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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-18-2008
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Re-gelcoating stern?

I'd previously asked about my stern "ghosting" in the buffing thread which Halekai graciously answered. I'd expected that wet sanding wasn't the answer as the large amount of buffing I previously tried didn't do the trick. Unfortunately, I'm also realizing that the old name's been off the stern for at least a few years and the ghosting is still very prevelent.

So I thought I'd veer of on a seperate thread and question with the thought of just re-gelcoating the stern. The topsides seem to be much brighter anyway for some reason. And I'm pretty sure the stern gelcoat is thin in areas from possibly numerous owners attempts to "clean it up".

Anyway, I've seen gelcoat used as a ding or scratch repair, but am wondering how difficult it might be to just re-gelcoat my entire stern? Can I just rough up the existing and fair on new gelcoat?
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Old 05-18-2008
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Gelcoat..

Gelcoat is tough to work and tough to apply outside of a mold with a smooth finish. Gelcoat is an air inhibited cure meaning it has to be sealed off from air in order to cure.

Matching it color wise, and getting it smooth, are very hard to do and it usually requires a lot of wet sanding. In order to get a thick enough base the first two coats should be applied un-waxed and allowed to partially kick off then a final coat of waxed gelcoat needs to be applied so that all three coats can cure.

After cure you begin the tedious task of bringing it up to a smooth finish that matches the rest of the hull without the roller or orange peel marks. If you have low spots, that get sanded through, you must go through a thorough de-waxing, even after sanding or any subsequent coats of gelcoat will not adhere.

Applying gelcoat, outside of a mold, and getting a smooth finish, is more of an art form than a "project"..

I actually re-gelcoated the cockpit of my old Catalina 30 and it was quite time consuming..
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Old 05-18-2008
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I have had the house on our fishing boat re-gelcoated (you don't want paint on a commercial boat) and it turned out looking like new. My paint and fiberglass guy sprayed it and then wet sanded it. He's a master at it, I wouldn't try it myself even if I had the gear. Matching the color is an art, and you have to find the right person to get it right. The same guy is spraying gelcoat on the decks of our Brewer 40 tomorrow, matching 20 year old white gelcoat (we removed the teak decks). If you find the right person, I think this is a viable way to go in your case where just the transom needs to be done.

Good luck, John
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Old 05-18-2008
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Why not just use a good 2 part paint and re-do the transom that way. The prep would be pretty easy and you could even roll and tip yourself to keep costs down. As with gel coat...the problem will be to get it to match the old fiberglass.
If the gel is "thin" on the transom...it is probably the same all over so perhaps doing the whole hull in the off season would be worth thinking about.
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Old 09-04-2008
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Hey John,
I am in need of someone to shoot my cockpit with gelcoat. Can you provide more info on the guy you used? I am in the South Sound, Bremerton. Thanks.
-Bryan

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
I have had the house on our fishing boat re-gelcoated (you don't want paint on a commercial boat) and it turned out looking like new. My paint and fiberglass guy sprayed it and then wet sanded it. He's a master at it, I wouldn't try it myself even if I had the gear. Matching the color is an art, and you have to find the right person to get it right. The same guy is spraying gelcoat on the decks of our Brewer 40 tomorrow, matching 20 year old white gelcoat (we removed the teak decks). If you find the right person, I think this is a viable way to go in your case where just the transom needs to be done.

Good luck, John
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