Gelcoat project on 71 Shark
Iím new on this web page. I was looking for information on how to gelcoat my boat when I discovered this site.
I have just gotten an old class E racing boat. Itís a tiny little thing as a mater a fact I towed it from Colorado to California behind a motorcycle. It was manufactured in 1971. Its brand name is a ďSharkĒ. I donít have any other information about the boat other then it has been sitting in my Uncles yard for 25 years. The Gelcoat on the upper portion of the deck has some small cracks in it. The hull is in good condition. My intention is to sand the existing gold metal flake gelcoat finish down to the fiberglass. There are some bolt holes that I need to fill then Iím going to regelcoat the boat with a red metal flake finish. The existing flakes in the gelcoat are very small I think Iíd prefer larger flakes so I think they need to be removed. I bought a random orbital sander today, Iíll start sanding tomorrow! Please understand Iím brand new to gelcoating. Iíve done some fiber glassing before but I know nothing about gelcoat finishes but I know I want the boat gellcoated and Iím going to do the work myself! My question is should I remove the old metal flake finish or do I just add the new metal flakes over the old ones. I assume the metal flakes must be sprayed on with some kind of clear adhesive the gelcoat is sprayed on over the flakes. What kind of spray gun should I buy and where can I buy it. I have a spray gun that Iíve used for painting my house but I suspect it wonít work for gelcoat. Iíll do the spraying at work so Iíll be using very dry air as we have a dryer on our air system (I donít know if it maters). If you choose to answer this post please remember Iím a newbe donít use abreavitions for products I wonít know what your talking about. Thank all, Carol
I don't know much about metal flake-gelcoat finishes.
However, it is a Huge job to sand all the gelcoat and metal flake off, (It shouldn't be necessary to completely remove gelcoat etc first), and then another huge job to refinish any gelcoat you sprayed back on.
Gelcoat is designed primarily for use with a mold - it is is very thick and it's self leveling properties are virtually non-existent. That means that the raw sprayed finish will have extreme "orange peel" (very rough surface) and will need sanding/cutting/and polishing. -lots of work.
You may be better off to sand the gloss off the current gelcoat, start fresh with normal paints and don't respray gelcoat at all.
Depending on the surface condition of the current gelcoat you may be able to save yourself a lot of grief and cut and polish it to return its former lustre.
Thanks for the reply. I was told basically the same thing by one of the guys that I work with. He told me that what I had on the boat wasnít gelcoat to start with. (I thought it was) I have already started sanding the boat. Iím going to sand down to the metal flake then Iíll replace the metal flake and respray the top coat. Iíve got some glass repairs to make before Iíll be ready to spray the lacquer finish. Iím also looking for some kind of a kit to convert my tiller operated outboard to a remote control operated outboard. This could wind up being the hardest part of the whole job. I initially thought all Iíd have to do is call Mercury and order the kit but so far I havenít found that there is even a kit available. I could get stuck building a remote control setup! Thanks again, Carol
Re-finishing a 56 myself
You deserve an award for the tow job!
Dude above is correct, I will in the next few days be testing (after weeks of calling factory reps and spe******ts) if sanding and applying an adhesive primer a sandable primer than a primer sealer...........works (watch your lacquer over enamels!!! don't paint over them when applying multicolors and diferent bases as I am) I'll be using a heavy thick flake.....also a new pinstriping that glows in the dark a blue tint for 6-8 hours after dark.
It's been a few years since a shot any paint (20) but I'm going to give it a go.
The gel-coat unless you need structual support will be an orange peel nightmare........primer sealing gives you the best finsh after a good smooth sanding. I'd say.
get yourself a gelcoat dump can gun,
great for larger scale gel repair,covering jobs.
for the flake gun, get yourself a cheap one unit sand blaster gun,
I use that gun all the time at the marina for flake repair, you can adjust the flow rate and get a nice coverage of flake with it.
if your sanding down to the glass, i work suggest 36 grit to 40 grit to rip it down fast, then just hit it with a higher grit like 80 to smooth out the hull a bit.,
are you using a base color? before your red flake?
My simple fix is a base coat of gelcoat to the color i want,. while the gel coat is still wet spray on the flake, this way the flake can settle a bit in the wet gelcoat/. this way the flakes can settle in all different angles in the gel and give you a better light reflection.
once the base gelcoat dries, spray on a clear gelcoat finish, and sand and buff to a finish.
flake is fun, worth the effort.
enjoy your project!
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