Clear Coat, or Gel Coat???
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Clear Coat, or Gel Coat???

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cowboy_Mike's Avatar
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    Default Clear Coat, or Gel Coat???

    Hi, I am need of being set straight. I want to reclear my boats topside. What should I use, and what is the proper process for doing it? I Would like to get somehting that works great, but I have no idea on what to get or what to stay away from. I was told to get it gelcoated clear, but that didnt sound right to me. HELP!!

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    Wet
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    Go to your local auto body paint supplier and ask for a urethane clear kit. Around here, it's about $125 depending on the brand, they come in gallons, and one goes a long long way if you're only doing topside. A quart of acetone or lacquer thinner for clean up. Tack rags. Get a dewaxer and degreaser wash. Wash the boat. Sand it all down with 800. Wash it again. Tape it off. Tack rag it. Shoot it.
    I recommend practicing on scrap. It is a higher viscosity than paint. Watch how the clear flows once on the surface. It doesn't flash as quickly as paint, so don't lay it so heavy that it runs. Don't rush. Wear a respirator.

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    TRG
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    Gelcoat is available in a variety of colors, clear being one of them (Valspars TX-2 almost posetive about the PT#), an alternate is Automotive clear, although not as durable, it will (If prepped correctly) give the same appearance as cleared gelcoat and restore the colors back just as long as you dont get too aggressive with the prep and sand through the OG gel into other colors, then you are color matching automotive base coats. dont it a couple times in Automotive, but if its a family deal and the boat gets alot of use, you will have to be extra careful with your finish.
    I like painted boats personally due to the amount of creativeness that can be thrown at it, but I like the durability of gel considering I own a boat that gets used like a good looking hooker offerin' discounts in vegas on Xmas eve!
    ya, so uhhh, I hope this helps!

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    Senior Member Cowboy_Mike's Avatar
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    Default It all helps!!

    Thanks guys!! I have been lookint my boats finish carefully to day, and it loks at though the clear is gone, except in one area. That little area has a brain tint to it. Not sure if its paint, or gel coat. Looks like i have some work to do either way. I do think after I get that done, I will have to post some pics on this thread. It might take me a a month or so so get all of that done, but I can do that.

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    Senior Member Bottoms Up's Avatar
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    Default Gel Coat Restoration

    I have seen a lot of action in the restoratoin questions department. Let's face it guys like to DIY and make it happen them selves as well. You do not need a custom paint job or wrap to make your boat look great. All you really need to do is have a professional complete the repairs and the end result is night and day compared to the week end warrior who pulls up in a mobile unit.













    We will post some photo's when the boat is outside in some better light when she is completed.

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    Senior Member Cowboy_Mike's Avatar
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    looks shinny, but the top side of my Bahner isn't that big. My bahner is only 18' long, and maybe 18-24 inches tall. I am just doing the top side. When its time, I will speed coat the bottom after blue printing it, and polish up the sides, below the rub rail. I should see how much it would be to have someone do the top. Shouldn't be too much, but I would like to do it myself so I can put moreinto other goodies like the pump, or the engine. Besides, I might redo the entire thing come fall just so I can stay out of trouble!! LOL!!!

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    Hey guy , the bottom line is ......... you could be the worst painter in the world & come out smelling like a rose , & look like a seasoned pro , using PPG clear coat........wet sand & buff .

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    Senior Member Cowboy_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OFFSHORE GINGER View Post
    Hey guy , the bottom line is ......... you could be the worst painter in the world & come out smelling like a rose , & look like a seasoned pro , using PPG clear coat........wet sand & buff .

    In the acrylic or urethain?

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    Senior Member OFFSHORE GINGER's Avatar
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    Mike , most ,and all of the work mentioned above in your last post....... can be done by yourself , and just by chance if you are not sure on the right way to go about doing everything ..............we or i can talk you thru the whole job , ............ just my 2 cents .

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    Senior Member Cowboy_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OFFSHORE GINGER View Post
    Mike , most ,and all of the work mentioned above in your last post....... can be done by yourself , and just by chance if you are not sure on the right way to go about doing everything ..............we or i can talk you thru the whole job , ............ just my 2 cents .

    COOL!!! I can tell from your link, you what you are talking about!!Nice boat!!

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    Good info.....just so I am clear, if you wanted to clear a fresh gelcoat job, you get a clear gelcoat like one from Valspar?

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    Why would you put auto paint on fiberglass/wood? A composite vessel expands and contracts - as well as - moves about during rough water travel. GEL coat moves WITH the base material and doesn't crack unless there is damage underneath (spider cracks).

    Auto paint is very hard and is more apt to be on METAL that expands/contracts much less and where panels can move about the frame without bothering each other. The LONG sides of the boat are going to move around quite a bit (twisting and bowing front-to-rear) and the paint WILL crack.

    Ever notice that ALL fiberglass products (even automotive pieces) come GEL coated???

    I can see painting urethane clear onto gel to give it a "quick" gloss, but it is going to crack and chip after it is fully cured and has a year or two of expansion/contraction and rough water use.

    I grew up working in body shops and watched it happen several times. People insisted on painting to freshen the boat CHEAPLY, but ended up with a disaster after a few years.

    If it's a trailer-queen that only races every now and then and is not used for family (every weekend) use, you MIGHT get a few more years out of it.

    Basically, if you took a fender off of your car/truck and twisted it the same amount that a boat will - the paint will crack and look like hell.
    Last edited by Beer:30; 04-13-2011 at 06:19 PM.
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    Senior Member Cowboy_Mike's Avatar
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    I was told that a flex agent adatrive would prevent that. I have taken off a panel, and we twisted it. No paint cracked. That was on a thin peice used on my buddies sand rail. I was impressed.............Were would i get gel coat, and would it be sprayed on or what?????

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    Wet
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beer:30 View Post
    Why would you put auto paint on fiberglass/wood? A composite vessel expands and contracts - as well as - moves about during rough water travel. GEL coat moves WITH the base material and doesn't crack unless there is damage underneath (spider cracks).

    Auto paint is very hard and is more apt to be on METAL that expands/contracts much less and where panels can move about the frame without bothering each other. The LONG sides of the boat are going to move around quite a bit (twisting and bowing front-to-rear) and the paint WILL crack.

    Ever notice that ALL fiberglass products (even automotive pieces) come GEL coated???

    I can see painting urethane clear onto gel to give it a "quick" gloss, but it is going to crack and chip after it is fully cured and has a year or two of expansion/contraction and rough water use.

    I grew up working in body shops and watched it happen several times. People insisted on painting to freshen the boat CHEAPLY, but ended up with a disaster after a few years.

    If it's a trailer-queen that only races every now and then and is not used for family (every weekend) use, you MIGHT get a few more years out of it.

    Basically, if you took a fender off of your car/truck and twisted it the same amount that a boat will - the paint will crack and look like hell.
    I couldn't disagree with this more. Quality Urethane paints are far superior to whatever it is you've grown up around.

    Why would you put auto paint on fiberglass/wood? A composite vessel expands and contracts - as well as - moves about during rough water travel. GEL coat moves WITH the base material and doesn't crack unless there is damage underneath (spider cracks).

    Because when prepared properly, you can. Metals expand and contract with temperature changes, including the metal on the exterior of a car, as does the paint.



    Auto paint is very hard and is more apt to be on METAL that expands/contracts much less and where panels can move about the frame without bothering each other. The LONG sides of the boat are going to move around quite a bit (twisting and bowing front-to-rear) and the paint WILL crack.

    Paint is not hard. I don't know what you're using, but if you step up to quality urethane paint, (not cheap shit enamel) it's not hard. It's VERY durable and flexible. Paint does not know if it's on a car, a boat, top, bottom, or sides. The long side of the boat means squat.


    Ever notice that ALL fiberglass products (even automotive pieces) come GEL coated???

    Gel coat, release agent, molds. That's why.


    I can see painting urethane clear onto gel to give it a "quick" gloss, but it is going to crack and chip after it is fully cured and has a year or two of expansion/contraction and rough water use.

    Really? I abuse the crap out of mine, simply to put it to the test. The only dings come from rocks hitting the sponsons off of the truck tires while towing. A simple buff takes care of any scratches.



    I grew up working in body shops and watched it happen several times. People insisted on painting to freshen the boat CHEAPLY, but ended up with a disaster after a few years.


    Find a better body shop and use quality material. Cheap is cheap for a reason.



    Basically, if you took a fender off of your car/truck and twisted it the same amount that a boat will - the paint will crack and look like hell.

    How much twist do you think a boat has? You think a boat has flex? Have you ever seen the body on a top fueler? That paint seems to hold up exceptionally well, and that's some thin shit, and long.

    Sounds like you had bad experiences with paint.

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