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Old 03-29-2010
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Best option to pain boat bottom and costs?

I have a Catalina 27 in Lake Union, Seattle, WA. We bought the boat two years ago and I'm not sure how long before that it has been since anyone has cleaned or painted the bottom. So we're trying to figure out what to do to improve it for the summer season. We want to do the work ourselves.

1. How much should I expect to pay someone to haul it out and store it on stands for us for two days?

2. What's involved in the process? Do we have to used belt sanders to really strip it down to the fiberglass? Or can we just do a light sanding and go right to painting? One coat or two?

3. How much roughly in materials would it cost us to do the paint job?

4. Any recommendations for facilities in the Seattle area to haul it out?

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Old 03-29-2010
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It depends on how long maintenance on the bottom has been deferred, and your expectations for the boat in terms of performance. You really won't know whether it's in bad condition until the boat is out of the water. Start with a good pressure wash to clean all the loose dirt and slime off the bottom, so you can see what's beneath it. If you're lucky, the paint will be fairly smooth underneath, and you'll be able to get by with a light sanding and a couple coats of antifouling. If, however, you find that the old paint is peeling, or has peeled, like old house paint, leaving thick, uneven layers, then the question is, what are your expectations in terms of boat performance? If you plan to race your boat and want optimum performance, then you should strip off all the old paint down to the bare fiberglass. If you want to daysail your boat casually around a lake, you might be satisfied with sanding the old paint as smooth as you can, and putting on a couple of fresh coats of antifouling. The plain truth is, however, that you can't continue giving it a light sanding and applying additional layers of paint forever. If it already has a thick layer of accumulated paint, it will eventually begin to peel so badly that you'll need to strip it all off and start over.

It's always possible, too, that you'll find osmotic blisters or some other problem, but I wouldn't obsess over that. If you find them, they're repairable.

If you get two consecutive days of good weather, and, if the bottom is in very good condition, and if you're willing to put in two long days of work, then you might be able to get it done in two days. If it's in bad shape, I'd plan on more like 7-10 days, and it'll be hard work.

I'd think one gallon of antifouling would be nearly enough to put on two coats. I buy the best ablative paint available, based on my thinking that it'll pay for itself many times over by avoiding the need to strip it all off down the road. I have stripped three boats, and don't want to do it again.
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Old 03-29-2010
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I believe member CharlieCobra lives somewhere in the Seattle area and paints boats. He'd be a good source of information even if you want to do the job yourself.
Never listen to someone describe why your project will not work unless they can show you the broken pieces of their own version. - Robert Gainer
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