, if you want long lasting hard wearing beautiful "Gel coat" looking finishes, then proffesional application of the two pack systems are the way to go.
If you want to do it yourself to save a buck and you don't have the gear
or expertise, then Enamels or single
pack urathanes are they way to go.
The big expense is preperation, so if you can sand the boat yourself and mask it out, you will save a lot of money
. The one advantage of Gelcoat
, is it is not toxic to sand. Still wear a mask to avoid the dust. Just ensure you wet sand and wear protective clothing
if you have anti-foul to remove. A special high pressure water
blaster can remove a substantial amount of Anti-foul before finishing with a sand.