Need Help with Gel Coat on 87 Bass Boat

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by Pat G, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. Pat G
    Joined: Apr 2014
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    Location: Prattville, Alabama

    Pat G Junior Member

    I recently purchased a 1987 Procraft bass boat. The outside of the boat is metal flaked gel coat. The gel coat is extremely faded in some areas, after reading several post and forums on the internet, I decided to apply a 3M compound and then polishing wax to the boat. In many places it shined right up and removed any oxidation problems that where present. However, after taking the boat to a marina to have a specialist look at the areas that I was unable to get to restore to there original shine, I was informed that the gelcoat was completely gone along the top part of the boat. Needless to say that it looks bad with the bottom half of the boat being shiney and the top part dull and faded.

    NEED help on what to do, do I repaint or gel coat? Do I do sand the entire boat down and start fresh, in any option what is the most cost effective? is there any product out there that I can simply use to just regelcoat the top side? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you advance. Questions welcomed

    P.S. I have a friend who has a paint gun and compressor...however once again I am looking for the most cost effective way to fix the issue.

    Kind Regards,

    Pat G
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    You can spray gelcoat like any other paint. Use Duratec clear additive to thin it. Otherwise, any good quality automotive paint will do fine.
     
  3. Pat G
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    Pat G Junior Member

    Thanks for the quick reply. If I were going to use a Urethane paint, would I need to purchase a kit with a thinner and hardener, and if so is there any place online where I can buy the kit at a reasonable price?
     
  4. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

    Check with a discount auto paint supply. You should be able to find one close by, and they will hook you up with what you need.
     
  5. Pat G
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    Pat G Junior Member

    Sorry for the inexperience, I have been looking on West Marine as well as searching for poly Urethane paint kits. Most come with an "activator" I am assuming this is the hardener needed, from what I can tell all these have to be sprayed on. Is there anything I can purchase that can be rolled on?
     
  6. SukiSolo
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    Location: Hampshire UK

    SukiSolo Senior Member

    You can apply 2 Pack paints by brush, roller and spray. The main difference is the ammount of thinner required for each type, especially spray which needs a bigger percentage. Small gloss rollers (firm foam type) usually work very well with a small ammount say 5 to 10% thinners whilst a typical spay would have 25%. Also if using automotive paint you may require a small percentage of plasticising additive to allow for expansion and contraction on a large area. You need to ask your paint supplier about the usage and they can advise.

    You can also spray Gelcoat but you need the spray type NOT the brush and roller one. Here in the UK a minimumum of 5kg can be purchased for spraying whilst 1Kg tins are available for brushing and rollering. Make sure you add Styrene Monomer aka Styrene Wax if spraying as a topcoat. If you need to spray more then it must be abraded fully prior to application.

    Both types will require flatting and polishing for best results. In my experience paints are a bit easier but if you gelcoat it is more durable. The critical thing with gelcoat is to cut back in exactly the right window when it is set but not too hard. If you leave it a day that is too long and four times the work!. Paint is a little less critical, it gives you a few more hours.

    I doubt you can simulate the 'Glitterflake' gelcoat to match or with paint btw. If however you are replacing the clear gel on top, that is possible. My gut feel would be change to a solid colour if it is very badly discoloured, but I confess I have fortunately not had to do a glitterflake finish - yet. Now translucents are a diffrent matter.... ;)
     
  7. Pat G
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    Pat G Junior Member

    Ok so let me recap, if I sand the existing surface to get it rough, I can than purchase a poly urethane paint, automotive paint or can purchase a colored gel coating and spray it on over the existing gel coat. In order to spray on the gel coat, I would need to mix in a "thinner" or "reducer" in order to spray it on does anyone know the ratios)?

    If I go with the automotive paint, I would need to purchase a kit, that has the reducer and "activtor" or "hardener" in it or that I mix in. Do these come with a thinner?

    How many coats of each. Can I do this in my driveway, or where would be an optimal place to do so? How long do I let sit before I apply additional coats.

    I have looked online and see prodcuts such as AWLgrip, is there anything additional that I would need to puchase in order to apply this, such as the hardener and thinner? I am looking to do a metallic black or dark grey? Any know of any discount websites to purchase these from.
     
  8. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Urethanes and polyurethanes use a reducer to thin them. It comes in a variety to suit the temperature and humidity. Try NAPA
     
  9. Pat G
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    Pat G Junior Member

    Is there any paint out there comparible to Imron that is less expensive?
     
  10. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

  11. Pat G
    Joined: Apr 2014
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    Pat G Junior Member

    After all my reading and research, I think my best bet is to go with a product like interlux perfection or brightside. That way I can apply the paint by roll and tip method and not have to spray it on, being that I have zero experience spraying paint. With that being said, I have also read that preperation is key. From my "little" understanding, it appears that all i have to do is clean the boat's surface really well, sand the gel coat to make it rough, clean again, and then apply the paint. Is this correct, also with the two interlux products, do I need to purchase any specific hardener or thinner to apply or are they already in the paint? I can't seem to get a representative to answer this clearly. Thank you for all the advice and help. Like I said, I am new to this, but want to do the best job my skill level will allow me to. Kind Regards, and Happy Boating

    Patrick
     

  12. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Perfection is a 2 Pack so it should come with the hardener. If I remember right the last time I used it, the ratio was 2 paint to 1 hardener, but don't hold me to that as it has varied over time. But mostly either 2:1 or 3:1, CHECK the pack.
    Thinners is usually a high grade cellulose type, I think International use Thinners No 2 ( the No 1 is white spirit) and equates to one of the automotive ones available at lower cost. But experiment first. I have had problems trying to use Perfection where the hardener has catalysed in the can through age, but the paint was OK, it did (does) not work with universal (automotive paint) air dry hardeners...so be warned. It goes a sort of pearlescent when mixed which you can spot prior to application. Other brands (eg Hempel and Epifanes) seem more tolerant, thank goodness.
    You will have no compatibility issue with fresh stock paint.

    It rollers OK too, but run a quick check that the roller foam tolerates the thinners ie does not disintegrate. You don't want nasty foam flecks being left in the coating. Remember the cheap roller foam is aimed at household paints so more water and white spirit based not necessarily cellulose thinners based. It may pay to thin slightly say 5 or 10% if you find it a trace thick, better another thin non runny coat than trying to sand out the dribbles!.

    Rubbing down with 320 grit wet and dry will yield good results, possibly 400 if the surface is not too bad. You can fill any dings with epoxy or gelcoat prior to painting. White and lighter colours will keep UV resistance higher and inside temperatures down when in bright sunlight. Any colour darker than the light side of middle tone will significantly increase how hot the surface gets when exposed to sun ie black will burn your skin - over 70 deg C on touch.
     
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