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  #1  
Old 05-20-2008
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how to identify boat paint?

My new to me boat was reported to have a painted hull. Owner disagreed, said he didn't paint it and didn't think the original owner had painted it either. I can't see any easy evidence of paint, like peeling or some edges showing. But I'll take the surveyors word that it's painted.
But I have no idea which paint; awlgrip, awlcraft, imron, etc. How do I determine which paint so I can buff/wax accordingly? I does have a little bit of shine but needs a good going over.
On a clean section, I can wipe off a bit of chalk with my finger but not excessive.
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If it's chalky it's gelcoat. IMO paint doesn't chalk (oxidize). Perhaps you could find a out of the way spot and take a scrape to sample. I seriously doubt that the undersides of lazerettes etc. would have been painted so maybe you can detect a paint line/gel line.
If the previous owner had the boat more than 5 years or so I'd think he'd know if the boat was painted. Why would he lie about a 15-20k upgrade?
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If the PO was at all like most of us, there is bound to be at least 1 scratch on the hull somewhere. I would see if you can find one and see if it goes thru the paint layer. Option 2 would be to locate a spot where no one will notice and see if you can scratch the paint. (maybe right under the rub rail on the bow or stern?)
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While paints can chalk, if it is chalking, it is most likely oxidizing gelcoat....which means it ain't painted.
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Even though I disagree with chuck regarding chalking paint - since paint does oxidize, I'd have to agree with him that if the hull was painted, you should be able to detect a transitional edge - somewhere on the boat.

Does your surveyor suspect the entire boat was painted, or just from the toerail down to the boot stripe? Perhaps some hardware can be removed to identify a paintline, or confirm that what you have is simply gelcoat in need of a good compounding.

I also recall seeing the Endeavour logo on the stern quarter. Was this applied vinyl lettering along with the blue feature stripe, or paint over either gelcoat or hull paint?

Maybe your transom ladder attachment plates can reveal the truth - if removed. If the hull was painted the ladder was most likely removed first. Scrape the hull surface beneath the mounting plates to confirm the boat's hull history.
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I looked it over pretty good and can't see any signs of paint. The boot stripe is painted but the logo is a decal. I'll take a second look for paint evidence.
The chalking is minor.

Chuck; If painted, it would have been the first owner. The guy I bought from did say he had very little contact with the first owner and only minimal help from the broker.
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Finally... Chuckles screwed up. All paint oxidizes to some extent. If you can get your hands on a small portable microscope you can section a very small area ( as small as 1/4 inch ) and cut out a chunk of the suspected "paint" at an angle. Looking through the scope you will be able to see actual layers in the sample. Kinda like CSI for boats. This would leave a very small defect in the finish and tell you if you have paint or not. If it is paint, you would need to have it analized by a lab to find out what kind. Verrrrrry Expensive.
P.M. me if you need any help with it.
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I got the surveyor on the phone again. He came out to the boat since he lives nearby and had some time this morning. He misunderstood the owner! There was some discussion about the boot stripe painting & the surveyor thought he said the entire hull had been painted to the rail.

It's glass. Never mind.
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In my defense, paint doesn't chalk like gelcoat - not in the couple of years we are talking about.
If it had been more than 5 years it would be an obvious paint job, less than five years if it's chalking it's not marine paint.

Now, tell me I'm wrong on that one and I'll know to never get a paint job.
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