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Thread: Pros and Cons of painting the hull before turnover v waiting until near complete

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Default Pros and Cons of painting the hull before turnover v waiting until near complete

    Looking for some input here: boat is a 17' Penebscot ( Arch Davis) which is a LONG term project for me. Many years of on and off work ( mostly off) and probably going to take some more years to finish. But I am about ready to flip over and work on the boat from the top ( with this design much of the interior is actually in place already). My question is should I go ahead and paint the hull before I turn it over for this first time ? - with the understanding that it may be years ( hope not but still) before this project actually sees the water! Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Pennsylvania
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    9,629

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of painting the hull before turnover v waiting until near complete

    Yes, add the paint. The wood will keep better.
    -Dave

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Central Coast, Ca
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    Default Re: Pros and Cons of painting the hull before turnover v waiting until near complete

    It will never be easier to paint (or pick off a waterline) than now before you turn it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Bainbridge Island WA
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    Default Re: Pros and Cons of painting the hull before turnover v waiting until near complete

    It is easier to paint the outside now with gravity on your side, painting upside down is never any fun. Just think through the projects to come, make sure everything that is going to attach to the outside of the hull is finished. You'll not want to go back and sand back the painted surface to glue something on later...Any holes you might want to drill out and overfill with epoxy should be dealt with too. Stuff will come up, it is just easier to do things once and touch-ups are a pain to hide.

    On the other hand, the Penobscot 17 shouldn't be very hard to roll even with the furniture installed so you could really go either way.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    Salish Sea, BC, Canada
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    57

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of painting the hull before turnover v waiting until near complete

    Quote Originally Posted by MDScot View Post
    ….with this design much of the interior is actually in place already …
    I found the interior finishing on my Penobscot 13 is taking longer to complete than constructing the hull … maybe its just me.

    I find flipping the boat a bit of a hassle in my small shop with getting enough room to move the boat from a straight back to a cradle. (Unless there’s enough help to raise the boat up while the straight back is removed and replaced with a cradle). Painting the hull before the flip should save some work. Just place lots of padding on the cradle when you do flip it to protect the paint.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Wrocław, Poland
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    Default Re: Pros and Cons of painting the hull before turnover v waiting until near complete

    In my experience, for every argument or advantage offered by one sequence of operations or method of construction in boat building, there is an equally compelling argument or advantage for doing things in a different order or by a different method. Don't over-think it!

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Brunswick, Maine
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    2,085

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of painting the hull before turnover v waiting until near complete

    Paint it now, before you flip it over. It's easier and you'll get a better job.

    AND, just looking at it will inspire you to get it finished and in the water!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Mountain lakes of Vermont
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    Default Re: Pros and Cons of painting the hull before turnover v waiting until near complete

    I've built lots of boats, only one of them right side up.
    All the others I painted/varnished while upside down. It just makes your life easier.
    Even if you get a ding or two in the paint before completion, it can be easily fixed.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
    Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Dog Ranch, USA
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    9,094

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of painting the hull before turnover v waiting until near complete

    Will you be drilling through the planking to add interior items? If so, then I'd be tempted to just seal up the planking on the outside and then come back to it for the finish coats after you'd built the interior out. For instance, fastening knees, frames, a mast step - all can require drilling from the outside of the hull into the interior piece. The great thing about little boats is that they're not super heavy. Probably 300 lbs or so once done? You and a buddy can roll her over as needed.

    If you don't need to drill, then a finish coat now makes sense. I'm always too impatient to to this - I want to see the boat and her lines upright as soon as possible.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    19

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of painting the hull before turnover v waiting until near complete

    Thanks for the great input ! Paint it it is - which is what I WANT to do, just to let me see that I have something that looks like it may be a boat some day - and to reassure me that progress is being made. I seem to have this great lump of plywood in my garage for ever!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Guerilla Bay, NSW, Australia
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    513

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of painting the hull before turnover v waiting until near complete

    Yes, paint before roll. Think this design is clinker (?) and you want the paint to run into that lap joint :-)

    Regards Neil

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Ct.
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    Default Re: Pros and Cons of painting the hull before turnover v waiting until near complete

    Gravity is your friend.

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