Restoration of gelcoat on ABS canoes?

I recently acquired a 16 foot Mad River Freedom canoe that has been heavily used and a lot of the gelcoat has been rubbed off. The canoe also has the freeze cracks originating at the screws in the wood gunnels. I am wondering if this boat is even worth the effort.
Does anyone else have experience in such a large-scale restoration effort of an ABS boat? The canoe is teal blue in color. Is gelcoat available in this color? I looked at the Mad River website; the website is essentially non-existant! Thanks everyone for your ideas!!

Hundreds of gelcoat colors available and custom matches. Spraying the entire hull? Have the equipment?

Paint it.

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That’s not gelcoat and unfortunately you can’t replace the colored skin on a Royalex boat. If the wear is just in the ends, people typically cover the worn areas with fiberglass or Dynel fabric. I’m not an expert on best place to buy the materials but I think is one possibility. For the cold cracks people first drill the tip of the crack (perhaps 1/4" drill bit) so the crack can’t spread and then fill with epoxy like G-flex. The repair materials are kind of expensive. It might be worth it if you’ll use the boat.


Oh, good to know! Thank you very much!! The previous owner slopped varnish and epoxy in an attempt to repiar the freeze cracks and refinich the ash gunnels. What is the best way to clean that crap of the hull of the canoe?? Also, where is the best place to acquire boat paint?? Thank y’all again!!

Interlux not sure how compatible it is with ABS.

The other interlux topside paints Bright side and Perfection are being discontinued.

Not much sticks to the Royalex permanently if its is still shiny. I had one where red royalex had been severely sun faded and it looked flat orange. That one I was able to paint with Krylon Fusion and it looked great, but I have never had similar success again.

ABS boats have a vinyl skin.

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I recently picked up an Old Town Penobscot 17 project. It is sunfaded, dirty and even has some moss/mildew and a little paint overspray.
My plan is to wash it and hit it with some rubbing compound and then coat with 303 or equivalent.
Some pictures of your canoe would help with suggestions.

Also, what ppine says, your canoe is Royalex. The outer layer is not gelcoat it is vinyl.

There is a lot of information on repairing cold cracks and painting Royalex. G-Flex works well with Royalex.

Here is mine next to my Tripper.

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I would paint it. Marine enamel, regular enamel or even latex house paint.

I would wax first with a marine was as paint is heavy and ABS is already heavy

A coat of paint weighs a pound.