If your gelcoat has lost its luster or has a few scratches and dings, most do-it-yourselfers can restore the gleam with the right products and elbow grease. . Take Our Gel Coat Application Quiz! Most of todays marine paints come with 5 or 10 year warranties. Once you have the right equipment, you’ve got to make sure you’re using the correct technique. By now, the remaining cost of your ship on that boat payment calculator is probably ringing in your head. If you look at a pool, or even a boat, the gelcoat is the color you see. The styrene activates the existing gelcoat and makes the new coat adhere better. Watch How to Restore Faded Gel Coat on a Boat. By Ralph Naranjo. Put your Gel Coat Application Knowledge to the Test. You can get gelcoat with wax or without in certain cases. Remove the backer from the exterior surface. Through damage caused by the elements, the soft surface of the gelcoat is eroded and can leave it looking chalky and dull in its appearance. It not as simple as painting and can be somewhat difficult to work with. Sailing Totem: Bringing Holiday Spirit Cruising. Gelcoat is the first thing sprayed into a female mold when a boat is built, usually to a thickness of .5 to 1 mm. Boat's gelcoat color restored Faded boat…now treated the boat with the ForeverNu shine. If you’re an angler, the next step is to lay down a coating of protective bee’s (paste) wax. As a boat owner, you have a few different options when it comes to repairing gelcoat. Applying gelcoat to a fiberglass surface is not really necessary, as gelcoat is a fiberglass resin itself. When your gelcoat fades beyond recovery, paint—actually linear polyurethane—is your best friend. Having said that, the proper way to gelcoat any boat is to first apply a Marine clear coat to the mold, then the flake in a clear coat, and then the base color. This won't repair major dents and chips or add much strength to the floor. The wax, or Sanding Aid is an additive that allows the gelcoat to dry tack-free. I've filled some hole from old instruments, removed deck hardware etc, the white gelcoat I've used to finish these repairs is way off in terms of a colour match. Before we get started, we’ll assume your boat is out of the water or on a trailer, because it’s virtually impossible to restore a faded gelcoat hull while a boat is in the water. How to Repair Gelcoat. Boston Whaler, 1972-1993, Boat Gel Coat - Spectrum Color Find ... the crazing can be repaired and the boat re surfaced for 1500-2000. paint will not work unless the crazing is repaired. Lenny: There we go. Over time, the gel coat covering your fiberglass hull oxidizes, resulting in a dull, chalk-like appearance and leaving the surface more susceptible to staining. Restoring Your Gelcoat. The clear gelcoat allows the UV rays from the sun to penetrate down to the colored surface and the metallic particles reflect it back through the clear gelcoat, in effect burning it from both sides. Updated: April 30, 2020. We have two types of gelcoat; the brushable and the standard. LP is harder, smoother, more fade- and stain-resistant, and easier to maintain than gelcoat, explains Matt Anzardo, North American marketing manager at AkzoNobel, the parent company of Awlgrip and Interlux. With the passage of time, unprotected gelcoat will oxidize and eventually take on a chalky appearance. Does Your Boat Need Fiberglass or Gelcoat Repair? Gel Coat Oxidation Removal & Prevention. Siren 3 Pro. Follow the gel coat oxidation removal steps below to restore shine to your boat. Preparing and painting fiberglass is unlike preparing and painting metal or aluminum. It seals the fiberglass structure beneath it to protect it from the elements and it gives the boat a glossy, attractive appearance. Clean with soap and water and wipe with a rag damp with acetone to remove old wax, oil or grease. This helps the gelcoat blend in and helps hide the edges of the filled scratch. Many, but not all, production boats built today apply a vinylester barrier coat at the factory under the gelcoat to prevent the blisters that plagued many earlier production fiberglass boats. The gelcoat on a boat is an outermost layer on the hull of a vessel. So, the gelcoat on your boat is looking chalky and faded. Through epoxy, a polyester resin, a catalyst and other chemicals, it provides water-resistant properties. This type of finish should be kept covered when not in use and only the best quality synthetic boat polish with good UV protection should be used. Gelcoat in fact is being used less and less on new boats as a result of better boat epoxy and paints. How To. Latest. Fill imperfections in the new gelcoat with gelcoat paste and allow it to cure fully. Tools and materials. Latest. Don’t panic! Yes, you can re-gelcoat, but why? Gear. If the scratch is on a vertical surface, you’ll find it easier if you “cup” the gelcoat against the hullside with ordinary masking tape. If you’re not ready to DIY, bring your project boat … Around ’85 or ’86 we long-boarded the gelcoat, exposing nearly all of the laminate, and then rolled and tipped six coats of 105 Resin/206 Slow Hardener. There seem to be all sorts of methods I'm reading about out there, but my tenative plan is to: - Sand with 80 grit. All in all, however, gelcoating the floor of your boat is a nice, fairly easy spruce-up for an aging boat. For many “do-it-yourselfers,” applying gelcoat can be quite intimidating. Most people think that the best way to prepare a fiberglass boat for a gelcoat application is to have it done in a local car repair shop, where they handle similar coats everyday. Gelcoat is under continual assault from impacts, structural flexing and ultraviolet damage from the sun. The ultra high gloss most new boats exhibit is due entirely to the highly polished, mirror-like surface of the mold used in the original construction of the boat. (If you’re just working on the decks and interior portions of your boat, you can certainly accomplish that while the boat … The outer surface of a fiberglass boat is normally a special resin called gelcoat. Polyester resin is cheaper, but has some disturbing properties such as a strong smell when curing. Turn the boat upside down if you can so you have a better working angle. In most cases gel coat oxidation can be removed. Step 3: Applying the Gelcoat. Wipe-on acrylic sealer. People. Gelcoat (by the way) is only warranted by the manufacture for 1 year. Our clear coat finish will protect the gelcoat from the ravages of sun, salt, barnacles, algae, and stains. It’s the first coating in a mold. Gelcoat combined with fiberglass produces a strong and smooth surface, preventing the hull of the boat weakening. You’ve cleaned, compounded and waxed, and it looks good for a while, but the chalkiness returns—maybe the red accent stripe that used to look so good looks pink, or the dark blue bootstripe is now baby blue. Depending on the method of construction, layers of chopped mat and fiberglass cloth are then built up on top to form the hull, deck, and other molded parts. How To. To help to restore the color, shine and appearance of your boat, choose a gelcoat restorer. Wipe the boat again with a rag, damp with styrene. Fiberglass boats come new with a colored gel coat, not actual paint. One of the most frustrating problems to deal with is a new application of gelcoat that refuses to harden and cure. If your boat has some tough gel coat stains, don't let them ruin your day. And gelcoat over large areas is a TON of sanding Not fun!! Gelcoat is the coating sprayed up against a highly polished mold at the beginning of the fiberglass layup process. Regular Boat Bottom Painting, Repair, and Gelcoat Refinishing Whether you go with the long-lasting durability of a gelcoat finish or the showroom shine of marine paint, our certified yacht technicians have boat bottom painting, repair, and gelcoat refinishing services to ensure your yacht’s hull remains looking brand new. However, restoring your gelcoat is one of the easiest boat tasks that you can undertake and is easy to do yourself. . By Jim Hendricks. Clean the area around the patch, then sand–if necessary–and polish the repair area. Painting the fiberglass is the only way to get the boat looking new again. The prevailing theme of our discussion was that spiffing up a boat is not a quick process even with a power buffer. Pressure washer: £140 You can successfully complete basic fiberglass boat repair by following these steps. If you … 3. When this occurs, rake the wool back into form with a pad spur and re-wet the pad. For tips on the subject I talked to Steve Hilton, president of Sebago Custom Fiberglass (207-655-3425) in Casco, Maine. When gelcoat oxidizes, it enables water to penetrate the surface. Gelcoat has little structural value but gelcoat protects the hull and gives it its color and shine. You could contact your nearest boatyard and pay a boat repair professional to fix it for you. More How To. Canal Boating: A Unique Way To Cruise Social Distance Style. It’s used on the final coat, only. For an overview of painting projects on all exterior surfaces — topsides, deck, and bottom — read How to Paint a Boat. Suitable resins are polyester resin and epoxy resin. Spraying either gelcoat or paint requires tools that most people do not have access to. Gel Coat Application Guide Photo credit IStock Photo. Updated: February 10, 2020. Now, she's gleaming from stem to stern. Plus the old gelcoat is so gone it simply won't buff back anymore. × Gel coat is the most common surface coating used in the fabrication and repair of fiberglass reinforced products. For large areas like what you’re talking about, I almost always suggest using a paint that can be rolled and tipped. Step 3: After the boat has been compounded to satisfaction, follow up with a polymer polish to chemically seal the now glossy and clean gelcoat. This process results in the smooth, mirror-like finish typical of new boats. When one of our customers has a problem with gelcoat not curing properly, it usually stems from one of the reasons below. More How To. Often you can spruce it up quickly with just a new layer of gelcoat. The water works into the compromised surface to form tiny pits, and eventually blisters and bubbles. The gouge may look worse than before, but you’re about to fix that by finishing the gelcoat mixture and applying it. Gel coats eventually fade and can not be cleaned or waxed to look new. Do this coat by hand, then continue on to Step 3. Finishing your Gelcoat Application: If you’re using our Professional Grade Exterior Gelcoat, you’ll be ready to sand and buff your freshly gelcoated surface after about 1- 3 hours.If you’re using our Brushable Gel Coat, you’ll want to let it cure overnight to make sure it’s completely cured.Begin wet sanding with the finest grit that will remove orange peel in the re-sprayed area. If so then it’s time to think about refinishing the gelcoat. The advantage with this option is that you are pretty much guaranteed a near perfect repair. The marine clear has ultra-violet inhibitors in it to help reduce the effects of sunlight's uv rays on the colored gel coat. You're best (and cheaper) alternative is to have it epoxy laminated and painted or simply painted. It’s prudent to change the wool pad frequently. The extra layer of gelcoat will also increase the weight of your boat a bit. Step 3: Apply polish Now it’s time to apply a coating that will help seal the gel coat, and make it shine. The sooner you restore your fiberglass boat’s finish, the better, because oxidation and water damage get worse, and make the restoration process much more difficult.