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To Clear, or not to Clear...

Sam I am

Well-known member
...that's my question. Let's hear it experts: what would you do and why would you do it? Would the fact you're paying for it rather than DIY impact your decision? $$ differences?
If it will sand and buff i'd go that route. You will need to keep on it to keep it looking good but after the hard part is done its not bad to keep up with. Clearing is alot easier for the guy doing it but its clear coat. Imagine your car getting walked on and such like your boat does. Its going to need more polishing to keep the scratches under control.
I thought it was possible to spray on clear gel coat? I don't think it goes on real smooth and since it is hard as nails required a great deal of sanding and polishing to get smooth but I did think some were doing it. Maybe Checkmate is too but maybe it is cost prohibitive on a whole boat and especially on an old one?

Just wondering if it is an option? Not saying it is the only way to go or anything.
My first choice would be to sand and buff. They do make a clear coat that can be sprayed over gelcoat. That would be my second option. http://www.fibreglast.com/product/Clear_Gel_Coat_just_gel_coats_00180/Polyester_Resins

Get a Crystal-Clear, High-Gloss, Protective Finish

#180 Clear Gel Coat is a high performance, premium quality gel coat for both airless and air atomized spray applications. #180 offers UV light stability, excellent clarity, crack and chemical resistance. This deep, crystal-clear and non-yellowing gel coat is compatible with underwater and water contact marine applications as well as sanitaryware such as showers and tubs. It is recommended to be used as a protective clear coat over other colors or glitterflake. Blend with #1040 Duratec Hi-Gloss Additive when top coating.

Formulated for 1.5% - 2.5% MEKP.

#180/69-F kit contains (1) QUART RESIN, (1) #69-A.

#180/69-A kit contains (1) GAL RESIN, (3) #69-A.

#180/69-BK kit contains (4) GAL RESIN, (9) #69-A.
If you did the sand and buff to bring the color back to a new look, then applied the clear gel coat with the sand and buff, would it give the protection and finish of a new hull?
At this point it might be cheaper for you to buy a new hull... but I say clear. What do the boys at Checkmate say?

I have been buffing my Diplomat back to life every year. But on the aft corner where the sun hits it all day in the boat slip, the gel is done. I can feel the flake poking out. So, I am going to experiment with doing a test spot with clear. If it works out I am going to shoot the whole top side next year. Not sure of the economics.
Karzrus, Dean @ Checkmate said Clear Gel is an option and would probably look great, but it doesn't spray smooth. It sprays orange peel and the amount labor $$ due for sanding to smooth it all out is crazy. And then Mark is correct: might as well go for a new hull. The current hull is still solid and serviceable, just cosmetically is a mess due to the hazed clear which is also blurring the condition of the gel.

Not sure which way to fall on this issue. I was prepared for this to be a bad investment in terms of $$, but I don't want to turn it into catastrophe either.
I looked at a RED mid 90s 2100BR that had been clear coated to keep the fading at bay and it looked great. Except where he had fisheyes and pops behind the aft bench. Looks great, but hard to get it there, seems to be the consensus.
Is that softer than traditional gel?

I looks like it is polyester resin hardened with MEKP so it is very much a traditional Gel Coat. The high gloss additive they recommend for spraying it out of mold or as a repair may soften it up a bit, but more likely just helps it self level so you don't have to sand to get it smooth.

If Checkmate has not used it before, that may be a concern though as it's always better if the guy spraying it has some experience with the product? But it's likely they could easily adjust, I'd sure ask if I was you.