It’s spring, and boat owners often think of painting their boats in preparation for the boating season. In the north, mid-May is probably the best month for boat painting as the temperature should be between 70 and 80 degrees and the humidity should be below 65%. Mid-May is not the best time for southern boaters, especially Floridians, as it is important to avoid the rainy season. These months to avoid would also be late August through October.
As in any painting project preparation is key. It is the most tedious, time-consuming and important part of your project. Without good preparation, your paint job is worthless.
Most boats use gelcoats as their exterior finish. These old gel coats are quite porous and, by now, have absorbed many years-worth of waxes and oils. The proper preparation is to do a thorough dewaxing and sanding. Only then can you use a primer coat.
The next time-consuming preparation project is the removal of all hardware. To achieve a professional result every piece of hardware must be removed.
Don’t even think about masking off the hardware and painting around it. This is guaranteed to produce a terrible looking job. Also, masked hardware leads to the paint bridging between the masked hardware and the mounting surface and results in water migrating under the paint and producing flaking and peeling. Only then, can the sanding part of the project begin. Before sanding be sure to spread plastic on the ground and use a shop vac. The dust from sanding is enormous, and many boatyards prohibit sanding altogether. Also, this is the time to put on protective clothing for your hands and eyes.
Finally, apply paint or varnish. Remember that several thin coats are far better than one thick coat.
A good paint job should hold up for 10 years or more. But, you must use proper care.
· Never use harsh detergents for cleaning. Use only soft bristle brushes or a mop.
· Keep your boat clean and avoid accumulated dirt.
· Wash thoroughly to remove salt.
· Except for walking surfaces the rest of the boat should be waxed once a year.
All of the necessary products for your boat painting project are available from our website - http://www.boatersland.com/ . We are ready and eager to guide you in your selections.
Good luck and happy boating!