Gel Coat vs Fiberglass

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by pramdx, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. pramdx
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: alabama

    pramdx New Member

    I am in the process of redoing the floor in my boat as it has been water logged for some time with leaves and carpet and the fiberglass is very weak. I am interested in which would be easier as i do not want to put carpet back in the boat due to the same problem reoccurring. I am going to replace to flooring with 3/4" plywood. Should I paint the plywood before or after the fiberglass or gel coat replacement? Which should be applied (fiberglass or gel coat)? Thanks
     
  2. zember311
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: FL

    zember311 Junior Member

    Fiberglass should go on the wood first. This will penetrate the wood, seal it and bond it to the boat,plus add some strength tot he wood. then if you decide, sand the fiberglass with 320 grit to get a bonding surface and paint the area or gelcoat it.

    If your not putting the carpet in the boat this time, I would think about ways to place some sort of non-skid to the painted surface or gelcoated area so you don't hit a slick spot and go head over heals.

    For easy cheap fixes. just fiberglass the floor then paint it with a roll on paint and a roller. Add some washed sand to the paint, when you roll the paint on, the sand mixed in with the paint will provide you with a acceptable nonskid for next to nothing in cost.
     
  3. pramdx
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    pramdx New Member

    Thanks. But is there much difference in gel coat and fiberglass? (ie cost, installation)
     
  4. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    "Fiberglass" is the cloth like material. "Resin" is what the fiberglass is embedded in. "Gelcoat" is a specialized resin that is used as a protective coat over the "FRP", fiberglass re-inforced plastic. Once your deck is replaced and you have new plywood, coat it with unwaxed (laminating)resin. After it sets, but before too awful long, (24hrs), you put on the fiberglass and saturate it with laminating resin and work out the bubbles, etc. Once that is set, use a coarse sandpaper, like 80 grit, and knock off the lumps and nubs to where you can lightly run your hand over it without drawing blood or filling your hand full of fiberglass splinters. You can finish it with either a waxed gelcoat (The wax lets the resin set up hard or non-tacky which is what you want for the finish layer of resin. Unwaxed resin leaves the resin tacky which is what you want for the next layer of resin to stick to it, otherwise you have to sand and remove the wax to put another layer of resin on.) or latex porch and floor enamel, which is easier and cheaper. Latex will stick to the unwaxed resin like gum in hair, sand can be LIGHTLY sprinkled in a first wet coat and a second coat will leave a nonskid that won't feel like actual sanpaper. You want a color that is not so white that you are blinded by sun reflection and the inside of your nostrils get sunburnt, and not so dark as to heat up and cripple you and your dog with burned feet. Sam
     
  5. pramdx
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    pramdx New Member

    "or latex porch and floor enamel" ????????

    Are we talking paint or something else?
     
  6. pramdx
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: alabama

    pramdx New Member

    By the way..... I have torn out all the old rotten wood and fiberglass and cut a new piece of plywood now I am deciding which to put in and think that I may use 2oz fiberglass just to create a floor that is all one type. Then I think that I may just paint the whole floor one color then replace the seats. Any particular paint I should use?

    I appreciate all posts. Thank you very much.
     

  7. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    If you're refering to 2oz MAT, that will work, and yes, porch and floor enamel is just paint from the the local Wal-mart or Sears. I'm assuming you want to do something that's economical, easy and adequate as compared to restoring an heirloom vintage craft to mint condition, etc. I am also temted to ask if you have poked around with a sharp or tapped around with a blunt object to see if the rot has extended to the stringers and transom, but I won't. Sam
     
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