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Don't give up the ship!
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Ok just did this horrendous work on mine.
I put the waterline tape where the paint stops at the white gelcoat (topside) then a strip of tape just under, using the bottom of the top tape as a guide for the top of the tape where the barrier will stop.
then I layered another two more tapes right over the bottom tape.so three layers of tape for the bottom tape, one for the top where the final paint will stop.
peeled off one layer after every two coats..barrier had three coats, two coat of hard bottom paint.
then the final 2 coats of ablative, stopped at the first tape that I had placed, the original water line.
Good luck with the project.
I used Pettit Protect, the grey seems to dry faster and harder than the white.
I sanded between coats (120 grit), rubbing off after sanding with acetone to remove wax residue.
A high build will give a "pebbled " finish, sanding allowed me to keep it nice and smooth...
First coat, not too worried about the texture of the finish, high build as possible, second coat sanded lightly to smooth out some of the texture, but not through the coat, third coat more careful application.
The hard bottom paint is also pretty good at filling the bumps and grooves left by brush or rollers...and yes I lightly sanded between coats to keep smooth...
The ablative I thinned down as I apply, it help keep the coat nice and smooth and shiny like a baby's butt.
Remember to save some of the barrier coat to do the spots under the stands. Give each coat a 1 to 2 inch width at the stands so that when you move the stands you don't end up with ridge lines. (1 coat to the stands, 2nd ,2 inch away, 3rd, 3 to 4 away and so on...)
When you move the stands, put wax paper on top of them to prevent the paint from sticking to them.
Good luck with the project.
Home Dump has epoxy rollers for about 3 bucks.
To fill in under the stands I used the detail rollers, about 4 inch wide. get the woven ones, they hold up well.
Helps to have someone else help out, two is better than one, but 4 people is ideal, with putting on the barrier coats especially if you are planning to do new coat on tacky coat, I gave up on that, couldn't move fast enough. LOL.
 
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