Raritan Engineering Company would like to share with you this week some powerful tips on how to make and keep your sail boat looking amazing.
Your marine parts source specialists know that as good a job as the Badger does, however, setting up and cleaning the tool is a multi-step process. In the interest of simplicity, we have also outlined an alternative method of repairing gelcoat—applying gelcoat with a brush instead of with a spray gun.
The advantage of “painting” gelcoat on is that you save the $17 price of an airbrush and the hassle of setup and cleanup. However, you can’t finish the job in one sitting; the gelcoat must be brushed on in several coats to achieve good coverage.
Fortunately there is an even better solution, the Preval Sprayer. The Preval combines the best of the Badger and the paint brush. It’s quick to set up and clean, and provides adequate coverage in a single application.
The Preval Sprayer is not a new product. It has been used for many years by boatbuilders and boatyards to do spot repairs to gelcoat. It’s not economical even for a yard to do minor cosmetic repairs with a big, compressor-driven industrial spray gun.
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Instead, use an unwaxed paper cup. Your marine parts source professionals say that you can just stick the stem of the propellant can in a corner of the cup as you spray. You must be careful to keep the stem immersed in gelcoat, or the sprayer will sputter and splatter.
The Preval will spray 16 ounces of liquid with a full can of propellant. This means you can re-use it for several gelcoat repairs before you toss it.
However, you must carefully clean it after every use. Cleaning is a quick three-step procedure: First, stick the stem in acetone and spray for a few seconds.
As a final precaution, stick the stem back in acetone and spray it through the system for a few more seconds. When buying gelcoat, it’s best to check first with the builder of your boat, because he is most likely to have colors that match, or give you the information you need to make a match.
As with any gelcoat job, the surface must be perfectly faired with auto body and/or lacquer putty, or fairing compound before spraying. The gelcoat must be thinned slightly with reducer to spray evenly (although acetone is often recommended from thinning, it will cause the finish to more quickly lose its brightness, color, and gloss).
So don’t forget these helpful reminders on how to keep your boat looking amazing. 1) Be open-minded about applying gelcoat with a brush and not an air gun; 2) the gelcoat must be brushed on in several coats to look its best; and 3) remember that the surface must be perfectly faired with lacquer or auto body putty before spraying.
Learn more at Raritan Engineering about how we are always the best marine parts source.