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I'm starting to plan out my path for paint and fiberglass repairs, after finding a yard not too far that allows DIY work.

The first thing is paint choice. Ive spent a couple hours on here searching for the answer between ablative and hard. I'm located in Savannah GA, and haven't found anyone around me on here with their paint preference. My goal is the longest lasting paint possible, since its so expensive to put the boat on hard. I don't have a problem diving down and cleaning it every so often.

One thought I had, but havent found anyone actually do is painting ablative on top of hard. Is there a reason it hasn't been done?

The other question I have is about fiberglass repair. I don't know what I'm looking at since I haven't pulled the boat, but I do expect some repairs after an unpleasant experience with a sandbar off Tybee island. The plan is to grind down any damages and use mat and roving to build it back up. Any thoughts on this, or suggestions on where to start? Ive played with fiberglass before, but never using mat and resin.
 

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"One thought I had, but havent found anyone actually do is painting ablative on top of hard. Is there a reason it hasn't been done?"

My boat's bottom is exactly that; The bottom is barrier coated followed by a coat of hard, black paint, with red ablative paint over that. When I see black showing through, I know it's time to recoat. Also, should the ablative paint wear off and allow barnacle growth, the barrier coat is still protected by the hard paint. This has worked for the last ten years using Interlux Micron Extra with Biolux, recoating every other year with extra coats on the leading edge of the keel and on the rudder.
 

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I'm starting to plan out my path for paint and fiberglass repairs, after finding a yard not too far that allows DIY work.

The first thing is paint choice. Ive spent a couple hours on here searching for the answer between ablative and hard. I'm located in Savannah GA, and haven't found anyone around me on here with their paint preference. My goal is the longest lasting paint possible, since its so expensive to put the boat on hard. I don't have a problem diving down and cleaning it every so often.

One thought I had, but havent found anyone actually do is painting ablative on top of hard. Is there a reason it hasn't been done?
The major advantage of using an ablative is that you won't have the same paint buildup problems you have with a hard paint. Also, most hard paints and a few ablatives become inactive if the boat is hauled and stored on the hard for even a few days.

The other question I have is about fiberglass repair. I don't know what I'm looking at since I haven't pulled the boat, but I do expect some repairs after an unpleasant experience with a sandbar off Tybee island. The plan is to grind down any damages and use mat and roving to build it back up. Any thoughts on this, or suggestions on where to start? Ive played with fiberglass before, but never using mat and resin.
It really depends on the type of damage. If it has damaged the underlying laminate, you're really better off grinding the area surrounding the damage to a 12:1 taper and then rebuilding the area with fiberglass cloth and roving. You're better off using epoxy, since the secondary bonding characteristics of epoxy resin are far better than that of polyester or vinylester resin, making the chance of a solid and reliable repair easier for less skilled fiberglass workers. The 12:1 taper means that if the damage is 1/4" deep into the laminate, you'd grind a tapered area that is 3" wide..

The West System website, and many books will have fairly good info on how to do this.
 

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My boat's bottom is exactly that; The bottom is barrier coated followed by a coat of hard, black paint, with red ablative paint over that. When I see black showing through, I know it's time to recoat.
So my idea isn't completely insane I guess. I don't know alot about the types of paint, and didn't want a crazy reaction to occur.

Also, most hard paints and a few ablatives become inactive if the boat is hauled and stored on the hard for even a few days.
That shouldn't be too big of an issue for me, as mine is always in the water. I think a quick pull to recoat the ablative wouldnt be enough time to kill the hard?

Thanks for the tips on fiberglass, I have read a couple of books and both mention the 12:1 grinding.
 
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