Down to the gelcoat you say? No problem!

So we had our first, of many I’m sure, contractors out to Akupara last weekend to take a close look at the decks and provide an estimate to having them media blasted.

He seemed like a thoughtful contractor. He discussed the project at length, he examined most of Akupara’s decks, he even took pictures of some spots. He discussed portioning off parts so as to minimize the dust etc. and we took a screwdriver and scratched off some of the non skid to attempt to determine how thick it was.

When he had gathered enough information, he thanked us and was on his way, but then about 2 minutes later there was a knock on the hull. He asked if there was a piece that he could bring back to his shop in order to run some tests. That way he would have a better idea as to how much material he would need to remove the non skid and paint. I reluctantly removed one of the aft locker lids and let him take that on his way.

The next day I received an email with a nice quote all typed up and professional, but to my horror it was $9300! How in hell can a rough estimate go from $1300 with one company to $9300 for another.

Well, the answer lies in one’s understanding of what gel coat actually is. In the email exchange that followed his quote, he kept talking about how much effort was required and how much media he needed to get the paint and non skid off. I know some of these products can be hard, but I was still in sticker shock so I didn’t really pick up on certain subtleties of his spoken word. In any event, I made it clear that I was not going to proceed at that price and we made an arrangement to meet so that I could get my locker lid back.

Imagine my surprise when I went and picked it up and saw this.

Ya I can take it down to the gelcoat no problem. So what is gelcoat exactly???

It seems that in all of his eagerness to obtain the job, he may have forgotten (if he ever knew) what gelcoat is, or perhaps he got confused and thought I had said, take off all of the gelcoat, but in any case, all of the non-skid and al of the paint and all of the gelcoat has now been removed from my locker lid.

Oh well, now we can practice our filling and fairing techniques as well as our painting and non skid applications. 🙂

All I can think is thank god I didn’t just give him the go ahead and come back to find half of Akupara’s decks down to raw glass…no wonder he had such a hard time getting the paint off!


Turns out the marina where Akupara is stored only allows 1 company to do media blasting and they only use iron or glass. They are not able to remove only the paint and in fact would probably remove most of the first layer of glass. So much for media blasting. The only option would be to move the boat to a yard that does allow it, and that just makes the cost prohibitive. Back to sanding I guess.


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