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Author Topic:   Refrences for Tap Plastics
LarrySherman posted 08-21-2001 12:57 AM ET (US)   Profile for LarrySherman   Send Email to LarrySherman  
Have any of you ever used products from this company? They seem like a good source for parts and materials. I think I'm going to learn how to spray gelcoat.

Thanks, Larry

Yes, I looked back 2 years, no mention.

triblet posted 08-21-2001 11:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I've used there stuff a number of times
and mentioned them here. They will do
fabrication ($$$), and stock a good variety
of materials. They have a Starboard
equivalent called Seaboard. They have lots
of resins and stuff, though I use the West
System for that. And they are everywhere.

And they FINALLY have a website. You'd
think being owned by Tandy (Radio Shack)
they would have had one long ago.


bigz posted 08-21-2001 12:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz and

Larry and Chuck might want to add the above to your references, if you haven't already.

LarrySherman posted 08-21-2001 02:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
Thanks tom and Chuck.

Great Information. I'll post this thread into the "Refrence Material" thread I started a few months ago.

Have either of you used the duratec stuff? My understanding is that it makes gelcoat much easier to spray and minimizes orange-peel and thus post cure sanding. This apparently comes at the expense of $$$, and reduced covering ability.

For large spray jobs, it seems like this would be the way to go.

bigz posted 08-21-2001 02:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
These sources were posted last year just brought them up again if anyone was interested.

I used the duratec gel additive about 2 years ago on a Mad River canoe before I got religion on spraying gel or two part poly's.
The only stuff I'll spray these days is water based poly using a HVLP spray gun.

Yes, it does work if you follow directions.

LarrySherman posted 08-21-2001 03:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

Is it too dangerous? I have a pretty decent resperator, but if its really that dangerous, I'd rather not do it.

Thanks, Larry

bigz posted 08-21-2001 04:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Larry nothing is to dangerous if you're set up properly to use it and follow directions.

I don't have a place which I feel is adequate for spraying this kind of material. Aside from potential hazards, you need almost a dust free area unless you want to waste a lot of time.

When I was younger didn't matter much, as one grays one gets either a little more cautious or maybe a tad paranoid.

Don't let me stop you from giving it a try, only way you'll learn if you really want to.

LarrySherman posted 08-21-2001 04:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

I plan to do small sections at a time, using a preval sprayer. I know that it will look very patchy, but it will certianly be better than what it looks like now, and should be a much better base for awlgrip, it I decide to go that way. The bow section of my boat looks awful currently. I'm trying to determine the best way to fix it.

Tom W Clark posted 08-21-2001 04:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Larry Sherman,

If you are talking about gelcoating small areas, then I do not recommend spraying with a prevail or any other sprayer. It will be much easier to simply brush on gelcoat from a can and wet sand it down after it is hard.

Gelcoat does not level like a good alkyd paint, it is true. But you are going to have to sand and polish it out anyway. The biggest benefit to spraying is when you are doing the whole hull and, like painting a house, you can cover a lot of ground quickly.

I built a rudder blade for one of my sail boats out of plywood and then fiberglassed over it. Brushed on the gel coat, wet sanded it down with my random orbital sander, applied another coat to fill the low spots and wet sanded it again. Finer and finer grits and then rubbing compound produced a finish as good as, or better than, the original rudder. This is definitely how I would go about a small repair area on a Whaler. It goes much faster than you might imagine.

kingfish posted 08-21-2001 05:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I'm with BigZ, I don't want to discourage you from trying something yourself as experience has always been the best teacher for me.

Having said that, don't invest too heavily in the prospect of being satisfied with gelcoat applied with a Preval sprayer. I have tried it every which way but hanging from a trapeze by my tail, and I find that the orifice in the Preval sprayer is just too small. When you finally thin the gelcoat enough to pass through the orifice, you can't keep enough stock of full cans of propellent or move fast enough in general to get any sufficient buildup on the work surface. Most of it just floats away and makes the garage floor sticky.

The Preval sprayer does work pretty well for spraying the PVA afterwards, though.


LarrySherman posted 08-21-2001 05:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

This does not sound promising. My thought was to sand the bad areas, clean with acetone, then dry and fill the cracks with epoxy mixed with fairing compound. I thought I might get a dentists tool set to clean out the cracks, but I'm not sure thats necessary.

Then sand again with 80, more acetone, and spray the gelcoat mixed with duratec. then spray the PVA.

If the preval won't cut it, I could get a small spray gun, and rent a compressor for a week. But the whole point would be to avoid the post cure sanding.

I saw in my search that Hatteras tried some experiments with using a roller to apply gelcoat, and the results were good, but they did not publish any technical articles.

As usuall, this is always more complicated than it first appears. I'm glad I have your experience to benefit from.

thanks, Larry

kingfish posted 08-21-2001 08:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
We're gonna get hoist by our own petard here for veering off topic if we're not careful, but I guess most of this has been dealt with in earlier posts, so maybe we'll be forgiven...

Anyway, your plans for the repair sound good, but I've not had experience with Duratec. I have gel-coated the entire storage "tub" under the seat area of my Birdsall leaning post though, so it would match the desert tan in the rest of my Outrage.

I started with a small area brushed and didn't like the sanding that was necessary to clear the brush marks etc. Wound up with a throw-away system that is similar to Preval but with bigger propellant cans and bigger orifice. It worked pretty well, in fact I think it wound up looking pretty good! The thing is that this system was left over at a local body shop and they gave it to me just to get it off their shelves. And it's all gone.

Tom Clark is right, there is sanding no matter what you do. At the time I did the tub, I did *all* the sanding by hand, and the notion of sanding the finer orange peel left from spraying appealed to me more than sanding the brush marks, but adequate build-up was still an issue, especially on outside curves.

I now have an orbital sander and having had the experience that I did with spraying the tub, even though it was a success, and seeing how effective the orbital sander is, I concur with Tom that in small areas brushing is the way to go simply because you can get some thickness. The sander will make short work of the ridges. I would still spray larger areas, but I would do it as you have suggested, with a compressor and gun. LHG mentioned something about an "airbrush" in earlier discussions, which sounds like a system more in scale with this type of work than the type of sprayer you'd do a house with.

Gotta love spending time and energy (and money?)on these projects in order to get the satisfaction of having done it yourself, or you're in trouble...

keep us posted-


bigz posted 08-22-2001 06:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    

Tom C and The Kingfish speak truth, listen to them for small jobs a brush or roller is the way to go.

Sorry when you mentioned "learning" to spray the only thought which entered my graying head was large areas or entire hull.

The canoe job was a 16 foot hull. Yes it took considerable coats and sanding but it was not heavy duty sanding just light to medium with a minimum of orange peel.

I could not get the gel thinned down enough to use an HVLP gun, used a conventional and the over spray was a real headache. I have since learned that my Apollo HPLV conversion gun can be fitted with tips that might facilitate its use. The only kicker, my air compressor might not provide an adequate volume even though it is a 5hp 60 gallon single, the recommended is a 5-7 hp 80 gallon dual producing at least 15-20 cubic ft of air for this conversion gun with thick finishing materials. Even thinning and the right tip, gel with duratec is pretty thick stuff compared to say even enamel.

Since I don't have any plans of going into the gelcoat or paint hull refinishing business, I will get a shop to do the spraying when needed.
Tom Z

Just an after thought using an HVLP would be the way to go if you can afford the set up. Either a conversion gun with a conventional compressor of adequate size or a dedicated unit again of adequate size. Little over spray, easy to control, light to moderate coats (easy to sand off ,though you'll end up spraying more coats for proper build up) and reduces the health hazards significantly over conventional spraying.

JDH posted 08-23-2001 01:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for JDH  Send Email to JDH     
While I do have a compressor and standard & HVLP guns, it seems like one of the biggest issues in re-gelcoating is the sanding.

Here is my dilemma:

My Whaler is 40 years old - lots of cracks holes etc. This winter, I want to redo the interior. my plan is to epoxy all of the holes, cracks etc and the 2 part pait with a sprayer.

Does it make any sense to roll gel coat in in terms of protection , durability, or resistance to future cracks?

Because the biggest part of the interior is floor which will likely get anti-skid, I think the sanding won't be too bad - but is there really any reason to add gelcoat if I am going to be 2 part painting.


lhg posted 08-23-2001 02:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Some notes on spraying gelcoat:

1. Miniture spray outfits, called "air brushes" are considered better than the Preval units. Sold in hobby and art shops, these are more versatile since the come with an adjustable nozzle that enables you to regulate the spray pattern.

2. When gelcoat is to be sprayed it must be thinned with acetone to the consistency of skim milk. Do your thinning before you add the catalyst so you will have time to experiment before it starts to set. If the gelcoat spits or spatters, it's probably too thick, or the nozzle may need adjusting. When you finally get a good spray pattern, add the catalyst. Several thin coats are better than a thick one.

LarrySherman posted 08-23-2001 03:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
This thread has turned into a store house of info!

From reading duartec literature, it seems like that should be used as the thinning agent instead of acetone. I know bigz mentioned their website, I am wondering if anyone has used the product though.

The airbrush sounds like a great idea. I'll look into it.

Here is some other info I have looked at:

This last one is kind of interesting. He "Blueprints" his hull, then re-gelcoats it. I'm interested to see what you all think about this.

DIVE 1 posted 08-23-2001 08:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for DIVE 1    
The author is right on the money about hull blueprinting. We straightened a 13' BW with about a 3/8" hook in the bottom. The performance and handling difference was incredible. The only difference is that we did not use Duraglass or body filler except for pinholes. Everything is filled and built up with biaxial matting and vinylester resin from Fibreglast. The worst part is grinding and sanding with a long board.
LarrySherman posted 08-23-2001 09:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
That seems like a lot of work. Did you consider it for DIVE 1? Why is it necessary?

Old wooden cargo vessels do something called "hogging," which occurs when the vessel sits "In ballast" for a long time. The bow and the stern begin to droop, and the keel "hogs." It occurs because there is not sufficent upward force being applied at the bow and the stern. It seems like blueprinting would be the technical answer to a similar problem in glass boats, but I had never heard about it before.

Wild stuff...Larry

DIVE 1 posted 08-24-2001 05:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for DIVE 1    
DIVE 1 had a 6'x1' repair in the botttom that we had to rework. At the same time we straightened the bottom. There was a slight hook(1/8"). Keep in mind that we had the boat upside down on the trailer when we refurbished the outside of the hull, so repairing the bottom was relatively easy.
The 13'BW had wet foam and the botton of the hull was pounded pretty hard without "solid" foam support. The hook caused the bow of the boat to plow. No power trim or tilt on the motor and the trim pin was set in the highest notch. The boat needed more positive trim and there was not any more available. We used the 13'BW as an experimental project so a lot of different techniques were used and the educational benefits were great. Anyone with any sense would have cut the 13'BW in pieces and put it in a dumpster, but we had way too much free time one winter.
Removeing the hook does allow more positive trim & increases the top speed on the hull by reducing the wetted surface area of the hull. Blueprinting is usually for the high performance crowd and not very cost effective for us pleasure cruisers.

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