To Paint or not to Paint thats the question - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-19-2010 Thread Starter
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Question To Paint or not to Paint thats the question

I have a 1969 Pearson Wanderer that is badly spider cracking in the gel coat. Is a good paint the way to go or try to repair the entire gel coat? Whats the best paint alternative also. Thanks for any help, Jeff
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-19-2010
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My understanding is that you should first identify and fix the cause of the spider cracks (from flexing, etc.). Then if deep, grinding and painting is the only way to go. See photos of some of the hand painted topsides elsewhere on this forum, amazing.
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post #3 of 14 Old 12-19-2010
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After you have determined that the spider cracking is not a result of structural issue, then decide on your tolerance level for perfect, less than perfect or the dreaded good enough finish.

Some one else will come along soon with a close to perfect solution but if you just want to go sailing and are willing to accept good enough...

Clean the spider crack area, widen and clean out the cracks with an awl or sharpened screwdriver, clean again with a solvent. Butter the cracks with a filler epoxy compound, sand and prep for painting with a one or two part top side paint.

Not perfect but will look OK from across the fairway.
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post #4 of 14 Old 12-19-2010
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Just be aware that once you paint it will require semi-regular touch ups. Paint doesn't hold up the way gelcoat does.

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post #5 of 14 Old 12-19-2010
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I just did mine and took off the gel coat, not for the same reason, but due to lots of pitting. I guess you'd need to understand why you got all the "spidering".

I used 4 barrier coats directly on the bare fiberglass and can't really tell the difference in the finish, but know that the fiberglass is well sealed.

You can check all the videos on my website.....and get an idea of what it looks like.


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post #6 of 14 Old 12-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cottonmouth View Post
I have a 1969 Pearson Wanderer that is badly spider cracking in the gel coat. Is a good paint the way to go or try to repair the entire gel coat? Whats the best paint alternative also. Thanks for any help, Jeff
I'd point you to this basic article on gelcoat cracking and how to tell what it means that I wrote a while back. If the cracking is just crazing, then sanding, fairing and painting is a good solution. If it is caused by stress, reinforcing or repairing the area is a necessity before doing anything else.

If you have to repair the area, using epoxy instead of polyester or vinylester resin makes more sense, since it is often easier to use, especially for novices. You can gelcoat over epoxy, or you can paint it. In any case, it needs to be protected from UV by some sort of finish. Gelcoat will require less maintenance in the long run.

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post #7 of 14 Old 12-20-2010
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Crack Sealant?

Has anybody tried this stuff?
Any good?

Seems to me that if you avoid painting the gelcoat, you avoid getting peeling later on.
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post

Clean the spider crack area, widen and clean out the cracks with an awl or sharpened screwdriver, clean again with a solvent. Butter the cracks with a filler epoxy compound, sand and prep for painting with a one or two part top side paint.

In my experience-a Dremel with the pointy sanding attachment works tons and tons better for widening the cracks.

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post #9 of 14 Old 12-20-2010 Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the input as they are not structural cracks I will figure out if I should paint at all.
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-20-2010
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Paint for sure. A good paint job is well worth the effort and looks great.
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