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I just purchased a 1972 Macgregor Venture, it is my first boat. It has some gell coat chips the size of dimes on the cockpit floor especially in the corners as well as on the deck above the v berth especially in the corners. some areas have lots of gel coat stars about an 8th of an inch in size and like 200 of them grouped together. The hull is sound and was made before they started using bulsa board. it shows its age but is lake capable and has brand new 2008 sales.

So in a nutshell it is worth taking care of but may not be worth the time of gel coat type repairs.

I read on here a while back (but can't find it) about some people painting their decks and cockpits with rock guard or boxliner type stuff. Is this working? common/normal? sounds like it would do a solid job but I understand this is completely unconventional.

I would love to paint over the imperfections of this old boat with something thicker than normal marine paint but not sure. whats your thoughts? Thanks.
 

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This is a topic I'm looking into as well with my Catalina as there are a bit of gelcoat and cockpit cracks and so forth. The ideas you mentioned are things that likewise came to mind as well (I even considered covering the cockpit in that sandpaper like skateboard top/deck material lol), but at this point I too am still trying to gather information. I found some gel coat (and other such kits) repair kits and will be researching possible repair ideas, but so far haven't found too much information- I've heard that some books explain how to do it as well. I too would be interested in any guidance the site members could provide.
 

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I too am repairing gelcoat dings and flaws on a 31 year old CS27. The proper way, which I found from research here and on The Plastic Classic Forum • Index page is to grind out the gel cracks with a Dremel tool or similar. Then fill with epoxy thickened with colloidal silica. Sand any high spots after it's set up hard, usually overnight. Fair with epoxy mixed with microballoons which is easier to sand. After this is set, again overnight, sand with 120-150 grit sandpaper. Then you're basically ready to prime and paint with a one or two part polyurethane which both looks good and wears well. I'm using Interlux Brightside which is a one part coating. Easy to use and very durable. There are others and everyone has their favorite coating. Stick to marine paints - the labor is the same with the only real difference being the cost of the paint. The marine paint will look better and last longer. If you don't grind and fill the gelcoat cracks they will show through any coating you apply. The minor cracks you see extend usually under the gelcoat a little ways from the crack - sometimes there is a small void under the surface or a section of gelcoat that isn't adhered to the substructure as I found on the bridgedeck of my boat. If these aren't properly repaired they will return sooner or later.
Brian
 

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open up the gelcoat cracks and fill them with marinetex or thickened epoxy and then sand fair. You really want to seal the fiberglass properly.
 
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