Gelcoat alternative?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by 500Lonepine, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. 500Lonepine
    Joined: Sep 2013
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    Location: Lake Leelanau Mi

    500Lonepine Junior Member

    Made repairs to a fiberglass hull. There are areas of the hull that can't be seen. I was wondering if there is any other type of paint that can be used over fiberglass that will provide UV protection and will wear well, but that is not as expensive as gelcoat?
     
  2. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    Location: Hampshire UK

    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Gelcoat is cheap, just a little more difficult to apply unless you get enough (and have the kit) to spray it. Be prepared for a lot of cutting down, and maybe several thin coats, though. Check the price of 1Kg or 5Kg of gelcoat - pretty cheap.

    If you paint, only a 2k system gets anywhere near the hardness and toughness, and these are not cheap paints. Basically cheap polyester against polyurethane/acrylics/epoxies which are more expensive. An aside would also be that it is very hard to accurately match gelcoat colour to a paint finish, so a lot of repairs get painted. It's actually a PIA when you repair stuff. My personal preference is to keep all gelcoat if that is what it was, and it is possible.
     
  3. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    It kind of depends on how you plan to use the boat.

    For a small trailer boat that you don't care about how it looks, no paint or covering is needed. The next step would be any cheap paint you can find, even a rattle can. There are also "marine" paints sold at box stores, you can by the same paint for less money on the shelf right next to it, just check the labels.

    None of these are going to hold up as well as gel coat, be they do cost less and are easy to apply.
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Truck bed liner or the new "Flex Seal" spray in a can (aerosol truck bed liner without the particulates) or "Aluthane" from Epoxy Products (company owner is a forum member). All three can be painted over if you want a better color match.
     
  5. pauloman
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Location: New Hampshire

    pauloman Epoxy Vendor

    if boat is not kept in water (or even if it is and it is fresh water) I've had success with 'computer color matched' old fashion enamel from the big box store (purchased in quarts) - of course the aluthane (aluminum filled mcu - epoxyproducts.com/aluthane.html) I sell, works great too - as per PAR above

    paul - progressive epoxy polymers inc
     
  6. SprayAway
    Joined: Jul 2015
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    Location: Manchester, UK

    SprayAway New Member

    Hello, there are hundreds of alternatives.

    2 pack products are indeed durable but they are very brittle and extremely potent solvents.
    They work very well on bare fibreglass and in certain circumstances will outlast the life of the boat.

    The downside to 2 pack is that you need to be a little more skilled to use them, they scratch and chip like they would on a car.

    There are also 1 pack products now that are about 95% as good as the 2 pack's on the market, they are alot easier to use, you can paint over anything, they are more maliable (the paint wont crack or chip as 2 pack would) but they also have drawbacks.
    The main drawback being they need to be maintained more often (repainting usually occurs every year).

    There are a market of PU and UA paints on the market that well priced.
    Id reccommend awlgrip for 2 packs, and jotun for single pack products.

    Hope this helps.
     

  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    They now have a water borne LPU and 2 pack acrylics. Both rival solvent based LPU's, though aren't quite as tough, by a small margin.
     
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