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TOPIC: Paint or Gelcoat inside cockpit hatch??

Paint or Gelcoat inside cockpit hatch?? 19 Aug 2017 13:41 #1

  • djthies
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I have a 2006 197 Deck Boat in need of surface repair inside the cockpit hatch compartment (the place beneath the floor where you put the skis, intertube, etc.). The coating material has cracked and is chipping away exposing bare wood. There does not appear to have any fiber glass between the wood and the coating material. Given that this compartment often contains standing water while boating, I want to ensure the surface repair is solid so the wood is protected. Questions:

1) Does anyone know if this is gelcoat or paint? On Bayliner's customer care website it lists various gelcoats for the model, so my going in assumption is gelcoat.

2) For gelcoat, any problem with applying new gelcoat directly on top of the wood once the surface is prepped (cleaned, sanded, etc)?

3) If this is gelcoat, is it important to apply the exact same product (by manufacturer and product number) as the original, or can one use any gelcoat application?

I'd appreciate any wisdom/advice anyone could offer...THANKS!

Doug T.
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Paint or Gelcoat inside cockpit hatch?? 23 Aug 2017 14:52 #2

  • dockofthebay
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I'm not sure on the thickness from plywood to outer coating but this tip helped me. One other option is to use JB Waterweld. It is a putty that you buy that has the two elements in putty form right there side by side, You squeeze them together and kneed like pizza dough. The dough is white when mixed. Then press it into place and it adheres to everything there, then dries rock hard. I used this on the keel of my bayliner 1850 when a family member behind the wheel got it too close to the shore striking several sandstone chunks last year. It can then be sanded and painted or gel coated as you wish.
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1994 Bayliner Capri 1850, 3 liter Mercruiser, 9.9 Johnson kicker.
1987 Wellcraft Antigua 265, Mercruiser 383 Stroker V8.
Pulls with Ext. Cab 2006 GMC Sierra 2500 HD
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Paint or Gelcoat inside cockpit hatch?? 23 Aug 2017 15:06 #3

  • green650
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Sounds like it might be bilge coat, not gel coat.
Do you want it to be super pretty or decent looking and waterproof?
I personally would scrape the old stuff off, sand it with a belt sander, than apply a coat of resin tinted white. Oh, and take the hatch off first so you can do it right side up and the sanding doesn't make a mess in your boat. Polyester resin is like $35 gallon at Walmart and that would probably be enough to put 10 coats on your hatch. :) One coat is enough to protect it from water damage. The resin tint can be found at a marine store, as well as the resin. But the resin there will cost you $60 gallon and it won't come with the hardener.
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Paint or Gelcoat inside cockpit hatch?? 24 Aug 2017 08:40 #4

  • Centerline2
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I will agree that there are many degrees in which a repair can be made, and different amounts of effort put in to make the repair, but in that application, if I wanted it to last the life of the boat I would use epoxy. 2 coats with a couple of glass cloth layers. it seems like it may be flexing when being walked on and causing the cracking of the existing coating
you must remove most of the old paint or whatever it is on there now, but with epoxy, as long as the patches of paint on the wood now are adhered well the epoxy will cover and hold well.
but if the area is always bone dry, the polyester (used with cloth) would probably last too. they use polyester to tab bulkheads in when building new boats, and as long as it remains sealed and the boat remains dry, the wood and bond can last the life of the boat,,, but if you only want to paint it, short of using epoxy paint, a good polyurethane paint would be better than polyester, and much less trouble.
there is not really a short explanation but epoxy is stronger and adheres much better to everything. and when covering wood epoxy is always the better choice than polyester because polyester absorbs water, which in a few years can get to the wood and then start to deteriorate the bond between the wood and polyester as the wood slowly swells over a few years....
epoxy is waterproof and even though the wood may begin to rot from the other side, the bond between the epoxy and the wood will still be intact until the wood rots and falls away completely.... its this reason that people who work on and repair wood boats never cover wood with polyester, but always use epoxy (when its needed)... and a lot of the repairs that need to be made is because someone thought painting the wood with polyester would make a great finish on it.... when actually it made a great finish to it!

in my years of experience, just using the polyester resin without cloth, to paint over something is a temporary fix, as it will either come loose or crack and let moisture thru quicker...once the moisture is in, it wont ever leave.
if you decide to use polyester, use at least one layer of cloth (2 is better), this way it will add some strength to it and keep any moisture at bay longer while not letting it crack and peel. and if it ever does start to come loose from the wood in a few years it will be easier to peel away and redo it....
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1989 Bayliner 2556, 5.7 OMC Cobra
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