Newbie does everything wrong with surfski he is repairing... what's the next step?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by kayakingsteve, Aug 9, 2021.

  1. kayakingsteve
    Joined: Aug 2021
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    Location: Florida, United States

    kayakingsteve Junior Member

    I made every rookie mistake possible on an old fiberglass Future surfski I'm trying to restore... Where do I go from here?

    1. Sanded down a painted hull, tried to go thick with gelcoat with wax in one layer... not realizing my sanding prep wasn't deep enough. Didn't realize I needed layers of non-wax gelcoat to build it up prior to final waxed gelcoat... Usual dumb mistakes.

    2. Gelcoat predictably didn't catalyze properly and now is tacky 2 days later. Uneven coverage to boot because I underestimated my painting time.

    3. Didn't do enough research on marine paint vs gelcoat...

    I just want a passable hull finish that will get me through the water without tons of drag. How do I get there from here? How do I work around my stupid attempt at gelcoating? I'm on a bit of a time/money budget.

    Any advice appreciated.
     
  2. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    Scrape off what will come off without damaging the substrate, then use solvent to remove the rest.
    When it’s clean and dry, sand it carefully, and apply a good grade of paint, doesn’t have to be Polyurethane, unless you’re going to leave it out in the sun for extended periods.
    Good one part topside paint should do, Rustoleum is an economical brand.
     
    fallguy likes this.
  3. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    @ondarvr is the expert on gc troubles

    See if he has any time to reply.

    personally, I'd have painted

    if you get it cleaned up, use a fairing compound like Quikfair or TotalBoat and get it smoothed to your liking, then if you want a killer finish, use some interlux 2000 and some interlux topcoats
     
  4. kayakingsteve
    Joined: Aug 2021
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    Location: Florida, United States

    kayakingsteve Junior Member


    Thanks for getting back to me. What's a good solvent for gelcoat with wax? In terms of paint, looking for something with good hardness/durability once cured, will be in shallows with sand a good deal so it may take some groundings.

    Do I need to sand back to glass or can I just have a good, dry surface with a good tooth for paint? (there may still be a thin layer of old paint in spots.).

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  5. kayakingsteve
    Joined: Aug 2021
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    Location: Florida, United States

    kayakingsteve Junior Member


    Thanks for the pointers. I'll check those out!
     
  6. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Pictures Pictures Pictures

    Reciprocal scraper
    Lacquer thinner and scrub pad
    Lacquer thinner and terrycloth
    How much sanding depends on the current surface flaws and the desired results.
     
  7. kayakingsteve
    Joined: Aug 2021
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    Location: Florida, United States

    kayakingsteve Junior Member

    Thanks for the advice. I've read some conflicting info about being able to paint over gelcoat or not... Do I have to go back to bare glass, or if there's a layer of GC that's left after sanding that seems stable/hardened, can it be painted over? SOrry for newbie questions.
     
  8. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    GC is usually printable.
    Any under-cured GC will be problematic for any additional coat including paint.

    Absolutely no need to remove cured GC.

    Use Lacquer thinner until the wiping cloth is clean. And no styrene smell.

    What is your desired level of finish appearance quality?
     
  9. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    I use acetone for quick cleanup, but it evaporates fast, so if you’re doing a lot of scrubbing, lacquer thinner and 3M pads .
    You might want to decide on your paint first, and then use the recommended solvent for that, to avoid having to buy two different products.
     
  10. kayakingsteve
    Joined: Aug 2021
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    Location: Florida, United States

    kayakingsteve Junior Member


    Good to know. This is a budget find and I'd like to get her to a nice, passable hard gloss for better glide through the water. I know I'm not gonna get her hull to the same smoothness (porosity?) of a commercial Ski, but anything is an improvement at this point.
     
  11. kayakingsteve
    Joined: Aug 2021
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    Location: Florida, United States

    kayakingsteve Junior Member

    Just to make sure I understand; not to sound stupid, but the solvent is necessary with the scrubbing to get any non-catalyzed gelcoat off? I've only done dry sanding type projects before so only familiar with mechanical removal alone. Will research the paint first.

    I'm working in Florida, in August, so 90% humidity all the time (or more), and don't have a climate controlled spot to work. Might be another reason the GC was problematic?

    Would a one-part or two-part paint be better for a durable finish? Will they both cure in high humidity?
     
  12. Kayakmarathon
    Joined: Sep 2014
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    Location: NewEngland

    Kayakmarathon Junior Member

    Keep this boat for paddling waters where you might scrape your boat. Get a decent used boat and paddle that one in deep water and races. Time on the water is more fun than time spent making repairs.
     
  13. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    Uncured gunk can be taken off with a chisel, but might be gummy. The solvent is for final cleanup.

    Two part paints are much harder and can last many years. One parts require more repainting.

    Not your expert on painting in humidity.
     
  14. kayakingsteve
    Joined: Aug 2021
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    Location: Florida, United States

    kayakingsteve Junior Member

    Amen to that! Right now I'm on a 60 dollar garage sale find a few times a week. a 16 foot Aquaterra Chinook... Old, heavy plastic boat, and I just love being on the water. Once I get my ski's fixed up It'll feel like I'm on a rocket ship comparatively.

    Good news is: the gelcoat finally catalyzed, I gave up and left the boat out in the sun, and that seemed to do the trick. SO I might be able to sand and do a few non-wax layers the right way, then a final wax GC again.
     

  15. kayakingsteve
    Joined: Aug 2021
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    Location: Florida, United States

    kayakingsteve Junior Member

    That's what I figured... if one-part paints were more durable, why the heck would anyone have a two-part paint? :) I know humidity is not ideal for curing, but I know nothing about paint overall.

    Gelcoat did finally cure, so will see if I can proceed with more Gelcoat layers and make it work. Of should I just do a two-part paint over the GC?
     
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