Paint vs Gel coat..
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Paint vs Gel coat..

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    Default Paint vs Gel coat..

    I'm in the middle of restoring my boat, and have sanded down majority of original gel. I have planned on a buddy and I to paint it.. But a boat repair place told me painting was a bad idea, I need to gel coat it ( they do gel coating....), I've seen tons of boat on here with paint.. I think?

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    I've heard gelcoat is more durable and will stand up to more abuse. But if you're cautious with your stuff and don't thrash on it paint (properly applied) will be fine. I painted the top half of our last boat with great results. I painted the top and bottom of our current boat, and though we haven't taken it out yet I'm confident it'll be fine. I have an assortment of different guns for paint, but only one for gel and it's a cheapie....sprays like a drywall texture gun Gotta lay the gel on a bit heavy and sand it smooth. Stringers, floors and bilges are no big deal, but the thought of re-gelling a whole boat is scary. As is the price of paying someone else to do it.
    Use good products and give the primer a good surface to bite to and you should be fine with paint. My .02, of course.

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    I painted my southwind about 6 months ago and still looks great. its all about the prep work!

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    Default Paint verse Gel coat

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJohny View Post
    I'm in the middle of restoring my boat, and have sanded down majority of original gel. I have planned on a buddy and I to paint it.. But a boat repair place told me painting was a bad idea, I need to gel coat it ( they do gel coating....), I've seen tons of boat on here with paint.. I think?
    Gel coat is certianlly more durable. Gel coat is a lot of work out of the mold.Gel was designed to cure against the side of a mold thus giving you a nice smooth surface. When shot out of the mold it has to be color sanded to acheive that smooth finish. Lots of work! Paint is not as durable but you can get very creative with your designs.

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    Default Paint vs Gel coat..

    Painted boats are way less durable, harder to clean hard water spots, more difficult to sell, and usually bring less money.
    I have painted for almost 30 years, but gel coat is the way to go. Material is a fraction of the cost with no primer surfacer needed, way less prep time, (however much more sanding of applied gel, for flat finish).
    Over all cost of finished product is very close to the same, just way fewer people gel coat vs paint, and as Greg
    noted; you can be more creative with paint. Orange County Boat Repair in Stanton Ca is very competitive for gel coating of boats.

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    A few years ago I restored a 15' outboard with gel. It was the hardest project I've ever undertook. You have to have a "rough" surface for the gel to bond to.I had to spray at 4:00 am in the morning because the neighbors would bitch about the fumes, and use a fresh air breathing respirator,multiple coats and PVA on the final coat so it will cure. Then you sand and buff your a$$ off. It looked good when finished, but I learned that gel is for professionals. PAINT IT!

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    Well I wanted to paint it but I don't want to have to repaint it in a few years bcas i went cheap the first time. Either way I'm going to have someone else do it. Unless the price is just ridicules. I want a professional job and am not sure about paint or my skills painting ( although I have professional painter buddy who will paint it for me.. But just from what I've heard I want gel :-/

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    There's other threads on here about this. Basically, paint is temporary. Gel is long-term. There's 30+year old boats on here that have been sanded and buffed - their ORIGINAL gel still looking brand new.

    The main difference is - Gel will move with the expansion/contraction/twisting of the materials. Paint will, but only to a fraction of the degree. The wood frame of boats swells and shrinks. Metal on a car does also - but your car doors don't stick and rub the frames in the winter time like your house doors do.

    Gel is usually applied very thick and can be cut/buffed MANY times. Basically, sanding off the faded layer in favor of a new layer underneath. Then buffed to a luster. Paint will generally crack after a few years of seasonal use.
    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    EFI is the wave of the future. There can be no denying it. Electronics have been on the leading edge of our entire lives. Not only os the magneto dead, but the standard issue CDI is wavering. Its all about total fuel, air AND spark control. Anybody that thinks its not has their head up their ass.


    2001 SleekCraft 30' Heritage SSB, open-bow mid-cuddy. 496HO / Bravo-I.

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    Beer...that's 100% bullshit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbonMonoxide View Post
    Beer...that's 100% bullshit.
    Ok.
    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    EFI is the wave of the future. There can be no denying it. Electronics have been on the leading edge of our entire lives. Not only os the magneto dead, but the standard issue CDI is wavering. Its all about total fuel, air AND spark control. Anybody that thinks its not has their head up their ass.


    2001 SleekCraft 30' Heritage SSB, open-bow mid-cuddy. 496HO / Bravo-I.

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    Default Gel Coat

    Gel Coat is a lot of sanding and a lot of work but i think its worth it
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beer:30 View Post
    There's other threads on here about this. Basically, paint is temporary. Gel is long-term. There's 30+year old boats on here that have been sanded and buffed - their ORIGINAL gel still looking brand new.

    The main difference is - Gel will move with the expansion/contraction/twisting of the materials. Paint will, but only to a fraction of the degree. The wood frame of boats swells and shrinks. Metal on a car does also - but your car doors don't stick and rub the frames in the winter time like your house doors do.

    Gel is usually applied very thick and can be cut/buffed MANY times. Basically, sanding off the faded layer in favor of a new layer underneath. Then buffed to a luster. Paint will generally crack after a few years of seasonal use.
    Not trying to be too rude, but here is why I completely disagree with your reasoning. Paint is anything but temporary, and gel is not long term. It all has to do with the care that's put into it. Leave a newly painted boat and a new gelled boat out in the weather, they'll both look like shit in time. Any one faster than the other, unlikely. Yes, there are 30+ year old boats out there that look great, but what is the care that was taken on those 30 years? How much time was spent garaged vs sunbathed? Leave aboat in the garage for 30 years, and boat 5 weekends a year, it should look showroom, but so should paint. Contrary to what you believe, you can't keep sanding and buffing gel. Gel coat is highly pigmented resin. During the curing process, there is a resin rich layer that builds on the exterior surface of the gel. That is a great protective barrier. Every time you sand and buff it, you reduce that layer down, exposing the weaker pigmented resin to become exposed to the elements. This is why boats that have been color sanded, cut or wet sanded are usually resanded more and more often. Re-gel in clear is a great way to get this layer back, but the amount of work required to gel outside of a mold will change most people's mind.

    Older paints left unprotected will return to their original state...chalk. But, paints have come a very long way and I'll use urethane paint in my applications because acrylic just plain won't hold up. I'll try to get some video of a layer of paint and clear I removed from a boat. It's 2 years old, and has as much flex as a sheet of paper, without cracking. This "fraction of a degree" is purely crap. The fiberglass isn't growing or shrinkng in great lengths, and that paint does and will expand with the glass, or metal. Something to consider...do you remember the supersonic jet called the Concorde? Every single time it would make a trans-Atlantic flight, the body would grow 9", and contract. It was painted, and it wasn't flaking off like you'd expect.

    Boats, like we are talking about here, DO NOT HAVE WOOD FRAMES. I don't know where you get that from, but they have stringers, and transoms, not frames. Car doors do not touch paint on other body parts when opened and closed. They are set on hinges and secured through a latch, or Nader pin to some, and weather stripping. If you have a car door that is touching other painted panels, invest in a vehicle. House doors rub for a few reasons, but not always during the winter. It's completely dependant on where you live. Most older doors were purely wood, now some are fiberglass, or metal, or other composites. Wood doors are great sponges for moisture. It's just what they do. They, along with the door frame, and the frame of your home absorb moisture. If you live in a dry summer climate, the door and frames are smaller, they are drier, and the wood grains are smaller. When winter comes, or rainy season, the wood fibers absorb the moisture and swell, resulting in a tighter fit. If you live in a cold winter climate, there isn't as much humidity, or moisture in the air, and doors are usually more loose fitting, compared to a humid summer type of climate.

    I hope this helps you understand why I responded the way I did. Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by e1racing View Post
    Gel Coat is a lot of sanding and a lot of work but i think its worth it
    Finished? looks great!

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    '78 gel. Rubbed, polished, wax.
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