Surfski Refurb New Gelgoat / Respray

1 week 5 days ago #38437 by lancaster
Hey
I've recently got back on my Epic V10L ultra, 2007? model and the seam is separating & the gel coat is in need of much love. The seam separation leaves very sharp edges that have sliced my fingers multiple times.. so i've gaffer taped them up but worry the boat is loosing its structural integrity.

Would be a shame to bin the boat, its been a lot of fun over the years & i can still pick it up with one hand & weirdly it doesn't leak despite the seam separation.

Does anyone have experience in complete refurbishing the gel coat on skis? Is it possible?
Can the existing gel coat be removed without damaging the underlying structure?

Thanks for any advice / knowledge
James

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1 week 5 days ago #38444 by waverider
Are the "seams' that are separating actually seams, or just a trim applied over the seam? If its not leaking and there are no soft spots I guess thats just gel coat peeling off. If it has soft spots then it is the composite that would be damaged / crushed with resultant weakening and potential for moisture getting into the core.

The flaky Gel coat can be locally sanded and smoothed, then flow coat applied and smoothed. To make it a really pro looking job is probably not worth it on such an old boat. I would be checking it carefully for softs spots first though

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1 week 3 days ago #38459 by Ranga
The ski wont leak as it is an epoxy ski and well laminated, essentially if you remove all the gelcoat you will still be fine. The biggest problem with epoxy is the lack of gelcoats that bond to it.
What I suggest if you want to keep the ski and spend money on it is, remove all the gelcoat carefully, this will also include the seam tape as that is bonded to the gelcoat so basically useless. You will then have a naked ski! 
I would then reapply the seam and then paint the ski with a high quality paint like a polyurethane which will bond. You will have a lighter ski and you can do it in any colour you like.
Obviously if you send it out to someone it will cost a lot but if you are somewhat handy I would do it myself , just get the final painting done professionally by a panel shop as most paints are hazardous to you health and they will do a much better job.
The seam you can get done at a composite repairer if you are not that good with composites. What costs the most is preparation, if you can do that it will save heaps. Just be very careful removing the gelcoat, don't go into the kevlar as that will fur up and cause you a few headaches. 

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1 week 3 days ago - 1 week 3 days ago #38460 by waverider

Ranga wrote: I would then reapply the seam and then paint the ski with a high quality paint like a polyurethane which will bond. You will have a lighter ski and you can do it in any colour you like.
Obviously if you send it out to someone it will cost a lot but if you are somewhat handy I would do it myself , just get the final painting done professionally by a panel shop as most paints are hazardous to you health and they will do a much better job.
The seam you can get done at a composite repairer if you are not that good with composites. What costs the most is preparation, if you can do that it will save heaps. Just be very careful removing the gelcoat, don't go into the kevlar as that will fur up and cause you a few headaches. 


Those cheap epic knock offs from China ( i got one secondhand as my first ski) have paint finish rather than gelcoat, and yes it does make them lighter. The paint however scratches as soon as something touches it. if you go that road i wouldn't go overboard on the spray job as it will soon get tatty and you will need to keep touching it up if you want to keep it pristine. . As Ranga says you can be creative and change colour whenever you like. I give mine a creative touch up with rattle can paint every now and then. Mine doesnt even have the seam tape trim and is just flush..but its not my main boat now it was just my intro to the world of surfski. It is a reasonable thing to do to squeeze some extra time out of an old boat and its easier to touch up than a gelcoat

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