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Author Topic:   Rubbing Through Gel Coat
n1ywb posted 07-13-2015 11:43 AM ET (US)   Profile for n1ywb   Send Email to n1ywb  
I was trying to buff out a particular scratch with rubbing compound when I started to notice little dark spots like pin pricks showing up in the gelcoat around the scratch. At first I was like "boy this gelcoat is full of crud maybe I should just wet sand this". Then I realized maybe I was starting to go through the gelcoat so I just stopped. You can't see it from far away but up close it looks like a faintly darker patch.

Think I am through the gelcoat?

Is only only option to spray new gelcoat over it?


Jeff posted 07-13-2015 05:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
You have removed enough gelcoat surface that you have exposed an area of subsurface micro bubbles that formed during the gelcoat curing. These are VERY common to have. Once dirt or wax gets in there, it will turn black and you can not get it out.

What do you do now? You live with it.

Any more will only make it worse. You can respray it, but that is only a bandaid because that will never match either.

Jeff posted 07-13-2015 05:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
More on this topic
n1ywb posted 07-14-2015 09:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for n1ywb  Send Email to n1ywb     
Dang... Thanks, Jeff. I wonder if you could spray just enough to fill the holes and sand it down flush... Or use some sort of solvent to soften the gelcoat and fill in the holes...

Or maybe I'll just recoat the whole boat.

Or maybe I'll just ignore it.

boatdryver posted 07-14-2015 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
or maybe buy a new Whaler.

Wait! that would cost over $30,000!!

Yep, just live with it. Accept that you yourself don't look like you did 40 years ago but you're still going strong.


Jeff posted 07-14-2015 03:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
This boat had 5 decent sized areas of that kind of micro dotting. As you can see, those belishes ruined the boat. 1976%20Newport%2052812?sort=2&page=1


Spraying will mean more wet sanding, and you will likely then expose new areas. Like I said, live with it, or you will be respraying the entire boat for no good reason before you know it.

n1ywb posted 07-14-2015 06:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for n1ywb  Send Email to n1ywb     
I could buff the whole thing down to the dots :P

My plan is ignore it with great prejudice for the rest of this season.

n1ywb posted 07-15-2015 12:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for n1ywb  Send Email to n1ywb     
Here's a picture of it taken with digital macro zoom. You can easily see that it is, in fact, tiny bubbles full of crud.

I wonder if you could clean them out with acetone then apply a clear coat or fancy wax or some other sort of coating that would fill and seal them.

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