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gel-coat newbie- help

Repair, or reconstruction. Gelocat or structural fiberglass. If it's hull related, you'll find it here

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THE RAZZ
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gel-coat newbie- help

Post by THE RAZZ » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:48 am

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Question- When gel-coat is re shot, is the boat completely gutted. Or, is it something like a bright coat of varnish on our woodies- just removing exterior bright work?

What is the going price (approximately) to re-shoot a 21' Stinger's gel-coat. We are here on the Left Coast.

Thanks
1942 17' barrelback 71923
1987 21' CC Stinger

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Bill Basler
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Post by Bill Basler » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:28 pm

Jerry, good question. When your boat was built at the factory, it was laid up inside a mold. Gelcoat works great this way. As long as the mold is flawless, and properly prepared, the technician applying the gelcoat does not have to worry about smoothness of the gelcoat as such, but rather how thick the gelcoat is, and how evenly it is applied, given the desired mil thickness. A new boat gets most of it's perfect finish from the mold itself. The gelocat is the first layer down inside the mold, followed by special fiberglass cloths that prevent print-through, then other clothes—roving, strand or chop that give the hull thickness and strength.

If everything goes according to plan, the hull is popped out of the mold, the outermost surface of the gel is now revealed. Ideally it is perfect. Sometimes it will have some flaws—ie: pinholes, etc that need to be addressed. Your hull is then polished using buffers and wax.

In a regelcoat situation, there are some challenges/disadvantages. One, is that you are spraying gelcoat to the outside surface of your boat rather than inside a mold. As such, the sprayed gelcoat will not be perfect. It is called gelcoat, because it is really thick...like...a...gel. It is sprayed on using special sprayers that are designed to deal with the high viscosity. Generally speaking gelcoat does not flow like paint. In fact it pretty much cures, just like it is sprayed. A good technician with great spray equipment can get it to lay down better than an average technician with a "garden sprayer." Even so, gelcoat that is sprayed in this manner will have a heavy orange peel.

The only way to get it right is to let the gelcoat cure, then attack it by wet sanding with heavy to ultra fine grits, then finishing with a buffer and compound. It is a LOT of work.

This is the real reason that regelcoating is so expensive. There is a lot of finessing to get it to look factory original or better.

Much like painting your hull there are a few things to consider. Are you doing just the hull sides to the rubrail? Or, are you doing the bottom as well? Are you doing the decks? How many hatches, inside recesses are there to deal with? Is there non-skid that has to be protected/preserved or recreated?

All of these issues will drive your cost up. Gelcoating is darn expensive. To give you an idea, I had the Blue Bomb quoted. The lowest quote came in at about $17,000.00 with minor fiberglass repair. The estimates went up from there with the highest at about $25,000.00. I had to back down on my dream of having her redone.

As for prep, you will need to have the existing gelcoat taken down considerably...even removed entirely. Many will tell you the only way to get a job that will last is to blast the existing gelcoat down to the glass. Old gelcoat tends to develop microscopic spider cracks pinholes, and porosity. All of these will telegraph through your new gelcoat if the prep work is not handled correctly.

It's a big messy job. If it were me, I would only do it to a totally stripped hull. Also, since gelcoat lays down thick, as compared to paint, there is really no realistic way to mask around chrome, etc. It need to all come off. You will need your hull to be big wide open expanses of gel, so that you can block sand it, wet, and then buff it out.

My two cents.
Bill Basler

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Post by THE RAZZ » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:39 pm

Bill,

Thanks. That makes the decision easy.

There is a Stinger in immaculate condition in Oregon advertised at $14K. Why go through all that with this hull. Plus, this Stinger was never intended for show. But, when "I feel the need for speed!"- lets rock and roll.

We need to mark your description here re-gelcoating for the archives. Others will find it a huge help deciding whether to go ahead or not.

Image

Thanks for everything.
Jerry
1942 17' barrelback 71923
1987 21' CC Stinger

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Peter XK19
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yes

Post by Peter XK19 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:07 pm

Yes Bill got it down pretty well. Would just like to add why it is so important to have the old gelcoat taken away. Regardless of its condition. The total thickness of gelcoat is what is important. Not too thick and not too thin. Since gelcoat doesnt have the glass fibers in it it doesnt bend very well. It cracks. the thicker you have your gelcoat the earlier it will crack on a bent surface.

And yes re gelcoating is a Lot of work. I spent more money on my second XK-19 hull regelcoating it than any of these boats sell for.

Actually, I wouldnt be surprised if making a mould of an existing boat and then making an entirely new boat from that if that wouldnt be less work.

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Post by THE RAZZ » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:49 pm

Peter,
My dream machine would be re-molding the 202 into a 228 as configured without increased freeboard. The single aft amidship cockpit is terrific in the chop on San Francisco Bay. 21' is too short for anything but calm water on the bay. San Francisco Bay swells average 14'.

The small pre white cap chop is idea for high speed runs. The 202 rides the outdrive rocking and rolling and is a total rush. When the wind comes up we run for home as the white caps beat us to death. 28' would smooth that out.

Most of the 28' performance boats look too thick and have too many conveniences making them look bulky and heavy.

I can visualize a 202 stretched into a 228 with a Chevy Vortec big block. What a ride that would be.
1942 17' barrelback 71923
1987 21' CC Stinger

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Gell coat: Why not Poly Urathane instead?

Post by Bad Ass Boat » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:55 pm

This is my two cents on this subject. I used to do Auto body and paint. I know nothing about gell coat ok. why cant a guy strip off the gell coat I asum you can use paint stripper sand it down and primer it using a good quality urathane primer guide coat it out then shoot a good quality two stage base coat clear coat urathane instead? This paint taken care of will last for years. Response???

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Post by THE RAZZ » Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:59 pm

Thanks for the idea re painting. Gellcoat is more than boat is worth. Probably depends how much painting 21' Stinger would cost. This Stinger was never intended as a show boat- she satisfies the need for speed. Would be nice to make her pretty but probably too expensive to be worth it.

Someone mentioned to be alert to the difference between boat and car painters because of the need to shoot up at bottom. Wonder if thats true?

Thanks for suggestion.
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1942 17' barrelback 71923
1987 21' CC Stinger

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Post by bparker » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:07 pm

Nah, any car painter worth his salt is used to spraying at a variety of angles and contours while simultaneously managing an even distribution of paint. Metallic paint tends to show inconsistencies very well. The big, wide, fairly flat panels found on boats should be a cinch, especially with heavy bodied opaque finishes.

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Post by THE RAZZ » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:53 pm

BParker,
Thanks.
Is flex-all (spelling?) added to paint for fiberglass bodies (boats/Corvettes et al)? Would modern two stage paint be the best for repairing future dock abrasions re touchup later? Boat is stored and not subject to UV deterioration issues.
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1942 17' barrelback 71923
1987 21' CC Stinger

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TWO STAGE URATHANE

Post by Bad Ass Boat » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:05 pm

This is my view on this subject. Poly Urathane is a very durable product. When applied properly will last for years. The old days of Acrilic Enamnal you had to spray your base coat let it tack up then spray your clear coat then you had to let it dry for 30 days and let it shrink and let all of the solvents evporate. Then you could take some 1200 wet and color sand it. Then buff it out. With urathane you can spray your base coat then your clear and then the following day go ahead and color sand it with 1200 then buff it out the same day if you got all of your color sanding done. It gives that very deep color your looking for in any paint job. The last time I checked its been years ago for Dupont set up for your paint, reducer, activator was around $450.00 . That doesnt not include your urathane primer or your clear coast. But it would be a lot less time and expense than gell to estimation. But I dont know about the flexing of the fiberglass that I am not sure of. It would be durable and long lasting on a boat though. 8)

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Post by THE RAZZ » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:54 am

This helps. Thank you.
1942 17' barrelback 71923
1987 21' CC Stinger

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