My last boat had a paint job due to a couple of insurance claims. I had the boat painted with Arctic White Awlgrip and it still looks fantastic 12 years later. Sure, it takes a little more care to preserve it, but it is a very durable paint. Some people claim you can't repair Awlgrip, but that myth was dispelled when my paint job was damaged while on the hard. You can't tell where the repair was done. You just need a skilled painter.
Quality paint is a good option if the gelcoat is too far gone.
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White paint over a white hull will likely appear to hold up better than dark paint, as scratches, etc, are harder to notice. White also hides surface imperfections better.
Agreed that Awlgrip can be repaired by a skilled painter. However, the issue is that Awlgrip separates into two layers, as it cures. A bottom pigment and top clear layer. The top clear layer makes it shine. There is no amount of feathering that can get that back exactly. The trick is the overlapping repair, which will ultimately be clear on top of pigment on top of clear on top of pigment. But a pro seems to be able to make it work.
IMO, the best answer is the newer Alexseal. Same durable LP paint, but doesn't separate into layers, making it as repairable as a one part paint. It equally shines and is equally as durable. It was also invented by the same guy who invented Awlgrip, but had to wait for his non-compete to run out, after selling Awlgrip to AN. Initially, they even made it in the exact same factory they originally made Awlgrip in. Fun additional fact, Awlgrip is no longer it's original recipe, as some of it's original ingredients are no longer legal (environmentally, I believe).
Painting over destroyed gelcoat is a solution. However, properly maintained, gelcoat should be lifetime durable. It's porous, so needs to be cleaned and protected by wax/sealant. Too many think they see an impervious plastic boat that needs nothing, until they can't get it cleaned anymore.