regelcoating the deck

It is time for old # 820 to get a facelift........The hull is in excellant shape....the white hull gleams with a coat of wax. Yhe light blue deck has faded to a chalky grey.....compounding does not improve anything at all.......My question is - Should I take her back to the factory for a new gelcoat job or should I let a local boat yard do a Imron or Awlgrip paint job......I do not think I have the skills to repaint the deck on my own......Is regelcoating and Imron or Awlgrip the same thing?

I had the factory re-gelcoat my boat (784) three years ago. I would strongly recommend this to anyone with an older boat. When completed at the beginning of the 2005 season, it looked like a new boat and we have received many compliments on her appearance. I had them do the deck, topsides, and bottom.
Re-gelcoating is not the same as the polyuerethane systems you mentioned. Imron and Awlgrip are both high-quality, two-part paints which give wonderful finishes. The re-gelcoating is actually replacing part of the boat. The old gelcoat is ground off and new gelcoat is shot on. They mix a wax into the gelcoat which rises to the surface and forms the gas barrier; this allows the gelcoat to cure with out a mold. There may be more than one "shoot & fair" cycle involved to get it looking right. I suggest talking to the factory to get the full details.

The re-gelcoated boats I've seen look essentially brand-new---you have to get very, very close to realise that it didn't just come out the mold.