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Old 09-27-2013
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New paint on gel coat

Just purchased a new to us boat this year and are considering painting (roll and tip) the whole shebang. The boat is an M25 from 1981 and the deck, while in great shape, is showing its age and the gel coat is literally worn through in a few spots and much of the deck is almost grey with the cloth color showing through. So, this is a pretty easy decision as it is needing some love after over 30 years.

The hull on the other hand (not bottom paint) is not too bad except for 3 spots where the trailer has completely worn off the gel coat down to glass. The spots are about 5'' in diameter. I think the rest of it would polish up nicely, but how to deal with those spots. That is what caused us to consider the new paint job.

I have read that some folks have had nightmares with paint on gel coat but I can't find those threads or understand why it was an issue if properly prepped. What are the ups and downs of this and I appreciate any thoughts or advise.

Oh, and here is the boat since pics make the thread!
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Old 09-27-2013
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Re: New paint on gel coat

for the few spots on the hull might I suggest the fallowing: EVERCOAT #695, POLYESTER GEL-PASTE The Chandlery Online
I'm redoing a lot of work on my boat and when I need to re-gelcoat some areas I use that stuff, short time window to work but it does a terrific job
and a lot cheaper than repainting the whole hull and deck
FRED
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Old 09-27-2013
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Re: New paint on gel coat

Quote:
Originally Posted by fred1diver View Post
for the few spots on the hull might I suggest the fallowing: EVERCOAT #695, POLYESTER GEL-PASTE The Chandlery Online
I'm redoing a lot of work on my boat and when I need to re-gelcoat some areas I use that stuff, short time window to work but it does a terrific job
and a lot cheaper than repainting the whole hull and deck
FRED
We had looked at that stuff and good to hear it works well. How hard is matching color?
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Old 09-27-2013
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Re: New paint on gel coat

You can also buy gelcoat with wax which will air cure. If you only need to do a few spots, it may be your best alternative. I bought it in a cream color which is an exact match for the hull and deck of my O'day.

From what I see in the pic, it looks like a nice boat in good condition.
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Re: New paint on gel coat

my hull is white, so not too hard to match, that stuff if actually transparent but you can mix some colours, but you have to buy the colours separately
but if you take your time to mix colours (before you add the hardener you'll be golden, just remember that your hull has already faded and wont continue to fade as quickly as the new section, so make it a bit lighter
FRED
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Re: New paint on gel coat

To match color, get the color matching kit from your local marine supplier, or catalog outlet. Add some of the gelcoat to a CLEAR mixing cup - the kind that is used to mix epoxy. Add the color tint (in VERY small quantities) to the mixing cup, until the color blends in with the area that you wish to repair. Once you are sure, then add the hardener (10 drops per ounce of gelcoat).
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Re: New paint on gel coat

Thanks so much for all the great tips everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
From what I see in the pic, it looks like a nice boat in good condition.
Thanks! It really is looking great for its age. We may drop the paint idea entirely by using the gel coat repair ideas.

How difficult is the stuff to apply? Is it thin or more of a paste? I am wondering how hard the larger trailer worn spots on the hull will be to fair and blend with the original gelcoat.
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Re: New paint on gel coat

Don't take this the wrong way (my boat is a 1980), but I think the better question to ask, since you aren't a professional doing this on someone else's boat, is how close do you need it to match for you to be happy with the job. YOU may still see the areas you patch, but if it's pretty close so that someone who didn't know/remember about the repairs approached the boat and it didn't stand out to them, would that be sufficient?

That's kind of my rule. My hull is a jade green, and the paint has worn through in several places. I COULD have the entire hull repainted - well, actually, no I couldn't because my wife would kill me, but that's a separate issue - but instead my plan is to get some touch-up paint and try to feather it at the edges so it's hard to see the repair. My boat is 30+ years old, and for these purposes, the repair is purely cosmetic and doesn't need to be "perfect".
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Re: New paint on gel coat

Jim- great point and taken in the spirit intended. That is quite possibly what I may do (likely with the gel coat repair now that I have some info on it) but we were considering painting just to give a good hull some love.

I am one of those people that painting doesn't bother me. In fact, to me it is one of the easiest, cheapest ways to totally fix something up if you can do a decent job. But I don't mind messes and sandpaper. I know some people hate it.

I just finished a kayak last summer and rolling and tipping lots of varnish to finish it bright. I actually loved the process once the epoxy sanding was done. And that was ALL hand sanded as a power sander would have been a dangerous tool in my hands on that finish. With a larger, flatter surface I was planning on doing it all with the power sander. And since the boat has no real surface flaws I was hoping a coat or two of primer would go on pretty easy and off to paint I would go.

Having said all that, if after she comes out of the water, gets her first real wash and wax, and it looks remotely good; it will be spot repairs, feather em in and go sailing! (In about 7 months after the ice melts )
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Old 09-28-2013
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Re: New paint on gel coat

Try to get the color code for the hull, major boat builders often uses standard gelcoat (colors), which all have some code. Then either buy small quantity of gelcoat with this color code, or even better a gelcoat filler with the same color code.
To mix the right color is very difficult. May look right in some light, but in another light it may stand out critically. To compare with a color map is better, but the gelcoat on the hull has oxided and faded, the new gelcoat may look different after some time. One way of improving this is to rub down an area of the hull and compare with that.

Painting the hull is usually more demanding than anticipated: when painting the hull must be much more fair then when varnishing. Some job in sanding, filling and fairing then.
Ofthen 2-component paints are used to hulls as these paints are more durable and doesn't wear down so fast; more glosy as well. 2-compenents are however much more difficult to use than 1-component (I usually fail). I have seen some 1-component jobs lasting 10 years or more, but they are seldom very glossy - not for long at least.
Remember that the hull is not so visible when in water, don't overdo the work on the hull.

Deck - rather easy to paint. One has to decide on what paint: brand, quality and color. I have used Interdeck anti-slip (1 component) on by deck, works better than I thought but needs repaint after some 5 years. 2 componenet has better durability, but you need to mix in some anti-slip in the last layer. Probably need to use some "matt" mix as well as 2 component paints usually are too glossy.
Color - don't go too dark (will be too hot), don't go too white (will hurt your eyes).

BTW: I would never use Interdeck again. Manufacturer has stopped producing the color I used (and like), and as said it is difficult to mix the right color again!

/J

Last edited by Jaramaz; 09-28-2013 at 02:19 AM.
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