Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-10-2019, 06:20 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
mvweebles's Avatar
 
City: Saint Petersburg
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Weebles
Vessel Model: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 381
Paint vs gelcoat.

After a couple months of prep, my 50-year old Willard 36 is about to get repainted. I had planned on AlexSeal. Painter at the yard just finished re-gelcoating a boat and it looks great. He suggested it might be more durable. My impression is gelcoat is more porous and needs more maintenance (wax). Boat will spend foreseeable future in tropics and Florida.

Thoughts?
__________________
Advertisement

__________________
M/V Weebles
1970 Willard 36 Sedan Trawler
Current Location: Ensenada MX
mvweebles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 06:40 PM   #2
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: AICW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 20,358
Seems to be regaining favor...just depends on the guy making the recommendation.


A good gel coat with minimal effort can look great after 30+ years...even longer.


Good paint...10-20 years????
__________________

psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 06:41 PM   #3
Guru
 
Ken E.'s Avatar
 
City: Bellingham WA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Hatt Trick
Vessel Model: 45' Hatteras Convertible
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,038
I painted with Alexseal 6 years ago and it still looks new and gets compliments. I've done no maintenance to it. The yard said that Alexseal is more repairable than the competition, but I can't speak to that. A bit of trivia...Hatteras boats are painted at the factory rather than gel coated.
__________________
Ken on Hatt Trick
Ken E. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 07:21 PM   #4
Guru
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Country: US
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 6,307
Actually Hatteras boats are gel coated and then painted. They still use gel coat to get the smooth surface.
__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 07:24 PM   #5
Guru
 
Ken E.'s Avatar
 
City: Bellingham WA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Hatt Trick
Vessel Model: 45' Hatteras Convertible
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,038
I'll bet you a beer on that, Dave.
__________________
Ken on Hatt Trick
Ken E. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 07:31 PM   #6
Guru
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Country: US
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 6,307
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken E. View Post
I'll bet you a beer on that, Dave.
Well, since I donít drink beer, I will let you off that bet. Here is an excerpt from the Hatteras web site.


One of the last stops that a yacht under construction at our New Bern factory makes is the Paint Shopóand now itís the GT65 Carolinaís turn. Sheís in for a lot more than just a quick coat of paint, however. At Hatteras Yachts, achieving a beautiful, glass-smooth finish involves ten steps utilizing six different materials and takes a crew of up to twenty workers more than ten days to complete.



The first step in the finishing process is to dewax the hull by stripping and sanding its original gelcoat exterior. All surfaces are coated with a blue dye, which helps the paint crew to identify any high or low spots and eliminate them.


Note where it says ďits original gelcoat exteriorĒ.
__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 07:33 PM   #7
Guru
 
Ken E.'s Avatar
 
City: Bellingham WA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Hatt Trick
Vessel Model: 45' Hatteras Convertible
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,038
Mea Culpa. My surveyor friend has it wrong so it seems.
__________________
Ken on Hatt Trick
Ken E. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 07:36 PM   #8
Guru
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Country: US
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 6,307
No problem, you know you canít trust surveyors...
__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 07:46 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
mvweebles's Avatar
 
City: Saint Petersburg
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Weebles
Vessel Model: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 381
I had heard Hatt painted their new boats many years ago. Part of my bias towards paint vs gelcoat. Other thoughts?

BTW - I am a beer drinker. I'll take Dave's beer.
__________________
M/V Weebles
1970 Willard 36 Sedan Trawler
Current Location: Ensenada MX
mvweebles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 07:52 PM   #10
Guru
 
Ken E.'s Avatar
 
City: Bellingham WA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Hatt Trick
Vessel Model: 45' Hatteras Convertible
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,038
Ha....I'll buy you a beer anyway. I think my confusion was that the boats are actually first gel coated, faired and then are painted as the last step. I thought they were just faired, painted and shipped.
__________________
Ken on Hatt Trick
Ken E. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 07:55 PM   #11
Guru
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Country: US
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 6,307
No they need the gelcoat to smooth the hull and also to get it to release from the mold. But they must love paint because they spend a butt load of money painting a brand new boat, 20 workers for days and days...
__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 07:58 PM   #12
Guru
 
Benthic2's Avatar
 
City: Boston Area
Country: United States
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,508
Weebles, how much is the cost difference between paint and gelcoat ? If it last twice as long, but costs twice as much, its a wash.
Benthic2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 08:01 PM   #13
Guru
 
FoxtrotCharlie's Avatar
 
City: Mississippi
Country: USA
Vessel Name: ADAGIO
Vessel Model: CHB Present 42 Sundeck
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 645
yep, Hat paints their boats with AkexSeal.
FoxtrotCharlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 08:02 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Capitaine R's Avatar
 
City: St James City/Punta Gorda
Country: U.S.A.
Vessel Name: Charlie Noble
Vessel Model: 32 Nordic Tug
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 360
I can't vote on this myself, I can only tell you what a friend said to me while I was buffing out our gel coat. He owns a 39' Blackfin which he had painted several times in his 25+ years of ownership. He told me to take the time to take care of the gel goat now that it is shiny, because paint is a constant battle of sanding and repainting sections. He wishes he would of had the option to gel coat it years ago. I have no idea what paint he used. I can tell you that the gel coat on our 86 NT shined up beautifully and it has been neglected for many many years.
__________________
The best way to find out is get her out on the ocean, because if anything is going to happen it's going to happen out there.
"Captain Ron"
Capitaine R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 09:13 PM   #15
TF Site Team
 
Bacchus's Avatar
 
City: Seneca Lake NY
Country: US
Vessel Name: Bacchus
Vessel Model: MS 34 HT Trawler
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 3,098
I've had both and thought gelcoat best until present Mainship w optional painted hull. I now prefer painted.
Rationale...
Gelcoat changes color with aging and hard to match and I wouldn't consider patching / matching a DIY job
Painted (MS used Awlcraft) did DIY spot repair / repaint and color match after 10 yrs was exceptional even close up.
Helped a friend paint over a color gelcoat hull stripe.
We used Awlcraft same time I did my repair. He clear coated over it and I think that may be the ultimate.
__________________
Don
2008 MS 34 HT Trawler
"Bacchus"
Bacchus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 10:49 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
mvweebles's Avatar
 
City: Saint Petersburg
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Weebles
Vessel Model: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 381
Well, I traded notes with a marine expert who's opinion I trust. Seems Gelcoat is best when used in a mold with resin applied before it's fully cured to form a stout chemical bond. When Gelcoat is painted-on, the chemical bond is not as strong, and air drying makes it more porous. Compared to paint, it is easy to apply too thick, is brittle, and prone to cracking in flex-areas such as around hinges.

I will be painting the boat, not gelcoating.

Peter
__________________
M/V Weebles
1970 Willard 36 Sedan Trawler
Current Location: Ensenada MX
mvweebles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 11:27 PM   #17
Guru
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Country: US
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 6,307
I agree.
__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2019, 06:52 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
mvweebles's Avatar
 
City: Saint Petersburg
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Weebles
Vessel Model: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 381
The marine professional to whom I alluded was Steve D'Antonio. I cannot adequately express my gratitude to Steve and many others like him. I have been humbled by their generosity and openness, especially in these days where novice cruisers won't give the time of day without a Patreon donation. I've met so many wonderful people in my ongoing refit (okay, 'met' is really correspondence by phone or email).

Steve was kind enough to allow me to quote his email - see below. Note the link at the end of the cut/paste text below on AwlGrip vs AwlCraft paint.

Thanks to all - very helpful discussion for me.

"While I continue to encounter this, gelcoat vs. paint, question from time to time, it continues to surprise me. In short, other than for repairs, gelcoat is best suited for use in a mold, i.e. it is applied to the inside of a female mold first, then fiberglass fabric and resin are applied on top of it, before the gelcoat is fully cured, thereby creating a very tenacious, chemical bond between the two.

Applying gelcoat, in paint-like fashion, for deck, cabin or whole hull applications, after the fact, has two results. One, it does not achieve a chemical bond with the underlying substrate. Two, when gelcoat cures while exposed to air, it becomes porous. Furthermore, gelcoat tends to be somewhat brittle, much more brittle than paint, so if it is applied too heavily, especially over an area that might flex, adjacent to a hinge or cleat for instance, it tends to crack. Controlling gelcoat thickness can be challenging, especially when used in this manner. None of these features are desirable. Its one saving grace is the ability to repair application defects such as runs, dust or insect entrapment, all of which can be sanded or buffed out. Beyond that, thereís virtually no benefit to using gelcoat as opposed to two part polyurethane (PU) paint, and the latter is available in chemistries that also allow for repairs. I find that those who are willing to spray entire hulls in gelcoat do so because they understand the product, its strengths and weaknesses, and it can be sanded and buffed to near-perfection. Still, those reasons are not good enough in my opinion to choose it over poly-urethane, PU paint is the preferred approach by far.

Itís worth noting, typically, PU paint also does not achieve a chemical bond with its substrate, however, its ability to adhere tenaciously to properly profiled surfaces is considerable, and in my estimation it does so more effectively than gelcoat.

When it comes to two part paint, there are a number of choices, in both chemistry and manufacturer. This column covers some of the details, choices and trade-offs.
mvweebles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2019, 06:58 AM   #19
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: AICW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 20,358
Paint can be poorly applied also....so like many jobs...it can depend on the human factor more than chemistry.

There are different grades of gel coat from what I understand.

It is considered easier to paint so it is by far the more common recoating method....but it will be interesting to see in 10-15 years as more refinished boats finish out their second lives.

This is from the Bertram 31 site (a group with a long history of top notch boat refinishing)...

"The resulting finish and the nature of the gelcoat will far exceed a painted surface in terms of longevity and repair ability, but you'll see why painting is the less expensive alternative. Gelcoat is less expensive in terms of material costs, but that is outweighed in terms of labor costs... Over a 20 year period the gelcoat becomes more cost effective, especially when compared with Awlgrip on topside surfaces since there would be at least 1 if not more re-paint jobs needed. "


https://www.bertram31.com/proj/tips/re-gelcoating.htm
psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2019, 07:19 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
mvweebles's Avatar
 
City: Saint Petersburg
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Weebles
Vessel Model: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
"The resulting finish and the nature of the gelcoat will far exceed a painted surface in terms of longevity and repair ability, but you'll see why painting is the less expensive alternative. Gelcoat is less expensive in terms of material costs, but that is outweighed in terms of labor costs... Over a 20 year period the gelcoat becomes more cost effective, especially when compared with Awlgrip on topside surfaces since there would be at least 1 if not more re-paint jobs needed. "
There was another question in this thread about cost between gelcoat and paint. I didn't ask specifically as I was more interested in what was best, but my sense is the cost was the cost was the same. After 50-years, my boat has an amazing number of holes from old instruments, gauges, thimbles, screws, snaps, cleats, antennae, etc. The amount of prep and faring is staggering. Even if the final choice of paint vs gelcoat carried a 50% premium one way or the other, overall effect on the project would be minimal.

As an aside, I've researched a bunch of similar threads on both TF and CF. There are many, many people who are very happy with their paint jobs after 10+ years, invariably stating "still looks like new." I can flatly state that 20-year gelcoat looks dim and chalky after 20-years in the Florida sun, especially if it isn't waxed annually, a non-trivial expense and effort. I suspect that's why Hatt paints their hulls from the factory.
__________________

__________________
M/V Weebles
1970 Willard 36 Sedan Trawler
Current Location: Ensenada MX
mvweebles is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012
×