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Old 25-02-2017, 10:50   #16
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Re: Re-gelcoating my deck: Project thread

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More great info. Regarding masked areas and general working room, I need to create plan of attack for how many sections I'm going to need to divide the deck into that will allow me to spray and then pull tape. I'm thinking right now it's probably five; cockpit, coachroof, port side deck and coach sides, starboard side deck and coach sides, and bow. Doing the sides and bow all at once would mean no blends, and it's possible. Will figure it out when we get closer.

I have a few difficult areas to spray, back where the cockpit coaming meets the captain. I expect these are just going to be easier to brush on but we'll see how things go with the sprayer up to that point.

I'm going to do a few test panels with scrap, then do the removable panels (cockpit and propane locker hatches, cover over the companionway hatch). Then the cockpit. Should have a pretty good idea of limitations at that point.



Yeah I already drooled over those, big time. I have a decent Makita electric RO with vac, but might pick up an air DA if the yard won't let me use one of theirs. As for more specialized sanders, it's not a big enough job and their benefit would be limited to just a few areas.

I'm of the mind that you buy the best tools you can, and in some cases, even for temporary use. In my experience you can unload a tool after you're done on Craig's list for 80% of it's cost if you didn't abuse it, which can make it work financially.

Yup, chopping up a durabloc kit is worth more for a job like this than any power tool, it's mostly hand work. Don't forget the dry guide coat!

Sometimes I run a razor as I pull tape. Gives a super clean tape seam. Takes practice, hard to explain proper technique. Basically as you pull tape at the best angle for a clean seam, you simultaneously run a razor along the tape edge right where it's pulling up, so it cuts clean instead of pulling stringy tacky bits or wanting to chip or flake because it's not fully cured. Depends on how thick it is. You'll figure it out.
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Old 25-02-2017, 12:42   #17
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Re: Re-gelcoating my deck: Project thread

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Yup, chopping up a durabloc kit is worth more for a job like this than any power tool, it's mostly hand work. Don't forget the dry guide coat!

Sometimes I run a razor as I pull tape. Gives a super clean tape seam. Takes practice, hard to explain proper technique. Basically as you pull tape at the best angle for a clean seam, you simultaneously run a razor along the tape edge right where it's pulling up, so it cuts clean instead of pulling stringy tacky bits or wanting to chip or flake because it's not fully cured. Depends on how thick it is. You'll figure it out.
It should have been on my shopping list:


I'm pretty good with manual dexterity and detail work, and have a pretty steady hand. Fortunately, all of the seams with wood work are at right angles, which makes your method a bit easier, at least as far as getting a respectable straight edge. But I'm prepared to have to go back and work these areas over and patch, if necessary if my skills are not up to the task.

Somewhat related, how do you, as best you can describe it, decide on a strategy for spray areas. For example, I'm thinking I can't spray the cockpit in one go, because I'm not going to be able to get IN the cockpit to shoot the second and third coats. I suppose I could put supports across and pull them as I work my way back. Is it worth bending over backwards to do less shoots vs. blending spray areas?

AND, what is the best procedure for blending where spray areas meet? The last coat has wax added to allow the gel to cure; that has to come off, I expect. Where spray areas meet, is it best to tape off and maska hard line on the previously sprayed area, get the wax off and sand down the "overage", and spray the new area up to the tape? I assume that would leave a seam that would then be faired out. Hopefully my description is clear...clear enough for you to say "yeah do that" or "you knucklehead there's a much easier way". lol
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Old 25-02-2017, 17:12   #18
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Re: Re-gelcoating my deck: Project thread

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
It should have been on my shopping list:


I'm pretty good with manual dexterity and detail work, and have a pretty steady hand. Fortunately, all of the seams with wood work are at right angles, which makes your method a bit easier, at least as far as getting a respectable straight edge. But I'm prepared to have to go back and work these areas over and patch, if necessary if my skills are not up to the task.

Somewhat related, how do you, as best you can describe it, decide on a strategy for spray areas. For example, I'm thinking I can't spray the cockpit in one go, because I'm not going to be able to get IN the cockpit to shoot the second and third coats. I suppose I could put supports across and pull them as I work my way back. Is it worth bending over backwards to do less shoots vs. blending spray areas?

AND, what is the best procedure for blending where spray areas meet? The last coat has wax added to allow the gel to cure; that has to come off, I expect. Where spray areas meet, is it best to tape off and maska hard line on the previously sprayed area, get the wax off and sand down the "overage", and spray the new area up to the tape? I assume that would leave a seam that would then be faired out. Hopefully my description is clear...clear enough for you to say "yeah do that" or "you knucklehead there's a much easier way". lol


Usually once I lay out the nonskid areas it becomes clear what order things will be shot in. Generally you can stand on nonskid areas while shooting smooth, and on smooth/hatches while shooting nonskid (or rolling it). Occasionally you have to break things up. If you have to break up snooth areas, don't spray up to tape for a hard line. Just stop shooting. This is much easier to blend/feather in than a hard line. Especially if you shoot a bit further on each coat so your final blend only has a single coat of material on it. I'm sure you'll get it.
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Old 26-02-2017, 04:59   #19
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Re: Re-gelcoating my deck: Project thread

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Usually once I lay out the nonskid areas it becomes clear what order things will be shot in. Generally you can stand on nonskid areas while shooting smooth, and on smooth/hatches while shooting nonskid (or rolling it).
My (tentative) plan had been to shoot the whole deck with new gelcoat, fair, and then go back and apply the nonskid Alwgrip on top of the new gel.

If I'm reading the above correctly, you're suggesting not bothering with new gel on the areas that are going to get nonskid. Is that correct?

While it would save in materials, it doesn't seem like it would ultimately save in labor. The nonskid areas would need to be primed with a high build primer, sanded fair, then 545. I'd think also getting the edges of the nonskid to line up with the new gel would be very hard, and that nonskid on top of new gel would lead to a better appearance in general.

Did I read you wrong, or is my thinking on nonskid on top of new gel flawed?

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Occasionally you have to break things up. If you have to break up snooth areas, don't spray up to tape for a hard line. Just stop shooting. This is much easier to blend/feather in than a hard line. Especially if you shoot a bit further on each coat so your final blend only has a single coat of material on it. I'm sure you'll get it.
If I'm shooting gel and put wax in the last coat to promote cure, how do I prep the overlap area between one spray area and the next one for good adhesion? I'm assuming the wax needs to be removed. Just wipe it down and go over the overlap area with the next shoot?
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Old 26-02-2017, 08:11   #20
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Re: Re-gelcoating my deck: Project thread

With cracks like this, are you sure that the core is still intact?
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Old 26-02-2017, 10:18   #21
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Re: Re-gelcoating my deck: Project thread

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With cracks like this, are you sure that the core is still intact?
No, I'm not sure of anything. Will be sounding those parts of the deck and checking for delam as part of the process.

Right now I'm guessing the core is OK.This a Valiant. The glasswork is extremely thick, and the cracks appeared within the last year or so, after the boat spent a winter uncovered. They are mostly at the aft 1/4 end of the boat, where ice would sit longest. But I'm not ruling anything out.

The cracks around the salon hatch are relatively new, within the past 6 months.
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Old 26-02-2017, 11:28   #22
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Re: Re-gelcoating my deck: Project thread

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
My (tentative) plan had been to shoot the whole deck with new gelcoat, fair, and then go back and apply the nonskid Alwgrip on top of the new gel.

If I'm reading the above correctly, you're suggesting not bothering with new gel on the areas that are going to get nonskid. Is that correct?

While it would save in materials, it doesn't seem like it would ultimately save in labor. The nonskid areas would need to be primed with a high build primer, sanded fair, then 545. I'd think also getting the edges of the nonskid to line up with the new gel would be very hard, and that nonskid on top of new gel would lead to a better appearance in general.

Did I read you wrong, or is my thinking on nonskid on top of new gel flawed?



If I'm shooting gel and put wax in the last coat to promote cure, how do I prep the overlap area between one spray area and the next one for good adhesion? I'm assuming the wax needs to be removed. Just wipe it down and go over the overlap area with the next shoot?



No you didn't read wrong. Gel as primer saves a ton of money. A fiver of color costs me about $250 but I often find they have fivers if mismatched gel which I buy for dirt cheap to use as primer, just had to be any shade of white.

Dry sand 400 as well as dewaxing before overlapping on your new gel.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:02   #23
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Re: Re-gelcoating my deck: Project thread

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No you didn't read wrong. Gel as primer saves a ton of money. A fiver of color costs me about $250 but I often find they have fivers if mismatched gel which I buy for dirt cheap to use as primer, just had to be any shade of white.

Dry sand 400 as well as dewaxing before overlapping on your new gel.
OK, my thought was that it would be easier to just shoot the whole boat with whatever gel color I'm going to use in the nonskid areas. And I assumed that while shooting it would be easier to just ignore where the non skid is going to be for that phase. Just get gel down on the whole boat, fair it smooth, then tape off where the nonskid is going to be and polish out the smooth/non-nonskid areas, then mask those off and prep the nonskid areas and paint them.

Part of the assumption in this is that getting a good smooth transition between one gel sprayed area and another requires more sanding work, so that the fewer spray areas you have the better; in a perfect world, if you could spray the whole boat in one go, that would be ideal.

It sounds like you're method involves dividing up the boat into a lot of spray areas, specifically spraying the non-skid areas separately, particularly if you're using mismatched gel for those areas. Are you taping them off to keep the mismatched gel under only where the painted nonskid will be? I'm having trouble visualizing what your process is.

More questions abound about other issues:

I don't want stark white, right out of the can; it looks cold and ungodly white. That said, I can't find any info, like color charts or formulas for a specific color. Gel seems to come in plain white, or custom colors pre-mixed from some vendors. So say I want a slightly off-white color...really not even off-white but just toned down, like a light oyster white. I'm going with a light grey paint for the nonskid, like Matterhorn White. In truth, the gel color and nonskid colors that you put down on your boat look pretty much like what I was thinking. What did you use for the gel color and paint?

Are there any formulas for mixing gel colors? I would think that for 5 gal. quantities there are some standard formulas.

How much gel am I going to need? 40' boat, 12.5' beam, canoe stern. I've found a few calculators but they seem fairly rudimentary. Doing my own calculation, based on 500 sq. ft. (40x12.5=500; surface area is marginally less but there will be tests, resprays etc.) I'm coming up with 6.5 gallons. Does that sound right? I can always buy more quarts/gallons as required, but would like to have a rough swag on what I'm going to need.

I'm going to have a bunch of areas that I can't spray; it's just too confined. I'm assuming painting gelcoat is like painting with yogurt. Any tips on dealing with brushing to minimize fairing afterwards?

As always, thanks for your advice.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:42   #24
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Re: Re-gelcoating my deck: Project thread

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OK, my thought was that it would be easier to just shoot the whole boat with whatever gel color I'm going to use in the nonskid areas. And I assumed that while shooting it would be easier to just ignore where the non skid is going to be for that phase. Just get gel down on the whole boat, fair it smooth, then tape off where the nonskid is going to be and polish out the smooth/non-nonskid areas, then mask those off and prep the nonskid areas and paint them.

Part of the assumption in this is that getting a good smooth transition between one gel sprayed area and another requires more sanding work, so that the fewer spray areas you have the better; in a perfect world, if you could spray the whole boat in one go, that would be ideal.



That is indeed the ideal, but whether or not it's the most practical approach depends on the job. When I did mine, I did stark white primer gel on everything, then blew on color on all smooth to a hard line at the layout, then skid. Reason I did it this way was the aforementioned dirt cheap stark white gel, saved me some $$ on gel.








It sounds like you're method involves dividing up the boat into a lot of spray areas, specifically spraying the non-skid areas separately, particularly if you're using mismatched gel for those areas. Are you taping them off to keep the mismatched gel under only where the painted nonskid will be? I'm having trouble visualizing what your process is.



No mismatch is primer for the whole thing, then color on smooth, then paint nonskid. It certainly saves a step to do it as you suggest, but it takes a lot of gel.








More questions abound about other issues:

I don't want stark white, right out of the can; it looks cold and ungodly white. That said, I can't find any info, like color charts or formulas for a specific color. Gel seems to come in plain white, or custom colors pre-mixed from some vendors. So say I want a slightly off-white color...really not even off-white but just toned down, like a light oyster white. I'm going with a light grey paint for the nonskid, like Matterhorn White. In truth, the gel color and nonskid colors that you put down on your boat look pretty much like what I was thinking. What did you use for the gel color and paint?



Oyster White for smooth, of course! I use Fiberlay, but any reputable fiberglass supplier will give you a nice color chart. Colors are pretty standard throughout the industry. However, never ever believe anyone who tells you one can of color will match another. EVER! If you intend to do as stated above, be sure to buy way too much color and box it together. For your boat I'd suggest two fivers boxed together would be plenty. If you get just one, you will certainly run out right before finishing and the new can won't match. Don't do that to yourself. Also remember gel has a six month shelf life, don't buy until close to ready to apply. Oh, the skid is Whisper Grey Awlgrip on my boat. Trim is Kingston Grey or Seattle Grey, two-tone. Seattle Grey is a special mix color.






Are there any formulas for mixing gel colors? I would think that for 5 gal. quantities there are some standard formulas.



I'm sure there are, but the quantities of pigment required would cost more than just buying gel, I'd guess. You can't just use any pigment for gel, it has to be compatible gelcoat tints.





How much gel am I going to need? 40' boat, 12.5' beam, canoe stern. I've found a few calculators but they seem fairly rudimentary. Doing my own calculation, based on 500 sq. ft. (40x12.5=500; surface area is marginally less but there will be tests, resprays etc.) I'm coming up with 6.5 gallons. Does that sound right? I can always buy more quarts/gallons as required, but would like to have a rough swag on what I'm going to need.



See above. Five gallons may well do it for you, but if you decide that's enough you may run into the problem I mentioned. Always better to have too much than not enough, color matching is a pain.

I'm going to have a bunch of areas that I can't spray; it's just too confined. I'm assuming painting gelcoat is like painting with yogurt. Any tips on dealing with brushing to minimize fairing afterwards?



Yes, if you must brush apply thin with MEK and or styrene monomer to provide good flow and apply extra coats so you can sand out the brush marks and still have plenty of meat on there. Depends on your finish regimen, but I usually apply four coats for brushing, three for spray. Use a good quality brush. Or, get a pressure pot spray rig and shoot away, it'll get anywhere a brush will and some places it won't.






As always, thanks for your advice.



You bet, do some hatches or something off the boat first and you'll get it down. This is not rocket science.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:27   #25
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Re: Re-gelcoating my deck: Project thread

Suijin and Minaret , Thank you both! I am prepping for this same project and this has been very informative!

Just hoping I don't screw it up

please don't leave out any details for us amateurs.

Minaret very kind of you to share your expertise so many times on this site.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:39   #26
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Re: Re-gelcoating my deck: Project thread

When I start this in earnest, in about a week, I'm going to be posting daily with a flood of pictures and probably, questions. This is going to be an ordeal but I'm kinda stoked.

The list of auxiliary projects to get done while this is underway is expanding exponentially; moving a dorade vent so I can put my RIB in front of the mast without deflating, replacing teak grab rails on the cabin top with stainless, new stainless traveller bracket (old aluminum one is cracked--structurally OK but ugly), maybe beefier deck cleats at the bow and stern, new padeyes for coachroof jackline, new clutches to replace old rope stops, etc. This list is getting scary...
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:50   #27
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Re: Re-gelcoating my deck: Project thread

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When I start this in earnest, in about a week, I'm going to be posting daily with a flood of pictures and probably, questions. This is going to be an ordeal but I'm kinda stoked.

The list of auxiliary projects to get done while this is underway is expanding exponentially; moving a dorade vent so I can put my RIB in front of the mast without deflating, replacing teak grab rails on the cabin top with stainless, new stainless traveller bracket (old aluminum one is cracked--structurally OK but ugly), maybe beefier deck cleats at the bow and stern, new padeyes for coachroof jackline, new clutches to replace old rope stops, etc. This list is getting scary...



Hey did your vessel have Valiant disease and if so did you get it fixed? Is that part of the plan here? I've done a bunch of them, and the fix for that is a whole lot more involved. Just wanna be sure that's not what we're talking about here...
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:59   #28
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Re: Re-gelcoating my deck: Project thread

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Suijin and Minaret , Thank you both! I am prepping for this same project and this has been very informative!

Just hoping I don't screw it up

please don't leave out any details for us amateurs.

Minaret very kind of you to share your expertise so many times on this site.


Happy to oblige! Patience is good though, have got my own crew these days and business is really picking up again....
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:04   #29
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Re: Re-gelcoating my deck: Project thread

Hey Suijin, if you want a "light" Oyster, you might consider getting a fiver of Oyster and a gallon or two of white and adding that to the Oyster till you like it. Then you'll have six gallons or so of your own custom color! If you keep track of amounts/ratio, you ought to be able to reproduce it about as close as the factory does, and then match from that, if you need to down the road.
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Old 01-03-2017, 13:22   #30
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Re: Re-gelcoating my deck: Project thread

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
When I start this in earnest, in about a week, I'm going to be posting daily with a flood of pictures and probably, questions. This is going to be an ordeal but I'm kinda stoked.

The list of auxiliary projects to get done while this is underway is expanding exponentially; moving a dorade vent so I can put my RIB in front of the mast without deflating, replacing teak grab rails on the cabin top with stainless, new stainless traveller bracket (old aluminum one is cracked--structurally OK but ugly), maybe beefier deck cleats at the bow and stern, new padeyes for coachroof jackline, new clutches to replace old rope stops, etc. This list is getting scary...
I'm sure, I'm not alone here in looking forward to following your progress.

I am at almost 2years into my "one year" refit. Amazing to me how long the simplest of projects takes on a boat.
a few pictures here: https://plus.google.com/photos/11081...921?banner=pwa

I moved the boat 130 miles inland to behind my machine and fab business so I would have all my resources at hand.

But this just made it easier to expand the list of projects.

i.e.: I'm designing and mocking up a hard dodger out of aluminum now. (hell the boats here I would be crazed not to) and that's how most of the projects got added to the list.

Those skills I have, this refinishing business is a different animal all together. So I will be following you guys closely.
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