Your home is your most-valued asset, so you keep it painted and looking nice. Your boat is prob- ably your second most-valued
asset, but how often do you paint it? For
most boat owners the answer is – never!
It’s often seen as too expensive, or you
might mistakenly think that fiberglass is
a maintenance-free material.
Rub your boat’s hull with your finger.
If it comes away with a chalk-like residue, the gelcoat is oxidized and in need
of restoration. In some cases, the shine
can be restored by compounding and
polishing, but if it’s too far gone, painting is the answer. When done correctly,
a good paint job will last for many years,
but it does take some care, dedication,
and a fair chunk of time to do it well.
So how do you paint your hull? Ask
any painter, and you’ll learn that 90 percent of the work is preparation. Applying
the paint itself is the easy part. And with
today’s paints, there’s no reason why you
can’t produce a good job on your own.
10 steps to a perfect hull
>> 1. Carefully measure around your
hull from the sheerline (the top of the
hull) to the bootstripe. Note this measurement, as you will need it later. Now
carefully wash down your hull using
soap and water and a scouring pad. This
removes potential contaminants, such as
wax and polish, that might show up later
and mar the finish.
>> 2. If the gelcoat on the hull is severely
oxidized and has a chalky look to it,
the oxidized outer layer will have to be
removed. Use a random-orbit sander or
longboard with 120- to 180-grit sandpa-
68 | BoatU.S. Magazine APRIL | MAY 2017
68 | Topsides painting 72 | Install a toilet 76 | Use a compass 80 | Repack bearings
10 steps to
Don’t gloss over the facts.
If your boat is past its
prime, it might be time to
consider a paint job
BY ROGER MARSHALL PART 1
See Part 2 in our next issue, where we
show you how vinyl wrapping works — an
alternative to painting for some boats.