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replacing the clear coat

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  • replacing the clear coat

    Ok , need some help here understanding the boat finish options I should be looking at. I bought an 87 chapperal 18 inbrd about 6 yrs ago and the exterior fiberglass finish looked great. last couple of years and in particular this spring it is looking pretty poor. there is a white substance showing up, only on the darker grey areas of the 2 tone gray and white finish. The boat has a white top which is still in good shape, but the darker grey as it rolls over the side, past the rub rail and down the side of the hull.

    This white stuff will come off with acetone or a razor blade window scrapper. mostly it comes off as a white powder but sometimes it is in thin 1/2 inch pieces like your skin does after a sun burn.

    I have been told this is the clear coat coming off, but as I work with it I seem to be able to see brush strokes of old, so maybe the previous owner had put on urethane ?? can you even put on "clear coat" with a brush or roller??

    and curious as to why this white stuff is only coming off the grey areas and not the white areas.

    Then I read in some forums that boat builders do not use clear coat , that is a car thing, so what is put on top of the gelcoat to protect if anything.

    any way I can get this stuff off what ever it is, but my question is should I try and put another coat of something over top once it is clean, or just use a compound polish on the gelcoat, every year so.

    the exposed grey surface (gelcoat ??) is dull, Is that the way gel coat is supposed to look??

    and my apologies if I am using wrong terminology, ie gel coat, clear coat etc. not even sure what each is.

    Just know what I got ain't right but being an older boat "87" not likely worth putting 2-$3000 into a professional refinish job. so like the weekend warrier I am, will do it myself as long as I get good advise.

    any suggestions


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