|Posted: January 02 2008 at 14:21 | IP Logged
I had some gel coat cracks repaired on my starboard deck to prevent water from getting into the balsa core. The local yard (Kent Narrows Yacht Yard) did it at rhe normal rate ($55 per hour plus materials) and I watched the guy do it. It seemed to me that the hours it took to do it were reasonable. Total cost for 10 hours of work plus materials was $650 including materials and tax.
That was back in 2004. Rates now are about $65 per hour. One of the most time consuming jobs was getting the new gel coat exactly the right color. This requires repeated mixing and testing.
If you want to do it yourself (apparently you don't) there are plenty of articles on how to do it and they correspond pretty well to how the yard man did it. It just takes time and patience. A little experience doesn't hurt either. Materials cost very little. I think the combined linear length of my cracks was less than a foot so the cost was about $55 per inch but I'm not sure whether the cost runs by the inch or by the job.
Basically the procedure is to apply the gel coat like a thick paint (after you have the color right). Then you sand it down with progressively finer grades of sandpaper until you have it fine enough to polish with a polishing compound. And finally you finish it off with a glaze. Doesn't require a rocket scientist; just a guy with plenty of patience.
A Murray Chris Craft Constellation 500