Deck – paint or gelcoat?

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March 23, 2021 at 11:27 #26883

John Tyler


I am looking for advice on sorting out my deck finish. It is white, but each winter leaves it discoloured by algae & mould. I am considering reapplying white gelcoat, having previously just repainted it. My assumption is that the gelcoat will provide a better finish, that does not need so much cleaning every spring. The boat is in a marina on the south coast [Poole]. I know there are resin-based paints availableĀ  eg Awlgrip. Anyone tried them? Pls let me know. Thanks.

March 28, 2021 at 21:30 #26885


I hadn’t thought about how the mildewy deck was associated with my failing gel coat, but of course you are right! Our deck is dirty within a few months, and each time I clean it with brush/mild soap, I see more of my gel coat disappearing down the scuppers and forming a white cloud in the water below. However, there is plenty of gelcoat left – no areas show the underlaying laminate.

Don Casey’s book “This Old Boat” has a good description of how to care for failing gelcoat, including polishing, sanding, painting and reapplying gel coat. I’m going to try polishing, and perhaps sanding, but it sounds easier to clean the deck every few months than apply paint or a new gel coat.

It is interesting that you painted it, but you seem very unhappy with the outcome. What paint did you use?

Thanks for the food for thought – Marilyn

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