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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to be grinding down all the gelcoat in the cockpit and on the deck, along with rebedding the non-opening portlights and replacing a couple of them with ones that open. I am doing all this in an open boatyard where I'll be subject to weather and I want to be a good neighbor to nearby boats. I'm hoping for some advice regarding the best way to tackle this.

Do I want to pull all the hardware first?
Do the job in sections (e.g. cockpit first, then windows, then deck)?
What's the best way to knock down large sections of gelcoat relatively quickly without making a huge mess?
Any random advice?

Links to relevant pages, videos or equipment greatly appreciated. I'm new to fiberglass repair.

PS. I should add that I've been watching a lot of Boatworks Today and I know Andy has his favored methods and brands. Would I be well-served by following his advice, or are there places where his process can be improved?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Gelcoat Peeler will make short order of removing gelcoat but it's loud and messy.
Whoa! That looks like it would certainly do the trick but at $1500 it's too pricey for me. I guess I'm looking for solutions using common tools (eg angle grinders, belt sanders, etc)...also what grit, disk, stuff like that. Thank you for your reply!
 

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by grinding down you mean sanding it smooth to fill, prime and paint or do you mean remove the gelcoat and replace. if the latter i would suggest you find an old piece of gel coated material like a hatch cover to practice on and after that if you still want to continue to do the boat then you are crazy. if not crazy now you will be before you are done with the project
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
by grinding down you mean sanding it smooth to fill, prime and paint or do you mean remove the gelcoat and replace. if the latter i would suggest you find an old piece of gel coated material like a hatch cover to practice on and after that if you still want to continue to do the boat then you are crazy. if not crazy now you will be before you are done with the project
Apologies for not being clear, I did say 'grinding down', which sounds like removing. I think probably the former, although there are places in the surface where sections of glass will need to be cut away and replaced. I don't think I'll be taking allllll the gelcoat off the entire boat. At least I hope not, lol.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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The Bristol 34 is a great boat, and well worth the effort. I had not sailed on one in a few years. I always liked these boats but had forgotten how well they sail.

I just did this project on my boat. My decks had been painted but the paint was really old (1996) and had oxidized and warn down to the point that mostly gelcoat was showing. The gelcoat was oxidized and was starting to pit. I worked though my choice of materials process with tech reps from Interlux, Petit, MAS Epoxy.,WEST System, KiwiGrip, and others.

I did my boat in tree separate sections, 1) Cockpit and coamings. 2) Cabin top and sides, and 3) the flat parts of my decks. I removed all of my hardware since one of my goals was to re-bed the hardware. Removing the hardware was roughly 1/4 of the project, prep and painting was roughly 1/3, and reassembly and clean up was the rest of the work. In total I probably have 800 to 1,000 hours in the project.

I originally had planned to sand the non-skid flat and pretty much down to the laminate and apply gelcoat. I had found a company that made rubber mats that you could roll into the wet gelcoat to get a factory style non-skid pattern. I did a quick test on an old hatch from another boat, first sanding down the gelcoat and then applying new gelcoat with the rolled down pattern pretty much ruled that out since it was a lot of work and I did not get a factory looking result.

What I ended up doing was to sand all of the items that were not non-skid with 80 grit paper on a palm sander to reduce the thickness of the old gelcoat and get below the oxidized layer.,The non-skid I wire brushed by hand. That removed t almost all of the old paint, and oxidation while creating tooth in the surface. I primed the decks with PetitProtect epoxy barrier coat applied roll and tip. PetitProtect is higher build than InterProtect, but also does not lay out as well. I dry rolled the PetitProtect on the non-skid to add more non-skid texture. I used a palm sander to on the areas that are not non skid to remove of brush marks and sanding marks. To prep the non-skid PetitProtect areas, I lightly used a wire brush to scuff the surface and washed it with alcohol and a scrub pad. I then applied two coats (three in high wear areas) of Petit EZPoxy. I used the Petit EZPoxy Performance Enhancer which gives a higher sheen, better UV protection, and helps the paint lay-out with less brush strokes. If you paint additional coats within 24 hours, you don't need to sand between coats so I applied the paint two mornings in a row. One thing about this paint, it is much easier to get a nice job if you paint when the temperature is cool. You can add solvent which helps, but I did not want to use solvent.

One issue was that was initially slippery when wet, but after a wipe down with alcohol and several washings, the non-skid is pretty much non-skid.

Jeff

Water Boat Vehicle Watercraft Naval architecture

Before with most of the hardware off.

Water Boat Vehicle Lake Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies

After
 
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"PS. I should add that I've been watching a lot of Boatworks Today and I know Andy has his favored methods and brands. Would I be well-served by following his advice, or are there places where his process can be improved?"

I like his site a lot, do not know of any other site as comprehensive as his.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The Bristol 34 is a great boat, and well worth the effort. I had not sailed on one in a few years. I always liked these boats but had forgotten how well they sail.

I just did this project on my boat. My decks had been painted but the paint was really old (1996) and had oxidized and warn down to the point that mostly gelcoat was showing. The gelcoat was oxidized and was starting to pit. I worked though my choice of materials process with tech reps from Interlux, Petit, MAS Epoxy.,WEST System, KiwiGrip, and others.

I did my boat in tree separate sections, 1) Cockpit and coamings. 2) Cabin top and sides, and 3) the flat parts of my decks. I removed all of my hardware since one of my goals was to re-bed the hardware. Removing the hardware was roughly 1/4 of the project, prep and painting was roughly 1/3, and reassembly and clean up was the rest of the work. In total I probably have 800 to 1,000 hours in the project.
This is great, thank you, just the kind of advice I was hoping for, especially how you broke down the steps. I feel like this is probably the right way to do it. Thanks for the product advice too. I saw a vid from Project Atticus where they taped off the nonskid areas and sifted some sort of grit onto the paint. Your estimate of the time involved makes me scared, lol. But you're correct about the Bristol 34. I love this boat and I think it'll be worth the work I put into it.
 

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My decks have a factory raised diamond pattern which is intended to be non skid. It's better than plain old gel coat... but I don't consider it "non skid" the way, for example, teak decks are. Docksiders don't help either. BE MORE CAREFUL.... HOLD ON.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My decks have a factory raised diamond pattern which is intended to be non skid. It's better than plain old gel coat... but I don't consider it "non skid" the way, for example, teak decks are. Docksiders don't help either. BE MORE CAREFUL.... HOLD ON.
The factory nonskid on my Bristol is almost non-existent after so many years and I'm not sure how great it was to begin with. I think particles or KiwiGrip would be much better.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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Now that you mention it I do recall that there was not much of a pattern on the Bristol 34. In that case I would probably sand the decks with 60 grit paper to remove the oxidized gelcoat. I would still use an epoxy barrier coat (Petit Protect) to improve the bond, provide a sandals subcoat, and prevent moisture from reaching the old gelcoat

After that the choice is yours. Kiwigrip is supposed to be easy to apply and maintain. But it does not look like a factory finish.

Paint is harder to do but looks more professional I have not used it but Jamestown's "Soft sand" sounds like a great product if you do a sand texture.

Jeff
 

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I've recently become familiar with Interlux Interdeck paint as non-skid. I'm rather surprised at how well it holds under foot. Really quite good, wet or dry. Visually, it just looks like dull paint. I'm not a huge fan of painted on non-skid. Nevertheless, a one pot recipe that works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've recently become familiar with Interlux Interdeck paint as non-skid. I'm rather surprised at how well it holds under foot. Really quite good, wet or dry. Visually, it just looks like dull paint. I'm not a huge fan of painted on non-skid. Nevertheless, a one pot recipe that works.
Thank you, I'll add that to my list to research. How does it feel on the knees?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Now that you mention it I do recall that there was not much of a pattern on the Bristol 34. In that case I would probably sand the decks with 60 grit paper to remove the oxidized gelcoat. I would still use an epoxy barrier coat (Petit Protect) to improve the bond, provide a sandals subcoat, and prevent moisture from reaching the old gelcoat

After that the choice is yours. Kiwigrip is supposed to be easy to apply and maintain. But it does not look like a factory finish.

Paint is harder to do but looks more professional I have not used it but Jamestown's "Soft sand" sounds like a great product if you do a sand texture.

Jeff
60 grit, got it. What is a 'sandals subcoat'? I don't really need it to look like a factory finish. This boat is not going to be original when I get done with it, but hopefully still attractive. I'm even thinking of ditching the Bristol Blue hull color for yellow or mint green.

This is it the day I took possession.
Water Cloud Sky Boat Watercraft
 

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How does it feel on the knees?
Can't say, I don't kneel on much of anything, if I can avoid it. When I can't, I'm a knee pad devotee now.

The texture is like super, super fine sandpaper. I has a matte finish and just looks like paint. Not until you step on it, do you even know it will hold. I'm sure it's less aggressive on one's knees than the old molded non-skid I used to have. The molded also held very well, but were little diamond gelcoat points I couldn't have knelt on 30 years ago, let alone today.
 

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Just a note about YouTube DIY'ers: Many of these guys are trying to figure out how to do these projects on-the-fly just as you are. I think the guy on Sailing Atticus has some fiberglassing experience, but, just take it all with a grain of salt (BTW salt works as non-skid).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just a note about YouTube DIY'ers: Many of these guys are trying to figure out how to do these projects on-the-fly just as you are. I think the guy on Sailing Atticus has some fiberglassing experience, but, just take it all with a grain of salt (BTW salt works as non-skid).
Very good advice. Jordan knew more then than I do now, but even he says in a comment on that video that he wish he'd known about KiwiGrip, so maybe I'm ahead of him lol. That's why I'm here!

Interesting about the salted finish. I like that it's easy to reapply without major work sanding down the previous grit. Probably saves some money too. Anyone with experience doing this vs Interlux Interdeck or similar paint with grit additives?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think I'm going to do a split mainsheet (is this called German somethingorother?) like this guy and do away with the traveler, which currently runs across the cockpit and is a bummer to get around.

Water Boat Sky Watercraft Vehicle
 
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