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Gel vs paint?

Old 09-27-2020, 11:55 AM
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Default Gel vs paint?

I've owned a lot of boats over the years, everything from runabouts to roller boats to fast cats. Everything to this point has been gel coated and some with vinyl graphics (ugh!!) I'm about to pull the trigger on a new CC that will be painted. I know they are still gel coat with paint over and I wonder what the pro's and con's of paint are? What about durability? How about touch up's? etc
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:01 PM
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If you're referring to in-gel graphics vs paint, I've had them both and I'm ambivalent about owning either one. I've burned through a paint job (tiny area that was not noticeable) being over aggressive with the buffer which never happened with the in-gel. but lesson learned and I'd take either. A significant ding on either surface would seem like it would be a production to get corrected.
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:57 PM
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Had my sides painted this year. A pontoon hit the side shortly after so I had to take it to get repaired. While pulling my boat to have it repaired, I got a couple nice rock chips. SO defiantly get mud flaps! I have stock size tires and tread so I initially didn’t worry about it because I hate the looks.
I’m also going to buy some of those ugly flaps that go around your hitch receiver.
I had a wrap to start with and I understand the “ugh” part.
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:59 PM
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I've seen some boats over the years that have been painted and some look good-to-great, others are kind of like that tattoo you THOUGHT was going to turn out awesome and didn't...

IMRON is a paint I've got personal experience with and you simply can't go wrong, provided the prep and execution is good. I used to race high-performance R/C boats that used 60% nitro in methanol fuel...and IMRON just shrugged off fuel spills, something I didn't see in any other paint.
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Old 09-27-2020, 07:04 PM
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Durability isn’t nearly as good as gel. If you get into a dock, even lightly it will chip/flake paint right off.
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:00 PM
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Is it just me or paint not seem to "absorb" the black streaking that gel seems to soak up?

I feel like some of that black streaking that runs under the rub rail and out from the snaps after a couple months seems to impregnate the gel and require buffing or Zep/Spray Nine to remove whereas it seems to just wash off the painted surfaces. Am I wrong?
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:54 PM
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Most people don't realize how porous gel is, although thicker it can stain easy. Most urethane paints are clear coated and when dry resist stains pretty good. For sides and topsides most companies are now using paint. For under the water line gel holds up.
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Old 09-27-2020, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by seafordguy View Post
Is it just me or paint not seem to "absorb" the black streaking that gel seems to soak up?

I feel like some of that black streaking that runs under the rub rail and out from the snaps after a couple months seems to impregnate the gel and require buffing or Zep/Spray Nine to remove whereas it seems to just wash off the painted surfaces. Am I wrong?
you can solve that problem by ceramic coating your boat.
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Old 09-28-2020, 07:38 AM
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Your level of intolerance will escalate with a painted boat! ...think pontoons with 4" hard plastic fenders from walmart pulling up beside you to raft up, even a 10" (good) fender that is not covered can cause damage to your paint job. Get good fender covers and enough to cover both sides of your boat. If someone is pulling up to you, just put yours out (unless you know that they have good fenders and covers).

Also, watch dock lines laying on your paint - they will burn through quickly, especially in rougher water. I always tie a microfiber cloth around my dock lines to protect the paint.

Good luck - now we need pics of the boat!
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:21 AM
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I agree with Terry, paint will drive some people insane. Constant nicks, chips and scratches that need to be fixed. For a basic graphics package, up to about 5 colors, I would take gel every time. If you want something fancy though, paint is your only option.
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