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Author Topic:   Awlgrip or gelcoat?
Stokes889 posted 04-08-2011 08:22 PM ET (US)   Profile for Stokes889   Send Email to Stokes889  
Many of you have seen the project i have going on, the 19' 1973 whaler outrage.
I originally planned to gelcoat but now am considering awlgrip.
Can any of you explain the benefits of either to me in terms of prep, cost, workability, and outcome?
Binkster posted 04-08-2011 09:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
A lot of things can go wrong with an expensive paint job like AwlGrip if you are not experienced, whereas with gelcoat it is easier to right the wrongs that can happen. Gelcoat is more labor intensive.
modenacart posted 04-08-2011 10:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for modenacart  Send Email to modenacart     
Gelcoat is work, work, work and more work. If you don't do your prep work correctly, both will look like crap no matter what you do after.
contender posted 04-09-2011 12:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
I really think it depends on the boat and the know how of the worker/installer. I heard one time that fiberglass is good for about 25 years of normal everyday use, after that the glass should be re-gel-coated. Last year I redid my 1975 whaler I choose to go the awl grip route, however, the hull was 80% of its life kept in a garage and the sun did not damage the gel-coat that bad. I had two spots on the gel-coat that seam to be bad (rear of the boat both sides same area) It has been a little over a year (boat is kept in a garage) and if you position your self at the right angle you can see the bad spots (could of been my fault not repair correctly) in the paint were the gel-coat was bad. Looking straight at the area you can not see it. However the rest of the boat looks perfect. I'm currently redoing a 1978 11 whaler, again I'm choosing to go with the awl grip, this time I guess I will do a little more sanding and prep work. I also have never done gel coat so I'm a little scared to try it, but I have heard as stated above its a lot more work...PS If you like give me your email (identify yourself with CW) and I can send you some pictures of my whaler before and after the paint job and the look of the hull. May be this would help you make your judgement on your whaler...
Stokes889 posted 04-09-2011 08:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Stokes889  Send Email to Stokes889     
thanks guys, my email is, send me those pics for sure. Also i have posted pictures of my boat on photobucket, take a look, tell me what you think. I've made lots of progress since the last pictures, I'm overdue to update the posts.
dfmcintyre posted 04-10-2011 11:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Contender -

From what I've seen in some restorations, the amount of overall workload may be the same between paint and gel, just at different time frames.

Paint, because it's so thin, compared to gel requires much more initial prep time; hours of filling, sanding, spray of a high built primer (sometimes twice), more sanding. Paint, a quick wet sand and buff.

With gel, you could probably get by with a bit less prep, but the devil is in the details, and that detail is having to sand all the way up in grit to remove the orange peel that will always occur (no way around it, can minimize it) when spraying gel. And excellent article can be found at

I think that an 11' would be a great small sized project to try your hand at going the gel route.

Regards - Don

modenacart posted 04-10-2011 08:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for modenacart  Send Email to modenacart     
Gelcoat requires almost, if not the same, prep work. Don't fool yourself.
Powergroove803 posted 04-11-2011 09:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for Powergroove803  Send Email to Powergroove803     
Sand, fill, fair, fill, fair, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, oh did I mention sand?

Then after you paint or gelcoat, you will wish you had sanded some more.....

6 months of glasswork, sanding and fairing for me on a 13 footer, then I painted with Interlux Perfection paint after 2 coats of Epoxy-cote primer.
Its still a 48 year old boat with a 20 foot finish(looks better at 20 feet!)

Good luck and buy a good sander and get your sanding pads in the 100 count pack.

Binkster posted 04-11-2011 02:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
After you have done what the last two posters have mentioned, prime your boat. now wet the primer down with a hose, so it shines, then mark all the low spots you see with a pencil and then fair and sand all over agian. This is if you are using paint for a top coat. Its not easy or quick, some may think its fun, but the results are worth it.
Tele65 posted 04-13-2011 11:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tele65  Send Email to Tele65     
I'm going to finish the long prep work on my 13, after looooong sanding/fairing sessions I've sprayed a couple of layer of an epoxy white finish. the result is quite good eveni if the epoxy itself is a bit dull.
May spray a finish of Interlux perfection to achieve a mirror-like finish? I've herad that Perfection is intended for emerged parts only and it will be damaged in case of prolonged immersions...

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