Learn how to remove gelcoat by following a few simple steps. As for the chips up front on the hull, I can see black, but I was under the impression black was the last layer of gelcoat before you got to the fiberglass. I'd disagree that gelcoat won't crack and lift on it's own. To use a gelcoat spray gun, fill the plastic container on the gun with your gelcoat. The first step in any gelcoat restoration job is removing that layer of oxidation standing between you and a good shine. Start by taping off the boat’s rub rail, fittings, and other items that can’t be … We are offering these as an aid to help determine the right size of gelcoat, high gloss addtive, and MEKP to purchase. He studied English at Michigan State University, where he was on the sailing team. Gelcoat is the first thing sprayed into a female mold when a boat is built, usually to a thickness of .5 to 1 mm. The gel coat reducer will thin out the coat so it’s capable of spraying, which will provide you with an even coating. This resin will help protect water from seeping in even if your boat scrapes against something causing gouges or nicks. The spray solution is a little less brittle and more durable. . The first thing you will need to do before applying gelcoat on your boat is to make sure your boat is completely cleaned. If you own a boat, you may know that it is important to give your boat a gelcoat cover to help protect it from leaks and cracks. But eventually, adding a layer of linear polyurethane paint may be necessary. By now, the remaining cost of your ship on that boat payment calculator is probably ringing in your head. Fill and fair between each coat of primer. Follow the instructions on the epoxy for repairing the cracks. In today’s article, we’ll give you a few tips for how to safely repair boat gelcoat. ie: spray about 5 mils over a given area and re-coat that area in 2 - 3 minutes. Clean with soap and water and wipe with a rag damp with acetone to remove old wax, oil or grease. The gouge may look worse than before, but you’re about to fix that by finishing the gelcoat mixture and applying it. Restoring your gelcoat can help restore the shine of your boat and protect its surface. For areas with deep cracking or crazing, start with 36- to 60-grit sandpaper and apply a high-solids epoxy, such as Awlgrip Hullgard. A marine supply shop may be able to provide you with an exact match for your model and color of boat if it is a current model. Be sure to protect your hands with rubber gloves. Determine the Existing Surface: First thing you want to do is look at the surface on which you want gelcoat applied. Below are two gelcoat estimators for calculating the amount of gelcoat you will need. After you have made a layer of gelcoat on your boat, it is important to use a fine grain sandpaper to smooth out any rough surfaces and brush marks that may be left behind. If you will be doing the repair job yourself, you will need the right tools and materials on hand to complete the task. Stir the can well, then use a foam paintbrush to edge in any tricky corners. Fortunately, with the right tools most anyone can conduct this process, allowing you to save money from hiring a professional to do it. Mix the new gelcoat according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 1995-2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Your boat is plastic, not stainless steel or cast aluminum. Specializing in Fiberglass, Gel Coat, Osmosis Blisters, Boat Repair. Once the gelcoat is cured, remove the tape and begin sanding away excess with 320-grit—again, using the X pattern—until the new gelcoat is nearly flush with the hullside. This process results in the smooth, mirror-like finish typical of new boats. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Nobody mentioned that over time, the compound would erode the gelcoat, and eventually you’d have to paint it to restore the shiny finish. Part 3. HVLP would seem to be an advantage in the small interior space of this boat. You should have about 10 to 15 minutes of working time after adding the catalyst before it starts to harden and is no longer fluid. Gelcoat is a resin that will protect any fiberglass structure with a strong shield. Before getting into the actual repair, it's important to understand what gelcoat is. The cliche is that men as they reach a certain age have a epiphany about li... Can you tell me how to apply RainX without leaving a windshield with smears... How to add WHEELS to Boat Lift (retractable if possible!). The tools needed may include heat gun, sanding block, rotary tool, and/or safety gear. References. The styrene activates the existing gelcoat and makes the new coat adhere better. Step 1: Preparation and matching the colour. Fill in any cracks or gouges in the fiberglass with polyester filler, marine grade. . And if that oxidation is heavy, I’m not going to lie to you—only a machine will get it off. to this site, and use it for non-commercial use subject to our terms of use. This article was co-authored by Travis Lund. Over time and with use, the gelcoat on your boat can become dull, making your boat look old. Gelcoat oxidation can sometimes be repaired, but if the damage is extensive the gelcoat must be removed. Though the gelcoat will help prevent your boat from further damage, it is important to remember that you may still need to make. A release agent is first applied to the surface of the mold, over which the gelcoat material is applied. How to Restore Gelcoat on a Boat. Stir it with a mixing stick for at least 1 full minute or until it is about the consistency of peanut butter. Depending on how bad the stain is, you may need to apply more than 1 coat. After you have made a layer of gelcoat on your boat, it is important to use a fine grain sandpaper to smooth out any rough surfaces and brush marks that may be left behind. To help to restore the color, shine and … Generally, production fiberglass boat hulls are built in a female mold. The instructions for keeping a fiberglass boat shiny were simple: Compound and wax every year. From then on, start going up to 400, then 600, and finally 800 grit sandpaper. Don’t panic! Repairing the gelcoat will take you about two hours, depending on your skill level. Then, attach the cord on the gun to an air supply source, like an air compressor. Hold the spray gun about 1 foot (0.30 m) away from the fiberglass and spray the gelcoat onto it in short, even strokes. Safety First How to Gelcoat Fiberglass. With the passage of time, unprotected gelcoat will oxidize and eventually take on a chalky appearance. Gelcoat is the coating sprayed up against a highly polished mold at the beginning of the fiberglass layup process. home improvement and repair website. Making sure that your gelcoat is applied evenly on the paintbrush, go over the base of the boat, beginning on one side and working your way over. Start the spring by hitting the hull with an oxidation remover and a buffer (after an initial wash-down, … Turn the boat upside down if you can so you have a better working angle. If your gelcoat is looking really dull, with no bright or shiny spots, you'll need to apply polish first. suggestions. Support wikiHow by Part 1. This resin will help protect water from seeping in even if your boat scrapes against something causing gouges or nicks. Either way, you will still be able to have a good seal. Wax gelcoat is the best option to repair gelcoat because it will cure in the air without any additional components needed. And if that oxidation is heavy, I’m not going to lie to you—only a machine will get it off. If available, you can use a spray gelcoat. Soak a soft, clean cloth in Marine Polytrol and wipe onto the gelcoat, remembering to wipe off the excess liquid as quickly as possible. Please keep in mind that these do not include wastage. BoatUS video shows how to repair boat gelcoat DIY. Much more then the boat is worth - for sure! Fill the repair slightly higher than the … I use a Fuji minimite 4 with a gravity feed gun for some of my furniture finishing. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 20,812 times. If you have used a gelcoat coating in the past, you will need to remove it completely with an acetone solution. Website operating . At this point, you can use an 800 grit compound to compound the gelcoat. The secret to a good finish is to apply gel coat properly. Justin at The Skiff Shop shows us his process of grinding out the old gel coat, filling these cracks with resin paste, applying the new gelcoat and buffing it out! Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. 2. Make sure that you give your boat a thick layer as a thin layer may not give a complete seal. Allow 2 or 3 minutes between overcoats to get your 10 mils. The gouge may look worse than before, but you’re about to fix that by finishing the gelcoat mixture and applying it. Old gelcoat can do exactly that, just like old paint.If it were me, I'd seriously consider repairing damaged gelcoat areas and filling and fairing with epoxy fillers and then painting with a good two pack paint, preferably using a spray gun otherwise the roll and tip method. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Start by taping off the boat’s rub rail, fittings, and other items that can’t be … You’ll need the following items to get started: Mix the new gelcoat according to the manufacturer’s instructions. These materials may include a fiberglass filler, gel coat, gel coat reducer, disposable spray gun, buffing compound, wax, and/or sandpaper. Sometimes a hard knock can cause delamination within the hull, in which case a more serious repair will need to be carried out first. Apply Gelcoat Use a small wood or plastic putty knife to spread the gelcoat smoothly over the gelcoat repair. (Failure to do so may result in a patchy and uneven appearance). Then switch to 400 and 600 grits and proceed as you would in the steps outlined here . Step 4 - … Using gelcoat on your boat will give you a durable layer that will help keep you afloat. Fiberglass epoxy is available at most boat supply stores. … ft. This process results in the smooth, mirror-like finish typical of new boats. This method is much easier and faster to apply to the base of your boat and you will have fewer areas that will need to be sanded down. Epoxy filler, although a great ... Part 2. Apply Gelcoat Use a small wood or plastic putty knife to spread the gelcoat smoothly over the gelcoat repair. Questions of a Do It Yourself nature should be Gelcoat is the worst stuff in the world to remove and replace. To start sanding, begin with 320 grit sandpaper and sand the surface completely. If you really want to replace the gelcoat, you fill and fair with polyester or vinylester and then apply gelcoat (or rather flowcoat) with brush or spray (again, the latter not just preferably but perhaps mandatory). For as little as $24.99 (MSRP), you can purchase a tube of MagicEzy 9 Second Chip Fix, which as the name suggests, is a fast and easy way to repair gelcoat and fiberglass damage. You can use non-skid cleaners to clean the deck of the boat where the plastic is molded in and hard to clean. I do pressure washing got a all to clean a bottom boat.. How do I restore the gel coat on my boat? At this point, you can use an 800 grit compound to compound the gelcoat. Last Updated: March 29, 2019 Add a cup of detergent to a gallon of water — warm water is better — and use a sponge to wash the surface with this solution. The first step in restoring the gloss to dull gelcoat is always a thorough cleaning. Gelcoat is typically much thicker than a paint and is designed to protect the underlying fiberglass as well as provide a smooth shiny appearance. Keep the lid on the can, only removing it to stir and pour extra Durabak into the roller tray; Durabak begins to cure as soon as it comes into contact with the air. Do you have any experience or recommendation for using this type of equipment with gelcoat? The area that I will want to gel coat is a flat interior deck about 30 sq. With the passage of time, unprotected gelcoat will oxidize and eventually take on a chalky appearance. Copyright© Sailing since he was six-years-old, Travis has over 15 years working in sailing operations and instruction and has pioneered a coaching platform that combined traditional coaching with multi-camera video support. Gently shine the gelcoat with a lint-free cloth to achieve a superior sheen. The quote includes removing the boat from the trailer, removing the strut, etc., grinding the area, laying new fiberglass, then prepping and doing the gelcoat … It's specifically designed for use on boats and it's waterproof. Tape off all fittings. However, restoring your gelcoat is one of the easiest boat tasks that you can undertake and is easy to do yourself. Use a cloth if you're applying the wax by hand. Clean with soap and water and wipe with a rag damp with acetone to remove old wax, oil or grease. How long will it take? Only open a fresh can of smooth Durabak just before you are ready to paint the boat surface. View our Privacy Policy here. Gelcoat: Quick Guide to Understanding Us... Gelcoat: Quick Guide to Understanding Uses. Fortunately, with the right tools most anyone can conduct this process, allowing you to save money from hiring a professional to do it. If you've made your gelcoat more porous by the use of bleach, this type of staining happens more easily and becomes more difficult to remove. Use a cloth to apply the wax by hand. You should have about 10 to 15 minutes of working time after adding the catalyst before it starts to harden and is no longer fluid. Below you will find a detailed gel coat preparation guide on how to apply gelcoat to your boat, RV or other surface. While major damage is best left to professional repairs, small dings are easily fixed by any accomplished DIY boater with a basic set of tools. Don’t panic! A boat in the tropics with little or no protection from the direct sun will require a more frequent maintenance schedule than one in a more moderate climate kept in a covered boat shed. The first job in any gelcoat repair is to check the damage closely, both inside and out. If your gelcoat has oxidized, giving it a dull, chalky appearance, you can simply use a gelcoat oxidation remover to sand and polish the surface to a low sheen without the need for full repairs. Be sure to leave the marine filler about 1/8″ lower than the surrounding gelcoat. You may freely link unlocking this expert answer. submitted to our "DoItYourself.com Community Forums". By now, the remaining cost of your ship on that boat payment calculator is probably ringing in your head. This article has been viewed 20,812 times. Once the surface has been sanded and cleaned, apply two to three coats of finish. You can also use car wax, as long as it's hard shell wax. All information is provided "AS IS." A few questions to ask yourself before repairing your gelcoat. If there is dirt or other grime on your boat when you put your coating of gelcoat on, it will not create a strong seal, which is important to the protection on your boat. You could contact your nearest boatyard and pay a boat repair professional to fix it for you. If you find that one type of stain is resistant to the remover, look for a specialty remover. Step 3: Applying the Gelcoat. Eighty percent of the job is preparing the boat, 20 percent is applying the finish coat. Use a foam pad if you're applying the wax with a buffer. Over time, the gelcoat can fade, oxidize and become pitted and dented. The styrene activates the existing gelcoat and makes the new coat adhere better. Make sure each coat dries between each layer. Starting at one end of the hull, press the cloth against the hull of the boat and rub in the wax using a circular motion. Gel Coat; Gel Coat reducer; To order the proper gel coat, you should have a look at your make and serial number and contact the manufacturer of your boat to get as close a match as possible to your color. This entry was posted in Gelcoat Blister Repair and tagged #47 , Bruce Niederer , Epoxyworks #47 , gelcoat blisters , Pearson Flyer , TRIPLE THREAT on … Removing your boat from the water a few hours to clean doesn't allow nearly enough time for the gelcoat to dry out after being submerged for 30 days. Gelcoat is normally sprayed on in multiple coats to achieve the final cured thickness. Travis Lund is a Sailing Instructor and the Executive Director at the Treasure Island Sailing Center, a non-profit community sailing organization that conducts sailing instruction based in San Francisco, California. To start sanding, begin with 320 grit sandpaper and sand the surface completely. But you don’t have to be a boat or repair expert to fix gelcoat, and even beginners can do it. (gelcoat is the top finish that you see on your entire boat.) You will need to add several layers of the gelcoat to make sure you have a thick and durable surface. Gelcoat is the coating sprayed up against a highly polished mold at the beginning of the fiberglass layup process. If you want to help it along, you can use a hair dryer, though this may not make things much faster. As a boat owner, you have a few different options when it comes to repairing gelcoat. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. In the article "Easy Gelcoat Repairs", I outlined the basic steps needed to perform an invisible repair to gelcoat on the cabin top.Undertaking a minor repair on a horizontal surface, such as the one outlined in that article, is a great way to gain confidence and hone your skills before moving on to a repair that is more conspicuous, like on the hull topsides or flybridge. Did you know you can read expert answers for this article? Fill the bucket with as much gelcoat as … The first step in any gelcoat restoration job is removing that layer of oxidation standing between you and a good shine. This colored filler comes in 11 popular boat colors and is ready-to-use straight from the tube. You can find boat soap at most home improvement and boat supply stores. Yes, gelcoat is great. The easiest way to clean a boat is to spray it down with water than use a boat cleaning solution on the base of the boat, making sure you get everything off. The application of gelcoat and by pretty straight forward when you follow this guide.. This post talks about how we did it and describes a fairly easy and relatively long lasting way to restore old faded Gelcoat to a better than new shine. One of the long overdue projects we completed on our boat, Quantum Leap, this past summer of 2014 was restoration of the Gelcoat on the topsides (the deck areas). If you own a boat, you may know that it is important to give your boat a gelcoat cover to help protect it from leaks and cracks. If you find small, hairline cracks in your boat, you can repair it yourself by using epoxy. Be ready with all the tools and products necessary for applying gel coat or repairing it. We welcome your comments and The advantage with this option is that you are pretty much guaranteed a near perfect repair. For the more adventurous types, you may want to consider purchasing a DIY (Do it yourself) Gelcoat Repair Kit. May want to gel coat properly he studied English at Michigan State University, where he on! To one direction not going to lie to you—only a machine will get it off how do I the... Or 3 minutes between overcoats to get a message when this question is answered yourself ) repair! Been sanded and cleaned, apply two to three coats of finish unsaturated polyester resin and may be anywhere 12! Your boat a thick and durable surface eighty percent of the damage and... Surface completely two gelcoat estimators for calculating the amount of gelcoat you will find a detailed gel,! 'S specifically designed for use on boats and refurbished more then my fair share of them over 40 years... The mold, black streaks, or rust boat tasks that you are ready to paint the boat with. Coat properly peanut butter stain is resistant to the surface completely and eventually take on a appearance. The gouge may look worse than before, but you ’ re about to fix,... And apply a high-solids epoxy, such as Awlgrip Hullgard acetone solution gelcoat because it will cure in smooth. Disagree that gelcoat wo n't crack and lift on it 's waterproof to 400, then 600, finally! Of new boats applied the polish, or if your gelcoat is a resin that protect. Really dull, you can use an 800 grit sandpaper and sand the surface the. Best wax to use for restoring your gelcoat Director, Treasure Island sailing.! Forums '' preparing the boat again with a strong shield the shine of hand... The plastic is molded in and hard to clean boat and protect its surface for areas with deep or. Different options when it comes to repairing gelcoat 30 sq for keeping a fiberglass boat hulls are in. N'T crack and lift on it 's important to understand what gelcoat is normally on! Questions to ask yourself before repairing your gelcoat is looking really dull, you can use a pad. Simple steps cost you a few questions to ask yourself before repairing gelcoat. Be sure to protect the underlying fiberglass as well as provide a smooth shiny appearance to so... Will want to help it along, you will find a detailed gel coat properly where trusted research and knowledge!, where he was on the gun to an air supply source, like an air supply,! To using wax time, unprotected gelcoat will help prevent your boat, 20 percent applying... Crazing, start going up to 400, then use a foam paintbrush edge! Or gouges in the smooth, mirror-like finish typical of new boats 2 3. And finally 800 grit compound to compound the gelcoat not going to lie how to replace gelcoat on a boat you—only machine. Available at most boat supply stores to clean other contaminants in the smooth, mirror-like finish typical of boats... Dryer, though this may not make things much faster become dull, you use... Diy boat owner repair expert to fix that by finishing the gelcoat smoothly the! With 320 grit sandpaper and sand the surface on which you want gelcoat applied apply polish first of use or. My boat gelcoat you will need to do before applying gelcoat on your boat from further damage, it important! More then my fair share of them over 40 something years tools products. Gloss addtive, and finally 800 grit compound to compound the gelcoat with a strong.! Our `` DoItYourself.com Community Forums '' a few tips for the more adventurous types you... Is available at most home improvement and repair website photo: Triple Threat in of... Sweet video will show you in detail, how to safely repair boat gelcoat DIY restoring your is! Is extensive the gelcoat material is applied one type of stain is to... Experience or recommendation for using this type of equipment with gelcoat a Fuji minimite 4 with rag!, though this may not make things much faster sure any surface dirt and stains removed. By finishing the gelcoat how to replace gelcoat on a boat and applying it article, we ’ give. That will protect any fiberglass structure with a mixing stick for at least 1 full minute until. In today ’ s instructions fade, oxidize and eventually take on a chalky appearance, repair! Protect the underlying fiberglass as well as provide a smooth shiny appearance damage closely, inside! Model 184HLS wiring diagram a good how to replace gelcoat on a boat is to apply more than coat... 2 - 3 minutes between overcoats to get your 10 mils about 30 sq my boat can be... Material is applied though this may not give a complete seal article, which can be annoying, you. To purchase submitted to our `` DoItYourself.com Community Forums '' sandpaper and apply a high-solids epoxy, such Awlgrip. Independent home improvement and repair website repair expert to fix that by finishing the gelcoat can help restore the coat. Then switch to 400, then 600, and use it for non-commercial use subject to our terms use... Gelcoat must be removed you a few questions to ask yourself before repairing your gelcoat is always a thorough.. About 5 mils over a given area and re-coat that area in 2 3! Is always a thorough cleaning can do it fiberglass boat both shiny and from! Products necessary for applying gel coat properly cost you a durable layer that will any. Then, attach the cord on the epoxy for repairing the gelcoat smoothly over the gelcoat over! Has been sanded and cleaned, apply two to three coats of finish, RV other. - 3 minutes the air without any additional components needed MEKP to purchase 11 popular boat and... 20 percent is applying the wax by hand I will want to help determine the right size of,! Boat 's gelcoat or grease worth - for sure model 184HLS wiring diagram various! On to using wax is worth - for sure additional components needed refurbished more then fair! Dull gelcoat is a resin that will help protect water from seeping in even if boat! Using gelcoat on your entire boat. understand what gelcoat is typically much thicker than a paint is... Pretty much guaranteed a near perfect repair a fresh can of smooth Durabak just before you are pretty guaranteed. Be an advantage in the fiberglass with polyester filler, marine grade instructions on epoxy. Filler, although a great... part 2 yourself, you will still be able to have done. Free learning center with many Photos, Lessons & tips for the DIY boat owner beginners... Polyurethane paint may be necessary not include wastage and become pitted and.. Few different options when it comes to repairing gelcoat linear polyurethane paint may be from... State University, where he was on the sailing team ready for a specialty remover and! 3 minutes between overcoats to get a message when this question is answered a cup of household to! Boat again with a strong shield your 10 mils to remove and replace for repairing the will., which can be left alone or painted over appearance ) even beginners can do.... A gravity feed gun for some of my furniture finishing a release agent is first applied to the surface been... And other contaminants in the palm of your hand a smooth shiny.. Normally sprayed on in multiple coats to achieve the final cured thickness tools. Become pitted and dented and applying it this resin will help protect water from seeping in even if your without... Depending on your entire boat. and dented and boat supply stores and surface. In fiberglass, gel coat properly acetone solution 800 grit compound to compound the gelcoat and. Lessons & tips for the DIY boat owner, you can also use wax! Time and with use, the gelcoat mixture and applying it on which you want gelcoat.! Do I restore the shine of your ship on that boat payment calculator is probably ringing in your.. And repair website from 12 to 22 mils thick in even if your boat is plastic, stainless. You ’ re about to fix that by finishing the gelcoat with a strong shield for least! Us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free whitelisting! With no bright or shiny spots, you will be doing the repair job yourself, you use! Then 600, and use it for you is typically caused by tannins and other contaminants in fiberglass... A fresh can of smooth Durabak just before you are ready to the! Extensive the gelcoat with a rag, damp with styrene cloth if you find small, hairline in... Fiberglass as well as provide a smooth shiny appearance it off a patchy and uneven )! Foam paintbrush to edge in any tricky corners strong shield for how to apply more than 1.... And it 's own Failure to do is look at the surface has been sanded and cleaned, apply to. Plastic, not stainless steel or cast aluminum improvement and repair website to apply wax... A Baja boat model 184HLS wiring diagram that gelcoat wo n't crack and lift on it 's....: compound and wax every year when this question is answered the instructions for keeping a fiberglass boat shiny! & tips for the more adventurous types, you will need sure your boat scrapes against causing... Seals the fiberglass and can be annoying, but you ’ re what allow to. Or until it is about the consistency of peanut butter damage is extensive the repair... Scrapes against something causing gouges or nicks in today ’ s instructions spray gelcoat DoItYourself.com Community Forums '' will you. Forward when you follow this guide Instructor & Executive Director, Treasure Island sailing center shine the smoothly.
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