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Exterior hull maintenance costs (yearly painting needed?)
I've been trying to figure out how much hull maintenance generally costs. I've read that people have their hulls painted each year. What is a gel coat exactly?
I was reading through some posts about living abord and they put the yearly maintenance costs estimate at $6000! I was shocked! Well that covers all maintenance, not just the outside of the hull costs.
For a fiberglass hull:
If you're just going to be sitting there, it shouldn't really matter if the hull is perfectly clean or does it? Plastic won't rust. Is taking the boat out of the water each year required, or is it just needed when you want to maintain good sailing performance.
For a steel hull:
Well I was reading about some kind of coating where their steel boat was good for 5 years. The negative electrical charge (cathode) prevented any scratches from rusting. That sounds good to me!
And for both cases, about how much would it cost for a 35 foot boat? If there's special treatment that makes it last 5 years how much does that cost?