After getting a quote in Seattle for painting the hull, we decided to have it done in Fiji where labor rates are much less. To make up for the gelcoat mistake (see post from September 2015), they gave me a reduced price on labor and didn’t mark up the paint & supplies. I was confident in the painter’s skills and when I was in Fiji, he showed me another boat he had recently done.
Instead of gelcoat, most boats are using a polyurethane paint nowadays. It has better UV protection and isn’t susceptible to chalking, discoloration, or leaching. Polyurethane also maintains a high gloss appearance and flexibility even in full sun exposure and harsh environments. Repair of surface damage is easier than with gelcoat.
One drawback with using polyurethane on the hull is that the topsides will still be gelcoat, so the boat won’t be uniform. Exact color matching isn’t an issue since the outer hull isn’t right next to the topsides.
Since I wasn’t there when it was painted, I won’t know how well it turned out until I return in April. I’ll have new decals made in Seattle to take along and apply them in Fiji.