Gelcoat: matching quill???

I am new to working with gelcoat. I had some gelcoat cracks / chips in my Romany S that I repaired yesterday.

The boat is used and was kept outside by the previous owners. I thought it was white…but apparently not.

After sanding out the repair it is apparent that the boat is not exactly white, as the repaired spots are quite a bit lighter in color.

So apparently this boat must have been quill over quill unless NDK uses some sort of off-white gelcoat which I doubt.

I guess that perhaps it just faded from being left out in the sun and now appears to be white (I am somewhat amazed by this b/c it really really looks white).

So…what’s the best way to match quill?

I have not done any color matching yet with gelcoat. I remember someone once telling me that quill was a hard color to match.

I think he said that he added a little bit of yellow coloring to white gelcoat to match it. I would have thought a little bit of black.




Probably both yellow and black
Quill is not exactly pure gray, either. It looks to me like it’s slightly yellow or green. I would want to have black, yellow and blue tints handy. To complicate matters further, gelcoat sometimes changes color slightly as it cures. I suggest that you mix the color, then take a test sample, catalyze it, apply it to the boat and let it cure. Once you see the cured color, you can make adjustments if necessary and repeat the test until you’re satisfied with the results.

Or do what I do
I just mix up some plain old white, use it, and call it a “beauty mark”. I gave up on trying to match anyone’s white/off-white years ago.

Since it has faded, it really isn’t Quill anymore, so genuine NDK or Valley gel could be as off as white. It’s already a very light grey when new so it probably isn’t far from white at this point.

I agree that it seems to have a bit of yellow to it and maybe even something else. Go very, very sparingly with the dyes because they’re surprisingly strong. With the black, I’d probably just dip a toothpick into it to add it to the white gel. If it’s too dark (very easy to do), just start over rather than wasting a bunch of white gel to try to lighten it. I wound up with almost a battleship grey keelstrip but was really shooting for something closer to Quill…

So what happened…
…with Forward Air?

I am still waiting to hear back from ForwardAir after my last letter I sent them. I sent it by certified mail so I know they got it.

No reply yet.

Keeping my fingers crossed!


The same experience with white

– Last Updated: Jul-20-08 9:35 AM EST –

matching will happen if you ever try to paint a ceiling. To be avoided.

In college in Boston (my college town), everyone knows that bicycle theft is rampant. No sooner will someone park that Canndondale FS2000 carbon bike than will someone driving by steal it, or simply mangle it for jollies.

The best bikes in Boston--and likely most urban areas--are the crap green, bombed out looking, spray painted $3000 jobbies. I mean, wealthy bikers use to spray paint their new cycles on purpose!

B1, likely best to just use it and enjoy it as it is. Keep patching, as time goes on, and make it a bomber of a boat: exceptional in every way, no hinderance to performance, and you'll feel better about it all the time when putting on vehicle, ramming rocks, dropping it at the take-out, and such. You know why? Because, even if you keep it pristine, what would you get? Going to the paddle trip eight years from now with your pristine NDK and other paddlers will say, "Cool looking old skool boat, B1"/ Pick up a ten year old copy of Sea Kayaker and see the advances in boats--those old boats, even new in the advert, look like classic misdesigns that we would not even consider today.

Yet another way to look at it: bar of soap is similar. Ever study a new bar of soap--just for a sec--and say, "Man, this Dial soap is a beaut. I sure hate to get it wet, it looks too great." But then you use it anyhow. Right? Why? Because you know there are ten other bars of soap in the bathroom counter, and they all look like the next one. So, if you want to study a bar or soap again, just take out a new one.

Same with boats, if you get my drift. Hope that helps. And again, never re-paint a ceiling unless you;re willing to paint the whole thing.

I really ought to write these pearls in a book and sell it to Random House.

interesting thoughts…
I had somewhat thought the same thing. I was mostly just curious. The repair is solid and frankly I don’t know that I feel like messing with it again anyway.

My Romany S was a demo…and it looks like one. Probably no point in fussing over matching gel coat.

Plus, I would kind of agree with you somehwat on the potential cool factor of a battle scarred boat.

Interesting about the bikes. Sucks that people steal…never would have thought about spray painting a $3k road bike (ouch…)