Gel Coat

A friend of ours said we should get some white and clear gel coat as maintenance/repair item.

Is there somewhere that has good directions on how to use? Is there a preferred brand? If you have a white hull and colored deck, do you use white on hull and clear on deck?

not really
You can spend a lot of time running around filling/patching/fairing/polishing non-structural wear in the gel coat. Save it for when there’s real damage to the hull where the underlying glass is rquires repair. In the mean time let it wear away like a shoe sole. If you don’t have an exact color match you’ll spend a lot of effort making a non-matching repair for cosmetic damage.

Most kayak shops carry it and it is easy
to use. Keeping the gel coat in repair also will help to protect the glass under it.

One thing…
There is a shelf life on gel coat so it better to buy it fresh when you need it…

I damaged the gel coat
recently on the hull of my yak, and couldn’t find anyone in the area that carried gel coat repair material. Instead I decided that for the small size of the repair, it would be fine to use white marine epoxy. I bought a stick of it for about two bucks and smooshed it on, and while it doesn’t look beautiful, it seems to be working just fine.

Just another option.

What sort of protection do you
have in mind? True fiberglass is essentially impervious to water and to UV. Modern resin (epoxy or vinylester) is highly resistant to water, and degradation of a tiny area exposed by a gelcoat chip can be ignored for a long, long time.

We used to hear on that water somehow will creep through Kevlar cloth which has been exposed by gelcoat damage, but I challenged the assertion and no one was able to provide evidence.

My 30 years of experience with composite boats is that chips and scratches through gelcoat can be ignored. They are only an issue if they bother you. The real question is, why gelcoat? If the builder put the same amount of weight into a single layer of S-glass and resin, it would provide MORE protection to the underlying layers, and it would add stiffness and compression strength to the layup.

You might say that a proper gelcoat job would be lighter than a single layer of S-glass. Ok, but many gelcoat jobs are NOT that thin or light, and my assertion would still stand if the single layer of S-glass were replaced by 4 ounce e-glass and resin.

Most Marine Stores
carry small gelcoat repair kits. Yes there is a fair bit of controversy in regard to the need. I dont think Ill step into that part of the question. However, small repairs are fairly straight forward and easy to accomplish. West Marine and Boats US both carry the kits.

Epoxy is fine, but will cure to a much harder state as compared to gelcoat which if perfectly fine unless you ever have to sand that area down.


I have a QCC700 and it’s my first composite boat. Over the weekend I “ran out of water” and bumped my way over rocks for a while. I chipped gel coat off the bottom in a few places.

Can I “ignore it” till the end a the season and gel coat all of them then?

How long should the chipped areas be left out of water before re-gel coating?

Can water get in between the gel coat and the s glass thats between the kevlar and gel coat?

This is my first composite boat and am just learning>



Extending the shelf life of gelcoat
Keep it in the fridge and it lasts much longer. Freezing is not recommended.

Gelcoat repair instructons
I have pics and instructions in a Webshots album at:

Gel Coat
This is an essential part of the process to give a smooth surface to the producr being molded.

I do noy know of a process using this technology that does not use a gel coat.

There are many racing boats…
…that are built without gelcoat. It’s not absolutely necessary, but most manufacturers use it to protect the underlying layup.

Bill… don’t worry, and wait until the
end of the decade. The boat can take it.

Thanks for the reply g2d! I talked to a couple of builders and they were right on with you.