Boat Repair: Gelcoat vs. Painting

Are you wondering whether to go with gel coat or painting for boat repair? It can be hard to find accurate information about the pros and cons of both options. There are several factors that go into deciding what you’ll be using for repairs. Everything begins by looking at your budget.

A paint job will cost much more than a gel coat job. If money is an important factor, you should lean towards going with a gel coat job. The reason why a paint job costs more is because it requires more prep work before you actually start the job. You have to sand, polish, fill cracks, and make sure the surface is perfect before painting.

Gelcoat vs Paint

Gelcoat vs Paint

When it comes to using gel coat, the sanding and polishing is done after the coating. The surface does not have to be perfect and you can still make repairs after the coating. Filling the small gaps on the surface is easy and you can just smooth over minor damage with the gel coat.

The next thing you want to think about is durability. A gel coat job will last a lot longer than a paint job. The gel coat is much thicker and more resistant to scratches and nicks than a painted surface. If you just want the job done and don’t want to worry about the surface too much, going with a gel coat will be the right choice..

Paint on the other hand has less durability. A boat repaired with paint separates more easily and faster than a boat repaired with gel coat. You also have to be a lot more careful with a paint job as you can easily scratch or damage the surface. While a resin can be applied after the paint job for extra protection, it still is more vulnerable than gel coating.

The next thing you have to consider is performance and the look of your boat. Paint is far lighter than gel coat so if you are planning to use your boat for something like racing, you will not want to go with gel coat. Gel coat absorbs more water and is a lot thicker than paint, which affects the speed of your boat.

As far as the look of your boat goes, paint is preferred for show boats and for an overall better look. A high quality paint job results in a more vibrant and beautiful look. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be flexible. Some people prefer to gel coat the bottom for durability while going with paint on the upper part of the boat.

In some cases, a paint job will be the only option. If a boat is several years old and has gone through a multiple repairs, or is simply too worn, gel coat will not be enough. Polyurethane is better for holding the boat together for the remainder life of older boats.

So these are the things you need to consider when trying to decide whether to go with gel coat or with a paint job for boat repairs. Make sure you assess everything carefully and get an expert opinion before you go ahead and invest your hard earned money.

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