What paint for dinghy?

I’m rehabbing a twin of this dinghy.

Aside from some recent epoxy&glass patches, it’s original gelcoat. 

and haven’t decided what finish it should have.
Most of my dinghies get knocked around a lot, so annual painting was needed regardless. That means a coat of Kirby’s.

THis one is likely to have an easier life, being used just for the lunchtime harbor row, before the afternoon wind comes up. 

It hasn’t ever been painted, so gelcoat is a possibility.    I don’t have spray equipment, so i suppose it’d be rolled on.  Does gelcoat lie flat or does it need lots of sanding and buffing?  

The third possibility is a two-part polyurethane. I’ve had good results with them, and I suppose it’s the leading alternative to gelcoat. 

What say you?



Super Anarchist
Any sprayed gelcoat will have to be sanded and then buffed to make it shine.

I'd also vote for 2 part polyurethane.


silent bob

Super Anarchist
New Jersey
Any sprayed gelcoat will have to be sanded and then buffed to make it shine.

I'd also vote for 2 part polyurethane.
It’s 50:50, but there’s only a 40% chance of that!  With a urethane, it’s all in the prep.  With gelcoat, it’s all in the finish.  I’ve found on smaller boats, gelcoat can be wetsanded and buffed, and come back to nearly new condition.  Too bad wa can’t go back to the original Immron formula.  Either way, to get a good result, a lot of sanding will be necessary!  

Many years ago, I faired a skiff.  I used Proline Epoxy as primer, expecting to finish it with AwlGrip.  Ended up sanding it out and buffing it.  It’ll yellow with time, but it can be sanded and buffed and come right back.  

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Western LIS
Below is a link to a post on a forum where people are having great success with Alexseal with a rolling additive. They seem to be reporting great results with minimal effort. 

Seconding the Alexseal. Fantastic paint that's repairable. Straight off the roller with the additive will give you a very nice finish. Then, only if you want, sand to 1200  to 1500 and polish with 3M Perfect-It EX Machine Polish.

AN in the sun.jpg

I liked the longevity of gelcoat, but I feared that gelcoat would exceed my capabilities.  
Sounds like that’s the case. 
I’ve got some Awlgrip on the shelf.   That’s what I’ll use. 

Thanks to all.


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