Gelcoat is a cosmetic top coat. It's only real purposes are to protect the laminate underneath and to look pretty. If the laminate itself is not waterproof, the boat is not built correctly. There should be sufficient resin in the layup to fully fill the gaps in the fabrics used in the layup and completely encapsulate the fibers. Resin-starved layups are not only leaky, they're weak.
YakCatcher Rod Holder
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