Hi everybody. I'm in the process of fixing up my new to me '77 H14. Structurally, the hulls are very solid. There's no soft spots, and the few repairs to the hulls seem to have been done very well. Cosmetically, the boat sucks. It looks like the previous owner tried to rattle-can the hulls. There's several large patches where the spray paint has worn down to the original gel coat. I'd like to repaint, I'm looking at Interlux Brightside, Dupont Imron, or something similar.
My question is how best to fill in the superficial scratches and gouges in the bottom of the hulls. Nothing stucturally damaging, but some of the deeper ones look too deep to sand out without weakening the hulls. I'm looking at 3M marine premium filler. Is this acceptable to use? I'm not looking for a perfect mirror smooth finish, just something that's going to look decent.
Also, I realize that gel-coating would be a better way to go, as it's more durable. From what I've read here, gelcoat can be a pain to work with. I plan on launching almost exclusively off the trailer, so I'm not too worried about scratching the new paint off right away. Am I headed in the right direction? Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated. Thanks.