would like input on the pros and cons of the 2 hull finishes. Which hull would be recommended
I would go with the Gel coat. The epoxy used in the boat can break down with UV exposure. The Gel coat protects it.
I also look at the gel coat as a protective abrasion layer against scratches. Instead of scratching the epoxy/kevlar the gel coat takes the abuse.
If you are going for lighter weight…
leave the gel coat off.
I am assuming you are talking about a canoe.
With the gelcoat the boat will have some extra stiffness. Without it it will flex more.
If you are looking for speed leave it off and the extra lightness will help.
Sloopsailor is correct, but the gains
are not necessarily worth the extra weight. Some of the best no-gelcoat builders use a thin layer of pigmented epoxy, sometimes in the mold, sometimes as a paint applied last, to provide both color and a bit of UV protection.
Note that the inside of a composite canoe is not protected, so if you’re going to worry about UV, worry where the exposure is often greater.
Question worded wrong I think.
I think what you ment to ask was colored gel coat vis clear gel coat, which seems to be a much thinner coating.
An acutal no gel coat hull is what the racers that home build use and normally has pin holes in the finish. These hulls have to be constantly waxed to seal these holes.
I have two Sea Winds made this way, with pigmented resin and no gel coat. (Mine were an experimant at the Kruger shop. Do not even think of asking Mark to make one of these for you. He will not do it. As we discovered the process attacks the mold and it has to be repaired before use again. This is very labor intensive and expensive to do.)
Which ever way you go, try to a get a bag. You can make one out of “old lady” stretch pant type material. Good luck.
Impex kayaks does a kevlar clearcoat layup on their hulls as an option. I was wondering the advantages vrs. disadvantages of this option.
out of my league
but i’d say if you’re going to race or only paddle for fitness and will take extremely good care of the boat indoors, go for no gel. if it’s a boat that’s going to see some time tripping, fishing, or get dragged around, go with the gel. if will save you much work and will protect those inner layers, as has been mentioned.