Quick gel coat fixes

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Most of us have been there. If you haven’t, you will. It’s like putting a hook in yourself past the barb, a miserable rite of passage when it comes to any angler’s evolution. I’m talking about getting that first scratch in the gel coat of your boat. I’ve done both and honestly, I don’t know which is more painful.

That first scratch is always the toughest and something I dread from the time I first take possession of a new ride. I’m between boats and on the fence right now, but my next boat will either be a very old fixer upper or a brand new one that I’ll marry for a while. If it’s the latter, the thought has crossed my mind to just go ahead and make a little inch-long scratch just under the rub rail with my keys before I ever even back it in the water. Just get it out of the way so I don’t have to dread it. The thought of that makes me cringe though.

But you don’t have to let that fear control you. There’s actually a very cheap solution to this problem and obviously you know where I’m going with this, nail polish. For a small scratch in the gelcoat, a quick swash overtop of it with the perfect color nail polish will make it nearly untraceable. There are countless colors of nail polish out there now and a good portion of those have glitter in them that will blend extremely well with the metal flake in gel coats.

For those deeper gashes, the ones that make you hit your knees, nail polish can still help ease the pain a little. There will obviously be some that will require the assistance of a full-blown gel coat restoration specialist. But while you’re saving up for the costly repair, a little nail polish in the right color and a coat of the clear will at least keep your eyes from being drawn to the gouge each time you see the boat.