"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." -Andre Gide

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Painting the Boat

Painting a boat is hard work! It took us about three weeks to paint the bottom of our boat. We painted from the middle hull edge to the water line. We did the whole job with the boat in the water in the slip. It might be easier to take the boat out of the water, but it costs more money.

First, you must try to clean and remove as much wax as possible. Take off all vinyl labels, names, and numbers with a putty knife. You can do this by cleaning with any average boat hull cleaner. We also did a good once-over with polishing clay to try to get any oxidation and wax off. Then, we sanded it with fine grit sandpaper. Then, we wiped it down with ammonia on a clean rag. Yes, it took a long time!

Second, we taped off all the edges with blue painter’s tape.

Third, we tried to do all of our painting on really warm sunny days. The paint dries quicker that way. A lot of sources suggest using a “Knock down” method of applying the paint to get a good even finish. This consists of applying the paint using a fine knit roller and then going over the subsequent roller marks very lightly with a high quality bristle or foam brush to “Knock Down” the roller streaks. I have never claimed to be a Picasso, but when I tried this method, I ended up with more blemishes from the paint brush than I had with the roller.

So once again using a fine knit roller, I applied two coats with a fairly light touch using standard roller painting technique. I began painting sections of the boat rolling the paint on horizontally and then vertically waiting for the paint to mostly dry before applying the next coat. After the second coat I began to sand each coat using a fine grade sand paper and cleaning any dust with Xylene and tack cloth before applying the next coat. My target was at least 5 coats, but I continued the process until there were no visible color streaks and had achieved a smooth surface. Yes, it took a long time!

Next, buy new vinyl numbers and a new vinyl name cut at a local sign shop. These can be applied easily according to sign shop specifications.

We are hoping to never have to do that again! We’d probably sell the boat before painting it again!

p.s. A shout out to Kate J. for applying couple coats!

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