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  #1  
Old 01-07-2007
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hull color (blue) faded

Hi Guys,

I have a 2002 Beneteau with navy blue hull.

Before buying my boat I knew the difficulties of blue hulls and agreed to have it repainted every five years.

Last year I asked my boatyard to give me a price and they said things will be more expensive and difficult because the hull gets its color from the gel.

So I do not know what to do.

a- shall I leave it as it is. it faded a lot though - maybe will turn into white some years later :-)
b- let them paint the hull without removing the gel. this will probably last only for a couple of years
c- regel the boat ??? will go for again 4-5 years probably.

thnx
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Old 01-07-2007
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So there is no paint on the hull now?
If that is the case, I would experiment with rubbing it out. If the oxidation is severe, which would surprise me on a '02 hull, you can use 600-800 wet/dry paper. If rubbing compound with remove it use that with an orbital polisher. The basic idea is to use the least coarse product that will remove the oxidation. Conventionally, you remove the oxidation and then continue to polish, using finer abrasives as you go, and finally wax the hull. I recommend getting the oxidation off, cleaning up any deficiencies, and applying Poly-glo in lieu of wax. 1 bottle of Poly-glo will do a thirty foot boat and the results are fantastic.
If you paint, you are then locked in to painting periodically, as you can't back to just your gel-coat.
Paint is applied over the gel coat-it does not get removed.
Well maintained gel coat looks much better than most paint jobs. It is well worth staying on top of it's maintenance. A little effort yearly can preclude a large bill down the river.
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Old 01-07-2007
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.... get other boat painters to take a look at the job.

You can either compound and polish; or, paint your hull. Properly sanded and primed gelcoat will hold a paint job. It is done all the time.

Some yards will even give you an aproximate cost on painting the hull, without seen the job, based on the lenght of the boat and choice of paint. This estimate will be based on a faired hull i.e. no repairs.

Maintenance of a hull painted with quality paint is less than that of gelcoat BUT once the paint is dull you will need to repaint.

...
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Old 01-07-2007
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I'd vote with Sailaway on this one. We kept a "see your face" shine on our Soling for more than 20 years using Polyglo on the gelcoat. You can also buy about a 20-year supply (and pay a crew to apply it) for what it would cost to awlgrip one side of your boat. It is surprising to hear of gelcoat looking so bad that it needs painting after only five years. Have it been washed/polished/waxed at all? One of the reaasons Gelcoat is a good protective color coating is that it is relatively thick. This enables it to be compounded (if necessary) and polished without losing its color. Of course, if you go overboard, you CAN wear through to the underlying fiberglass, so don't compound your hull every week. I'm not sure of the exact numbers on your boat, but gelcoat comes out to be something like .5mm thick, whereas awlgrip coatings are measured in microns; about 50 to 75 microns is normal.
THAT is why they tell you NOT TO COMPOUND OR POLISH PAINT!! It will wear through. I repainted our deck about 5 years ago with a 2-part polyurethane, and it now needs extensive touch-ups from the wear & tear it gets. We had the hull professionally awlgripped (white over the previous blue paint because we were advised it would hold up better) three years ago, and it still looks great so far... We're not looking forward to having to re-do the hull when the time comes, though, because the cost will not have gone down. Keep your gelcoat as long as you can - it's a much cheaper and in the long-term easier alternative to paint.
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Old 01-07-2007
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there is no reason you should not be able to have buffed professionally or buff it yourself if you feel up to the task. i say a program on a television of a red power boat that had not been wax or cleaned for probably 10 + yrs. theoxidation was so bad you could not tell the color underneath. this was not an infomercial, just a show to show how to bring back the color and gloss. the only thing the guy did was use fiberglass rubbing compound and a professional multi-speed buffer. he did a section on the side twice and the color and shine was back. unfortunately non of the shows are aired here on comcast any more so i cannot help you with what show it was.
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Old 01-07-2007
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Buff it out like they said above. If that doesn't work get an awlgrip paint job and take care of it and it will last you 10 years at least.
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Old 01-07-2007
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Blue Hull

This subject was worked over last week:
Wet Sanding
The first year I had my old red C&C, I buffed the hell out of the hulll - when launched she was a brighter red than any fire engine in town. After two months in salt water, the hull turned pink. I had her Awlgripped the next season.
I saw her last Summer, and that TWENTY year old Alwgrip job still looks pretty good. Colored gelcoat wont hold the color - the better (maybe all by now?) new boats that are non-white colors are all painted, although a few years ago I noticed one builder who noted on their web site that their warantee did not extend to the color in their pigment-colored hulls...Your experience is an example of a common if not universal problem. Have your boat painted by a pro, you'll love the result forever.

Last edited by sailingfool; 01-07-2007 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 01-07-2007
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I found a GREAT product to restore the shine of a faded hull.

I have a 35 year old fiberglass sailboat that looked every bit her age. I was looking to dress up that ugly hull of mine. I came across an article in Practical Sailor where they compared the various products out there that advertise the ability to restore that the new boat look on an old fiberglass hull. Before I go any further some background. I do not work for this company in any way, nor am I reimbursed or compensated for recommending their products. I have no financial or professional association with them in any way. The bottom line is I was overwhelmed with the results I got on my 24' Cal T/4 after I purchased and applied the Poliglow product that scored the highest and was recommended by Practical Sailor. I couldn't believe the good results I achieved. The product comes in two liquid bottles. You clean the boat using the first product. Then you apply the second product and you are done. This is not a wax, nor is it any kind of rubbing compound. You wipe it on, let it dry and you are done. My results were stunning! I did this about six months ago and my hull still looks terrific. I ended up putting on 3 coats of this product. It has the viscosity of a light motor oil, and is applied with an applicator that comes with the kit. It seems to me that I paid about $65 for the package. If you want to see pictures then send me an email address. Otherwise here is the link for more technical questions as to what it is and how it works. I am so sold on this product that I will not hesitate using it again, when the need arises. And I have already purchased their aluminum/stainless steel cleaner product.
http://www.poliglowproducts.com
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Old 01-07-2007
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I saw excellent results with Poliglow on a heavily oxidzed dark blue 1968 hull this summer...after doing wet sanding with 400 grit. Unfortunately...it does not hold up forever and looks like the application will be an annual event but I think the sanding will not be needed next year. For the bucks it is an excellent product in my opinion too. Goes on really easily!
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Old 01-07-2007
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We've been down both roads....... painted a couple of boats with Awlgrip and were very satisfied with the results if not necessarily the cost of it. We, like Columbia 34, did the work ourselves and saved a bundle, but even material costs for Awlgrip and its competitors are considerable, and the end result depends largely on good prep.

Our current boat has been maintained with Poliglow and looks great.

Bottom line - a good two part poly paint job will require much less maintenance than any polishing treatment- which will require annual upkeep. You should expect at least 10 years of trouble free upkeep with a good Awlgrip job unless you are grinding hard against the dock all the time.

As mentioned above, for even just the materials cost of paint you can buy kits and polish the boat many many times over. I guess it depends on how much effort you like to put into your baby, how much time you have, and where you put your priorities for spending.

We are planning to stick to the poliglow treatment for now - new sails, cushions and a few other things are putting dibs on our mad money at the moment.
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