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Old 17-01-2017, 09:24   #16
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Re: Faded, Chalky and Thin Gelcoat

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Originally Posted by rwells36 View Post
The top of my helm needs help but I am unsure of my options. After a rain faint white streaks appear on the salon windows. I have compounded and waxed a couple of time the past two years but I can tell the gel coat is getting thin and soon only primer will remain. The top of my helm is 120" x 102".

What solutions are available to me? New gelcoat? Paint? Some new exotic materials?

Thanks in advance for your help. Rick
There are many ways to address neglected gelcoat. All require similar amounts of back breaking labour to be done properly.

All clear coat or overcoat options are best done under cover.

We do all, professionally.

Your options for neglected gelcoat include:

1. Gelcoat Restoration / Maintenance: Depends on start condition: Ranges from: Worst = wet sand (2 grades), compound (2 grades), polish, and then wax, to Best = just wax

Life Expectancy: Forever, with regular maintenance wax (if done correctly).

Pro: Low DIY cost, easy to do, great results, may be best resale value. Can be done easily without cover.

Con: Thins gelcoat. Eventually, fibreglass will show through and an over coating is required.

Recommendation: Best solution in most cases if sufficient gelcoat thickness.

2. Acrylic Clear Coating: Requires thorough cleaning and then many coats of acrylic polymer (similar to floor coating).

Life Expectancy: 2-5 years with regular maintenance recoating.

Pro: Makes the boat shiny, without removing gelcoat. Most forgiving for decent initial appearance.

Con: Anything left on the boat after cleaning is trapped in the acrylic forever. Slippery when wet. Turns into a gooey dark substance in contact with sun tan lotion. Build up and yellows over time. Very difficult to remove. Must be removed for surface repairs (and repair people charge a lot to remove).

Recommendation: Don't do it unless you plan to immediately sell the boat to someone you don't like.

3. Gelcoat recoat: Wash, de-wax (acetone, 2 rag method), abrade / key, roll or spray, seal with PVA, wash off PVA, sand, compound, polish, wax.

Life Expectancy: Forever, with proper maintenance.

Pro: Maintains original construction, lowest cost of recoating options. Easy to repair and maintain, most durable recoat.

Recommendation: Next best if gelcoat is too thin to restore. This is what I did for my decks, including original diamond pattern non-skid.

4. 2 Part Paint: Wash, dewax, key sand, prime, light sand, spray (best) or roll and tip (can be OK).

Life Expectancy: 10 years (darks) / 20 years (lights), with diminishing gloss before recoat.

Pro: More durable than single part paint. No wax.

Con: Expensive materials. May take several coats to get desired results (if ever). Hard for even the best of pros to make invisible repairs. Very hazardous chemicals.

Recommendation: Best solution for dark coloured hulls. Wear proper protective gear (including organic vapour or supplied air mask) or don't do it. I did my (dark blue) hull, so I'd have more time to work on customer boats in spring.

5. Single part paint. Wash, dewax, sand, prime, paint.

Life Expectancy: 5 years (darks) / 10 years (lights) with maintenance wax after 2 years.

Pros: Lower cost paint.

Cons: Least durable, devalues boat (compared to 3 or 4). Moderate repair difficulty.

Recommendation: Don't do it, unless to avoid mixing (which is no big deal) or hazards of 2 part. (Initial cost savings doesn't warrant life expectancy reduction.)
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Old 17-01-2017, 09:39   #17
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Re: Faded, Chalky and Thin Gelcoat

Go to an automotive paint retailer and get info on Imron. Need paint a little catalyst and even less accelerator. Watch the ambient temperature and for rain.
Read the instruction. Roll and tip. Easy. Brush the paint on antiskid to avoid pooling. See You Tube videos.
Imron gave me better results than others I have used.
'
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Old 17-01-2017, 14:45   #18
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Re: Faded, Chalky and Thin Gelcoat

I had the same problem on a 30 year old Catalina. I didn't want to invest the money for new gel coat. Here is an easy, cheap alternative. Go to the hardware store or big box store paint department and get a quart of Penetrol. Clean your deck thoroughly, let it dry and brush on a thin coat of Penetrol. The next day, come back and do it again. I have done this with a Catalina 25 and the results looked great. It is not a permanent fix. Mine lasted about 6 months, then it needed it again.
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Old 17-01-2017, 15:10   #19
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Re: Faded, Chalky and Thin Gelcoat

I'm considering this for my 28-yr old Nonsuch:

Nanovere Technologies, LLC. MARINE

If it's good enough for Cunard, I figure it's good enough for me. They claim it lasts 10 years.
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Old 17-01-2017, 16:08   #20
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Re: Faded, Chalky and Thin Gelcoat

" If you have post this information in death please let me know I would like to read it. " ^^^^

Me too.
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Old 17-01-2017, 16:52   #21
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Re: Faded, Chalky and Thin Gelcoat

I a man becoming increasing a fan of just putting a sticker on things. In this case a thin sheet of hydroturf w/ the 3m adhesive. Goes on over old gel coat, adds non-skid, looks fine, and is reasonably cheap. I am not kidding when I say that it is growing on my boat like moss. Every time I turn around I added a bit more.
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Old 17-01-2017, 17:23   #22
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Re: Faded, Chalky and Thin Gelcoat

Always great advice from Minaret.

Very much appreciate his time and effort that he puts into passing on the knowledge to us.
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Old 17-01-2017, 18:15   #23
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Re: Faded, Chalky and Thin Gelcoat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaramanga F25 View Post
Go to an automotive paint retailer and get info on Imron. Need paint a little catalyst and even less accelerator. Watch the ambient temperature and for rain.
Read the instruction. Roll and tip. Easy. Brush the paint on antiskid to avoid pooling. See You Tube videos.
Imron gave me better results than others I have used.
'
For what it's worth, some 20 years ago I owned a fixed base operation at an airport near Dallas. One of our services was painting airplanes. We always sprayed on Imron. Gave a bright, mirror reflection-type finish. Not sure how well it would work on a fiberglass boat, but it was beautiful on planes. Based on minaret and ramblinrod's professional input, gelcoat sounds pretty good, too.
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Old 18-01-2017, 03:17   #24
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Re: Faded, Chalky and Thin Gelcoat

A few more details about the original post. I do not plan to haul the boat or use air brush to apply. I live aboard in a marina with other vessels close by. Also, I will be installing solar panels that will cover virtually all the flat surfaces of the top of the helm. So in some respects it's out of sight; out of mind. Sounds as if I could do the gel coat with good weather.
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Old 18-01-2017, 05:27   #25
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Re: Faded, Chalky and Thin Gelcoat

"Gel requires no special sprayer, in fact cheap primer guns work best, due to the larger tip sizes." Minaret


Can you recommend one of these sprayers? Thanks, Rognvald
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Old 18-01-2017, 06:50   #26
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Re: Faded, Chalky and Thin Gelcoat

I came across this site... Re-Gelcoating your boat
Perhaps minaret can verify the content. It gives tip sizes and a step by step, including mixture of the final coat.
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Old 18-01-2017, 13:14   #27
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Re: Faded, Chalky and Thin Gelcoat

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
I came across this site... Re-Gelcoating your boat
Perhaps minaret can verify the content. It gives tip sizes and a step by step, including mixture of the final coat.

Basically good advice there, a few things I would qualify or not fully agree with, but the only real problem I had with it was the suggestion to use Patch-Aid. I hate that stuff!

Will find time for a more thorough discourse soon, it's been dumping a biblical downpour here and I'm painting boats. Very busy, the season has begun!
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Old 18-01-2017, 15:10   #28
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Re: Faded, Chalky and Thin Gelcoat

I had to fly back here to Ca. to attend my Father in law's funeral. We're up in Eureka and it's a torrential downpour here. I can't imagine painting in this weather.
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Old 18-01-2017, 15:17   #29
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Re: Faded, Chalky and Thin Gelcoat

Vinyl wrap that bitch...




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Old 18-01-2017, 22:35   #30
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Re: Faded, Chalky and Thin Gelcoat

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Originally Posted by skipper53 View Post
So, what are the options for redoing the non skid areas?
My Islander 32 has the "stucco" style non skid areas, different than the waffle pattern found, for example, on Catalinas.

Do a few forum searches and you will find many, from molded in to kiwi grip.


Post pics if you'd like a guesstimate as to what's on there and options for redo. You will get many.
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