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Old 20-03-2010, 14:45   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redtwin View Post
... Gelcoat stands UV better than paints, if a thick layer is applied it can be polished for a very long time...
If a thick coat of gelcoat is applied, it will crack/craze.

See also ➥ Gelcoat Crazing

And ➥
GELCOAT CRAZING (Part 1)
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Old 20-03-2010, 16:05   #17
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Often high end vessels are painted with two part LP's to protect the gelcoat. A good high quality paint can last 10-15years and depending on the owners care still look great. Gelcoats depending on environment have to continually be compounded, wet sanded, etc to maintain the gloss. P.S. there are two part LP's that can be wet sanded, buffed and waxed years after they have been applied to bring to a like new appearance, (Awlcraft).
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Old 20-03-2010, 17:56   #18
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Interesting about that awlcraft paint that can be polished.

Have seen anchor chain and heavy stuff dragged on gelcoat boats, walked on with boots etc, very little damage. Can always polish it or remove stains. Must say I haven't had much experience with 2 part paint but friends have boats with it and after a while it looses shine and you cannot polish it. It damages a lot easier than gelcoat and fixing seems to be a bit of work. The paint looks good but does not have the same strength as gelcoat.
Durability aside, on low quality production boats the gelcoat does craze after a few years but the likes of Beneteau seems to have good gelcoat after many years.
Due to extra thickness of gelcoats on older boats we have some here that dont show signs of cracks/crazing.
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Old 20-03-2010, 18:00   #19
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Forgot to mention I am only referring to gelcoat above waterline. Dont like it below, I have had to fix osmosis and gelcoat delaminates eventually. I notice top end boats offer vinyl-ester below waterline.
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Old 21-03-2010, 05:02   #20
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Hi Redtwin,

In higher latitudes the gel coat performs very good, but I can tell you that in the tropics a paint like Awlgrip will beat gelcoat hands down. My gelcoat is oxydizing away faster than we can polish it so UV damage goes deeper than I expected. We now did the wet-sand + polish thing on the stern which keeps me ahead for now so we might do that all around next time we are on the hard with cheap labor available.
My gelcoat is thick and I have many cracks but not on the hull itself (decks, coamings etc.) Thick you can sand & polish more and for the hull of our boat that's okay but the rest just flexes too much for it.

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Old 22-03-2010, 16:24   #21
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I must say the boats that have never been to the tropics show less gelcoat degradation. How about top end manufacturers, are they using better quality gelcoats? They show a lot less damage over time. I will have to admit that the gelcoat on my boat is not good, its only a 2003 model but there are pinholes in places, never see this in Beneteaus, Lagoons, FPs, Hunters etc. So there must be either differing qualities of gelcoat or the technique in their application must differ. However the decks on my boat are very strong and I can do a lot of work on them without danger of scratching etc. Gelcoat is definitely far more durable.
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Old 22-03-2010, 22:08   #22
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After hurricane Ivan in Grenada, a lot of boats had repairs done in Trinidad. I saw several boats that were repainted and others used gelcoat. These jobs were very well done and quality products were used. They all looked lovely.

A year later we met several of these boats again. The ones that had it painted looked just as good as a year before but the ones with gelcoat were dull already. Four years after the job was done we met a boat that was repainted and it still looked like new. All the boats that were repainted used Awlgrip and this clearly is a very good product. I think that after 10 years, the painted boat looks as good as a gelcoated boat that has cleaned and buffed the gelcoat yearly but neither look like new anymore. I base that on other boats we've met in the tropics. The boat with gelcoat might stretch it with another 5 years when it does the wet-sanding trick, while with paint you don't get that extension. But those first 10 years are much better for paint (less maintenance and easier to keep looking good).

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Old 23-03-2010, 02:22   #23
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Talking

Ok I call a truce, Awlcraft 2 part paint for topsides as it will shine longer, but glecoats for decks and working areas as its durable, and flowcoat for engine bays and cockpit lockers, once again more durable :-))
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Old 23-03-2010, 06:09   #24
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Paint is not as durable as gel coat but it is much easier to repair in my opinion. The acrylic urethanes like Awlcraft 2000 can be buffed and are easy to touch up.

Personally I think a painted finish is far nicer then gel coat unless you have a very high quality boat with perfect tooling.
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