Join Date: May 2007
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Re: Painting Deck and Cockpit....DIY or Pay?
I have one of the shiniest boats in my marina. 24 years old Catalina, and has similar lines to a current Catalina, and people ask me how I like my "new" boat. I can't say having shine makes my life better, but I like to keep my boat at a certain level. Might just be some sort of OCD.
I agree with those who have suggested trying to restore the gelcoat. You're lucky if you have no cracks, so it would be a shame to paint if you don't have to.
Check out MaineSail's instruction on this site...he has the ultimate low-down on restoring gelcoat. Or try him at marinehowto.com.
You could do a section at a time. Pick an area. You'll probably need to wet sand with 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, then use Presta Ultra Cutting Compound with a circular grinder polisher, followed by Presta polish with the grinder polisher. With the proper pads. Follow his techniques to the letter...no shortcuts or substitutions, and you have a very good chance of bringing back your gelcoat. It isn't easy, but it's much better than paint, and you don't have to do it all at once. The only real downside is that the grinder tends to sling the polish, so take care with that (your Sunbrella and your neighbor's boat).
The Kiwi grip, as has already been suggested, is a good solution for the nonskid. One part, and just rolls on.