Refinish 40 year old Gelcoat?! - SailNet Community

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Old 08-20-2008
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Refinish 40 year old Gelcoat?!

I know everyone is threading about paint, but I don't want to paint. What's wrong with my gelcoat??

I'm thinking about refinishing my '68 del rey 24, but i don't have the resources to pull her out of the water, so all work needs to be eco-friendly with very minimal spill over the side. I already stripped the waffled areas that were originally non-slip because a PO installed a non-uv-stable rubberized material (think yoga mat) with regular interior carpet mastic. Needless to say, the whole contraption failed like a solar flashlight.

I used a soy based product, scraped and scooped, soaked up remaining moisture with baking soda, neutralized baking soda with vinegar. washed the whole ph neutral, biodegradable mess over the side. paint particulates were kept to an absolute minimum. i imagine more ends up in the water from the boatyard sanders than what i did. I was really pleased with the whole process.

as a result, i'm thinking of doing the whole topside and saving the bottom for another season as I know a PO recently applied antifouling (hopefully correctly)

So here's the question. Can I rewax, or reseal the gelcoat and recoat the non-slip (planning on using herculiner grey) or do I need to paint everything? I like the color I found under all that paint and would prefer to stick to the original color to save the throwback '68 feel.

any suggestions? keep in mind that I work 50 hours a week between my boat days and can only really provide 2 full contiguous days before needing to take a break for 5...
1968 Del Rey 24
1979 British Seagull Silver Century 5.5HP
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Old 08-20-2008
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I would suggest you read this post, as you will get ALL the info you need, particularly from halekai36 and his how to revitalize gelcoat.

His steps do work well.

Good luck and have fun.

She drives me boat,
I drives me dinghy!
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