Matching color of cabin top nonskid for gelcoat repair

Apr 6, 2013
72
Catalina 310 Annapolis
I want to fix a few dings in the topside gelcoat of my 2002 Catalina 310, particularly on the nonskid, with a Gibco mold . Some of the nonskid, especially on the cabin top, is not a pure white. It is almost pinkish. Has anyone done this and, if so, how did you match the gelcoat color? Catalina direct sells a tint adjusting kit but I wonder if there is another way to do it? Thanks in advance!
 
Apr 14, 2014
10
catalina 310 Rock Hall, MD
I took the sliding hatch to a paint retailer and they mixed paint that closely matches the color of the hatch. They called it Catalina white. After repairing the nonskid, I repainted with a bonding primer and then with the matching paint. It looks good to me.
 

rukidn

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Apr 23, 2012
158
Catalina 310 258 Sandusky, OH
Great idea on the paint match. I second that Andy at Boatworks has great tutorials.

I believe early CA boats have different colors than the FL built boats. Are you repairing the fine texture white gelcoat or the gray heavier non-skid? Catalina parts dept sells gelcoat that is pretty close, creatively named "Regular White" for FL boats, but a bit too light and I've darkened with umber (or I've mixed in the interior "SeaShell" gelocat). To match the gray, I had to lighten the factory color with Reg White. Be sure to wet sand the area adjacent to the patch with 1000-1200 grit to ensure all of the oxidation and surface discoloration is removed before matching. Small mismatches on the white will all but disappear when polished and waxed. I've kept the factory gelcoat pint cans in the freezer to prolong life.

Instead of the expensive FlexMold, I made my own using silicone mold making kit found at the hobby store. I have many dozens of holes in the gray due to a bimini failure in a storm, but has worked on the few I've fixed so far.

Go for it. It takes some practice with gelcoat to get the desired results, but you can Dremel out and try again (and again as I did). My first practice was on the sides of the pilot seat, which fell off the boat while on the hard.
 
Apr 6, 2013
72
Catalina 310 Annapolis
Thanks for all the good advice here. None of this is structural, but after shelling out multiple units of "Boat Bucks", 1st to buy the boat and, then, again, to fix and upgrade 20+ years of wear and tear on all systems, seeing the odd chip and ding in the gelcoat is just annoying. And, now that I am entering quasi retirement, I can't really justify the exorbitant amount it would cost me to pay someone to fix what is, primarily, a nuisance cosmetic issue. Best to do myself. I did my first ever gelcoat repairs fixing a bunch of chips and scratches on the transom when she was on the hard and those came out rather well. Can't see any difference from 6 feet away, and that is good enough for me. Also, thanks for the most recent tip about the color of the topside grey gelcoat. It doesn't look really grey to me, more pinkish.

I think what I will do is get the gelcoat paste from Catalina Direct and their tinting kit then, based on something I saw on a Boatworks video, lay down some wax on a section of the nonskid and play with the colors until I get what I want.
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,773
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Good plan...........I like your fortitude!! Good luck. Post before and after photos.
 

rukidn

.
Apr 23, 2012
158
Catalina 310 258 Sandusky, OH
Six feet works for me too, and only I know where to look. It's hard to remove the oxidation from the gray gelcoat. I used a round carpet brush on my buffer with Bar Keeper's Friend to clean it up. The gray came back. You can see the original color under a hinge on the anchor locker for example. More blueish.