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Old 01-05-2012
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Polishing!... using wax and a buffing machine.
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Old 01-05-2012
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I am slowly loosing a po's regelcoat. TD was built dark blue and got a white layer of gelcoat many years ago. The white is starting to blister and crack creating ever more interesting paths of blue "pixels" at random places on the hull. It will get addressed eventually but right now I don't find myself cringing when I get bumped or gently engage a dock and that is a plus. It cleans up well and from 10 yards it may as well be a reflection. Last month I did my own power wash at haul out, the yard man was happy to hand me the wand and I soon realized why! I did get a chance to irritate the gelcoat as a measure of how loose things have gotten. I probably knocked off an additional 10 percent of what has already escaped.

Having been an AwlGrip instructor I do understand the wonder of being able to look at your reflection in the paint. I also understand, like any finish, anywhere on a boat, there is a level of anxiety that goes with the "perfect finish". Won't it be nice when they finally deliver on a coating that heals itself!

Until then, I am considering re-finishing my boat with an intentional bas relief painting. If the actual relief was very slight and didn't begin until a reasonable height above the wl it might be interesting. Certainly anything less than fresh wax will cause some drag and racers have already stopped reading. I am thinking a Roman Wall so any damage would look like an intended part of the finish. I could start a trend! ha!

A vinyl graphic seems like a disaster waiting to happen.


Last edited by downeast450; 01-06-2012 at 11:47 AM. Reason: contrnt
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Old 01-05-2012
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There are differences between vinyl graphics and "wraps". A vinyl graphic is designed to permanently adhere and often does so. The adhesive on a "wrap" is designed to release clean in a fairly short time, I'd guess 1-3 years.

That different adhesive makes a HUGE difference.

And there are also lexan skins, made by 3M and others to protect aircraft propellers and sheet metal on cars. That's also usually aimed at "permanent" installation.

If you covered the gelcoat with a wrap you'd reduce UV damage and probably extend the life of the gelcoat, but it would be much cheaper to just apply a good wax once or twice a year as needed. As for cleaning, you'd just have dirt on top of the wrap, you'd still need to clean.

Now if you can sell advertising and get paid to get he boat wrapped...that's something else again. "MAKE MONEY FROM YOUR BOAT IN YOUR SPARE TIME. NO CAPTAINS LICENSE NEEDED. SEND $89.95 FOR OUR SECRET BOOK."
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