Skin coat vs. Gel coat....

I didn’t find any info doing a search, so I’ll ask.

What are the pros and cons of the two finishes on a kevlar hull, other than weight of course.

I am grateful for the education,


Skin coat resin?
I think this has been addressed elsewhere, but what is the resin used in a typical skin coat surface?

Hopefully polyester
Because that is what I using right now

Jack L

Composite whitewater boats
Don’t have gelcoat, and they suffer a lot more bangs and abrasion than any flatwater boat does. So you get scratches and dings. It’s part of the sport.

If weight savings don’t matter or you are crazed about aesthetics, go for gelcoat.

Millbrook has always put pigment in the resin upon request, way back to the John Berry days. I never thought I was paying big bucks for that. Actually, I thought I was paying zero bucks for just one color. But I could’ve been wrong.

Thank you, everyone…
that’s just what I needed, and suspected.

I recently got a very sweet deal from a fellow P-Netter on a Wenonah Solo Plus with the skin coat.

I know someone who’s dying to gel coat it for me, but I’m going to let it ride. Interestingly, he also does the 3-M clear bra stuff. Hadn’t thought about that.

Most of what it will hit will be wet logs, and I’ve never been worried about a few scratches.

Although they will be the first ones on an 11 year old boat may make me feel bad for a bit. And yes, she’s too pretty for duct tape, but thanks.

She’s been out once under my stewardship, and she handles well.

I’ve got a lot to learn about single blades, though. Fun stuff.



Skin coat on an infused boat?
Wonder if this is feasible to save even more weight.

I’m not really sure what a skin coat is

– Last Updated: Aug-27-10 11:18 PM EST –

..... can anyone explain it to me ??

I have this thought that a skin coat is not a coat at all , but simply the complete and intentional none application of an exterior coat (or skin) .

I understand that there is "no" gelcoat , but what is the skin coat . Is it simply the resin and cloth lay-up (ie. kevlar , etc.) with nothing over it ??

I understand that a light weight e-glass cloth laminated to the exterior of kevlar cloth gives better abrassion resisitence , and also makes it much more feasable to service the exterior skin because you can sand into the E-glass layer without concern of fuzzing the kevlar .

So what is the "skin coat" ??

Please explain if it's a seperate resin layer that is taking the place of say "the gelcoat" layer , or is it just the same weave filling resin applied (in place of the gelcoat) so there is no print through .

I understand the laminating process is done in a mould , so the skin coat (whatever it is ??) must be applied first then the cloth (kevlar) laid in next and wetted out with more resin ...

I have often wondered that Pilot.
Skin coat is not clearly defined to me. In some respects, it sounds as if skin coat is some formula as a substitute for gel coat. But when I read some material, it appears skin coat may mean no exterior finish other than whatever resin happens to end up on the outside when they pull it from the mould.

So, if you want to fill in you scratched skin coat boat, which is best? Epoxy, or some other resin?

Skin COAT is the confusing part I guess
… I never use the term skincoat in my descriptions.

I just say the glass, kevlar or carbon is right against the mold and IS the outside of the part.

Scratched skin coat boat
Well, with no gelcoat, every scratch is destroying fabric from the get go. Sure, you could paint on some resin. But that adds weight without providing much structural strength, and adding weight is antithetical to the purpose for which you opted for skin coat in the first place.

On whitewater boats, most paddlers just ignore the scratches. If the gouges are deep, put on some duct tape. Finally, if the whole thing goes soft, apply a FG patch.

No use for Gel-coat
To my way of thinking, gel adds weight but no strength. It is true that manufactures make skin coat boats lighter, but they could also make them the same weight and stronger.

I think gel is just a way manufactures make their boats pretty. My preference is for an outer layer of 'glass, either clear varnished or painted. True, the paint adds weight as well, but it is pretty and protects the resin.

Glen, FYI, Contrary to what most people
think … Scratching a boat to the glass is NOT a big deal. Gelcoated or otherwise. So why carry and paddle around 6-7 extra pounds of gelcoat over the entire surface of the boat ???

Gelcoat is also easy to hide the flaws
of non-skilled / low labor rate mistakes with.

The thicker it is, the more forgiving to poor workmanship.

Also easier for said workers to prep, build and pull from molds.

Glen … You fill a scratch …“adding”

– Last Updated: Aug-28-10 5:02 AM EST –

weight as per your post on the 'skincoated' boat. ... So WHAT ???!!! Still no big deal and nothing more than one might to with a gelcoated boat. The boat is still lighter A N D stronger than a gelcoated one.

Real World numbers for you to absorb and understand.
.... EXACT SAME OUTFITTED BOAT from Tideline Kayaks.

18' 6" Gelcoated boat = 44+ pounds.
18' 6" Non gelcoated boat = 39 pounds
18' 6" Non gelcoated boat with one extra ply of glass which is thicker ( and of course stronger ) than standard 'ablative' layer of sprayed in mold gelcoat = 42 pounds. This boat will continously be stronger and more resisitant to damage than a sprayed in mold gelcoat boat. Simple fill of surface scratches is EZ but not really ness. Weight gained is the same for either once again.

A thickly gelcoated boat will crack @ the surface very easily from all -round wear and tear. While not a big deal structurally, it is a big deal for many folks who get worried about stuff like this. If the hull were sitting sub-surface 24 / 7 it would be an issue eventually. The non-gelcoated, (epoxy ) boat generally does not experience any of these problems.

Edit to add.

A non-gelcoated boat as built in the same molds as a gelcoated one can easily be as smooth on the surface as the gelcoated one since it does come from the same molds ... As above, it takes more skill to do this but the result is worth it.

The U.V. question is a non-issue as there are more than a few U.V. stable resins out there now including epoxys.

do any manufacturers
have an option of 2~4 oz glass for the outside layer of a skin coat boat?kevlar insides?

onno , I know Souris River uses epoxy …
… resin to fabricate thier canoes , are there others who build with epoxy ??

You had mentioned (epoxy) boats . I only know of Souris River as epoxy boats , but have always thought there must be others .

don’t know the weight of the …

– Last Updated: Aug-28-10 9:40 AM EST –

...... glass cloth , but I do know Souris River uses the glass on the exterior , and thier canoes are epoxy .

Is that the same as “vacuum-bagged”?

Never asked so don’t know.

Epoxy Resin
Warren Light Craft build their boats (kayaks) exclusively using carbon fiver over a foam core bound with epoxy resin, and then painted. Very strong, very light, very UV-resistant, not too abrasion resistant.