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Hula Boat Care Kit

SKU: 112-HBK-CarryK $51.95
This Hula Boat Care Kit contains
1-16oz Bottle of #11 Surf Away Spray Detailer
1-16oz Bottle of #12 Wipe Out Vinyl Cleaner & Conditioner
1-16oz Bottle of #14 Big Kahuna Polymer Sealant
3-16X6 inc Microfiber Towels
1-Carry Bag

Hula Boat Care - Gelcoat Repair

Gelcoat is a compound used to create the outermost layer of laminate on the hull of fiberglass boats. Gelcoat is responsible for producing the color and shine on boat hulls, combining with fiberglass to form a smooth surface that acts as an effective water barrier to the fiberglass underneath and protects from the damage caused by ultraviolet rays. Gelcoat repair may be used for everything from minor nicks to large gouges.

Fiberglass boat hulls will eventually experience signs of wear with regular use over time. Even the most conscientious, careful boat owner will find dings and scratches in their boat’s gelcoat over time. Extensive gelcoat repair may be needed for significant damage suffered through no fault of the boat owner or operator. ResTex supplies premium quality Hula boat care products, including gelcoat, responsible for a boat’s color and shine.

Hula Boat Care Products for Gelcoat Repair

Gelcoat can be mixed as a thin substance that can run much like paint and must be applied carefully during repairs. Several light coats in spray form will work on most minor damage to restore the gelcoat to its original form. Gelcoat paste is thicker and less likely to snag during the repair process, though it is thicker and tougher to apply. Gelcoat is available at ResTex in both waxed and non-waxed forms. Waxed gelcoat is simpler to for most gelcoat repairs.

Chips and scratches in the gelcoat on a boat hull can typically be repaired using a gelcoat repair kit that includes materials needed to repair minor damage, but bigger jobs should be handled by a trained professional. Blistering gelcoat should also be examined by a qualified boat service professional before repairs are begun to determine the extent of the damage and the best options to repair the damage.

Gelcoat Repair Process

Be Prepared: The key to effective gelcoat repair is to be prepared. Great care needs to be given to making sure the right materials and safety measures are gathered and prepared before beginning every repair, especially for those less experienced in boat repair. ResTex carries Hula top quality boat care products, in addition to gelcoat repair products. A list of supplies and equipment that could be needed to do a complete gelcoat repair job includes:
● Scraper or sharp-edged screwdriver
● Sandpaper with coarseness ranging from 100-600 grit
● Coarse and fine rubbing compound
● Polish
● Wax
● High-speed grinder
● Electric buffer
● Mylar or plastic sheeting
● Plastic squeegee applicators
● Spray guns
● Masking tape or gel
● Safety gear for all phases of the repair process, such as a charcoal-filtered mask, safety glasses, and thick rubber gloves
● Comfortable and protective clothing should always be worn when during repairs

Thorough Cleaning: Ahead of the gelcoat repair process, the entire affected area should be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water. Rinsing with fresh water will loosen salt and prevent further scratches. The surface area should be wiped down with a water-absorbing towel to avoid even the smallest particles from interfering with the process. The repair area is then marked off with masking tape or gel to contain the workspace, leaving about 2 inches all the way around. Liberal use of tape and plastic should be used to protect the boat from dripping and other damage fully.

Apply Gelcoat: Gelcoat mixing should be done according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. The mixed compound is applied deep into the damaged area using a mixing stick to force the paste far enough into the hull exterior to make sure it will adhere to the existing material. Following a light sanding, remove any additional residual sanding or wax particles that could disrupt the fresh bond between the gelcoat and the damaged area. Extra care should be taken when working with acetone, a potentially harmful irritant if ingested or exposed to the skin. Gloves and masks are highly recommended when handling acetone and other dangerous chemicals.

Color matching: Matching the color of the repaired area to the existing gelcoat color can be a challenge and can rarely be matched precisely due to the natural fading of the original coats around the area to be repaired. Gelcoat color changes as it hardens, so several cured test batches may be needed before a suitable match is reached. Small amounts of coloring agents can be slowly added to white or neutral colored paste until a proper match of the colors is attained.

The repaired area needs to be sealed to get a proper and complete cure. Several hours after the cure sets, one final sanding and a coat of marine polish to complete the gelcoat repair.

Should You Attempt DIY Gelcoat Repair?

Doing your own gelcoat repairs will save time and money, and comes with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. However, as tempting as DIY gelcoat repair may seem, it can often wind up doing more damage than good. For more than a good cleaning or fixing a minor scratch or ding, it is usually best to leave gelcoat repair to the professionals.

Boat owners who do decide to go it alone should thoroughly research before making any gelcoat repairs on their own. There are plenty of online resources that walk through the process of repairing nicks, dings, and gouges in the gelcoat layer of hull boats. Mistakes and miscalculations can result in more damage to your boat and potential personal injuries in the process. Any significant repairs should be performed by a qualified boat care professional, so you know the job is being done right, and your boat will be safe to enjoy.

One item of preventative maintenance boat owners and operators can and should do is give their fiberglass boat a good clean and wax at least three to four times a year. ResTex recommends the use of high quality and affordable Hula boat care products. All of Hula’s products are eco-friendly and biodegradable and will leave your boat looking shiny and new for a long time.

For more information on gelcoat repair or any of our boatbuilding or maintenance projects, contact a member of the ResTex team today!
Category:Boat Care