What's The Difference Between Gelcoat and Marine Paint?
02/13/23 | Admin
When referring to the various areas and surfaces on your vessel, it's important to understand the differences between commonly used terms.
Marine paint is a type of urethane paint formulated specifically for use on boats that results in a super glossy finish without the need for a clear coat. Marine paint comes in more color choices than gelcoat and it's typically a more expensive application. Later down the line (after 10-20 years), gelcoat becomes more expensive to repair and marine paint is more affordable to fix and maintain due to gelcoat being more labor intensive.
Gelcoat finish is a resin-based finishing material that is formulated to be UV protective, meaning that your gelcoat is resistant to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Being out on the water where UV rays are constantly reflecting onto your gelcoat is where its protection makes a huge difference. Gelcoat requires multiple coatings as well as an additional clear coat, but has a better chemical stability and the durability is long lasting.
Before applying marine paint to a boat, the process of preparation has more steps and takes longer than the preparation for gelcoat, but marine paint still seems to be the easier option to work with. With a painted hull, there's a lot of resistance to peeling and cracking. However, marine paint has less stability with its chemicals, making it less durable than gelcoat. A painted hull has a higher chance of chipping due to chemical reactions in the paint.
It's important to understand all these differences and weigh them out according to what benefits you the most. Let's say you are big on the colors of your boat, then marine paint may be the route to go. Everyone has different preferences, and knowing the difference between options will help you make the best decision.
If you are looking to get that showroom shine with less work & labor and easier maintenance, marine paint should be your choice when it comes to selecting a finish for your boat. If you are looking for more protection and durability that lasts longer and is more resistant to different chemicals, then you may want to consider gelcoat as your final selection.