What is Gel Coat and How Can it Improve Your Boat’s Performance?

A gel coat is a protective coating applied to the surface of boats, providing superior protection for your vessel against water damage, corrosion, and UV damage. It’s a tough and durable finish that allows your boat to look great for longer. But did you know that a gel coat can also improve your boat’s performance? In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of applying gel coat to boats and how it can help improve performance.

What Is Gel Coat?

A gel coat is a polyester resin-based material made up of pigments, additives, and other ingredients which provide color, strength, and durability. It forms a barrier between the hull’s substrate and the environment, offering superior protection against water absorption and ultraviolet rays. The thickness of gel coats can range from 0.5 millimeters to 4 millimeters depending on their intended use.

Benefits of Using Gel Coats on Boats

Gel coats offer many benefits when used on boats:

  • What is Gel Coat and How Can it Improve Your Boat's Performance?It provides superior resistance to both abrasion and impacts due to its strong yet flexible nature; helping protect hulls from common bumps or scratches when out on the water.

  • Gel coats prevent infiltrations of water in the substrate, helping preserve your boat’s structure and keeping it in good condition for many years.

  • It’s low maintenance and easy to clean.

  • Gel coats are available in a variety of colors and textures, letting you give your boat a unique look that stands out on the water.

  • Most importantly, gel coats can improve the performance of boats. It makes your hull smoother and more resistant to drag, allowing it to move faster while consuming less power. This makes it easier to control your boat while also reducing fuel consumption.

How Is Gel Coating Applied To Boats?

Gel coating is typically applied in three steps: preparation, spraying, and finishing. First, the surface must be properly prepared for coating by removing all dirt or other particles that could interfere with adhesion. Then multiple layers of gel coat are sprayed onto the surface using special equipment such as an airless sprayer or a high-pressure spray gun with very fine nozzles to ensure uniform coverage across the entire hull surface. Finally, any remaining imperfections are polished away and the finishing touches are applied to achieve the desired look before drying completely overnight.


A gel coat is an essential component of boat construction, offering superior protection from water damage and corrosion while also providing a unique look that stands out on the water. In addition, gel coats can improve your boat’s performance by reducing friction and drag for faster speeds and greater control. With proper preparation and application, gel coats can help keep your boat in good condition for many years to come.

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