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Thread: Painting bilge space

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Homer
    Posts
    95

    Default Painting bilge space

    I'm cleaning up a carvel plank boat that has been out of the water (stored indoors) for 20 years. This boat appears to have had a chronic oil leak as all of the bilge space below the floorboards and under the motor is covered with 1/8" clotted river silt bound with congealed motor oil. This stuff comes off in sheets with a putty knife fairly easily. Much of the volatiles in the oil have evaporated off in the 20 years that this boat has been sitting. The planking (mahogany) and frames (w. oak) are in excellent condition.

    QUESTION: Is it possible to paint the bilge area and have the paint adhere? I was thinking of a light sanding w/60 grit after a thorough scraping, followed by several coats of thinned Petit Shipendeck paint. TIA for responses from those who have had similar situations.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    32,126

    Default Re: Painting bilge space

    There are a variety of modern paints specifically for bilges. Or you might try white lead. I've wondered, but not dared try, why not a nice cheap copper bottom paint?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, Wa
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    2,449

    Default Re: Painting bilge space

    I used Interlux Bilgekote on a fiberglass boat I worked on. We cleaned out the grime as much as possible, but there's just no way to get it all. At least, not without tearing out the wood, or lighting it on fire.


    It seemed to stick just fine.
    Member of the Loyal, Mostly-Noble, Elite and Most Ancient order of the Laughing Polar Bear Cap Society.

    I ask out of Ignorance, not Criticism.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    pittsfield nh usa
    Posts
    1,697

    Default Re: Painting bilge space

    I doubt anything will stick to the oil saturated wood.

    Paul Oman - MS. MBA
    A.K.A. “Professor E. Poxy
    www.epoxyfacts.com
    epoxies since 1994
    Member: NACE (National Assoc. of Corrosion Engineers) -- SSPC (Soc. of Protective Coatings)


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Newport Beach , Ca.
    Posts
    1,650

    Default Re: Painting bilge space

    60 years of oil and slim came right off with alcohol .


    Make sure you catch the slim as you're scraping .




    If there is paint still sticking you might need paint remover , then just some light sanding .


    Then you're are ready to finish

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Brewster, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Posts
    900

    Default Re: Painting bilge space

    Clean out the bilge as best you can with the scraper and a green 3M scrubber. Wash it out with a degreaser and rinse thoroughly. Let it dry. Then apply a past made from diatomaceous earth and denatured alcohol. Lay it on thick and let it dry. When dry, vacuum it out while you brush it with a stiff brush. Give it another good wash. Dry. You can then apply two coats of Bilgecoat or better yet, two coats of Interlux Interprotect 300 followed by two coats of the Bilgecoat. It worked well for by bilges that had years of oil and diesel ingrained.
    "If a man speaks at sea where no woman can hear, is he still wrong?"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Homer
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Painting bilge space

    Nice Stu. Looks like you've been there and done that. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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