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Gelcoat Repair

 What is Gelcoat?

A scrape knocked off a
piece of gelcoat exposing
the underlying fiberglass.

Gelcoat is the outermost layer over the fiberglass. When a boat is built, a layer of polyester resin is applied to the inside of the mold before any fiberglass is laid down. This layer of resin becomes the outer surface of the boat, and is called gelcoat.

So contrary to its name, gelcoat is not a decorative coating applied over the fiberglass. It doesn't even look good on its own. Gelcoat's smooth, shiny surface is not inherent in the resin itself -- it comes from the the smoothness of the mold in which the resin was first applied.

 What does gelcoat do?

A gouge through the gelcoat
into the fiberglass.

Gelcoat not only looks good, it protects the boat's structural layers from deterioration from the sun's UV. Gelcoat also slows water penetration that can delaminate the underlying fiberglass sandwich.

 What if your gelcoat is damaged?

A chipped edge on a catamaran hull.

Because the gelcoat protects your boat, you should not neglect it. If the gelcoat is chipped, we can repair it. We fill in the chip with a new layer of polyester resin. After it cures, we sand the resin flush and polish it to a gloss.

If you want your boat to look better than new, we can paint it, which will make it really look great.

Paints are as tough or tougher than the original gelcoat, adhere tenaciously, and are smoother, glossier, and more colorful than gelcoat. Please see the painting section for more information.