if they are impregnated and imbedded in intact resin. That is the problem. When the fiberglass breaks away from the resin matrix, the fabric is no longer waterproof, and perhaps more importantly, it lacks strength.
In that event, I would direct my efforts to getting the fiberglass re-bedded in resin if possible, or patching over it if not. Gel coat looks nice and adds some abrasion resistance, but not a lot of strength and it cracks and spiders pretty easily when impacted and the boat indents. As was stated, replacing the gel coat is more or less optional. Getting the cloth saturated with epoxy is more important. Painting over the epoxy is a fine alternative.
I paddle composite canoes on whitewater, so I know a fair bit about the results of boats hitting rocks and scraping over them.
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
Cartop Kayak Carriers
The Kayak Wing
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