Join Date: May 2007
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Re: Painting Hull
No need to remove the gelcoat, unless you've had some sort of catastrophic failure. You'll need to fix the scrapes and gouges using epoxy products like those available from West or Mas, then sand...keeping it FAIR...and then paint.
I'm not familiar with Alexseal, but would strongly advise you to go with a 2-part coating like Awlgrip for your topsides. Clear coat's not needed. A two part will have all the gloss and durability you need or can get.
MUCH has been written about preparing and painting topsides with 2-part paints. Between Google and youtube you'll get what you need. West System epoxy also has plenty of free info online.
Below the waterline, VC17 is ideal for freshwater. Easy application and low buildup. If you want to add blister protection, coat the hull with something like Interlux's barrier coat, and apply the VC17 over it.
The project you're planning is a reasonable undertaking. On the one hand, pretty simple taken step by step, but on the other hand, too complex to fully explain here.
Avail yourself of the available info, take reasonable care, and you Victoria will be beautiful.