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Old 04-08-2022, 23:54   #1
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Gel coat fading question

My fiberglass boat with white gelcoat is only about a year old. I decided to add some helm seats and a larger swim platform from the manufacturer (white). They made the necessary pieces up for me and shipped them over to my local shipyard.

Well, now we see that the new pieces are a few shades whiter than the rest of the boat. I suppose there has been some UV fading over the past year, being out in the elements and all. Or some small chance the OEM changed gelcoat suppliers.

My question is: does anyone have experience with this? Specifically Iím wondering if the colors will more or less even out in a year or two? I donít need them exact, but I also donít want the new pieces to stick out like a sore thumb forever. I would hope they would start to all look ďsimilarĒ eventuallyÖ

Thoughts?

Alternative is to paint the new pieces before installation with a polyurethane paint, which Iíd rather avoid.
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Old 05-08-2022, 02:25   #2
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Re: Gel coat fading question

You could ask the maker if they switched colors. If so then paint may be your best bet.
If they didn’t, then the new pieces will likely fade over time to match and it would likely be worth trying .
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Old 05-08-2022, 06:21   #3
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Re: Gel coat fading question

UV tends to set into glass pretty quick.
If you waxed it with some automotive waxes will yellow quickly. ABS is being replaced by ASA because it can handle UV.
You canít really paint gel coat unless you destroy it. The amount of pigment in each mix at the same temperature and humidity as the last gives no guarantee. I canít see any paint but two part Epoxy surviving on a swim platform. Put a dramatic coloured cushion on the seats and let the sun catch up. Use a 3 part was to protect the hull from chalking. If you suspect your hull is getting chalky use a clay bar to remove impurities seal and wax. Wax itís self doesnít offer much UV protection but the dealers under the wax protect the glass.
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Old 05-08-2022, 17:28   #4
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Re: Gel coat fading question

Or, you could try PolyGlow (sp?). It is a set that comes with a chemical cleaner (a mild acid wash) and a finish coat. The finish coat polymerizes, and stays glossy for about a year. We used it on 15 yr. old gelcoat to good effect. If your older gel coat is at all chalky, the Polyglow will help, but if it is not chalky, I think your best option is to ignore it, and quit staring at it, it's not really a defect.

I'd recommend against the paint option. I suspect it is just different batches of gel coat, and it will never match exactly, but try not to let it bother you, the boat will still work just fine. And it will be obvious that you gave her gifts that constitute improvements.

A Visual distraction of brightly coloured cockpit cushions might work well, as suggested above.

Ann
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Old 05-08-2022, 18:56   #5
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Re: Gel coat fading question

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Or, you could try PolyGlow (sp?). It is a set that comes with a chemical cleaner (a mild acid wash) and a finish coat. The finish coat polymerizes, and stays glossy for about a year. We used it on 15 yr. old gelcoat to good effect. If your older gel coat is at all chalky, the Polyglow will help, but if it is not chalky, I think your best option is to ignore it, and quit staring at it, it's not really a defect.

I'd recommend against the paint option. I suspect it is just different batches of gel coat, and it will never match exactly, but try not to let it bother you, the boat will still work just fine. And it will be obvious that you gave her gifts that constitute improvements.

A Visual distraction of brightly coloured cockpit cushions might work well, as suggested above.

Ann
OMG just say NO to Poli Glo. I could get into some details but the bottom line is I had multi year experience with it and it didnít turn out well. After it eventually starts to degrade from underneath there is only one solution. Strip it. Stripping that stuff is a nightmare.
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