Paint over Gelcoat above the waterline. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Paint over Gelcoat above the waterline.

Good Morning everyone,
I am in the process of purchasing a 79 Pearson 30 that overall is in pretty good shape, my concern however is it looks like someone painted a pretty rough coat of white paint over the gel coat. The white paint is flaking off revealing the somewhat more ivory colored gel coat below, it looks to be in good shape aside from the color. Has anyone else seen this, and is it something I should be concerned with?

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post #2 of 16 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Re: Paint over Gelcoat above the waterline.

Older gelcoat will need paint after many years some from lack of maintenance and waxing, some just breaks down no matter what. To paint something that doesn't need it is just a waste of many things. I personally would tend to find one not needing paint, my 87 (CS) has the best gelcoat I've seen on a boat that age, and a friend has an S2 that's crazed so badly I don't think you could even paint it. I think its the fault of the original formulation and I cant tell you if its a brand thing or not. Others will tell if there are patterns. I have another friend with a P30 same era and its really clean aside from needing a wash but otherwise good gelcoat.
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post #3 of 16 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Re: Paint over Gelcoat above the waterline.

Why paint over gell coat if it is in good shape? Make sure you check everywhere painted over gell coat. I am sure you will find something somewhere.
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post #4 of 16 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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I have a survey being done tommorow to check for anything I missed, however the price is right on her so unless there is something truly heinous I will probably go through with the sail. I'm guessing we will just have a busy winter and spring season prepping her!
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post #5 of 16 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Re: Paint over Gelcoat above the waterline.

I too am going to guess that somewhere there was either some superficial damage to the gelcoat or it got thin from too many buffings in some spots and hence needed a paint job.

If you buy and and decide to do something about it the entire paint job will need to be taken back down to the gel coat. It sounds like they didn't do a sufficient job in prepping before the paint, if they had it wouldn't be peeling. If you do decide to repaint go with a 2 part paint whatever brand you choose. The durability, hardness, scratch resistance, gloss, and self leveling properties are far superior on two part (LPU, or "epoxy") paints than with enamels. They will retain their gloss much longer, which means less work for you in the long run.

Also with using a 2 part primer it fills in and stops any further crazing of gelcoat very nicely. Good luck whatever you decide. FYI for my 29ft boat I spent about $1100 painting it myself. That was 4 years ago and I already had most the tools I needed.
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Re: Paint over Gelcoat above the waterline.

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Also with using a 2 part primer it fills in and stops any further crazing of gelcoat very nicely. Good luck whatever you decide. FYI for my 29ft boat I spent about $1100 painting it myself. That was 4 years ago and I already had most the tools I needed.
I will also add that you will need a clean dry place to paint the boat. Wind, changes in temperature, and changes in humidity can make painting difficult. Especially if you use a 2 part paint. A good DIY paint job looks fine. However, the downside is that you will be forced to re-paint every 5 years to keep the boat looking as good as a buffed gel coat. I have had two boats that I painted. After each one I said I would never do that again... Go figure, I'm looking at another boat that would need paint. Such is life.

Bristol 27
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post #7 of 16 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Re: Paint over Gelcoat above the waterline.

You could always strip off the old paint, and see what the gelcoat looks like beneath it. Of course, do a small, test spot first - just to be safe. I doubt, however, that any paint stripper would bother the gelcoat. Never had to do this, though.

If the gelcoat looks good, then it's just a matter of compounding and waxing to make the boat look new again. If there is significant dings and crazing, then a high quality, 2-part epoxy paint is the route to take.

All the best,

Gary
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post #8 of 16 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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My experience with LPU paint is much longer gloss retention than 5 years. At 5 years my last perfection job still looked like new, no fading still glossy. There are a number of awlgrip and perfection paint jobs in our yard looking great still. The one awlgrip job is over 18 years old.
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Also I've done several out in the yard. You just have to wait for a good weather window is all and definitely do it in the shade!
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post #10 of 16 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Re: Paint over Gelcoat above the waterline.

Ask the surveyor what kind of paint was used and how long it might be before it is really going to look bad. Awlgril is great for instance, but getting it resprayed is a major job.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things y%^&*.....oh never mind. 90% of the people on sailing forums already use that as their signature! I'm not a conformist.
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