Steel boat care - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 114 Old 10-04-2015 Thread Starter
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Steel boat care

Oh look! I am the proud owner of a steel boat.

So from my understanding rust is your enemy.
I am looking for paint systems that will navigate the hazards of salt water as well as be easy to touch up but will not cost me an arm and a leg.

This is my understanding of the process. Please correct me if I am wrong or you can add any thing.

Step 1 Prep.
Remove all rust down to bare steel
Steel brush and sand.
Use Rust remover (Some thing like Eastwood Gel Rust Dissolver)
Rinse with acetone to to clean the surface of grease

Step 2
Pre-prime paint
POR-15 Rust Preventive Coating or Altex pre-prime 167
2 to 3 Coats,

Step 3
epoxy primer
Wattyl PR250
1 coat

Step 4
Top Coat
Wattyl Poly-U-400
2 coats

If any one has experience with steel. I would be much obliged for some advice.
Please let me know

The goal is off shore passage making.
We want tough, Not pretty.

Thanks.
~Sol

thecoastalpassage.com/rust-paint.html

Last edited by SOLPHIAIR; 10-04-2015 at 01:55 AM.
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post #2 of 114 Old 10-04-2015
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Re: Steel boat care

Congrats, Sol Tell about you and boat. Use small words so the glass guys can comprehend.
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post #3 of 114 Old 10-04-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Steel boat care

Bristol Channel Cutter
30'6” on deck, 10,2” beam, and 4'draft.

I would link a pic.
But I need more posts

I am new to sailing but we all have to start some where.
Our family Plans on doing some cursing in a few years.
So I have lots to learn.

Any help would be fantastic.

A little a bout me.
What do I know a bout boats?..uhh Nothing.
But I did pass the Canadian boat license test. lol.

Did I bite off more then I can Chew .. Hell ya, Bring it on.
I am an avid Canoer and out door enthusiast, who loves solo camping and hiking in Killarney with the bears.

We are a family of 4 with The usual set up, one dad, one mom, a feisty boy and a super cute girl.

I am not sure where we got it in out heads that sailing would be a good thing but it happened a bout 10 years ago.
So we scrimped all out pennies together and bought a boat.

So on to step 1. Learn to float.

Its nice meeting you guys and any help would be amazing.
And if we meet up in real life. There may be a cold beer in it for ya. I hear sailors like that sort of thing.

~Sol

Last edited by SOLPHIAIR; 10-04-2015 at 01:50 AM.
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post #4 of 114 Old 10-04-2015
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Re: Steel boat care

Quote:
Originally Posted by SOLPHIAIR View Post
Our family Plans on doing some cursing in a few years.


~Sol
I suspect you'll be doing plenty of cursing... You bought a steel boat!

Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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post #5 of 114 Old 10-04-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Steel boat care

At the very least I can perch it on the rocks until high tide.
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post #6 of 114 Old 10-04-2015
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Re: Steel boat care

I have found wire brushes leave little flecks of steel everywhere which show up after you have painted the deck best to avoid them and never use an angle grinder unless you have isolated the area I knock off all the loose rust with a screwdriver and finish it off with a coarse nylon brush or sandpaper then I apply rust kill which converts the rust to a hard black paint,Then I use an epoxy paint to complete the system.If you keep on top of the rust you will have no issues.
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post #7 of 114 Old 10-04-2015
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Re: Steel boat care

A chipping hammer is your very best friend, unless there is a lot of rust, then you will also need a mechanical (air or electric) needle chipper.
The most difficult places to get at are your most likely places to find serious rust. These include in the bow and stern, below the floors, behind the ceiling and under the decks. From the outside, the waterline is where you will have to keep a sharp lookout for pin holes. One tug I operated had sufficient pin holes at the water line that when the crew wanted a shower, all we had to do was stand under the spray from those pin holes in the engine room. lol
You might find it much easier and just as efficient to go low tech. Some of the best products like red lead have been outlawed, so zinc chromate is the primer today, I believe. Then use oil based paints not epoxies.
My suggestion for finding the best products in use today is to go bother the crews on tugs and commercial work boats in your area. They would also be able to point you to much cheaper suppliers than the yachting stores.
Chipping and painting should be on the kid's chore lists, as they can fit in areas where an adult would have trouble. A steelie is a family affair!
Good luck and I hope we see you out here soon.
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Last edited by capta; 10-04-2015 at 07:28 AM.
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post #8 of 114 Old 10-04-2015
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Re: Steel boat care

+1 on the needle gun. It will remove the junk and not so much metal. A grinder, if used incorrectly, could remove more than you want.

Get a good one, not a cheap one, and extra needles if you are doing the whole boat. If pneumatic, it uses a LOT of air, so make sure you have the right compressor and tank for the job. Some work yards that have air may not work if the flow rate is not high enough. I'm inclined to tell you to not get an electric one, depending on how much work you have to do. The pneumatic one will last forever...electric are hit or miss on long-term life and YMMV. Either way...earplugs.

~Chris

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post #9 of 114 Old 10-04-2015
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Re: Steel boat care

Best prep is a particle blaster. Heavily regulated in most countries and most yards will not allow it.

Pneumatic needle gun or electric next choice. Grinders encase small particles of rust so not ideal.

Use any phosphoric acid based product to convert surface rust. Ospho is freely available.

2 coats of zinc rich epoxy primer plus two or more coats of regular epoxy primer.

Top coat of choice.

But any paint is better than none so scrape of loose rust - ospho - any primer - any top coat. Repeat as required.

I had a 25 year old steel boat for 7 yrs. I had the hull below the waterline sand blasted and painted down in Venezuela in 1992 for a very reasonable price. When I sold it at 32 it still looked good externally but there was significant rust internally. This is pretty common; steel boats die from the inside.

Top Tip 1 Keep a couple of small bottles with small brushes inside handy. Ospho and primer. I you spot a chip attend to it right away, Top coat can wait.

Top Tip 2 If you need some major rust cutting out and new plate welded in, find a commercial fishing boat yard and ask around. There is almost certainly going to be a mobile welder around familiar with boat problems.
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post #10 of 114 Old 10-04-2015
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Re: Steel boat care

Welcome aboard! Just a hope you didn't get steel hulled just because you think it will do ok on rocks!

"Next best thing to not having a boat? The knowledge from having one!" Denise, Bristol PA, On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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