treatment for scratched clear gel coat

A while back Souris River Canoe sent instructions with photos about how to treat a scratched up hull. Their example looked to be a kevlar canoe with clear gel coat. It involved sanding, an application of 333 thinning oil, and a final coat of marine varnish. The results looked spectacular.

Has anyone had any experience with this method? Does it hold up? Is there a downside? Would it need a re-coat every year? If not I’ve got a very scratched Merlin II which is a prime candidate. TIA.


Sounds reasonable. The 333 though isn’t an oil, it’s Intrlux’s brushing solvent. More like mineral spirits than oil.

As long as the canoe isn’t stored outside, the varnish will last much longer than a year, stored in the direct sun it’ll need refreshed, depending on how far north you are, every year or two.

Bill H.

Their example is varnish over epoxy
not gel coat. I do not think you will have the same results, at least from a longevity aspect.

Yep. I finally located the
Souris River page and read it in detail. Their method is for their skin coat boats which are fiberglass.

Sure wish there was some easy way to smooth out a scratched clear gel coat.


look here

all Tom did on a StarFire to take out scratches on a gel coat was to sand it with progressively finer grit then wax. Bell advocates 303.

varnish over epoxy
Yep, varnish over epoxy, no biggy, have it on all of my strip kayaks.

Bill H.

It can be a biggie
I tried a coat marine paint to fill in scratches. The paint dried too fast and left drag marks becuase of not enough thinner. Then a skeeter landed in the paint and I HAD TO FINGER AROUND AND IT WAS UGLY.

maybe you could rake someone’s leaves or whatever. Some projects really need pro help. I have a van dusen mohican and I butchered a boat that cost 4 grand. maybe next time I will hire it doen or will practice on something cheaper such as a wheelbarrow.

Another option is to spray paint a scuff patch on the bottom. The paint ends up w/ ~ a 2 mil surface, way better than what you have and if you pick a common color, touchups are easy.

I’ll forward detailed instructions to anyone interested.

Scratches on the hull?
I’ve got plenty on my kayak and I have yet to hear from any fish complaining about it.

hair of the dog
The best treatment for one scratch is another.