Carbon and Gel coat

Has anyone here had any experiance with mixing carbon dust to black gel coat?

does it work, or is it just a mess?

I’m planning on sprayin it and thought that it might make a nice look as compared to just plain black gel. give it a little sparkle of grey mixed

in. sort of a look like using pearling only grey.

Back in the late 60’s it was common to use an acetylene torch without the oxygen on to add a smoke carbon to paint finishes on motorcycles as a custom look, but that was embedding carbon, not spraying it…and then a clear coat was applied.

But anytime that finish met the abrasion test it had other severe consequences too. not like the bottom of a Kayak

I’m guessing that with a 2.0 nozzel or larger, if anything it should make the stuff spray ok…I’m mostly wondering if everthing it scrapes on after dry turns black…so that a clear coat would also be necessary.

I assume that buffing it would be a mess…Just figured I’d ask and see if anyone here had tried it before.

Best wishes


I’ve mixwed graphite in epoxy
for boat bottoms. Works fine. Sands fine. Makes a slick, fast, black bottom.

It’s more likely to make it dull black
I have yet to see a graphite/epoxy hull that had a real gloss to it. Gelcoat is not like paint and you’re going to end up doing a LOT of sanding to get it smooth and even. It will be a real mess.

Just did Keel Strips
with Graphite Powder and Epoxy.

It has a high gloss finish.

So dull all you can see on the water

– Last Updated: May-12-08 8:23 AM EST –

is the reflection of the water on the hull:

Or the shine on a cloudy day:


is that mixed into Gel coat or into epoxy? and then sprayed or brushed?

Any problems with it?

Best wishes


I wish I could tell you that
The boat in the photo’s was built by a friend, for a friend. Both live 150 + miles away. I’ll email Gerald Kennedy, the builder and see if I can get a response. You can do the same as I believe he has his email addy on the website.

Gerald is a fantastic builder…mostly stitch and glue, but also in strip built. In his 60 years, he’s built in just about every method and completed a wide variety of boat types. His photo essay of the craft pictured is very good for a look at his boat building process.

I rolled graphite/epoxy onto a decked
boat hull. (Spraying is outside my experience.) The rolled-on layers have to be timed so that amine does not rise to the surface and interfere with adhesion. After several layers, the surface has an orange peel quality, but smooths quickly with a random orbit sander.

I seldom used this boat after recoating it, but I have some doubts about the ability of an epoxy coat to resist sharp distortions produced by rocks. Based on a little experience with another decked boat I epoxy-surfaced without carbon, I expect that some sharp distortions may produce cracking or flaking. Would be interested to hear the experiences of others.