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Painting in the tropics

July 7, 2013

Everyone thinks the tropics is paradise. In many ways it can be but for working on a boat it presents many challenges especially in the painting department.

Of course, if you are foolish enough, like us, to paint in the SW Monsoon season then there is reason enough to ignore everything I have to say here as the ravings of a lunatic.

So why are we painting?  You are quite right to ask us that.  However, hauling out provides us with an opportunity to tear things apart, catch up on all the items we have neglected on the ‘to do’ list. One of those is painting part of the interior and the cockpit.

Over time gelcoat loses it’s lustre and loses it’s water repelling characteristics.  The cockpit in particular sees very heavy use and after 30 years and various repairs and poor painting history it’s time to ‘spruce it up’.

The challenge is what kind of paint to use.  One of the best paints for large flat gelcoated surfaces is a two part polyurethane.  Properly applied it provides a very hard surface that should hold its lustre and water repellent characteristics for a minimum of 5 years.  The other choice is a one part enamel which is simpler to apply, is not so particular when it comes to weather conditions but doesn’t last as long, nor have quite as hard a finished surface nor have the same water repellent characteristics.

So the question becomes what does one choose.  We decided to go with International’s 2 part polyurethane called Perfection and chose Mediterranean White.  Oh yes, I forgot to mention colour matching. Ha, ha.  Have you ever tried to match old gelcoat with an on the market product.  Boat paint isn’t quite the same as houses paints. Fooling around with colours is not an option. International Perfection has about 3 different white paints and none of them match our old, tired and discoloured gelcoat.  So we are going for a 2 tone boat since we cannot afford nor have the time to paint the entire topsides

Well all the best laid plans do not necessarily pan out in the tropics.  Yes we chose the most difficult paint to work with and one better suited to mechanical sprayers.  It is a brushable paint and we are now done applying the undercoat and one topcoat.  We need two more topcoats and have been waiting 2 days to move forward.  However, the weather is not cooperating. Heh, it’s the monsoon season and who chooses to paint in the wet season?

Ah well, I will post a picture of the end results. This is actually a test.  We want to see how difficult the paint is to apply and see how durable it is.  After that we will finish off the more finicky areas of the cockpit and perhaps look a little less like a 2 tone boat.

And since it’s raining what better day to write on the blog!

 

 

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Wayno permalink
    July 8, 2013 02:44

    If it can be more demanding, Gibb will find a way! Will we see a lovely spectrum of whites on Sage?

  2. July 8, 2013 04:06

    Tony:
    Mad dogs and Englishmen paint their boats in the Monsoon rain….!!! You masochist!
    It’ll feel so good when you stop. You’ve done your research I’m sure, but I’d be very concerned about ambient humidity, especially with a two-part paint. My preference has become Interlux Brightsides over all others but I’m not there. Hope it all goes well. If you have have gelcoat cracks(The boat that is) simply use a hi-fill primer, beats the hell out of filling, sanding and grinding over and over with two-part marine filler. A summer NW blowing here, hot and dry, giving me the itch to ‘Do south’.
    Best to you both, Fred

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