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InfinitySurf

Question on gelcoat from Fineline

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InfinitySurf    199

I ordered some gelcoat thru my dealer from Fineline. I have a couple small repairs to make that I was confident I could do myself (couple small chips at bottom of boat near prop where guess some debris kicked up....nothing real important, more cosmetic than anything but since I am so OCD, I want to get it done). However, it came in a small metal can with no markings whatsoever and no instructions. I have not opened since it says its not re-usable, but feels more like liquid (paint like consistency is what it sounds like when shaking can), guess I thot it would be more like a paste. Guess what I was expecting was something like you get from Spectrum where you get the gelcoat and then hardener....you mix and do your thing. I don't know if this stuff I was sent was mean to be sprayed, or what and now I am not sure I can do myself (Spectrum nor any other company I can find has an exact match so this is only option I have that I know of). I know I cannot spray....I intended to just mix a small batch and use a small tool to do the repair but since no hardener came with it, I am a bit stumped.

Dealer also has no clue what I need to do.....and in contacting Fineline, they also do not seem to know on the customer service side and they dont know who to transfer me in the factory to find out for sure. Just curious if anyone else has gotten any gelcoat direct from Fineline and has any clue what I need to do. If not....I will just have to take the boat to a gelcoat pro. I hoped to do it myself for no other reason than I enjoy working on the boat and learning new skills and I don't want to drop my boat off anywhere if I can help it cause not only is that downtime, but you never know if its gonna get scratched or something else will happen. I could probably get these minor repairs done for a couple hundred and that will be the next step if I cannot figure this out. Hopefully someone can point me in the right direction so I can do this myself.

Thanks

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gravity12    82

They send it with no hardener. You wll need harder to mix in it. I got some a few years ago and it will stay usable if the can is sealed. Tape about an inch around the repair with blue or green tape and then sand into the chip or scratch with 120 grit. Blend it out to the tape.  You can use a brush to apply it. Then for it to fully cure you need to brush a mold release over it. Then let it sit over night. Then wash off the mold release and then wet sand the repair down smooth with the boat. Then buff it out. Lots of how to's online but thats the just of it. Not too bad on single colors but if you have a spot that two colors meet like i did its kind of a mean woman. Good luck. 

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gravity12    82

I too thought that it was pre mixed and used it. Couldn't figure out why it would harden. Fineline has us all thinking its pre mixed but gel coat cure with out air so as soon as the put the lid on it would start to harded. 

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InfinitySurf    199
10 hours ago, gravity12 said:

I too thought that it was pre mixed and used it. Couldn't figure out why it would harden. Fineline has us all thinking its pre mixed but gel coat cure with out air so as soon as the put the lid on it would start to harded. 

So I do need to add hardner to the existing gelcoat mix they sent?....(assume hardner will have the instructions on how much to add) and as long as I seal can back up with rest of the gelcoat that i do not mix up, it will last a week or so, so I can re-coat if necessary?

What is the "mold release"? Is that something I can get where ever I find the hardner to add to this?

I did watch a bunch of videos and feel comfortable doing this as long as I can get the gelcoat mix correct. I think brush is the way I am going to go, seems pretty easy. Thankfully, just one color for me where I need to repair.

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gravity12    82

Only mix what you need in a seperate cup. Most auto paint supply stores have mold release. You can use plastic wrap. But it will make it rough and harder to wetsand. 

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Chaos    1

You can use standard mixing volumes for polyester resin. There are epoxy gel coats and polyester based gel coats. Most are polyester based and will use MEKP hardener. Gel coat is just resin, talc, pigments and usually a little surfacing agent which is just wax in a solvent (styrene for polyester/xylene for epoxy). Surface prep is key, it will harden faster the hotter your environment is. You can adjust this some with the hardener volume. If you have never used it before do some test spots/panels.

Typically 1 ounce resin/gel coat to 10 drops of MEKP. More if under 60 degrees. Little less if above 90 degrees.

If just covering chips and small areas, sand around the chip, wipe with acetone, tape the area off with excess room, paint on/dab on the gel coat, cover with a plastic sheet and smooth it out. Particularly useful if on a non flat surface. Flat areas will settle more uniformly.

Nick

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