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post #1 of 11 Old 06-06-2011 Thread Starter
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Painting deck - developing a budget

I am looking to refurbish and paint my deck on a 35' sailboat. There are signs of moisture and expecting some repairs, and crazing but again, this is a 38 year old sailboat and not expecting out-of-the show room finish.

I debating to perform the work myself which I have done on a smaller sailboat or hire it out. My first quote was around $18,000 but I'm thinking I self-perform the paint job (obviously not as well as a professional) for about $4,000.

Any advise on past experience with deciding to repaint your deck, self-perform or hire out, and how much is too much for a older sailboat?

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post #2 of 11 Old 06-06-2011
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you are taking about two different things in paint and core repair


For example on the core repair if yours is plywood its pretty much endless as the water travels through the grain so well

If the core was balsa it may be more local BUT at that age it can be pretty a pretty wide spread problem

On my boat while nothing was perfect ONLY forward 10 feet of the bow presented and issue that had to be fixed to keep using the boat



As far as paint again it depends on how good a job you want as a really good job would require removal of all the deck hardware and the big issue with decks is the amount of time the paint takes to dry before you can go back and do a second coat due to the need to walk on the piant and there is a large amount of taping which has to be done between coats VS a topside paint job which can be done without this issue

The paint type such as a one part or the better two part is a fairly small part of the total cost

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post #3 of 11 Old 06-06-2011
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Pat, whether you DIY or hire it out, there's a huge amount of labor expense consumed by removing every last bit of hardware so you can paint underneath eveyrthing. As opposed to masking around everything, which SOUNDS like a shortcut but never looks 1005, and still takes a lot of time to do it right.

Among other things...you know the way masking tape turns into iron-hard crud when it gets old? Masking everything will take a weekend, so i tmay bake in the sun for another week, and if you can't make the next weekend...now it bakes for two weeks, so you may want to use the silver 3M masking tape, which still peels off up to 30 days after being put on. $10 or $20 a roll, worth every penny but it still hurts.

I can only say, do it once and do it right, or you may have to live with it and just squint or look away for a long time. The actual cost of the paint (excuse me, coating) and the time to put that down? Trivial in the larger scheme of things.

Of course if there is rot in the core, and you find spots that need repair, that can really mushroom. I'd suggest either sounding that out, or getting a moisture meter and finding the extent of the problem before you begin. It would be a cruel waste to either mask or unbolt all that stuff, and then find, one by one, spots that needed "just a little more" extensive work, week after week.
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-06-2011
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I agree that deck recoring and painting are two separate things although they typically happen in sequence. I painted the deck on a 35 footer and it cost me $1000 and a lot of work. I used Signature Finish (same company as Honey Teak) and they will provide you with everything you need including advice from the company owner. They will even custom tint the paint. Not hard to do two-tone with a slightly darker shade on the no skid.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-06-2011
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I agree, it is a lot of work. It needs to be done carefully, and right, in order to look good, because it shows. I repainted the deck of our J/36 about ten years ago with 2-part polyurethane. The thinking was that it would last longer than 1-part, and since the preparation was essentially the same, it made sense to use paint that would last the longest. Taking two days to mask is a good idea on a boat this size. There will still be spots you wished you had masked better. It takes a HUGE amount of time, especially if you are outdoors. I spent many days waiting for the right combinations of conditions (temperature, wind, humidity...) You don't want to wipe down everything with acetone and have it rain, for example. You will have to wipe it down again. Using a carbon filter air mask is a good idea, even outdoors. With the advances in paint over the past ten years, we are thinking now of re-doing our deck in 1-part poly. The old finish paint is starting to wear thin and flake. The primer underneath is still a good surface for new paint with minimal prep. We'll see! I'm waiting for a dry weekend with no wind so there's no temptation to go sailing instead of painting. So far, that hasn't happened...
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-07-2011 Thread Starter
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Thank you for the advice. Although I recently purchased this sailboat about 3 months ago, or so, I have yet seen any signs of moisture within the deck and have not seen a soft spot throughout just some crazing, typical for an older sailboat with the original gelcoat. The moisture information came from the marina that quoted the paint job.
This will be one of three projects that I would like to do this Fall / Winter. It would be nice to find a local warehouse (many available) near my office to store and work within a closed area but not sure how they would be able to unload and load sailboat so it will be most likely outside throughout the projects.
I have seen many people mask off all the hardware but I agree, removing would provide a better and cleaner job and I should rebed the hardware this year or next anyways, so it would be performing two to-do-list tasks at once... My preliminary plan would be grinding out the crazing and investigate any moisture prior to starting the project. Sand and roll on epoxy at all crazing / scretch areas, repeat until satisfied, degrease - remove any wax, tape off non-skid areas, and apply primer, apply first coat, sand and vacuum, apply second coat, etc... Planning to use 2-part polyurthane by Interlux and will be rolling / tipping / brushing.
Is there any advantage in using 2-part polyurthane? Are all paint known manufacturers the same (Interlux, Pettit, etc..)
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-07-2011
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Before you go crazy grinding out cracks, be aware that primer coats do a really good job of filling most of them. If you epoxy-fill them you HAVE to paint, because in a surprisingly short time the epoxy will turn into opaque brown blotches from the UV in sunlight. I found Interlux very good at hand-holding (800#) and with detailed info on their website.
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-13-2011
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I had a Bristol 22 that I had to recore about the front third of the foredeck and some parts of the side deck. Somewhat messy job but with the right tools not too bad. I then repainted the entire deck with Briteside one-part polyurethane. I removed some of the hardware but not all I have used the Interthane Plus, 2 part polyurethane but you have the difficulty of cure time. Once it starts to set up you're done with that batch and temp and humidity are complicating factors as to how much working time you have. The Brightside is much easier to work with and to me looks just as good but may not have quite the duribility of the 2-part.

For the price difference this is definitely a DIY job. You'll also get a lot of personal satisfaction from doing it. As far as fixing crazing the paint may handle that so you may not have to make that a separate step.

Last edited by Ajay73; 06-13-2011 at 05:47 AM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-13-2011
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Try Kiwi Grip for any nonskid deck. I just finished the topside of my C&C Corvette and it turned out great it covers alot of imperfections and is easy to apply and can be done in a weekend for about $300. Every one at my club thinks it looks great and it does, a good quick way to bring beauty back to a 40 year old boat.
As for the flat surfaces Bright side Topside works well for a 1 part paint, but I will be wet sanding then a quick buff it should come up nice.
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-13-2011 Thread Starter
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Kiwi Grip seems to be much easier to apply. Does anyone know the difference in quality from a polyurthane finish vs a polymer (Kiwi Grip) finish?
This is would be important since 70% of your topside deck will be non-skid.
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