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View Full Version : Help!! Rookie trying to refinish wood boat.



Jrich
02-24-2002, 03:06 PM
I recently received an old mahogany racing pran (kit) from my father in law. My 13 year old son and I are going to try to finish the boat. It's a project that was started some 35 years ago. I am a novice in boat refinishing but do have extensive experience in auto paint refinish work.
My concerns are what do I use to level the surface and seal before I topcoat. We will be painting the boat not staining/varnishing. Any help would be appreciated.

bob goeckel
02-24-2002, 03:15 PM
once sanded you might want to seal the wood with interlux interthane sealer. then use interlux sanding surfacer. then under coat or not then paint. be aware that marine paint is thin and shows every defect. i use interlux brightside.

Nicholas Carey
02-26-2002, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by Jrich:
I recently received an old mahogany racing pran (kit) from my father in law. My 13 year old son and I are going to try to finish the boat. It's a project that was started some 35 years ago. I am a novice in boat refinishing but do have extensive experience in auto paint refinish work.
My concerns are what do I use to level the surface and seal before I topcoat. We will be painting the boat not staining/varnishing. Any help would be appreciated.Step number one is fairing the hull.

Fill any dings with a mixture of epoxy and microballoons. Resist the urge to use Bondo or any other polyester-based material on your boat. Bondo and Polyester bad. Evil on boats. Polyester resins are not adhesives and will eventually just lift off the wood. Use epoxy instead -- it is an tenacious glue.

Microballoons are microscopic hollow glass bubbles that makes a great fairing compound (even on cars). Mixed with epoxy to a 'peanut butter' consistency, it makes light fairing compound that sands easily.

Get a copy of the System 3 epoxy book at http://www.systemthree.com and/or take a look at the Gougeon Brothers (WEST system) at http://www.westsystem.com for more information.

Epoxy and microballons are available from the above two manufacturers as well as from Fiberlay at http://www.fiberlay.com

Depending on how much the hull needs to be faired, you might wind up "long-boarding" the hull -- if you do auto refinishing, you're probably familiar with the might air-powered jitterbug sanding board. A long board is like that, but muscle powered. Helps build strong arms. You can make a long board out of a piece of 1/4 plywood and a couple of knobs. Resist the urge to use power sanders (eg, belt sanders, random orbital, rotory, etc.) -- they are good tools to make large dings and divots in the hull instead of making it fair.

Once the hull is fair and smooth, its just a matter of painting it. And there, like painting a car or a house, the key is preparation, preparation, preparation.

The Interlux Boat Painter's Guide is a good place to start -- http://www.yachtpaints.com/usa -- Interlux makes good products and they have good support -- don't be afraid to call the tech support hot line and ask for advice and/or recommendations. It is in their interests to ensure that you find success with there project.

I called them once about an adhesion problem we were having. They had some good advice and offered to send out the tech rep to come out to the boat and make sure we were doing it right.

Bob Cleek
02-26-2002, 08:45 PM
Well, Nick... I wonder if that "adhesion problem" you were having wasn't directly related to trying to put paint over epoxy and microballoons! LOL Let's not start that debate all over again!

Jrich... run the forum search engine and look for painting tips. There's a million of them in here. I feel safe in saying that the general consensus among those who know is that you sand well, put down Clear Penetrating Epoxy SEALER (this is a specific product... a SEALER, not epoxy adhesive goop) and a base coat of something like Interlux Sanding Undercoat (which sands easily), then hit the dings with Interlux Surfacing Putty or equivalent. Sand that all smooth as a baby's bottom and then apply your gloss topcoat just like you would on a car or any other smooth gloss finish. That's how you paint wood at least. Don't use epoxy and microbaloons because you will have a surface that is a mixture of wood and epoxy, which doesn't bode well for getting a single kind of paint to stick. IMHO...

bob goeckel
02-26-2002, 10:25 PM
you go bob!

Wild Dingo
02-27-2002, 12:21 AM
Aw and he went to all that effort too Bob :(

Did a terrific job of explaining it and everything and you go start all this IMHO stuff mate... sigh... :rolleyes:

Take it easy
Shane

Nicholas Carey
02-27-2002, 01:52 AM
Originally posted by Bob Cleek:
Well, Nick... I wonder if that "adhesion problem" you were having wasn't directly related to trying to put paint over epoxy and microballoons! LOL Let's not start that debate all over again!Actually, it had nothing to do with epoxy. The problen was topcoat (gloss) not adhering to the primer coats.

the final solution was to let the topcoat dry for 3 weeks or so.