Has anyone painted their hull in the water? - SailNet Community

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Old 09-26-2011
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Has anyone painted their hull in the water?

Obviously, I'm talking above the water line! I know of two guys who do it and achieve spectacular results. They work off the dock and a sit on kayak. The difference is.... they know what they are doing, and I've never used two part Polyurethane before! I just painted my top sides and now the hull screams out - "Paint me, Paint me!". I have some time off, and we have some good weather approaching. In addition, I have so many "to do's" on my next haul out, I don't want to spend the lay days painting the hull.
I'm tempted to just paint down to the Boot stripe, as it's in good condition and everything above it is more accessible. However, Don Casey recommends removing, and repainting the boot stripe. I assume this is because the Polyurethane will wick underneath any masking tape that is applied to protect the stripe? He also recommends "scoring" the boot stripe before removing it, to retain the line. What would you use to score it, a utility knife?
I know it sounds bold, but I'm handier than the average "yacht" owner. I don't expect "spectacular" results on my first attempt, but a nice clean hull would be be great. On the other hand, I certainly don't need a nightmare!
Thoughts?
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Last edited by L124C; 09-26-2011 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 09-26-2011
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Haul it out. Paint it. I'm sure it can be done in the water, but why not eliminate some of the less desirable variables like boat motion, passing boat wakes, kingfisher splashes, etc... Seems since you're alreading hauling out, 2-3 or 4 lay days would be well worth the money. water? Lay day prices around here are around a $1 a foot a day... so what are you looking at? Another $100-$200 bucks? Seems well worth the money for a stable platform to work on and with... penny wise, pounds foolish, that sort of thing.
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Old 09-26-2011
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If you want a good finish, med moor your boat and take one of your halyards to a good position on land. The boat will heel to one side and offer you good working conditions. After you are finished with one side,turn the boat to other direction and apply the paint to the other side. Make sure the paint is "touch dry" before yo let go the halyard. You need one day for each side.
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Old 09-26-2011
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I painted a trawler in Fla years ago off a small wodden floating dock with two people doin it, one rolling and one tipping,it turned out quite nice, a little bit trickkier than on land but can be done with good results.. Good luck
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Old 09-26-2011
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I've come back to the boat with more dust, dirt and seagull presents to think that a paint job outdoors would work for me.
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Old 09-26-2011
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Haul it, and I have my reasons...

I've painted a number of hulls (4) and decks (5). I did 2 of the deck on the water, and it wan' great, wasn't bad. But hulls are different.
* 80% of the work is prep, and you can't prep on the water. How do you keep the dust out of the water (even with a vacuum)? How do you eliminate the risk of electrocuting yourself (it's been done by professional sailors).
* Painting a modest size hull, not counting prep is only a few hours work. The TIME goes into prep. Remember, you have to keep a wet edge on the job, so you work quickly. I can work more quickly and accuratly when my feet are on solid ground.
* I'm sure you have a long list, but the fill-in task principle still applies. Do other jobs in the morning (can't paint with dew). You can't paint in the sun (dries too fast), you really should follow the shadows when possible. So work on other (non-sanding) things while you wait. Additionally, sanding and prep are good fill-ins while you are puzzeling through some other task in your head. They are also a traditional way to put helpers to work; scratch sanding is straight forward.

I would do some minor deck work on the water, or perhaps some minor hull thing, but not a full paint job. Not if I was hauling anyway.
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Old 09-26-2011
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Anyone have input on the Boot stripe scoring issue? I actually think the "dirt" issue would be less in the water, than in a yard, unless you use a tent. Dirt accumulates on the ground at the yard and can be blown around by even light wind. In addition, yards are usually on the water, and therefore have seagulls too. Besides, Seagulls were not a problem for the topsides, and should be less so for the hull. BTW, it's not so much the cost of the lay days. I use a small (but excellent) yard. They want someone working on the boat, or want it back in the water. It's also a trek from where I live. I would rather work around the marina if I can. The prep on the water does present an issue. The "Harbormaster" is clueless and unfortunately, couldn't care less. However, the hull needs a lot of prep and I wouldn't feel good about a ton of dust in the water.

Last edited by L124C; 09-26-2011 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 09-26-2011
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I have one mooring neighbor with a 50' wood powerboat that lends it self to what you trying and he does it with pretty good results

I am not a wacko BUT not happy with the sanding i see go on

I can close to thinking i would put a coat of tan interdeck on Seafevers deck AFTER i launched and the wife said NO i would never get to it or it would come out bad and after doing on land with a ladder to remove tape she was CORRECT
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Old 09-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
Omg... I just did my hull, and after what I went through to get it to look right (my version of right) I couldn't even fathom trying it in the water. don't do it! Also, fwiw - you can get excellent results from good old single stage brightside:
The key is a flat surface to paint on, seriously thinned paint (25% maybe?) and a WET EDGE ALWAYS. Don't paint in the water... don't do it..
Casey's rational for using two part on the hull is durability, and the fact that a hull is easier to use it on with it's lack of obstacles (port lights, hardware, etc.). He also says to eliminate any mistakes with the second coat (with the added experience of the first coat), or a third if necessary. He says, leave it at three, "you aren't going to get any better". Directions for most of the single part topside paints I have seen say not to exceed thinning by 5%. After a certain point, you have seriously affected the characteristics of the paint. I wonder if part of your problem was unfavorable painting conditions (temp, humidity, direct sun, etc.). Hull looks great now though! No Bootstripe? There's a thought! I even like the simplicity and look of not doing the cove stripe. Without a ton of freeboard, that might be the way to go. Hmmmmm!

Last edited by L124C; 09-27-2011 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 09-28-2011
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I have painted my Lapworth 36 in the water and on the land. I would not do it in the water again as it was way too hard on my back. I just completed painting half way down the hull and that is most of what you see when you walk by, isn't as hard on the back, and came out nice. I would not suggest you do it that way, but I had cracks to repair as I do every year and you can't haul out every year and you can't paint the entire hull every year.

The thing that might be useful is that I bought a new vacuum from Home Depot, a portable 4gal 5 amp. I used a long hose I got with another sander and a 5 inch Bosh palm sander. No sanding dust at all in the water. By comparison, sanding a 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch spot for 3 seconds without a vacuum puts a lot of dust in the water.

This time I used a brush but previously I used a roller and a brush. I would never use a roller and brush again even out of the water. I think that is the way to go if you have two people but it is just easier to stick with a brush than switch back and fourth. I used a 2 inch brush, a good brush very expensive, but not that big. It was easy but I was not going all the way to the bootstripe.

When in the past I painted to the boot stripe in the water, I swam around the boat putting the tape down. I certainly would not attempt doing the boot stripe in the water as you will kill yourself getting the sander in the water. If you insist on painting in the water, at least do the boot stripe when you haul out. You might also consider doing the sanding and prep in the water and doing the paint after you haul out.

One final thing to consider. If you paint out of the water you are looking up at the hull. Any sag or drip looks terrible from that angle. It looks much better from the dock and much better standing back a few feet than when your face is against it on the step ladder.

Cheers,

Allen
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