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How much does it cost to paint and gelcoat a boat - featured image

How Much Does It Cost To Paint And Gelcoat A Boat? (Revealed!)

The cost to re-gelcoat or repaint a boat typically ranges from $1,500 to $8,000 or more, depending on the size of the boat and the extent of the work needed. For example, re-gelcoating a 22-foot boat might cost between $1,500 to $2,500, while a larger boat or one needing more extensive repairs could cost significantly more.

Factors That Affect Boat Painting and Gelcoating Costs

Several key factors influence the total price of painting or gelcoating your boat:

  1. Boat Size: Larger boats require more materials and labor, increasing the overall cost. Prices are often estimated per foot.
  2. Condition of the Existing Gelcoat: Boats with heavily worn or damaged gelcoat may need additional prep work and repairs, adding to the total expense. One boater reported paying $2,000 to restore the chalky, stained gelcoat on a 22′ Wellcraft.
  3. Color Changes: If you’re altering the color of your boat, expect to pay more due to the extra labor and materials required. Additional colors can easily double the labor rate, which averages $100 to $125 per hour.
  4. Geographic Location: Labor rates and material costs vary by region, so the same job might cost more in some areas than others.

DIY vs. Professional Boat Painting and Gelcoating

someone observing a large boat in a factory

While it’s possible to paint or gelcoat your boat yourself, it’s a labor-intensive process that requires skill, patience, and the right tools and materials. For most boat owners, hiring a professional is the way to go.

Professional shops have the experience and equipment to properly prep the surface, make necessary repairs, and apply the new gelcoat or paint for a durable, high-quality finish. Expect to pay around $220 per foot for professional prep, labor, and materials.

Choosing the Right Option for Your Boat

When deciding between painting and gelcoating, consider your budget, the condition of your boat, and your desired outcome.

Gelcoat is the original finish applied to most fiberglass boats and offers a glossy, durable surface. However, it can be more expensive to apply and may not be the best choice for boats with extensive damage.

Paint, such as Awlgrip or Total Boat Paint, can be a more affordable option, especially if you’re looking to change the color of your boat. A high-quality paint job can last for several years with proper care and maintenance.

Tips for Getting the Best Results

To ensure the best outcome and longevity for your boat’s new finish, consider these tips:

  1. Choose a reputable shop: Look for a shop that specializes in boat painting or gelcoating and has a proven track record of quality work.
  2. Prepare your boat: Before taking your boat in for work, give it a thorough cleaning and remove any accessories or hardware that might get in the way.
  3. Discuss your options: Talk with the professionals at the shop about your goals, budget, and any specific concerns you have about your boat’s condition. They can help you choose the best approach for your situation.
  4. Plan for downtime: Painting or gelcoating a boat can take several days to several weeks, depending on the size of the boat and the extent of the work needed. Make sure to factor this into your boating plans for the season.

==>> Also read: Gelcoat spray gun price

By understanding the costs, factors, and options involved in painting or gelcoating your boat, you can make an informed decision and enjoy a beautifully refreshed vessel for years to come.

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