Having said that, the proper way to gelcoat any boat is to first apply a Marine clear coat to the mold, then the flake in a clear coat, and then the base color. We have two types of gelcoat; the brushable and the standard. Do this coat by hand, then continue on to Step 3. People. It seals the fiberglass structure beneath it to protect it from the elements and it gives the boat a glossy, attractive appearance. This type of finish should be kept covered when not in use and only the best quality synthetic boat polish with good UV protection should be used. It’s used on the final coat, only. For many “do-it-yourselfers,” applying gelcoat can be quite intimidating. Applying gelcoat to a fiberglass surface is not really necessary, as gelcoat is a fiberglass resin itself. Plus the old gelcoat is so gone it simply won't buff back anymore. When gelcoat oxidizes, it enables water to penetrate the surface. Gelcoat has little structural value but gelcoat protects the hull and gives it its color and shine. As a boat owner, you have a few different options when it comes to repairing gelcoat. Updated: April 30, 2020. The ultra high gloss most new boats exhibit is due entirely to the highly polished, mirror-like surface of the mold used in the original construction of the boat. LP is harder, smoother, more fade- and stain-resistant, and easier to maintain than gelcoat, explains Matt Anzardo, North American marketing manager at AkzoNobel, the parent company of Awlgrip and Interlux. 3. Gelcoat can be used to repair surfaces of body parts and boat hulls and to remove annoying scratches. When this occurs, rake the wool back into form with a pad spur and re-wet the pad. Siren 3 Pro. It’s the first coating in a mold. There seem to be all sorts of methods I'm reading about out there, but my tenative plan is to: - Sand with 80 grit. The advantage with this option is that you are pretty much guaranteed a near perfect repair. If you’re an angler, the next step is to lay down a coating of protective bee’s (paste) wax. Many, but not all, production boats built today apply a vinylester barrier coat at the factory under the gelcoat to prevent the blisters that plagued many earlier production fiberglass boats. Preparing and painting fiberglass is unlike preparing and painting metal or aluminum. Updated: February 10, 2020. Polyester resin is cheaper, but has some disturbing properties such as a strong smell when curing. So, the gelcoat on your boat is looking chalky and faded. Gear. And gelcoat over large areas is a TON of sanding Not fun!! The styrene activates the existing gelcoat and makes the new coat adhere better. Pressure washer: £140 Step 3: Applying the Gelcoat. Gelcoat has two functions in marine applications. When one of our customers has a problem with gelcoat not curing properly, it usually stems from one of the reasons below. With the passage of time, unprotected gelcoat will oxidize and eventually take on a chalky appearance. It not as simple as painting and can be somewhat difficult to work with. If you’re not ready to DIY, bring your project boat … To help to restore the color, shine and appearance of your boat, choose a gelcoat restorer. Finishing your Gelcoat Application: If you’re using our Professional Grade Exterior Gelcoat, you’ll be ready to sand and buff your freshly gelcoated surface after about 1- 3 hours.If you’re using our Brushable Gel Coat, you’ll want to let it cure overnight to make sure it’s completely cured.Begin wet sanding with the finest grit that will remove orange peel in the re-sprayed area. When your gelcoat fades beyond recovery, paint—actually linear polyurethane—is your best friend. Over time, the gel coat covering your fiberglass hull oxidizes, resulting in a dull, chalk-like appearance and leaving the surface more susceptible to staining. Latest. If you … Painting the fiberglass is the only way to get the boat looking new again. Regular Boat Bottom Painting, Repair, and Gelcoat Refinishing Whether you go with the long-lasting durability of a gelcoat finish or the showroom shine of marine paint, our certified yacht technicians have boat bottom painting, repair, and gelcoat refinishing services to ensure your yacht’s hull remains looking brand new. Remove the backer from the exterior surface. Wipe-on acrylic sealer. Watch How to Restore Faded Gel Coat on a Boat. If the scratch is on a vertical surface, you’ll find it easier if you “cup” the gelcoat against the hullside with ordinary masking tape. Gelcoat (by the way) is only warranted by the manufacture for 1 year. How to Repair Gelcoat. . Gelcoat is the coating sprayed up against a highly polished mold at the beginning of the fiberglass layup process. For tips on the subject I talked to Steve Hilton, president of Sebago Custom Fiberglass (207-655-3425) in Casco, Maine. If your boat has some tough gel coat stains, don't let them ruin your day. If your gelcoat has lost its luster or has a few scratches and dings, most do-it-yourselfers can restore the gleam with the right products and elbow grease. Gel Coat Oxidation Removal & Prevention. By now, the remaining cost of your ship on that boat payment calculator is probably ringing in your head. However, restoring your gelcoat is one of the easiest boat tasks that you can undertake and is easy to do yourself. Often you can spruce it up quickly with just a new layer of gelcoat. Through damage caused by the elements, the soft surface of the gelcoat is eroded and can leave it looking chalky and dull in its appearance. The outer surface of a fiberglass boat is normally a special resin called gelcoat. × Gel coat is the most common surface coating used in the fabrication and repair of fiberglass reinforced products. Gelcoat is under continual assault from impacts, structural flexing and ultraviolet damage from the sun. Follow the gel coat oxidation removal steps below to restore shine to your boat. More How To. This won't repair major dents and chips or add much strength to the floor. It’s prudent to change the wool pad frequently. If so then it’s time to think about refinishing the gelcoat. Wipe the boat again with a rag, damp with styrene. The gelcoat on a boat is an outermost layer on the hull of a vessel. In most cases gel coat oxidation can be removed. Fiberglass boats come new with a colored gel coat, not actual paint. Most people think that the best way to prepare a fiberglass boat for a gelcoat application is to have it done in a local car repair shop, where they handle similar coats everyday. You're best (and cheaper) alternative is to have it epoxy laminated and painted or simply painted. I've filled some hole from old instruments, removed deck hardware etc, the white gelcoat I've used to finish these repairs is way off in terms of a colour match. This helps the gelcoat blend in and helps hide the edges of the filled scratch. Spraying either gelcoat or paint requires tools that most people do not have access to. If you look at a pool, or even a boat, the gelcoat is the color you see. From dull and faded fiberglass gelcoat, this boat is restored to like new colour with a mirror like shine. Once you have the right equipment, you’ve got to make sure you’re using the correct technique. For an overview of painting projects on all exterior surfaces — topsides, deck, and bottom — read How to Paint a Boat. More How To. By Ralph Naranjo. Before we get started, we’ll assume your boat is out of the water or on a trailer, because it’s virtually impossible to restore a faded gelcoat hull while a boat is in the water. Step 3: After the boat has been compounded to satisfaction, follow up with a polymer polish to chemically seal the now glossy and clean gelcoat. . Tools and materials. Put your Gel Coat Application Knowledge to the Test. Boat's gelcoat color restored Faded boat…now treated the boat with the ForeverNu shine. You could contact your nearest boatyard and pay a boat repair professional to fix it for you. Restoring Your Gelcoat. Boston Whaler, 1972-1993, Boat Gel Coat - Spectrum Color Find ... the crazing can be repaired and the boat re surfaced for 1500-2000. paint will not work unless the crazing is repaired. Yes, you can re-gelcoat, but why? Gelcoat is the first thing sprayed into a female mold when a boat is built, usually to a thickness of .5 to 1 mm. Take Our Gel Coat Application Quiz! The wax, or Sanding Aid is an additive that allows the gelcoat to dry tack-free. Through epoxy, a polyester resin, a catalyst and other chemicals, it provides water-resistant properties. Does Your Boat Need Fiberglass or Gelcoat Repair? One of the most frustrating problems to deal with is a new application of gelcoat that refuses to harden and cure. Depending on the method of construction, layers of chopped mat and fiberglass cloth are then built up on top to form the hull, deck, and other molded parts. Our clear coat finish will protect the gelcoat from the ravages of sun, salt, barnacles, algae, and stains. You can successfully complete basic fiberglass boat repair by following these steps. It’ll help make it easier to remove fish blood, scales, and chum. For large areas like what you’re talking about, I almost always suggest using a paint that can be rolled and tipped. The prevailing theme of our discussion was that spiffing up a boat is not a quick process even with a power buffer. This process results in the smooth, mirror-like finish typical of new boats. Gelcoat combined with fiberglass produces a strong and smooth surface, preventing the hull of the boat weakening. How To. By Jim Hendricks. All in all, however, gelcoating the floor of your boat is a nice, fairly easy spruce-up for an aging boat. You can get gelcoat with wax or without in certain cases. Step 3: Apply polish Now it’s time to apply a coating that will help seal the gel coat, and make it shine. Turn the boat upside down if you can so you have a better working angle. How To. Gel coats eventually fade and can not be cleaned or waxed to look new. Sailing Totem: Bringing Holiday Spirit Cruising. The sooner you restore your fiberglass boat’s finish, the better, because oxidation and water damage get worse, and make the restoration process much more difficult. The water works into the compromised surface to form tiny pits, and eventually blisters and bubbles. Gelcoat in fact is being used less and less on new boats as a result of better boat epoxy and paints. The gouge may look worse than before, but you’re about to fix that by finishing the gelcoat mixture and applying it. Now, she's gleaming from stem to stern. (If you’re just working on the decks and interior portions of your boat, you can certainly accomplish that while the boat … Lenny: There we go. Clean the area around the patch, then sand–if necessary–and polish the repair area. Around ’85 or ’86 we long-boarded the gelcoat, exposing nearly all of the laminate, and then rolled and tipped six coats of 105 Resin/206 Slow Hardener. Clean with soap and water and wipe with a rag damp with acetone to remove old wax, oil or grease. The clear gelcoat allows the UV rays from the sun to penetrate down to the colored surface and the metallic particles reflect it back through the clear gelcoat, in effect burning it from both sides. Most of todays marine paints come with 5 or 10 year warranties. Suitable resins are polyester resin and epoxy resin. You’ve cleaned, compounded and waxed, and it looks good for a while, but the chalkiness returns—maybe the red accent stripe that used to look so good looks pink, or the dark blue bootstripe is now baby blue. The extra layer of gelcoat will also increase the weight of your boat a bit. Canal Boating: A Unique Way To Cruise Social Distance Style. Don’t panic! Gel Coat Application Guide Photo credit IStock Photo. The marine clear has ultra-violet inhibitors in it to help reduce the effects of sunlight's uv rays on the colored gel coat. Latest. Fill imperfections in the new gelcoat with gelcoat paste and allow it to cure fully. 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