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post #3 of Old 03-17-2002
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Painting with 2-part polyurethane

We used Interthane Plus for our deck (soon to be four seasons ago). Interlux was very helpful with printed instructions and "hand-holding" over the phone. Cannot agree with Tom about brightsides. We tested a patch on deck and found that it did not stand up well to use and needed repainting in less than a season. Repainting an entire boat is a BIG job, and you want a paint that will last a LONG time so you don''t ever have to do it again. Take the time to do it right. I took an entire day just to mask off the deck fittngs on our J/36. Sanding before and between coats took only a little less long. Waiting for the right weather/temperature/ wind is also crucial - and can add time. I was amazed at how well the primer filled and leveled gelcoat crazing, and how good the finished deck looks. The only change I''d make if doing it again would be to use the maximum amount of nonskid in both coats on deck, instead of 3/4 in the first. Using a 6" foam roller (Home Depot sells them in contractor''s packets of six or so) worked very well -- tipping after rolling was not necessary on the deck.
We did not do the topsides -- they''re due next. Sags and runs are obviously more of a problem on the vertical surfaces. Other owners in our harbor have done their own boats, with good results. Preparing the surface seems to be the prime ingredient. A good paint job will make cracks and dings stand out even more, while a poor paint job won''t hide them either, and will look bad all over.
Happy sailing! (and painting?)
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