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  #11  
Old 07-21-2006
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4 experiences

A COUPLE OF THINGS I LEARNED

Hi.

There are a number of boats with both topsides and decks painted at our marina. One of the boats is owned by a former boat builder and one by a former auto painter - and then there are those owned by the rest of us that just like DYI.

1. My boat. Came with a deck that was painted by a boatyard for previous owner. The paint was failing. It was cracked, lifting and was applied in places by brush so that visible brush strokes were apparent. Worse yet all fittings were painted around by brush rather than removed - UGH. This paint was 3 years old.

The two points about this type of project since it sounds similar to the paint on your boat are:

i) you have no idea what the previous paint is or how it was prepped. Get rid of as much of it as you can (preferably all) and use a good primer as the two part coatings will eat anything less robust and cause it to fail. The paint I used was Interlux Interthane Plus (now Perfection) two part polyurethane. It has held up well.

ii) I tried to spray using a Wagner sprayer in my yard. The primer was OK but the final coat went on too thin and was gritty or too thick and drooped and sagged. This resulted in 2 more very long days of sanding and hiring a professional to apply the paint. You can do all the prep work and taping to reduce the cost. My auto painter friend has informed me that only certain types of sprayers do the job properly.

2. My friend DYIer who researched and did his topsides on his own using Roll Tip method with Awlgrip. Boat looks very nice. In his case at 2 foot distance it looks inferior to a spray job. Is shiny and fabulous at a distance further than that. Would have looked better if sprayed by a careful pro - but a very nice job if not spraying.

3. The boatbuilder. He is fussy so he repainted his 1981 vessel 9 times over two years until he was satisfied. The rest of us would have been satisfied the first time. To be fair it was 3 coats each time so really 3 times. His first experience was that although he thought the prep was complete he did not get all the old oils greases etc ... off the hull and this caused problems with the finish. Use a release agents and do it two more times after you think you are done. The next lesson learned was the cove stripe. Use tape not paint - it ran and messed up the other paint (he fixed it but as I said he is fussy). He made a hull repair the next year that resulted in the third coating in case you are curious. Coating used was two coats Imron followed by final coat of Awlgrip. The Imron is less lustrous but easier to overlap - also less costly than Awlgrip.

4. The Auto Painter.
He repaints his hull every 3 - 4 years to make it perfect. Doesn't need it but I think he gets bored.

First time had noticable orange peel but still nice. He said that for drips/sags they can be sanded out if done carefully - interesting. Boat was repainted 4 years later and the finish was immaculate. He used the Imron covered by Awlgrip method. 4 years after that there were the normal scratches and abrasions from cruising a month at a time so he refinished the interior, the deck and since he was at it the hull again. Looking for a less exensive alternative he found a one part polyurethane at $100/gallon to try. It worked well on deck but not so well on topsides. He sanded it off and I told him I could get Interlux Perfection since it is in stock locally. The Awlgrip has to be ordered - takes time and costs approx 100 for shipping - so he went with Perfection. Was (my cost) 59/qt or 112 for gallon can. Bought the gallon. Lesson learned - Interlux sells a 1/2 gallon kit packaged in a one gallon can. He tried to do it in one thick coat and got burned. He had some black Imron on hand and the boat went from white to black - looks fabulous! Was launched last week and then raced and won the regatta the following Saturday.


Sorry for the lengthy reply. Moral is learn from others.

Mike
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NIagara 26 #002
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  #12  
Old 07-23-2006
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I was commited to the Interlux two-part polyurethane for years, and painted my own boat with it twice, roll and tip. Both times I had the boat inside a building.

Once I'd started my yacht service in Boston, I naturally turned to the Interlux products first because I had no reason to doubt them. In doing a fairly simple accent stripe down the topsides of a 40 foot convertible, I ran into difficulties so varied and frustrating that I will spare you the details. Suffice to say, I finally finished the job, but lost plenty of time and money on it.

I heard so many cockamamie explanations for what had gone wrong from friends that I didn't know what to think. Finally, a guy said things about the solvents used in the Interlux products that explained every abberation I'd encountered during the project. He said I might try Imron, or better yet, U.S. Paints Awlgrip line, as they had a great thick manual and a factory guy would come out and help me with my first project.

It was true. The awlgrip had directions to adjust for a wide range of temperature and humidity. Additives to adjust the paint for anything I could imagine. The factory rep told me over the phone, in great detail, how to prep a 26' fiberglass fishing boat (a Fortin? or something - a sweet boat) and when it was properly prepped (and, granted, inside my shop) he came up from New Jersey or somewhere, and showed how to mix the awlgrip for the exact conditions we had, and apply 3 thin coats of that bright fire-engine red. We were done in about two hours or less.

It glowed. It was amazing. Not a flaw. Brilliant, shining like a custom car show paint job. The boat owner was babbling. "I heard this could happen, but to tell you the truth, I didn't expect it." We opened the shops huge doors and crowds from the boatyard came in to inspect.

That stuff works great, if you mix it right, and apply it right, and from what I saw, it's a great deal more forgiving than the interlux. I still like Interlux paints, but wind, or a change in temp, or shadow/sun spots on the hull can greatly affect the solvents evaporation rate and alter the high-flow characteristics of the paint that provide the shine and flattening of the surface.

Last edited by Hawkeye25; 07-23-2006 at 09:30 PM.
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  #13  
Old 07-23-2006
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Finally! Hawkeye: I have been trying to find someone who could give me some advice about Interlux Perfection. I am planning on rolling and tipping my topsides and spraying the hull with a gravity sprayer. I have read great things about the Interlux Product and have heard that it is much easier to use than Awlgrip. It is quite humid down here in Maryland so I am hearing something from you that is making me think I should reconsider?
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Old 07-24-2006
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Talking topside paints & prep

Camroderie:
Spoke with the rep in Maine for the epiphanes two part paint. He spent a good amount of time talking the same proceedures as you described. Cleaning, sanding, cleaning, sanding,cleaning, priming - lightly sanding , filling in impurefections - sanding, cleaning THEN the 2 part paint. I've got to do this outside, here in east central florida about a mile from the ocean- right now its HOT an humid, think I'll wait until the cooler December month.
thanks!
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Old 07-24-2006
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thanks!

Mike & Hawkeye
thank you for telling us about your experiences. Painting the topsides of a fine sailboat is tricky at best and probably best left to the pros - but then again, ocean sailors have to feel they can do most anything else ways
we shouldn't be out there, ahy?
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Old 07-24-2006
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You are right Chuck...Its all in the prepwork. I am going through the process right now and hoping for cooler days in August. I was looking at your picture. I like your platform. Is that stable?
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Old 07-24-2006
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Shortly after I switched to Awlgrip, which I stuck with, Interlux Perfection was released and was advertised as only being available to professional appliers. I didn't pay much attention to it at the time, but it occurs to me now that it may have been a response to Awlgrips spampeding over the commercial and 'self-help' marine markets.

The great versatility and 'user friendly' aspects of Awlgrip were very much due to the factory's eager and generous response to my request for help.

If I were you, I would do two things prior to entering the final stage of deciding which paint to use:

1 Check both manufacturers for the colors and looks you want. I have to mix my own color for my boat. I'm a little annoyed with that.

2 Write out a set of questions outlining your concerns in achieving the finish you know the product is capable of, and that you expect to get, and begin making calls to both companies to see what help they have to offer. Always take down the full name of anyone you're talking to, and don't allow an a****le to put you off the product. Call until you get a real rep who cares about his product and your project.

That is the only way you'll really get that comfortable feeling that all the time and money you're about to spend is going to get you the results you want.

Oh, by the way. I saw an older gent put an incredibly good finish, IN BLACK!, on his own trawler, in our yard, using only a good 4" brush. Like everyone else, I had to stifle a smile when he told us what he was going to do. After three coats, we were all standing around with our mouths open.

Granted, it was nearly a 'boat length' paint job, where you have to stand a boat length away to miss the small trace of brush marks, but it was beautiful, shone like a mirror, and any of us would have been proud to call it our work, especially in BLACK!

I asked him how he knew how to do it.

"I been painting houses for 25 years."

If you can rally a little help from some friends, look around for professional brush painters, because they can surely help in roll/tip and brush applied applications with these products. Skill is still skill, even if the canvas is a different shape.
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Old 07-24-2006
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
BTW, if you've got a newer boat, and it is epoxy, then avoid the darker colors. Epoxy resin tends to soften up under the temperatures that the darker colors can reach. Also, if your boat is relatively new, and hasn't been heat cured, the resin might cure a bit more if you're picking a dark topside color. This can often lead to the fabric of the fiberglass printing through. Just some advice... and my $.02 worth.
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Old 07-24-2006
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paint prep

Surfesq & Hawkeye
I moved that stak of pallets with our forklift to give the fiberglass guys a quick platform to work on, they asked for another stak on the other side because there were some cracks that went thru. It seemed to work for them and they did a great job. 2 or 3 of them came down from Sea Ray in Coco Beach an finished the job in 3 days. I was lucky in timing, last week the Sea Ray factory shut down for the week and these guys are their finishers for fiberglass. Now I'm working on getting a new, maghongey 8 foot bow sprit, that's a project.
Thanks for more info, Hawkeye, I've got a few months to research the paints. I'm leaning toward Epiphanes, their promo photos look incredible.
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Old 07-26-2006
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Surfesq

Interlux has a toll free number on the paint cans. Call it and they will give you a ton of advice about Perfection.

Mike

Full Tilt 2
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