Yeah my 84 H18 still has the original gel coat. Of course I have made some repairs on the bottom due to beach wear but the gel coat does last. I was born in 83 and my hobie looks better than I do.
But you can paint the parts, like the boom rudders and crossbars. Because they are small they are easy to touch up or re-paint after each season.
Gel coat is fun to work with, there is an art to gel coat. I gel coat everything with the extra, like pencils bikes tools tables anything with in reach.
ALLEY CAT 1984 RED LINE
HOBIE 18 MAGNUM
Sail # 10505 or 277