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FordsnFishin

Chipping clear coat/ gel coat

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1996 495 charger bass boat

 

So what I definitely believe is the original paint, in the past year it appears my top clear coat is all starting to chip off. From my understanding if it were gel coat they used it would not do this? There is no flake in it,  that is in the under coating.

 

My question being,  I'd love to recoat the top portion of my boat to get rid of the ugly flaking and oxidization. So I was wondering if anyone else had been through this process,  what you did,  what product you used? 

 

As of right now my plan would be to use a razor blade and remove all of the loose material. Than wet sand it all down 400, 600, 1000 grit and shoot a clear coat over it and hopefully bring it back to new. The few products I've looked at says I can even brush it on. But I think spraying it would probably be a better route. 

 

Any guidance is appreciated! 

 

 

 

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https://www.amazon.com/Toon-Brite-Protective-Clear-Boats-P1000-1/dp/B01MSVS682/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?hasWorkingJavascript=1&keywords=boat+clear+coat&qid=1564329366&s=gateway&sr=8-3

 

One of the products im looking at using. 

https://www.amazon.com/Schulman-Exterior-Fiberglass-Professional-Specialists/dp/B00OHQSJZ6/ref=mp_s_a_1_17?hasWorkingJavascript=1&keywords=boat+clear+coat&qid=1564329366&s=gateway&sr=8-17

20190728_110315-1209x1612.jpg

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Looks like it has been clear coated sometime between being built and now.  The OEM gel coat normally does not do that.  It just burns away and turns cloudy until it's down to the color coat

Whether it was clear gel or clear epoxy, doesn't matter, both can do what you are seeing now.

As for repair it by shooting another clear coat, that's probably not a viable repair, it looks like it's already down to the metal flake. 

When you sand metal flake, it turns into a lot of silver specks.  It's basically aluminum foil with a color coat on it so when you sand it, all you see it the silver when the color is sanded off.  So, what you end up with is the base color with a whole bunch of silver specks in it.

You may be able to order a matching color coat gel and clear gel and reshoot the whole thing, but normally, that's not something your average boat owner is capable of.  For the gel coat to cure, it has to be cut off from any air getting to it, which is no problem when the shoot it in the mold.    To apply it outside of the mold, you have to order the clear coat with the wax in it.  The wax floats to the surface and seals it from the air.  No matter how you apply it, to get that glassy shine, you still have a ton of elbow grease to put in sanding and buffing it.  It simply does not apply smooth enough without sanding.

The easier application is AWLGRIP epoxies, but they are not easy on the pocket.  They are about the only ones that stand a chance at staying on, but even with those, if you get a chip, it can want to keep growing.

The next alternative is automotive type paints, and they are guaranteed to start chipping and flacking.  Gel coat is hard to get anything to bond to it.

If you are going to keep it, gel coat it or AWLGRIP it and hope it holds.  If you are going to sell it, paint it, because you know it's going to chip off but will look good for the next owner.

Next option, use it as it is and put all that money and work you will have in it into fishing and enjoy what you have.

This is the source I use for most of my products http://www.uscomposites.com/polyesters.html

I forgot to mention you can also spray a sealer like PVA to get it to seal if you don't use the wax.

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20 hours ago, Way2slow said:

Looks like it has been clear coated sometime between being built and now.  The OEM gel coat normally does not do that.  It just burns away and turns cloudy until it's down to the color coat

Whether it was clear gel or clear epoxy, doesn't matter, both can do what you are seeing now.

As for repair it by shooting another clear coat, that's probably not a viable repair, it looks like it's already down to the metal flake. 

When you sand metal flake, it turns into a lot of silver specks.  It's basically aluminum foil with a color coat on it so when you sand it, all you see it the silver when the color is sanded off.  So, what you end up with is the base color with a whole bunch of silver specks in it.

You may be able to order a matching color coat gel and clear gel and reshoot the whole thing, but normally, that's not something your average boat owner is capable of.  For the gel coat to cure, it has to be cut off from any air getting to it, which is no problem when the shoot it in the mold.    To apply it outside of the mold, you have to order the clear coat with the wax in it.  The wax floats to the surface and seals it from the air.  No matter how you apply it, to get that glassy shine, you still have a ton of elbow grease to put in sanding and buffing it.  It simply does not apply smooth enough without sanding.

The easier application is AWLGRIP epoxies, but they are not easy on the pocket.  They are about the only ones that stand a chance at staying on, but even with those, if you get a chip, it can want to keep growing.

The next alternative is automotive type paints, and they are guaranteed to start chipping and flacking.  Gel coat is hard to get anything to bond to it.

If you are going to keep it, gel coat it or AWLGRIP it and hope it holds.  If you are going to sell it, paint it, because you know it's going to chip off but will look good for the next owner.

Next option, use it as it is and put all that money and work you will have in it into fishing and enjoy what you have.

This is the source I use for most of my products http://www.uscomposites.com/polyesters.html

I forgot to mention you can also spray a sealer like PVA to get it to seal if you don't use the wax.

First off, I appreciate your response. It was very helpful. 

 

I've been doing more research. I've been in contact Charger, and was told that these boats recieved the thin clear coat while in the mold and did not get gel coated. 

 

They actually recommended a product called, PPG amercoat 750H. It's an industrial clear coat. However it appears difficult to get ahold of it. Going to do a bit more looking tonight. 

 

Plan on doing a test sand on a not so visible area and see how it reacts. With it just having a clear coat in thinking maybe I could just lay a gel coat over it. 

 

That website you provided seems to have really reasonable pricing.  $59 for a gallon of clear gel coat. Have you used it before? Easy to use? Do several boats? Spray or brush? 

 

Still pondering on what direction to take.  That amercoat mentioned sounds like it's supposed to be extremely strong stuff.

 

Boat carpet just came in so im getting started on that. If anyone has anymore input it's appreciated! 

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Don't put carpet in yet if you plan on recoating it.  If you did like most and bought a heavier weight carpet to make it look better, you will have to shave the inside edges of all the compartment lids to be able to get them open.  A set of cheap hair clippers will usually last long enough to do that job.

Also, be careful how you lay the pieces out and cut them.  Everything has to be cut on the same bias or it will make it looked two toned.  Put a panel with the bias running one way next to a panel with a different bias, and you are not going to be happy.

I've done several boats with US Composite's stuff.  The first one I put on way too heavy and it started flaking and peeling within about three or four years.  After the initial learning experience, the others seem to do fine.  However, you couldn't pay me enough to do one now.  Just not into that much work anymore.

It pretty much doesn't matter how you apply gel coat, brush, roller, or spray, you are going to wear your arms to a nub sanding and buffing it because it's not going to smooth itself out after applying.  The stuff is hard, making it hard to sand and don't think for a minute you are going to get it on smooth like an automotive clear coat.

Do a little homework on surface prep for gel.  It's been about 10 years since I've done one, but if I remember right, 220 grit was about as fine as you go, and it may not me that fine.

As far as clear coats, AwlGrip is a very good one.

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1 hour ago, Way2slow said:

Don't put carpet in yet if you plan on recoating it.  If you did like most and bought a heavier weight carpet to make it look better, you will have to shave the inside edges of all the compartment lids to be able to get them open.  A set of cheap hair clippers will usually last long enough to do that job.

Also, be careful how you lay the pieces out and cut them.  Everything has to be cut on the same bias or it will make it looked two toned.  Put a panel with the bias running one way next to a panel with a different bias, and you are not going to be happy.

I've done several boats with US Composite's stuff.  The first one I put on way too heavy and it started flaking and peeling within about three or four years.  After the initial learning experience, the others seem to do fine.  However, you couldn't pay me enough to do one now.  Just not into that much work anymore.

It pretty much doesn't matter how you apply gel coat, brush, roller, or spray, you are going to wear your arms to a nub sanding and buffing it because it's not going to smooth itself out after applying.  The stuff is hard, making it hard to sand and don't think for a minute you are going to get it on smooth like an automotive clear coat.

Do a little homework on surface prep for gel.  It's been about 10 years since I've done one, but if I remember right, 220 grit was about as fine as you go, and it may not me that fine.

As far as clear coats, AwlGrip is a very good one.

Im super glad you reminded me of the carpet direction.  I probably would have forgot that.  As for the carpet,  I had bought 16 face weight as it was  what was originally installed.  I didn't want to run into exactly what you mentioned. 

 

Right now I have everything removed,  just got all the panels carpet removed and cleaned down to bare surface.  Im getting all the door hatches carpeted so they are dry and strong by the time I get done with the clear coat. Shoot getting the hatches carpeted will be about 70 percent of the boat lol

 

Relocated batteries to the front to help distribute weight.  Couple size 31 batteries coming from the back all the way to front ought to make a difference. 

 

Of course I had a 3 hour rain storm come through today. Gave me a good chance to take a scrub brush and suds to give everything a good cleaning lol. 

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If you haven't bought glue yet,  DAP Weldwood contact cement makes like a whole lot easier than carpet cement.  No clamps needed, just apply to both surfaces with paint roller or brush, let it cure the required time and stick them together.  If working a large piece or pieces that might require some positioning, lay wax paper between the surfaces, just be sure not to put any pressure on it.  Once you get it in position, then start pulling the wax paper out and pressing the carpet down.  If doing inside the rod lockers, you will appreciate the wax paper.

Don't cut your corner too close around the lids or you will end up with bare corners showing.

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18 hours ago, FordsnFishin said:

Relocated batteries to the front to help distribute weight.  Couple size 31 batteries coming from the back all the way to front ought to make a difference

Make sure you leave it so they can go back to where they were.  Top end performance is probably going to totally suck with that much weight forward.  It's probably going to ride too bow heavy and be very hard to get the bow lift you need to good top end performance.

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2 hours ago, Way2slow said:

Make sure you leave it so they can go back to where they were.  Top end performance is probably going to totally suck with that much weight forward.  It's probably going to ride too bow heavy and be very hard to get the bow lift you need to good top end performance.

It's got one hell of a hole shot right now. But I've always felt it's been too ass heavy. Coming off pad I constantly have a wave crash into the boat. 

 

It'll be an experiment,  but like you say,  first case wouldn't be hard to move them back.

I've been told the boat should see low 70s from multiple people. But WOT on a smooth lake best I've seen is 66.

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So upon some research awlgrip appears to be a no go. I've found several cases of it having a bad reaction with these older boats that have the flake mixed in the paint instead of the coating.  Appears the the flake expands and contracts and causes the awlgrip to crack up in a matter of 1-2 years. 

 

So I think im going to just do a basic clear gel coat over the old paint.  Im planning on doing essentially just the top rail of the boat and roughly 6 inches down each side.  Would you guess that a gallon of gel coat would be sufficient for that? 

 

How many coats? Should need the gel coat, styrene thinner, and the sanding wax?

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Get a gel coat with an ultra violet inhibitor.  It's usually known as marine clear.  

 

Your everyday clear gel coat does not have uv protection.

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I'm the foreman at an industrial paint shop and am pretty familiar with the PPG industrial paints and Amercoat line. We spray a lot of 450H although it's a two-part urethane, I would only assume the 750H is it's clear coat equivalent. It's a nice high gloss protective urethane. Typically these industrial products are meant for professional use only and are not for sale to the general public. The only suggestion I have would be to possibly get ahold of a local sandblaster/painter and see if they could be a middle man for you in buying a kit of 750H if you did end up wanting to go that route. Personally, I probably wouldn't do this at our shop, but I'm willing to bet other places would. Just expect them to mark it up, and I would imagine a kit of it would be over $200 list price. 

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22 minutes ago, Krux5506 said:

I'm the foreman at an industrial paint shop and am pretty familiar with the PPG industrial paints and Amercoat line. We spray a lot of 450H although it's a two-part urethane, I would only assume the 750H is it's clear coat equivalent. It's a nice high gloss protective urethane. Typically these industrial products are meant for professional use only and are not for sale to the general public. The only suggestion I have would be to possibly get ahold of a local sandblaster/painter and see if they could be a middle man for you in buying a kit of 750H if you did end up wanting to go that route. Personally, I probably wouldn't do this at our shop, but I'm willing to bet other places would. Just expect them to mark it up, and I would imagine a kit of it would be over $200 list price. 

Appreciate the input. I've been a bit put off from the product now as it seems to be difficult to get. 

 

I even contacted 2 ppg paint stores nearby. One wanted nothing to do with me.  The other was completely clueless of the products.  On the phone for 20 minutes he finally found the product but couldn't give me any info about it. He could order it for me 75$ for a gallon but being unsure of the product I decided to back off.  That an it would be 3 weeks out than I would have to make an 1 1/2 hour drive one way to get it. 

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Decided on going with uv gel coat. Going to put a order through us composites tomorrow. 

 

Starter tinkering with the boat surface tonight. In literally a half hour I was able to remove nearly half of the boats top surface old clear coat. Simple razor blade did the trick just fine.

 

The 6 inches above the bump rail appears to be adhered much better than the top that sees the sun. Upon reading,  many people shoot clear coat on top of gel coats, so I don't see why I can't do the opposite. So im planning on scraping the rest of the loose stuff off and just regular surface prep over the existing better adhered clear coat. Sand,  clean, than gel coat over it all. 

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Keep in mind most gel coats used in boating are meant to have the laminate applied when the gel coat gets tacky.  They are formulated to cure slowly when exposed to air.  When applied as you are going to do there is a "wax" that is mixed with the gel.  

 

When applied, the wax rises to the surface preventing it from being exposed to the air.  Without the wax it could take days for the gel coat to get past the tacky stage.

 

During construction you want the gel coat to remain tacky.  The components then have a chemical bond, not just an adhesive bond.  

 

The downside to the wax is that should you want to put on additional coats, you'll need to remove that layer of wax.

 

Should you decide you want to apply a couple of coats, forego the wax in the first coat.

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Do your homework on applying gel coat as a top coat outside a mold.  Done right, it does pretty good, done wrong, and a couple of years down the road, you are probably not going to be happy.

As mentioned, if you use the wax, don't use it until the very last coat.  I've never used the wax, I sprayed PVA on the last coat to seal it.  They also make a surface sealing agent that can be sprayed, but never tried it.  I didn't use the wax because read too many complaints about the gel not curing when using it.  Don't hesitate with the PVA, have it ready to go so as soon as you get the gel on, cover it with the PVA.  Wait and it will start reacting with the air and won't cure.

I also always sprayed mine on, but you still get some serious orange peel.

Getting the application right will be hard this being your first time.  Too much makes a thick coat that want's to crack and peel after a three or four years, been there, done that.   Too thin of a coat and it will sand through or burn through easily. 

There is a method you can use to gauge how much you are applying and guidelines on how thick you should apply  it, but been so long, I don't remember how.

Fishing Rhino is a bit of a fiberglass guru so maybe he can help you out more that me.  Like I said, it's been 10 years since I did my last one. 

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21 hours ago, FordsnFishin said:

Appreciate the input. I've been a bit put off from the product now as it seems to be difficult to get. 

 

I even contacted 2 ppg paint stores nearby. One wanted nothing to do with me.  The other was completely clueless of the products.  On the phone for 20 minutes he finally found the product but couldn't give me any info about it. He could order it for me 75$ for a gallon but being unsure of the product I decided to back off.  That an it would be 3 weeks out than I would have to make an 1 1/2 hour drive one way to get it. 

Somehow I don't doubt that certain stores would have absolutely no idea of industrial or automotive products. If it's more of a residential store selling house paints and stains then a lot of times they really only know about that product line. In their defense though, it's hard to keep up with how many products the major manufacturers like PPG really have...it's practically endless. 

 

Wish I could offer tips on gelcoat but I really can't. My experience with fiberglass is only in stripping it. Good luck with the fix!

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Okay, perhaps every single thing im doing is wrong.  But I've decided to go for it and worst case everything will look like hell and it will will be a learning experience for me. 

 

I've started preparing the surface for a clear coat. I ended up purchasing a automotive 2 part clear coat.  I know I know, you can lead a horse to water but you can't force him to drink it. But from tons of reading it's actually a very common practice for a lot of guys doing fancy paint jobs anymore. An they are getting great results and many are seeing 5 to 10 years with it still in great shape. So time will tell.

 

Im using f1 ultimate 2 part f710 clear coat.  The guy I bought it from has used it several times with great results. He mentioned it's even thick enough that that he suggested I roll it on and tip with a brush where needed. So that is my plan. I've purchased several of the dense foam rollers that I will use to apply. Plan on 2 coats, says flash coat in approximately 10 minutes and apply your 2nd coat. So im assuming I'll get roughly one side covered and go back to the front and start the 2nd. Dry 24 hours,  1000 grit sand any runs or orange peel and buff to shine. 

 

As of right now im doing a lot of sanding. Im essentially done with one side. The more I dug into I found how much that originally clear coat has yellowed. I started out using 400 grit with not much results besides a sore arm. Went to 220 grit with better results but still tons of work and fighting the yellowed clear coat next to the rub rail. 

 

So I actually,  with many advising against,  I brought out my electric palm sander and im using 150 grit to remove the yellowing coat. It is actually appearing to work very well,  and while being careful hardly removing any of the green paint and exposing the silver flake. From my understanding,  with the surface roughed up and wiping it with a wet cloth that is essentially what it will look like clear coated.  If that's the case im very happy with my results. After the base sand im going to go over everything with 220 wet sand and clean everything up with acetone. 220 should be plenty for a clear coat to grip correctly? 

 

Im shooting from the hip here as I've never done this before,  but I feel like I'm moving in the right direction.  Any comment or suggestion is appreciated. 

 

 

Couple photos before clear coat.  Apologize if it's hard to see any difference. Not sure how it will show in photos. 

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Here's a couple after sanding. 

Couple after sanding

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Automotive clear coat doesn't stick to gel coat.  Somone tried this on my Bullet,  before I owned her, and I had to have clear gel coat applied at a marine fiberglass repair shop.

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25 minutes ago, J Francho said:

Automotive clear coat doesn't stick to gel coat.  Somone tried this on my Bullet,  before I owned her, and I had to have clear gel coat applied at a marine fiberglass repair shop.

Sorry, I know this is a long post and I'm sure you haven't read everything.  

 

Charger, the maker of my boat did not actually put gel coats on these boats.  They used a thin clear coat inside the molds.

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Several years ago a car changed lanes into the backend of my bass boat damaging it severely. The insurance company would pay for repairs but my concern was how could the colors and metal flake gel coat be match?

To make a long story shorter a freind suggested a company who made fiberglass caraval rides of all things that also did fiberglass repairs on boat, cars, etc. The repair shop striped off all the hardware, engine, trolling motor eveything. Repaired the damage and refinished the entire hull cap, sides and bottom, polished it and it looked better then new. The repair shop had everything needed and the skill to do the job right. Total cast was under $600. I sold the boat a few years later and it still looked new, no spider cracks, discoloration it was perfect.

Unless you have the equipment and know how it's not worth the effort IMO to refinish a glass bass boat, let the professionals do it right.

Tom

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33 minutes ago, WRB said:

Several years ago a car changed lanes into the backend of my bass boat damaging it severely. The insurance company would pay for repairs but my concern was how could the colors and metal flake gel coat be match?

To make a long story shorter a freind suggested a company who made fiberglass caraval rides of all things that also did fiberglass repairs on boat, cars, etc. The repair shop striped off all the hardware, engine, trolling motor eveything. Repaired the damage and refinished the entire hull cap, sides and bottom, polished it and it looked better then new. The repair shop had everything needed and the skill to do the job right. Total cast was under $600. I sold the boat a few years later and it still looked new, no spider cracks, discoloration it was perfect.

Unless you have the equipment and know how it's not worth the effort IMO to refinish a glass bass boat, let the professionals do it right.

Tom

"Only those who dare to fail greatly,  can achieve greatly" Robert Kennedy. 

 

I'm built for hard work.  If I were to never try something, how would I get better at it? When my mind is set on something,  I do it. Sometimes these things work out,  sometimes they don't. But the knowledge I learned from it is far more valuable than the end result. 

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It's your time and energy. You have a good resource with members trying to help.

I am sure the fished result will turn out good.

Tom

 

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15 hours ago, FordsnFishin said:

Sorry, I know this is a long post and I'm sure you haven't read everything.  

 

Charger, the maker of my boat did not actually put gel coats on these boats.  They used a thin clear coat inside the molds.

Interesting.  All the glass boats I've ever heard of used a clear gel coat then color gel in the molds.  The only one I've heard of doing it differently is Vexus, and that's a new process altogether.  And no, I didn't read the entire thread.  I just know what I went through.  Lucky for me, Bullet was able to supply me with the exact flake mix for any repairs, and Great Lakes Marine did a great job with the repairs.  I think all said and done, it was around $1200.

 

IMG_2058-X2.jpg

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25 minutes ago, J Francho said:

Interesting.  All the glass boats I've ever heard of used a clear gel coat then color gel in the molds.  The only one I've heard of doing it differently is Vexus, and that's a new process altogether.  And no, I didn't read the entire thread.  I just know what I went through.  Lucky for me, Bullet was able to supply me with the exact flake mix for any repairs, and Great Lakes Marine did a great job with the repairs.  I think all said and done, it was around $1200.

 

IMG_2058-X2.jpg

$1200 sounds like a steal. Those are some fast hulls!

 

Yeah, I thought it as strange as well that charger did that. But I called charger directly and talked to them. Apparently they did this until 2002. But, the boats a 96. So 23 years out of a clear coat sounds pretty amazing to me. 

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1 minute ago, FordsnFishin said:

$1200 sounds like a steal. Those are some fast hulls!

That was for the repair.  My Bullet was a '95.

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