I feel your pain brother, I have been repairing cracked/flaking gelcoat for 4 weeks non stop, finish tomorrow. Side decks, front deck and toe rails and rub rails. I opted to just apply thickened epoxy
filler and top coat with interlux paint
. Boat was already painted when I purchased it. I think the el-cheapo previous paint
held moisture and damaged the gelcoat underneath. We could start a "Sandpaper fraternity", you'd qualify for President for sure !!!! Your results look great man, what a rough start !!!