Sacramento Boat Repair has produced many boats over the decades and the owner has 48 years of experience building and
repairing fiberglass and gel coat on boats.
Production fiberglass boats are built outside in. That is gelcoat is sprayed against a polished and prepped mold.
Then supporting layers of resin (polyester, vinyl ester, or epoxy) mixed with structural glass fiber reinforcements are applied
over this to build the up desired thickness and strength. The boat hull is then removed from the mold with the
resulting gelcoat as smooth and polished as the original mold surface.
Gel coat provides the color for a fiberglass boat and adds a UV barrier as well as weather resistance. Gelcoat
is applied very thick as compared to paint products with thickness running from 20 to 40 mil. Compare this to most paints
with a finish film thickness of 6 mil. Gel coat is a catalayzed anerobic curing product meaning that it will fully cure
when sealed away from air, such as against a mold surface. When fully cured, gel coat acheives a very high surface hardness
and water and chemical resistance.
Maintaining gelcoat is best done by keeping it clean and limiting sun exposure. Here at Sacramento Boat
Repair we recommend that boaters that trailer their boat carry a spray bottle with a mix of 1/4 cup of white vinegar
and a few drops of liquid hand washing detergent. Immediately after taking your boat out of the water take few minutes and
spray the boat hull down with this solution and then wipe off the boat hull with a clean towel. This solution will remove
most of the water scum and dirt as well as most of the water spots that might develop.
Sacramento Boat Repair does recommend waxing gelcoat once a year. This should be done after thouroughly washing
down the boat. An application of pure carnuba wax will help to fill the microscopic pinholes that natuarally occur in
gelcoat and the wax will make it harder for dirt and waterspots to cling to the boat.
Bye the way, we often hear the term "It is just white" and we have to explain that there are about 1500 shades of
white gelcoats. That said Sacramento Boat Repair does try to stock many of the more popular boats gelcoat colors.