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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I just picked up my first sailboat...a bit of a fixer upper summer project for me and my daughter. I'm new to fiberglass in any way shape or form though. It's a Coronado 15.

Here are some pics of the exterior. My questions are 1) this is clearly paint not just gelcoat as there are different colors and textures (all super worn of course)?

And then 2) I am planning to start with a very thorough wash with soap from a marine store and some pressure, and would prefer to just paint it all after that rather than mess with gelcoat but I'm worried the inner layers are damaged enough just paint won't do the trick. I would go for all solid white, no colors, and would use a roller and brush, I suck at spraying. Should I be reapplying gelcoat before painting? I care about long term here but also what I can reasonably do myself. Happy to paint every few years or whatnot.

And 3) if I do paint should I do anything special from what the standard tutorial for interlux says? (Or is there a better paint?) I would just do topcoat everywhere this won't sit in the water it has a spot in the garage.

Oh 4) what's the easiest way to flip one of these over to clean and paint the bottom?

Phew. I appreciate your help in advance! Thanks!


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This will not be the advice you are looking for but I also bought a boat to fix up with my daughter. then i realized I didn't want to expose her to these industrial chemicals. So I worked and worked on the boat by myself and never ended up sailing with her. Not to mention the time I didn't spend with her while working on the boat. I will strongly recommend that you just go sailing with her and ignore what it looks like. she will never remember what the boat looked like but she will always remember sailing with dad. Just make sure it is safe and take her sailing. Happy Father's day.
 

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Cat makes a good point about the time and chemical exposure. Good 3M respirators, with frequently changed filters, are a must.

A few thoughts on the project. You have several things going on there. If you plan to paint, the good news is you do not need to deal with gel coat. You will become intimately familiar with epoxy fairing and a long board for sanding. Prep is 90% of the outcome and effort. Of course, all loose material or old paint needs to be removed first.

Below the waterline, the fairing doesn’t need to be precise, if needed at all. A good epoxy primer or possibly a barrier coating, prior to applying several coats of anti-foul is what‘s needed, unless she’s going to be sailed off a trailer.

On the topsides, fairing is critical. There you must either choose to use an acrylic paint, which is easy to apply and easy to repair, but softer than LP paints, so easier to scratch. Or use an LP paint (Awlgrip or Alexseal). They are not bulletproof, but resist damage. Much harder to apply and repair, if you ding them up.

One pic looks like worn non-skid on the side deck. There are multiple ways of dealing with that. You can grind all the old texture off, fair it smooth and buy new non-skid that you glue down. Or you can use one if many paint on textured non-skid products.

Good luck. Boat refits always cost twice what you think and take three times longer. If you double both of those factors, you may come in on budget. :)
 

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After pressure washing and getting rid of loose stuff, just use light weight bondo to fair the hull... No real need to use marine specific fairing compound on a small boat that won't be in the water constantly..........
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This will not be the advice you are looking for but I also bought a boat to fix up with my daughter. then i realized I didn't want to expose her to these industrial chemicals. So I worked and worked on the boat by myself and never ended up sailing with her. Not to mention the time I didn't spend with her while working on the boat. I will strongly recommend that you just go sailing with her and ignore what it looks like. she will never remember what the boat looked like but she will always remember sailing with dad. Just make sure it is safe and take her sailing. Happy Father's day.
Thanks for your sentiment, I do appreciate this. I have some time to work on this solo anyways before we could possibly sail (she has camps...) and of course take safety seriously. But yeah we will get this thing in the water for some decent time this summer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cat makes a good point about the time and chemical exposure. Good 3M respirators, with frequently changed filters, are a must.

A few thoughts on the project. You have several things going on there. If you plan to paint, the good news is you do not need to deal with gel coat. You will become intimately familiar with epoxy fairing and a long board for sanding. Prep is 90% of the outcome and effort. Of course, all loose material or old paint needs to be removed first.

Below the waterline, the fairing doesn’t need to be precise, if needed at all. A good epoxy primer or possibly a barrier coating, prior to applying several coats of anti-foul is what‘s needed, unless she’s going to be sailed off a trailer.

On the topsides, fairing is critical. There you must either choose to use an acrylic paint, which is easy to apply and easy to repair, but softer than LP paints, so easier to scratch. Or use an LP paint (Awlgrip or Alexseal). They are not bulletproof, but resist damage. Much harder to apply and repair, if you ding them up.

One pic looks like worn non-skid on the side deck. There are multiple ways of dealing with that. You can grind all the old texture off, fair it smooth and buy new non-skid that you glue down. Or you can use one if many paint on textured non-skid products.

Good luck. Boat refits always cost twice what you think and take three times longer. If you double both of those factors, you may come in on budget. :)
Yes I have a 3M respirator and several filters and gloves and a mask, etc. Thanks.

I am glad to not deal with the gel coat. I am honestly a bit confused about the difference between cleaning-patching-sanding-priming-sanding if needed-painting and fairing. Is fairing adding the idea of making it all look good where it is visible above the water? Or is it about the primer being an epoxy? I will be launching from a trailer which is why I was thinking of using an LP topside paint just everywhere.

I will probably just start by grinding down the non-skip then do glue down if it needs it.

Thanks a lot!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After pressure washing and getting rid of loose stuff, just use light weight bondo to fair the hull... No real need to use marine specific fairing compound on a small boat that won't be in the water constantly..........
Good to know, yes don't need to go crazy or waste $ on this. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Cat makes a good point about the time and chemical exposure. Good 3M respirators, with frequently changed filters, are a must.

A few thoughts on the project. You have several things going on there. If you plan to paint, the good news is you do not need to deal with gel coat. You will become intimately familiar with epoxy fairing and a long board for sanding. Prep is 90% of the outcome and effort. Of course, all loose material or old paint needs to be removed first.

Below the waterline, the fairing doesn’t need to be precise, if needed at all. A good epoxy primer or possibly a barrier coating, prior to applying several coats of anti-foul is what‘s needed, unless she’s going to be sailed off a trailer.

On the topsides, fairing is critical. There you must either choose to use an acrylic paint, which is easy to apply and easy to repair, but softer than LP paints, so easier to scratch. Or use an LP paint (Awlgrip or Alexseal). They are not bulletproof, but resist damage. Much harder to apply and repair, if you ding them up.

One pic looks like worn non-skid on the side deck. There are multiple ways of dealing with that. You can grind all the old texture off, fair it smooth and buy new non-skid that you glue down. Or you can use one if many paint on textured non-skid products.

Good luck. Boat refits always cost twice what you think and take three times longer. If you double both of those factors, you may come in on budget. :)
Also dumb question but from my research it looks like it is never a bad idea to wet sand?
 

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Sounds like you are new to sailing or you would not be worried about paint before you sail it.
first it is a 15' sailing dingy so I would fix it and go sail it do not spend any time or money on fairing or paint until you have it sailing and find out what else it needs fixed to do it's job and that is sailing. the hull looks like it has been painted and needs a good cleaning before you can evaluate what to do with the surface. the deck non skid is worn but still works and is not really needed on a boat 15' long, so leave for now it will work fine. once you have fixed everything and you are so happy with the boat and the way it sails that you just have it looking the very best it can then and only then start thinking about painting or gel coating it. on a 15" boat it is easier and cheaper to re-gelcoat then paint and it will last must longer and not scratch off.
the pics show some line ( rope ) that need replacing and most likely some hardware will need some help, start there and get it sailing. you have the perfect beater boat to learn to be a trailer sailor
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sounds like you are new to sailing or you would not be worried about paint before you sail it.
first it is a 15' sailing dingy so I would fix it and go sail it do not spend any time or money on fairing or paint until you have it sailing and find out what else it needs fixed to do it's job and that is sailing. the hull looks like it has been painted and needs a good cleaning before you can evaluate what to do with the surface. the deck non skid is worn but still works and is not really needed on a boat 15' long, so leave for now it will work fine. once you have fixed everything and you are so happy with the boat and the way it sails that you just have it looking the very best it can then and only then start thinking about painting or gel coating it. on a 15" boat it is easier and cheaper to re-gelcoat then paint and it will last must longer and not scratch off.
the pics show some line ( rope ) that need replacing and most likely some hardware will need some help, start there and get it sailing. you have the perfect beater boat to learn to be a trailer sailor
Thanks. How did you know? =P I sailed lasers at summer camp a bunch as a kid but they were always ready to go for me.

Yeah I do need all new rigging, the hardware all seems to be good I think. Still need to do my research there. And I am happy with a beater. One issue is that the person I bought it from did repair the fiberglass a bit in the front where it had been rubbing the trailer and my understanding is I should at least definitely sand/paint the epoxy or whatever it is there with the fiberglass sheets before putting it in the water?

As for gelcoat, my issue is I really don't want to spray and thought paint was easier to apply with a roller and brush...
 

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a properly done fiberglass repair does not need paint to go sailing, gelcoat can also be rolled and tipped the same as paint but i would not consider that part of the project yet. get it sailing learn and scratch up the old boat and then think about painting. a boat in that condition will amaze you at how much summertime and money it will eat up just getting it ready to sail. if you start now you might make it this summer. finding missing parts can take a lot of time and research if they are even still available . repair any holes that keep it afloat and make it mechanically work before you worry about how it looks, thats where i would start on the project. if you want to make it look a little better on the repair think spray can paint which will sand off when you do decide to do a full paint job. all boats look good when out sailing . I have a small sabot dingy that the granddaughters sail and it has pink vinyl flower stickers covering the multiple repairs. the girls did not like the way the repairs looked so they took matters in their own hands. works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
a properly done fiberglass repair does not need paint to go sailing, gelcoat can also be rolled and tipped the same as paint but i would not consider that part of the project yet. get it sailing learn and scratch up the old boat and then think about painting. a boat in that condition will amaze you at how much summertime and money it will eat up just getting it ready to sail. if you start now you might make it this summer. finding missing parts can take a lot of time and research if they are even still available . repair any holes that keep it afloat and make it mechanically work before you worry about how it looks, thats where i would start on the project. if you want to make it look a little better on the repair think spray can paint which will sand off when you do decide to do a full paint job. all boats look good when out sailing . I have a small sabot dingy that the granddaughters sail and it has pink vinyl flower stickers covering the multiple repairs. the girls did not like the way the repairs looked so they took matters in their own hands. works for me.
This is really helpful advice. Yeah I don't care about looks just safety and that I am not doing long term damage.

On that note, what would you say is the best resource to learn what rigging I need for this boat? I want to get new cables and rope. I know I need the three cables to keep the mast up, it looks like a cable goes to the very top of the mast I assume for the main sail. There should be rigging holding the boom down and another set to control it's movement. Rigging to let the dagger board or what it's called down, and rigging for the jib that either goes to the left or the right to those rollers you see in the pictures above. Am I missing anything? Is this stuff very specific to the boat or can I just start buying rope and pulleys? Again mostly just wondering if there is a resource beyond going to sail school in the short term. I learn best by doing and don't mind getting wet and/or paddling...haha
 

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Fairing is just epoxy based filler. Better than bondo, but up to you. No need for anti fouling, if dry sailing, just paint it all. I failed to mention that glue on non-skid is expensive.
 

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This is really helpful advice. Yeah I don't care about looks just safety and that I am not doing long term damage.

On that note, what would you say is the best resource to learn what rigging I need for this boat? I want to get new cables and rope. I know I need the three cables to keep the mast up, it looks like a cable goes to the very top of the mast I assume for the main sail. There should be rigging holding the boom down and another set to control it's movement. Rigging to let the dagger board or what it's called down, and rigging for the jib that either goes to the left or the right to those rollers you see in the pictures above. Am I missing anything? Is this stuff very specific to the boat or can I just start buying rope and pulleys? Again mostly just wondering if there is a resource beyond going to sail school in the short term. I learn best by doing and don't mind getting wet and/or paddling...haha
Your boat was designed by Frank Butler and built by Catalina yachts, so they may have some of the parts you may need at Catalina direct online. this rebuild may be a very steep learning curve so start reading but if you post pics here many sailors here will have much good info to help you. no real crash course anywhere for sailing I am still learning after 60 years . the rigging on that boat does not go to the top of the mast as it has a faction rig with the top section supporting it self un stayed. the forestay and shrouds should be replaced and a good source for that would be Cat direct or west marine. in the pick of the jib lead the slider and cleat you are missing the bullseye fairlead , being plastic it is gone but a replacement can be had.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Fairing is just epoxy based filler. Better than bondo, but up to you. No need for anti fouling, if dry sailing, just paint it all. I failed to mention that glue on non-skid is expensive.
Ahh makes sense. And that means no glue on non-skid in the short term. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Your boat was designed by Frank Butler and built by Catalina yachts, so they may have some of the parts you may need at Catalina direct online. this rebuild may be a very steep learning curve so start reading but if you post pics here many sailors here will have much good info to help you. no real crash course anywhere for sailing I am still learning after 60 years . the rigging on that boat does not go to the top of the mast as it has a faction rig with the top section supporting it self un stayed. the forestay and shrouds should be replaced and a good source for that would be Cat direct or west marine. in the pick of the jib lead the slider and cleat you are missing the bullseye fairlead , being plastic it is gone but a replacement can be had.
Yes I am ready for the steep learning curve and also clearly asking for help! I was going to start with the paint but you have convinced me to move to hardware and rigging sooner. After I clean it out and unhook everything and lay out the sails etc I will take some pictures and probably try to get some help. I did find the original rigging guide for the boat online but it's all words I don't understand. Yet...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
"Launch" it in some grass and get 3 or 4 people to turn it over. A boat this light can be cranked back on the trailer from the ground.
Ahh that sounds easier than what I was imagining in my head. Thanks!
 
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