Colour matching suggestion for E boats

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Hi,
I've struggled over the years to master colour matching for those small repairs in the off white of 80s E boats, and have finally come close enough that I can no longer find some spots I've done.
I start with about a half teaspoon of pure white, then add a small amount of "recreation white" which is actually a cream /very light yellow colour, and then darken it slightly with less than a drop of black. Mixed together it comes very close to our E boat off white colour.
I try it on a spot and if it is not right I add one of the three colours until its invisible. Sometimes I'm mixing, adjusting, adjusting again, working quickly enough so it doesn't dry. It's important to try it on a spot to compare with the E color, and wipe off if it's not right yet, then adjust the mix again.
This has worked well for me, and may be helpful to some of you. Other colour combinations might also work, but this one worked well for me.
Frank
 

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Bob,
I know the pros would do this with gelcoat, using acrylic colours to match. But I've seen the results from a few pros, and thought I could do better, with patience.
I've found it easiest to fill any gouges or cracks with an epoxy, and then use paint as described above, applied with a small artist brush available in dollar stores in a very thin coat, and then I smooth out any minor brush strokes with my finger dipped in water with a small amount of dish soap.
The paint I use is the half pint size of Tremclad, available in most hardware stores.
I'm assuming all this is also available in the States, but if not, I'm sure there would be close substitutes.
I had previously tried a small amount of navy blue rather than black, but found it just wasn't right. I'm pretty confident that the three colours - - white, recreation white or cream yellow and black - - are the best choices. The combination of these might vary a bit by boat, depending on age, oxidation, etc., so some experimentation will be required to get it right for a particular boat.
I can't provide the actual ratio because I keep adding a bit of white, then some more yellow, then tone it down with a tip of black, so by the end I'm not sure of the exact amounts. For sure the white is predominant, with maybe a quarter yellow and just a small dab of black. If it's too white, I add yellow, if too yellow I add a tiny amount of black, and if too dark, or tending a bit to purple I add more white. It's a process till it tests as invisible.
I challenged my wife to find my repair, told her approximately where it was, and she couldn't find it, so I'm pretty pleased with it, but it does take practice and patience to get the right mix.
Frank
 
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Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Matching that darned "white"

One of my dock neighbors just gel coated a scratch on his hull side. Similar problem of tinting and fe-tinting to get to a match of his boat's "white."
IF he tells me where to look I can see the repair, but it's mostly invisible now.
To me this a good example of doing your best because doing nothing at all is a lot worse.

Faced with the prospect of hiring an expert - costing me about $80./hour -- I will probably have to gel coat about 37 small epoxy-filled holes on my cabin left over from the old dodger. Tedious "fall project."

Ahh, the 'fun' of maintaining your own boat!
;)

If there is reincarnation, I am hoping to come back as a wealthy boat owner....

Edit: link to an earlier related thread: http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexchange/showthread.php?3854-Matching-Gel-coat&referrerid=28
 

Gline

Junior Member
White is incredibly hard to match, I’ve attempted and always failed. I applaud your skills! I gave up and found a local company that would gel coat match for me. They require a half dollar size chip to put in the color matching machine thingy. I couldn’t find a half dollar size piece I was willing chip off, but Home Depot only needs a tiny piece to color match. I had Home Depot match the color with paint and then I painted onto a piece of paper. This was perfect for the gel coat folks to match for me. Not cheap ($125 for the gallon of Gel Coat and Matching) but now they have the color saved and I can buy quarts in the future. I’ve touched up dozens maybe hundreds of small dings and now no one can see them (excepts me of course).
 

Afrakes

Sustaining Member
Formula

White is incredibly hard to match, I’ve attempted and always failed. I applaud your skills! I gave up and found a local company that would gel coat match for me. They require a half dollar size chip to put in the color matching machine thingy. I couldn’t find a half dollar size piece I was willing chip off, but Home Depot only needs a tiny piece to color match. I had Home Depot match the color with paint and then I painted onto a piece of paper. This was perfect for the gel coat folks to match for me. Not cheap ($125 for the gallon of Gel Coat and Matching) but now they have the color saved and I can buy quarts in the future. I’ve touched up dozens maybe hundreds of small dings and now no one can see them (excepts me of course).
Care to share the formula?
 
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