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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-18-2012
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Air dry gel coat?

I have a few stress cracks and dings in the gelcoat on the cabintop and cockpit that I've been contemplating how to fix. The balance of the gelcoat is tired and chalky but I think I could buff it back to reasonably close to its original glory following Mainesail's compound and waxing tips.........I do want to fix the dings but I'd really rather not paint the topsides if I can avoid it.

One of the guys at the marina has done some nice work on his old Islander and he suggested using West system to repair the bad spots and using an air dry gelcoat for the finish.....he says in his experience not having to cover the gelcoat patches with plastic while it cures makes the process a bit simpler.

I'm curious if anyone else in the group has any experience with the air dry gel coat and would be willing to share their opinions on it?
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Old 06-18-2012
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Re: Air dry gel coat?

Why go to all the bother?

Just use polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and spray it on the surface when done for a 'surface cure' of the gelcoat. PVA is also known as 'parting fluid' or 'mold release' and causes a surface cure of the gel.

Use a PreVal 'aerosol type' self-contained sprayer that you 'load' any (pre-filtered) fluid you want, including diluted down gelcoat. Just mist on the PVA when you have the correct thickness of gel for a 'good cure' of the gel. Dont mess around with non-air inhibited gels as they are a royal PITA to work with; rather use/spray-on PVA and take your time in working up the preparatory finish/depth you want ... then spray on PVA to cure it.

You really have to flat sand and polish out gelcoat repairs no matter how you apply it. PVA overcoats are 'the' way to go here. Besides, once the gel is cured the PVA is water soluble.

Polyvinyl Alcohol
Preval Sprayer
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Old 06-18-2012
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Re: Air dry gel coat?

Check out Duratec. It is a additive for spray and allows for "air dry"

Duratec Clear Hi-Gloss Gel Coat Additive : Duratec : Boat Building : Repair : Mold Buidling

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Old 06-19-2012
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Re: Air dry gel coat?

Thanks for the tips, guys. I think I'll try the PVA first on a small ding in the anchor locker and see what happens!
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Old 06-19-2012
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Re: Air dry gel coat?

West System web site has good guides on how to and projects eg.

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Old 06-19-2012
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Re: Air dry gel coat?

Jamestown distribuitors has Gel coat "containing wax" that you mix up and apply like paint. the stuff stinks, but seems to work well on my boat. Also, it was the only way that I could match the cream color of my O'day's hull.

Look here;Colored Gelcoat They have even posted a video of how to use.
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