awlgrip vs gelcoat

Awlgrip Vs Gelcoat [Everything You Need To Know]


Who doesn’t like a good paint job on a boat? It makes the boat look all new and shiny. However, you’ve got to pick the right paint. Otherwise, you may risk damaging the boat. We hope that this article will help you determine which paint to use.

So, which one should you choose: Awlgrip vs Gelcoat?

To begin, Awlgrip is polyurethane-based and Gelcoat is polyester-based. In terms of stain-resistant, Awlgrip is superior. But, Gelcoat is cheaper. Awlgrip, on the other hand, has better longevity. When it comes to repairs, Gelcoat is easier. With regard to water resistance, Gelcoat is better.

We’re only getting started. There’s a good bit you need to know before you can make a choice.

Let’s begin.

Awlgrip Vs Gelcoat: Basic Differences

By painting your boat, you’ll ensure it doesn’t develop rust. This is just like a keel guard or keel shield that’ll protect the boat from scratches. 

Awlgrip and Gelcoat differ in some ways that set them apart. With this table, we’ll take a look at those factors-

Feature Awlgrip Gelcoat
Type Polyurethane Polyester
Strength More Less
Price More expensive Less expensive
Water resistance Less More
Longevity  More Less

We hope we were able to whet your appetite for a thorough comparison. Because that’s exactly what’s coming up next.

Awlgrip vs Gelcoat: The Final Battle

The following discussion will assist you in making your final decision. We’ll take a look at the upsides and downsides of the products.

Please examine the details to ensure you don’t overlook anything.

Stain resistance

Stain resistance is the ability to resist contamination from atmospheric dust. This is a crucial characteristic of exterior coatings. Let’s see which of Awlgrip and Gelcoat will do a better job of stain prevention.

Awlgrip employs Black Swan, also known as ‘beading’ technology. They remove the stain as beads, making them stain-resistant.

In reverse, Gelcoat doesn’t have that capability. Hence, they won’t be able to protect your boat from staining. One option is to use a primer with Gelcoat. That’ll improve their stain resistance ability. This is similar to marine tex and jb weld.


Both Awlgrip and Gelcoat need an adhesive before you can use them. 

The adhesive that comes with Gelcoat is not very strong. It’ll leave traces on your boat. Furthermore, if not properly painted, the paint begins to peel off.

Awlgrip, on the other hand, comes with a strong adhesive known as 2M. This’ll keep the paint from peeling as easily. Thus, ensuring its longevity. 

You’ll need the correct paintbrush. Hence, ensure that you’re using the proper paintbrush to get the job done. On that note, here are the top two brands of paintbrushes that we recommend-

Product 1 Product 2

These paintbrushes should do an amazing job. Let us now carry on.

Water Resistance

Water resistance is an important characteristic you must consider while painting your boat. You’ll need to make sure you’re applying paint that won’t wash off easily.

Gelcoat is designed to be water-resistant. It tends to dry hard and self-levels, even on vertical surfaces. The formula also resists water blistering even after repeated use. You can also paint below the waterline with Gelcoat.

As we know, Volvo Penta and Mercruiser are known for their durability. Just like them, Gelcoat is known for its durability in water.

Awlgrip also has water-resistant properties. But it’s not as good as Gelcoat on that front. Moreover, It is not advised to use Awlgrip below the waterline. The vessel shouldn’t be submerged for more than 24 to 72 hours if it’s used. This also depends on the temperature.

Protection from UV rays

UV rays are harmful to both your boat and the paint job. 

The cured topcoat system of Awlgrip has a tight cross-linking structure. This helps to seal out dirt, oil, and grime while also proving UV ray protection. 

Gelcoat polymers, in reverse, have catalyzed layers. They’ll become more and more porous as time goes by. Consequently, they don’t offer very good UV rays protection.

That’s all the differences you need to keep in mind before making an informed decision. 

Lastly, Are you going with Gelcoat? Then, you should learn the proper way of administering Gelcoat on your boat. 

Awlgrip vs Gelcoat: Our Verdict

Before making a decision, weigh all of the benefits and drawbacks. Both paints have some distinguishing characteristics. Also, each of them has a disadvantage.

If you’re looking for something more affordable, Gelcoat can be a great option. But, if you’re looking for something longer-lasting, Awlgrip will be your best bet.


Question: What’s the price of Awlgrip and Gelcoat?

Answer: Awlgrip will cost you around $240-260 dollars per can. On the other hand, you’ll get Gelcoat for about $140-180. You’ll also need to buy other things like primers, adhesives, and paintbrushes. So, keep track of their cost as well. Be sure to check different stores as prices vary.

Question: Why isn’t the paint adhering to my boat?

Answer: Keeping a clean, oil-free, and dry surface is usually enough to ensure paint adhesion. Moreover, paint always adheres better to a slightly roughened surface. To roughen the surface, use a damp cloth to rub off any excess caulk. Now there shouldn’t be any issues in terms of adhesion.

Question: How long will Awlgrip and Gelcoat last?

Answer: Gel coat typically has a shelf life of 3-4 months at 70 degrees. Life is generally cut in half for every 10 degrees higher. This means you’ll need to repaint your boat every 4 months. If you take proper care of Awlgrip, it’ll last you at least 7-10 years. 


Our in-depth discussion on Awlgrip vs Gelcoat has come to an end.

We sincerely hope we were able to shed some light on the situation at hand. Remember to give your boat an adequate amount of time to dry after painting.

Until next time. Goodbye.

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