Don't give up on half-a-century-old gelcoat

Don't give up on half-a-century-old gelcoat

Joined: August 16th, 2015, 3:44 pm

September 19th, 2017, 9:03 pm #1

It's getting time in New England to put boats away. Not wanting to fight next spring's rush, I had the heavily oxidized deck of my Lancer polished last week. I had very little hope of reviving an acceptable finish and I was thinking that I would have to go down the Awlgrip paint road as many restorations have done.

Well, I'm thrilled to report that this ancient Chris Craft gelcoat is back from the dead! The result is unbelievable. Here are a few shots that don't quite do justice to the smoothness and shine of the "new" deck. It's quite fantastic to think that a chemical compound cooked half a century ago has resisted 50 years outdoors in harsh conditions. Chris Craft did build quality products, maybe they still do.

So, don't give up on restoring your faded and sad looking gelcoat. Now, don't ask me what "Magic Potion" was used, only thing I know is that it comes in $300 Gallons. The biggest job was to remove all hardware, a real pain with totally rusted and crumbling pieces. Some of the hardware is out to re-chrome (chrome expense about the original cost of the boat!)

Cheers
Pierre






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Joined: October 15th, 2007, 8:14 am

September 20th, 2017, 8:09 am #2

Congratulation, great job!

Marco
Last edited by FEfinaticP on September 20th, 2017, 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Paul
Paul

September 22nd, 2017, 1:12 am #3

If the gelcoat is still able to provide service and look good, no need to paint it, because the process is expensive and paint is not as durable in use as gelcoat is. Let's wait and see what you get before making that decision. All you may need is an afternoon with a buffing compound and wax. My Lancer project has damage so the top will likely need paint unless there is some way to hide it which is doubtful.

Regards,
Paul
Last edited by FEfinaticP on September 22nd, 2017, 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: October 15th, 2007, 8:14 am

September 22nd, 2017, 9:10 am #4

I have here Meguiar's Heavy oxidation remover, fine polish and wax, but this crazing doesn't look too promising:


In the meantime, can anybody confirm if the Stewart Warner gauges on XK19 are 2 1/8 or 2 1/16 in diameter ?
And what diameter the Tach should be?

Thanks a lot and have all a nice day,

Marco
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Joined: July 15th, 2005, 8:09 pm

September 22nd, 2017, 2:10 pm #5

Marco, that crazing looks pretty serious from the photo. I think I would attempt to sand it with 1000 grit wet sand paper and a drop of soap, just to see what happens. I am wondering if that area might have actually been repaired or painted. It's tough to tell from photos but your photo is a very good one.

Good luck, keep us posted.

Regarding instruments, I can not personally help you on that one because I don't have an Italian XK here, but I would proceed carefully there too because I know Herb Pocklington and his production people in Italy did make modifications to the basic boats along the way, and if they were able to obtain a gauge slightly different diameter it would have been very easy to use it. As an example, the 23 Commander we have here in the US was built in Italy under the name "Monte Carlo", and it was the same basic boat as we have in the US but the top deck casting has been modified and the aft deck was lowered with a rail and sun pad. There are also a variety of models we know about but we never got from Italy here in the US, for instance I don't know of even one example of the Monte Carlo that ever made it to the US

Regards,
Paul
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