Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Preparing for All-Grip
We had Alexseal professionally applied over the winter, in early 2011. We're very happy with it so far. We were sold on it as a more advanced version of Alwgrip. It was invented by the same guy that invented Awlgrip, after his non-compete ran out from selling.
It claims to be a repairable linear polyester paint. LP paints are much harder to damage, but if you do, they are very difficult to repair. I'm hoping not to have to test that claim.
Our shop also said that is is substantially easier to apply and, even with a professional, you get that much better outcome. If your friend is going with an LP, I would suggest Alexseal. However, if I was painting my own boat, I would use an Acrylic. If I messed up a section, they can be buffed or sanded and redone.
I'm not a painting pro, but would think a fairing compound would be appropriate to fill the gel coat cracks. Painting over cracked gel coat is not uncommon, so there's clearly a method other than grinding it off. The fact that your friend did grind some off, is probably their biggest problem now. That section will need to be rebuilt and faired into the surrounding area again.
Tell your friend to get a good long board, lots of sandpaper, and start doing pushups to get ready to use it. The whole boat should be faired.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.