Sources for Gelcoat?

Am having a heck of a time finding a fiberglass repair shop/supplier who stocks red gelcoat in a small quantity in the northeast for a repair to my recently damaged boat. Tinting white gelcoat from West Marine is my last resort for concerns of color matching. Any suggestions?

West Marine
gelcoat and colors and all the tools you need to do the repair

conditions for transport are what I’m running into. Already pursued with manufacturer but will spend the weekend exhausting some other potential sources. Was hoping that someone might have the magic bullet source for me to make my boat beautiful again. :wink: Appreciate all your feedback.


of places…buy untinted Gel

Then buy the coloring to tint with

the place above also handles the colors…call them

or go here

or here

best wishes


I don’t trust anyone named faded red
to give good advice on tinting red

Shipping Gelcoat
Hi Mark,

Ask the manufacturer if they will ship the gelcoat without the catalyst.

I just had some gelcoat shipped to me from Winonah canoe to match a canoe I’m repairing and that how they did it. When I asked them where the catalyst was, they said they can’t ship it and to buy some locally.


you could be right …even tho my moniker has more to do with sunburn…my old hair color…and my well used PFD :slight_smile:

Best Wishes


of course it might have to do with some of the boat colors I was paddling at the time too…good thing I don’t have to choose any particularly good reason for it :slight_smile:

also good I didn’t explain how to do the mix and wipe method for gel coat matching…I only showed where to buy products…

Current Designs/Wenonah
Just got a small container [about 4 oz] of gel coat from Current Designs. They have color matches for all of their boats and maybe their red is close enough for your needs. They sell a kit with mixing cups, wet & dry sand papers, gloves, etc, for $25 plus shipping [$5.95] or just the gel coat for $10 plus shipping. You will need to buy a tube of catlyst [about $2] and one sheet each of W&D sandpaper in #400,600 and 1000 grade available at a good paint or auto supply store. That’s enough to fix a lot of scratches. Store the unused gelcoat in the 'fridge and it will last more than a year. John


– Last Updated: Nov-10-07 9:49 PM EST –

Check any marina that sells power boats. If they have a parts department then there is a good chance that they will have a small 4 oz jar of gel coat for repairs. If your near a commercial marina that services large boats and commercial boats then they should be able to help you. You will need to also get the color tint which they should also have in stock if they have the gel coat.

We have red gelcoat…
in small quantities. Might not match exactly, but it’s definately red.

Email me if you want more info.


Don’t try to tint white gelcoat…
…unless your boat is a pastel color. You’re better off to start with clear gelcoat for most colors.

two other gelcoat sources

sell 3 types of gelcoat, can tint

also see Ecklers corvette for gelcoat

Is gelcoat just tinted epoxy?
…or is it different than epoxy?

Gel coat
Gelcoat is polyester resin, usually colored. It is incompatible with epoxy and will not cure on epoxy repairs, as I learned the hard way a week ago.

Frustrated by my non-curing gelcoat, I did a internet search and found two chemicals that can foster gelcoat working with epoxy but I don’t think they are feasible for backyard repairs.

Epoxy can be used for repairing polyester construction, but the epoxy repair cannot be gelcoated.


Dave, try again …
I would guess your problem was gelocat mixing and application related … did you spray PVA over it or was it pre mixed with wax surfacing solution ?

Poly gelcoats are O.K. to used over Epoxy repairs … it WILL go off and be fine …

This type of repair is done all over the world in boat yards and marinas. I have used gelcoat over epoxy for many types of repairs with zero problems.

Call me if you want …

Gelcoat on epoxy
Hi Pat,

Certainly you have vastly more experience with gelcoat than I do, so I’ll accept your advice and try again.

I was using MAS epoxy (Fast hardener as it is getting cold in CT) and Wenonah gel coat over it. It’s possible that I didn’t remove the blush fully or that there are problems between that epoxy/hardener combo and Wenonah’s gelcoat.

The problem occurred when repairing a damaged canoe. I patched a small torn area at the top edge of the canoe with kevlar and fiberglass, using epoxy. Gel coat wouldn’t cure over that patch. I had to fix this spot before I could install new rails, so I cut out the epoxy patch and re-patched the area with poly resin. Gelcoat then cured over the poly resin.

There is another spot on the lower stem where there was a deep gouge and I patched it with epoxy also. Have not yet tried gelcoat there, as I was focused on installing the new rails before winter. I’ll clean this spot real well to remove any blush and try the Wenonah gelcoat there again. I’ll also do a test square of about 12" to test out gelcoat curing over fiberglass and MAS epoxy.


The keys to gelcoat over epoxy…
…are as follows:

1- The epoxy has to be FULLY cured. A a general rule, I use a heater or lamp to accelerate the curing process and usually end up with a satisfactory cure overnight.

2- The epoxy surface must be COMPLETELY clean. I use a carbide scraper to shape the repair after the epoxy cures, which removes any blush or other residue. After scraping, I wipe the surface with lacquer thinner. If you sand the repair before cleaning the surface, it can drive the blush into the surface grooves, making it hard to remove and causing problems with the gelcoat.

3- The surface needs to provide some “tooth” for the gelcoat to bind to. A light sanding with 80-100 grit paper accomplishes this. I always wipe it down with lacquer thinner again after sanding, to remove the dust and any other contamination.

4- I prefer to use “finish” gelcoat rather than the more common “laminating” variety. The former will cure when exposed to air, so there is no need to cover it with plastic or coat it with PVA, as you must do with the latter.

Like Pat, I’ve had excellent success with using Gelcoat over epoxy and have never had a bonding failure.

Pat and Brian, thanks for advice