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 Old Gelcoat
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RobLes
Deckhand

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USA
5 Posts

Initially Posted - 09/28/2019 :  00:33:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My old boat has old, yellowed, what's supposed to be white gelcoat on the deck. I did a test. I could sand it off, it isn't very deep. It would be a ton a work and would spend gelcoat. I'm not aware of any other way to get UV damaged gelcoat back to original.

Repairs look real ugly with this mix of fresh gelcoat underneath, old yeller, and matched gelcoat paste.

Edited by - RobLes on 09/28/2019 00:37:07

Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5340 Posts

Response Posted - 09/28/2019 :  06:04:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
IMO, restoring it to original is unrealistic. I know of no way to restore the original non-skid pattern over a large area. It's too much work requiring too much skill.

What is important is to improve it aesthetically and leave the deck with a good non-skid surface so that it's safe to work on the foredeck when it's wet and the boat is heeling.

Lots of old boats are restored around the Chesapeake Bay, and the most common treatment for non-skid areas is to paint them with Kiwi Grip. It comes in a variety of colors, looks good, is easy to apply and leaves a non-skid surface. It's not necessary to remove the old gelcoat.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("FahrvergnŁgen")
Past Commodore
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bigelowp
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1448 Posts

Response Posted - 09/28/2019 :  06:34:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree that restoring non-skid is not realistic. I have a similar issue on the foredeck where the non-skid is now smooth and a dark brown color is bleeding through. I am looking at various non-skid options and it appears that Kiwi-Grip or Awlgrip are the two most recommended. Both require excellent preparation of surface, and can be rolled on. Both are big DIY projects however, requiring time and covered location to do the work for best results. I believe if you search the archives a couple years ago someone posted their deck refinishing project with details and pictures. Good luck!

Peter Bigelow
C-25 TR/FK #2092 Limerick
Rowayton, Ct
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8325 Posts

Response Posted - 09/28/2019 :  08:01:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From all I've heard, KiwiGrip and Awlgrip are different animals... For nonskid on a deck that doesn't have the pattern molded in, Awlgrip would need something like a special sand mixed in, which I've heard is problematic. Kiwigrip is formulated to be applied with a roller that creates the non-skid pattern of your choice--it sets up as a solid polymer. That's its purpose--Awlgrip is for making shiny hulls.

I don't know whether you would need to sand the deck to a flat surface first... And you might want to mask the deck so you're not doing non-skid along the toe rail areas, near the cabin sides, and such. I might want to be able to do those limited areas separately in a way that makes a flat surface, maybe in a contrasting color (maybe with a 2-part polyurethane), sort of like it looked from the factory. But now I'm straying far beyond my first-hand knowledge...

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 09/28/2019 08:09:42
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5340 Posts

Response Posted - 09/28/2019 :  08:18:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Until Kiwi Grip came along, non-skid was restored by mixing sand or similar grit into paint. The problem with it was that, when walked on, the paint eroded fairly quickly, leaving the bare sand exposed, leaving the surface looking dirty.

Kiwi Grip doesn't have grit mixed in with it. The paint is applied with a special roller that pulls up tiny peaks of paint, and it hardens that way. The peaks consist of pure paint, and as the peaks wear away over the years, the color underneath is the same as the surface color, so it doesn't change. Preparation for applying Kiwi Grip is not complicated.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("FahrvergnŁgen")
Past Commodore
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8325 Posts

Response Posted - 09/28/2019 :  08:34:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So Steve is saying essentially what I said, only better. (...as usual.)

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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RobLes
Deckhand

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USA
5 Posts

Response Posted - 09/28/2019 :  23:37:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Alright. Well you guys convinced me not to try to beautify it. The artist in me wishes I could. I'll just scrub the deck with Starbrite nonskid and apply some polish on the cabin sides.
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4405 Posts

Response Posted - 09/29/2019 :  04:45:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This may sound totally weird but sometimes things go that way. Have you tried using ketchup?
Yes, really, ketchup. Itís an old trick that Iíve used to bleach the gel coat white.

The gel coat on my 1985 C25 Passage is turning ďgraciously goldenĒ as she ages. I have always, since 2006, used PoliGlo to keep her shiny - easier than wax - but thatís a whole different thread.

I strip and reapply PoliGlo every 1-2 years, depending on the prior season. During the process, I clean off the old PoliGlo with PoliPrep, then I wash the surface with a dish detergent and water, then a spray of Clorox bleach using the toilet cleanup gel formulation, then rinse.

Next I mix ketchup 50-50 with water and brush it on. I let it sit for 20 mins but mist it with the hose sprayer so it doesnít dry out. Afterwards I scrub and rinse that off.
The ketchup makes the hull as white as sheíll ever get.

Folks have told me that itís probably because the ketchup has vinegar in it, itís slightly acidic. They advise that I could use oxalic acid instead. Iíve tried oxalic acid on spots, but for me itís too runny. The ketchup is sticky so I can get a more uniform coating.

So perhaps before you get too far down the pike, try a mild acid on your deck gel coat. No need to PoliGlo the deck. First clean with soap, clorox and water. On a wet deck, smear it up with ketchup plus water, maybe add some vinegar. Let it sit awhile. Keep it wet.

But do it uniformly so you donít end up with a patchwork. I used a roller pan and a long-handled deck brush to apply it in large areas. You might try all forward the cabintop, then the cabintop and sideboards/gunwales, then the cockpit, gunwales and transom.

It could not hurt.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain ó Milford, CT

Edited by - Voyager on 09/29/2019 05:12:43
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bigelowp
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1448 Posts

Response Posted - 09/29/2019 :  06:08:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The ketchup trick I have seen for years used by dingy sailers to clean the bottom before racing -- works great and is simple and safe. I would not water it down however. PoliGlo, if not stripped every few years, can build up a yellowish-tan stain that, over time, can be difficult to completely clean so stripping and reapplying every couple of years as Bruce does is the way to go.

Peter Bigelow
C-25 TR/FK #2092 Limerick
Rowayton, Ct
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3655 Posts

Response Posted - 09/29/2019 :  07:16:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Folks have told me that itís probably because the ketchup has vinegar in it, itís slightly acidic.

Yep, That's the magic ingredient. Really anything like vinegar or lemon juice that is acidic should do the same thing but I understand the ketchup will cling.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8325 Posts

Response Posted - 09/29/2019 :  08:14:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RobLes

..Well you guys convinced me not to try to beautify it...

What did we say?? I agree with trying some things to brighten her up. Paint should be a last resort--if it cracks or peels later, it pretty much has to be completely stripped off and done over. I've walked away from some boats that had been painted by amateurs--didn't need to get within 20' of them.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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sethp001
Mainsheet C-25 Tech Editor

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788 Posts

Response Posted - 10/09/2019 :  21:02:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by islander

quote:
Folks have told me that itís probably because the ketchup has vinegar in it, itís slightly acidic.

Yep, That's the magic ingredient. Really anything like vinegar or lemon juice that is acidic should do the same thing but I understand the ketchup will cling.



No! It's the onion and garlic ingredients!



Seth
"Outlier" 1987 Catalina 25 SR/SK/Traditional Interior #5541
"Zoo" 1977 Morgan Out Island 30
"Nomad" 1980 Prindle 16
"Lost" 1988 Catalina Capri 14.2
"Marine Tex 1" Unknown Origin POS 8' Fiberglass Dinghy
http://whichsailboat.com/2015/08/22/catalina-22-review/
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