Gelcoat Repairs

What is gelcoat and why it needs repairing

Gelcoat is the very outer layer of the kayak. Gelcoat scratches and chips are a fact of life in a composite kayak, and they do not pose a threat to your kayak’s lifespan. To minimise any damage follow the guidance on how to Care for your composite sea kayak.

Colour Matching

For repairs we recommend topcoat. Topcoat is gelcoat with a wax solution added, the wax will allow the surface to harden making it easier to sand.

The hardest part of a repair to the surface of a composite kayak is matching the colour. Professionals who do gelcoat repairs daily still have difficulty getting a perfect match. Even “factory” colours don’t match exactly after a boat has been exposed to sunlight (UV).

White has the significant advantage of being fairly easy to match, and once a small repair is buffed out to a gloss, shading differences will be unnoticeable. Matching colored decks is somewhat more challenging. Start with the closest RAL shade and fine tune with the relevant pigments.

The first step is to create an area of gelcoat on the boat that is not faded and which can be used as a comparison when mixing the pigments. Use a sanding block with 1200 grade wet-or-dry (waterproof abrasive paper) with water to rub away a small test area of faded gelcoat and expose the original gelcoat colour beneath.

Put a measured amount of gelcoat into a mixing cup and add the pigment tints a drop at a time. Keep track of the number of drops of each tint. When the color looks close in the cup, touch a drop of the mix onto the hull. Make required adjustments until you are satisfied with the match – don’t expect perfection – then write down the formula so you can duplicate it for a future mix. When you are satisfied with the colour match, wipe away all of the test drops with acetone.

Always colour gelcoat before you add the catalyst.

Gelcoat colours for Tiderace sea kayaks

RAL shades used in Tiderace kayaks for 2014-2016 models
Colour RAL shade Used on:
RED 3020 ALL MODELS
BLUE 5017 ALL MODELS
WHITE 9003 ALL MODELS
BLACK 9005 ALL MODELS
RAL shades used in Tiderace kayaks for 2012-2013 models
Colour RAL shade Used on:
RED 3020 ALL MODELS
BLUE 5015 ALL MODELS
GREEN 6018 ALL MODELS
GREY 7047 ALL MODELS
WHITE 9003 ALL MODELS
BLACK 9005 ALL MODELS
YELLOW 1016 All except Xcape Series
YELLOW 1028 Xcape Series only
RAL shades used in Tiderace kayaks for pre 2011 models
Colour RAL shade Used on:
RED 3020 ALL MODELS
ORANGE 2009 ALL MODELS
YELLOW 1028 ALL MODELS
GREY 7047 ALL MODELS
WHITE 9003 ALL MODELS
BLACK 9005 ALL MODELS

For UK based customers

We recommend you order topcoat direct from East Coast Fibreglass Supplies Tyne & Wear, UK – They carry a huge range of new build/repair materials and accessories  and their technical back-up is superb.

Order through their website at: www.ecfibreglasssupplies.co.uk/c-666-flowcoattopcoat-coloured-inc-catalyst.aspx

You can order as little as a 0.5kg tin topcoat + catalyst for approx £6.50 each

. This ensures you’re always getting fresh material and only buying the quantity you need. East Coast can also supply a large range of pigments so you can fine tune the shade of your topcoat if required.