awlgrip or gelcoat? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-08-2009
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awlgrip or gelcoat?

Is there a way to tell if a boat's hull is colored gelcoat or awlgripped? According to the PO (the original owner of the boat purchased new in 1988), the hull was originally white. There was an incident the first year which required repair/refinishing. As part of that process the hull was refinished in either dark blue gelcoat or painted. We're getting ready to start spring maintenance and want to know what we're dealing with before we start. thanks
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Old 04-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slokaj View Post
Is there a way to tell if a boat's hull is colored gelcoat or awlgripped? According to the PO (the original owner of the boat purchased new in 1988), the hull was originally white. There was an incident the first year which required repair/refinishing. As part of that process the hull was refinished in either dark blue gelcoat or painted. We're getting ready to start spring maintenance and want to know what we're dealing with before we start. thanks
I think it's very unlikely that they coated the entire boat with colored gelcoat, and had it come out looking good. Much more likely that the boat was painted.

Look for a chip or scratch, you should be able to tell.
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Old 04-08-2009
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Re-gelcoating an entire boat is pretty unlikely. Have you tried to take off some of the deck hardware and look under it, especially at the holes where the fasteners go through?
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It would be extremely unusual for a boat to be re-gelcoated, it would cost a small fortune to FIRST remove all the old gelcoat...would only be a consideration if the existing gelcoat had to come off...the boat is painted...especially if the blue looks good for more than a month or two each season. that would be paint..gelcoat will look like crap.
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Old 04-11-2009
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Except that since it was re-done in the first year, if it was either a warranty repair or it was an insurance job; it could have been done in gelcoat to satisfy the owner because the boat was essentially new. If you are comparing the cost of re-gelcoat to the cost of a new boat; it could be within reason to reason to re-finish with gelcoat.

I would buff with the lightest compound that will remove any oxidation; 3-M Perfect-It with a foam pad on a polisher (not orbital buffer) if it is light oxidation. Perfect-It is mainly used for polishing not compunding so it should not damage a paint if it is not gelcoat. Otherwise you could try buffing by hand with progressively heavier compound until you get to the compound that will remove the oxidation; then use one level of compound lighter on a polisher with a wool pad; then follow up with the Perfect-It polishing compound and a foam pad to bring out the gloss.
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Don't buff it if it is AWLGRIP... that will ruin the finish... you really need to find out which it is.
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Old 04-12-2009
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Do what Saildog suggested and lift something before you use anything on it. Or just send it off to the yard and have it re-awlgripped. Costs a bit more but you don't have to spend those hours cleaning and polishing.
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You can buff AwlGrip but VERY carefully and in small areas only. The Northwest Rep for AwlGrip suggested to me to use Finesse-it II on my brand new paint job that got a small dock mark before it even left the yard. But remember that the UV protection is built into the final finish and if you buff it off the color will fade.
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. We're going to the boat this weekend (finally some good weather), so I'll check any scratches and see what color they are. If we lift some of the deck hardware, what would we be looking for? Would there be a thin blue surface if it's painted and a deeper blue surface if it's gelcoat?
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Old 04-18-2009
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You might just ask the yard manager or an experienced eye to help you answer the question, it isn't tha thard to pick out even the best paint job as paint...like tha t, if a blue hull looks shiny, then it has been painted.
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