Awlgrip on the hull...good, bad??? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 06-27-2007
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Awlgrip on the hull...good, bad???

The "touching up some scratches on the hull" little project has turned into "you know, you should really paint the whole thing". Pretty typical trip to the hard in my experience, that's why I put it off for as long as possible each time. The areas that have now been sprayed with the "original formula" green have made the hull look like a gecko with a serious skin condition, not pretty. I originally sprayed it with a two part auto paint and it has held up very well for 10 years, but there were several scrapes and scratches that needed attention(yes, I am responsible for a couple of them). My paint/fiberglas guy says Awlgrip is the best, but being the skeptic that I am I thought I would ask for opinions here. Have any of you had it on your hull for several years, and if so, what's your impression? We plan on staying with close to the same dark green color and we are in the Pacific NW so sun is not a major problem(or heat)(it rains here in the San Juans all the time...really:-)) ). Thanks, John oh, and I am NOT doing the work this time, once was enough (can you say wet sand?)
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Old 06-27-2007
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We've had good results with Awlgrip on two boats. One, painted in '96 still looks good, though it is not immune to fender rub. (mind you we regularly had 20+ knots abeam at our slip)

The other, painted in 2000 still looks great - on this one we used the Forest Green - great colour.

Both were self applied with less than professional technique or equipment, so the finished result was also less than professional. Still, it was a vast improvement over what was.

I understand, though, that Interlux has made great strides in their 2 parts, being easier to touch up and repair than Awlgrip and perhaps easier for an amateur to apply. (not an issue for you as you are planning to have it done.)

We did it ourselves for purely financial reasons ($5000 approx for topsides and deck on a 40 footer incl haulout) but it was weeks and weeks of hard work.

You'll appreciate the results whichever way you go, esp if you use a pro.

Check the compatability of your existing finish with the products you plan to use - incl primers. Could be it all needs to come off!
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Old 06-27-2007
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Awlgrip or Imron are the two best finishes for boat topsides, deck and cabin top IMHO. I would stay away from dark colors, as they can be very uncomfortable to walk on and add a lot of heat to the interior of the boat. Of course, you're in the PNW, so a bit of heat in the boat might be appreciated...

The vast majority of the work is in the proper preparation of the surface. Without proper preparation, you're just throwing your money away.
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Old 06-27-2007
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There are several formulations of awlgrip for different applications and needs. I've had 2 boats done in Awlgrip and have been happy with the product but you have to maintain it as directed with the right cleaners and NO waxes if you want it to remain looking good for years. Here's detail on the 3 different types:
awlgrip.com - the professional topside paint system for yachts
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Old 06-27-2007
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I have heard good things about the System 3 WR LPU Polyeurethane topcoat material for the topsides. its water clean-up, and doesn't have the fumes of Awlgrip. Its also half the price for materials. The preaparation is the same and just as important as with the other paints. I am planning to do the decks, cabin-top and cockpit with this pretty soon. Anyone have experience with it?
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Old 06-27-2007
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I recently painted my topsides with Interlux 2-part poly in a dark navy blue, and I was/am impressed with the results. My girlfriend and I did the roll-and-tip application and it was easy and straightforward. The key is to make sure the surface prep and primer coat are as flawless as possible. 90% of our time over the month of nights and weekends was spent on surface prep, and the actual painting process was rather anticlimactic and easy. After the initial heart-pounding moment when we put the first brush strokes of blue over the previously white hull, it went really quickly, and after a three-day weekend, we had put on three coats.

We used Interlux Perfection 2-Part Polyurethane in Mauritius Blue, with the recommended thinner and 2-part primer.

I'll let you know in a few years how well it wears over time, but so far, so good. Others have said it wears as well as Awlgrip, but we'll see.
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Old 06-27-2007
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I just washed and polished my Flag Blue Awlgrip hull this passed Sunday before finally being put into the water this season (had many projects to complete). The hull looks beautiful, but it does have its downsides, mostly heat absorption, showing scratches and abrasion from fenders. I touched up several scratches/gouges the previous weekend and the touch up Awlgrip color matched perfectly. I bought a small bottle of touch up paint from some distributor. Here are some photos.
Before:

After:

To prevent the fenders from rubbing against the paint, I hang them from the llifelines to rub the rubrail. My marina has pilings on my bulkhead slip, so I then use a long 2x4 fender board to ride the pilings. This has worked well to prevent damage to my paint, but the previous owner let his fenders rub the hull and it is not as glossy in that area.
This past weekend I used the AwlWash cleaner to wash my topsides and then used the AwlCare polymer sealant to give it a nice shine and remove some marks. It did a very nice job, here are the results:




I bought my C-25 from a museum as a donation so I don't know the history of my boat and how long ago the previous owner had the hull painted, but she looks great for a 25 year old boat.
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Old 06-27-2007
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Awlgrip is great granted we have only been in the water for 3 months now but looks great and not that hard to appy. I sprayed ours in Aristo Blue. I suggest awlgrip all the way.





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Old 06-27-2007
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Rather than look at a brand..

I would consider the two types of LPU paints very carefully before you buy into a brand. I personally don't like AwlGrip because it is very, very hard to touch up later and nearly impossible to buff because of it's cure characteristics.

I much prefer the acrylic LPU's such as Awlcraft 2000 or Imron over the polyester LPU's like AwlGrip.

Below is a picture of a fire engine red Imron painted boat I buffed & waxed this spring. The original paint job was done in 1989! With acrylic LPU paints the pigment and shine is the full thickness of the paint! With a polyester LPU it cures with a hard protective "shell" coat that is very, very thin. If you buff through this outer skin on Awlgrip you'll be a slave to it for life!



I've owned two boats with AwlGrip and I most likely won't use it again. My current boat was just painted with AwlCraft 2000 which is their version of Imron. It can be polished and not harm the surface and it can actually last longer than a polyester LPU because of the repair-ability and buff-ability you gain over AwlGrip.

Here's a picture of my current boat with her new AwlCraft 2000 paint job! If you want to go with one of the Akzo Noble (parent company of AwlGrip) products I'd suggest going with Awlcraft 2000 over AwlGrip. Yards like AwlGrip because they know how hard it is to repair and that you'll be back for fresh paint after about 5-8 years.
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 01-15-2008 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 06-27-2007
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More on LPU's

Both Imron and Awlgrip can be touched up and repaired by an experienced professional. The key word there is experienced!

There are, however, significant differences between these two linear polyurethane (LPU) paints. Both Imron and Awlgrip happen to be the best-known examples of the two main classes of LPU coatings but they are not he only ones. There are two basic types of LPU's acrylic polyurethanes (Imron, Awlcraft 2000, Interspray 800, PPG Concept, Sikkens Yachtcryl) and the polyester polyurethanes (Awlgrip, Interspray 900, Sterling, etc.) Both acrylic and polyester LPU coatings produce a beautiful wet-look shine that, with proper care, will last a full five or six years before any noticeable difference appears. The main difference is the polyester LPU yields a harder, more weather- and UV-resistant finish so your boat stays glossy longer, with less work, with Awlgrip than with Imron. This is the claim any way!

Hatteras Yachts used Imron for years and years with very good results, this is why I say, "this is the claim".. If I'm not mistaken they have now switched to using Alwcraft 2000 which is very similar to Imron just made by Akzo and not Dupont..

The problem with the polyester LPU's, like Awlgrip and Sterling, is that when they cure a thin hard surface is formed like a built in clear coat. This becomes a problem when and if you try to buff Awlgrip or a polyester LPU. Most people don't realize it but are actually only buffing this very thin surface layer made up of mostly the clear solids. Picture oil and water. As you shake the bottle they almost form together but if you let it sit the oil rises to the surface. This, in a sense, is what Alwgrip cures like with the clear solids rising to the surface to protect the pigment layer. It's really more complicated than that but it's about as easy as I can explain it. In most instances, when buffing Awlgrip, you will burn through this thin outer layer quite quickly using compounds & polishes. Once you've done that you'll be a slave to the Awlgrip until it's worn away or re-painted.

We've all seen Awlgrip that's been chaffed by a fender or a winter cover. This chafing has basically worn through the "clear solids" and has exposed the base layer of the paint leaving it unprotected from the sun.

Many smaller boat shops recommend and use the acrylic LPU's because they are a lot easier to work with. An acrylic LPU, like Imron or Alwcraft 2000, dries faster, and because itís a solid paint, itís easier to perform the buffing required to force a smooth shine onto a mediocre spray job full of dust and dull areas. We did an after the fact buff job on Tim's Imron (the red boat above) and I can tell you this paint is plenty hard! Finesse It II and Chroma 1500 barely touched it until after we had buffed it with Superduty Rubbing Compound and a foam "polishing grade pad".

Awlgrip is quite unforgiving and itís a lot harder to get good results in marginal painting conditions with but it purportedly lasts longer. Both types, acrylic and polyester LPU's, can be repaired by spraying a patch or brush touch-up and then wet sanding and buffing to blend it with the surrounding finish. Special blending additives help as well as experience.

One of the biggest problems in repair work is color matching and that's where Awlgrip shines. Alwgrip reportedly, I say reportedly because of the red boat above, has better fade resistance to the acrylic LPU's and an Awlgrip hull color stays stable and fade-free longer than an acrylic. How much longer I don't know but these are the claims.. The problem then becomes how good is your repair guy at feathering an Awlgrip job vs. the much easier feathering of a acrylic LPU like Imron. I'll take an acrylic LPU over a polyester LPU for just the ease of repair any day.

Tim's boat had some definite ghosting where the old name was but hell it's fire engine red, the color that fades easiest, and even Awlgrip would have ghosting at that age.


The take away here is to know that Awlgrip should not be buffed unless it's a last resort and Imron or Awlcraft 2000 can be polished but don't over do it because you only have 2.5 - 3 mils to play with...
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 01-15-2008 at 07:47 AM.
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