Losing My Gelcoat - SailNet Community

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Old 10-28-2007
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Losing My Gelcoat

I have a 14 year old sailboat built by Carrroll Marine (nopw defunct). It is constructed of epoxy with an outer gelcoat skin. The gelcoat is separating and chunks of the gelcoat up to 10" across have fallen off, althought the hull itself is intact. is there any solution other than removing the gelcoat and fairing and painting the whole thing?
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You could remove the existing gelcoat, prime the epoxy underneath with an epoxy designed to accept gelcoat, and then re-gelcoat. I forget who makes the epoxy in question, but I'll see if I can dig it up.
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You should consult with your local high-end marine repair shop. I would think they would want to strip all the gelcoat, fair and then paint the hulll with Alwgrip or a similar paint. You'll end up wiht a boat that will look new for many years...however, you'll probably pay $200-300/foot to get there. I doubt that the repair shop will want to consider re-gelcoating the boat, with the wide-acceptance and great results from Awlgrip-type paints, I don't think anyone puts gelcoat back on...
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Old 10-28-2007
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My understanding is that most paints like Awlgrip/Imron get applied over the existing gelcoat (after prepping the surface). This situation sounds different -- the bond between the gelcot and the epoxy laminate seems to have failed. I don't think I'd spend the money to fair and repaint with awlgrip until I had a better understanding of why the gelcoat is peeling off. If you have to completely remove all the gelcoat before painting, I think the per-foot dollar figure mentioned above could be quite a bit higher.
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Len
Welcome tothe club. This is a common problem, as I guess you are painfully aware, of Caroll Marine boats such as the Mimm36s and some Farrs and others. The good news is the hull below the waterline sounds in tact. Can't tell from your desc if it'sthe topsides or deck which has delaminated but we just finished repairing the ENTIRE deck on my son's Mumm36 for the same reason.
This began what was supposed to be a simple project of stripping the treadmaster and ended up ripping up all the gelcoat with it. He spent last winter removing the remaining gel, fairing and painting the entire deck. The topsides is also showing the same malady but not as severe and will be tacked this winter by patching although only a bandaid approach.

The only practical way to properly do this repair we found was to completely strip the gelcoat and we ended up choosing 2 part Pertfection for the deck. There is no point in trying to re-apply gelcoat.
Email me offline if you want the details or to talk to me son directly.
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Old 10-28-2007
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you definitely have to strip EVERYTHING. not much sense in just fixing the bad spots,,then after its all painted next year more will happen. sounds like the fools didnt lay up anything for a couple of days after they shot the gel.having it re-gelcoated is so labor intensive,,after you shoot it you spend weeks wet sanding and buffing. the cheapest way is just to re-shoot with paint. i reccomend awl-grip,, but im an awl-grip freak heh...unless of course i was paying for it,,then krylon spray can goods nuff hehe
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