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Gelcoat ageing

18 September, 2020

Gelcoat can develop fine cracks over time on the decks and superstructure.

This damage is caused by the ageing and hardening of the gelcoat through the passage of time from UV and heat cycles. It normally affects vessel over 20years of age but sometimes younger boats if they are exposed to high levels of sunlight such as in the Med or Caribbean.

These can can sometimes be seen on sink drains where hot water and detergents run down the hull and accelerate the process.

The damage is irreversible and cannot be polished out however it can be reduced visually by regular cleaning but dirt soon creeps back into the cracks and shows up again.

To eliminate the damage the areas must sanded back, prepared and then either fresh gelcoat applied or paint. As it affects a large area this can involve the whole deck moulding in order to match the finish which is no small task.