Teach me about gel coat!

Discussion in 'Materials' started by craigman, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. craigman
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: california

    craigman New Member

    Hello!
    I'm new to the forums and even newer to boats.
    I'm in the process of rebuilding my 1974 Reinell trihull. Replacing wood in floor and transom. And then i'm going to repaint it. I'm a automotive painter by trade but i no nothing about boat finishes and gelcoat.
    How are most people refinishing their boats? Are they using automotive paint or gelcoat? And how is gelcoat applied? Brushed? Sprayed?

    If anyone can tell me or point me to a website that would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for your time,
    Craig
     
  2. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Duluth, Minnesota

    Steve W Senior Member

    Gelcoat is for applying into the female mold when building new product,for refinishing old faded gelcoat the acrylic urethane car paints that you are familiar with are the ticket, typically people are using paints with brand names like Awlgrip, Sterling, International paints etc but they are not better than the Dupont, PPG and others you are used to, we painted my sons 24ft sailboat last summer using Nason Fullthane and it compares very favorably with the Awlcraft jobs we have done lately.
    Steve.
     
  3. craigman
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: california

    craigman New Member

    Thanks steve!
    I wasn't sure about the gelcoat thing.
    Once i get the transom and floor done it should be a piece of cake!
    Thanks again!
    Craig
     
  4. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    You can thin gelcoat with duratec clear additive. It will spray like an enamel with a regular gun. I use it often.
     
  5. jaredmatteis
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: Canada

    jaredmatteis Junior Member

    Is this stuff kind of like a clear coat? Iv just finished painting my boat with aeosal spray paint, and Im thinking I need to put some sort of protecting coat over it.
     
  6. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    We always finished floor and transom replacements with an off white gelcoat with 5% of wax added to let it cure tack free. We rolled it on to give it a bit of non skid texture. The texture and some splatter paint or web gel also hid any imperfections like glass laps and such. Very easy, very quick, very durable.

    It can be any color, but you don't want it so bright it blinds you or so dark the sun heats it up and makes it uncomfortable. You can also add sand or commercial texture for non-skid, but it takes very little and too much traps dirt and never gets cleans. We never added any non-skid on the inside floors/decks as the roller left enough texture.
     
  7. Dan H
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: United States

    Dan H Junior Member

    I'm finding that is an awfully broad statement.
    I'm having a tough time with my dark blue, as you know.
    What is a regular gun?
    Using Duratec with white is a no brainer, but the dark blue is killing me.

    I did however, sand the transom and when I re-sprayed it, the coverage was excellent. So I wonder if sanding helped hide the previous color?
     
  8. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    I mean a regular spray gun for enamel.
     
  9. Alan Power
    Joined: Jul 2001
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    Location: Dublin, Ireland

    Alan Power Junior Member

    Gonzo, where are you getting Duratec in the UK?
     

  10. latman
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    Location: Australia

    latman Junior Member

    We use a 3.5mm tip on our gravity feed gun for spraying GelCoat , we need a lot less tip to spray paint. There are a few Duratec products available from hawkeye , One type mixes 50% with regular gelcoat, another can be painted on later with roller ,brush or spray . It cures with an enamel like non-sticky finish that can be sanded or epoxy stuck to it (mechanically only). We find it easier to add wax-in-styrene to the gelcoat to do a repair!
     
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