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Old 07-28-2011, 11:18 AM   #1
Ben
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Paint, Coatings, Epoxy, and other such goo

Hello All,

I need a matrix of what does what. I have several dings, chips, scratches, and blemishes all over our 25 year old boat. I am not sure I can tell chipped paint from chipped gelcoat. But as I play with epoxy, sandpaper, and paint over the worst surfaces, I know I can improve our boat. I am experimenting now, fixing the worst spots using chapters from "This Old Boat", smart peoples' blogs, and forums like this. But I need a matrix or chart of when to use epoxy, paint, wax, gelcoat, fiberglass, and such. I see the guys do it in the marina at $40 to $80 an hour and I know it's just work and know-how, not magic foo-foo dust. Maybe fiberglass dust.

What I think I think:
  1. Has someone published a chart of all this? Something shorter than 50 pages. I am reading "This Old Boat", that's the 50 pages.
  2. Best season to do this? I am thinking my painting and dripping sweat on my handiwork might not be "the best" time. But I got sandpaper. I think summer might be reserved for vertical surfaces, the way I sweat.
  3. I think I need 3 power sanders and at least one buffer. I got 1 and 1 now.
  4. I can do the deck up. I got a great finger pier, so maybe a bunch of the hull too. At least the bad stuff.
  5. I think for major square footage on the hull, it's a buffer and haulout and a two weekend deltoid and biceps workout.
  6. Waxes? Good ones, bad ones? Long lasting?
Pending any revelations I am continuing to read "This Old Boat" and play with my epoxy, sandpaper, and paint. I think I am going to invest in sandpaper.

Thanks in advance,

Ben

Sandcastle/MT 36 Sundeck
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:49 PM   #2
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RE: Paint, Coatings, Epoxy, and other such goo

Something you might want to consider is peruse some of the brand owners forums to see if they have any professional (current or retired) shipwright types who can provide insight on your questions. I can speak only for the two Grand Banks owners forums http://www.grandbanksowners.com and http://gbbeacon.com, but they each have some true experts at the art of doing just about anything on a boat. Both of these forums have searchable archives and particularly on the first forum there are discussions on just about every aspect of boat maintenance and repair one could think of.

The grandbanksowners forum has a lot of very experienced owners who do much of their own maintenance but there is one participant, Bob Lowe who founded the forum and for years ran Oak Harbor Boatworks in Washington, who knows as much as anyone about all aspects of maintaining, repairing, and restoring wood and fiberglass boats.

The other forum, gbbeacon, is sponsored by Grand Banks themselves and while not as active a forum as the other one has an extremely knowledgeable, experienced professional in the person of Mike Negley.

Topics like fixing gel coat chips and scrapes all the way to major structural work, re-engining, you name it, have been covered many times in many ways on both forums. And while you do not have a GB, this is not a requirement for getting answers to questions on the GB forums. Most questions about fiberglass hull maintenance and repair, systems troubleshooting and repair, and so on have the same answers regardless of the brand of boat. And I'm guessing there are owner forums for other brands who have their own versions of Bob and Mike.

While I realize searching archives is more effort and takes more time than getting a new, direct answer to the questions you have posed there is nevertheless a huge wealth of information already out there that could serve you well.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:10 PM   #3
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RE: Paint, Coatings, Epoxy, and other such goo

Lots to learn and lots of opinions out there.

A good place to start is the http://plasticclassicforum.com/. There are some knowledgable folks there that can put you on the right track.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:58 PM   #4
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RE: Paint, Coatings, Epoxy, and other such goo

I feel your pain Ben. One thing that may (or may not) help, and has helped me is to actually hire someone to help you to get your ball rolling. Get a local glass guy to come and start knocking out, let's say, a small handful of dinks and to look at a few others. The trick is just to be there and LEARN what he does. I've done it with engine guys, electricians, woodworkers, etc. Yes, it's going to cost a little out of pocket, but if you can soak up what he (or she) is doing, you can easily pick up enough tips to do the rest yourself.

But your boat is hopeless, so you really shouldn't bother. Just take your ding-dang auto pilot and and be happy. :-D
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:09 AM   #5
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Paint, Coatings, Epoxy, and other such goo

Tom - Ha ha ha, you crazy nut.

Ya, I went over Wednesday and looked over Clyde's shoulder. An owner wanting to sell gave him a fixed sum (not enough) to try to rehab his boat. The boat was just plain sad. Over on "A" dock. I can paint, epoxy, fill little holes, and sand. Once I get to finishing/waxing, I can do that too, but time is the issue unless I haul out. Clyde's busy as sh-t, but he'll take a pause and chat with you. Great guy. But has more than too much work to do.

Coatings (gelcoat if needed) are my weakness. I need to look over some of these references and figure out what my options or needs are. Plus, as I talk to people, I find it's a better job to fuss over the work yourself, taking more time and learning, than to find the wrong guy who doesn't have a personal stake in the quality. But you're right, I need a consultant to kick off the ball.

Autopilot - connected to the 15-year-old GPS. So if I swap the GPS, does the autopilot fail? Does it use only the antenna, or is there a dependency on the 15-year-old software coming from the GPS?. I might need a retired computer engineer to figure this one. This job falls down the list because the 15-year-old tech still works - just not pretty as today's stuff. I got dings I can fix much quicker, and paint I can renew the deck with and make a bigger impact.

*

Marin/Chip - Thanks for the sites, I checked the Plastics one, it seems right, alot to read, but I'm revving up. I need to make my own matrix of what to do when, and plot the hows. I need to do the reading while the weather in NC is 101F and humid. Once it cools to a brisk 85, I think I can get alot done!


-- Edited by Ben on Friday 29th of July 2011 04:14:29 AM
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:18 AM   #6
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RE: Paint, Coatings, Epoxy, and other such goo

Found this too - Very useful!

http://www.boatus.com/boattech/howto_lib.htm
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:49 AM   #7
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RE: Paint, Coatings, Epoxy, and other such goo

Coatings (gelcoat if needed) are my weakness. I need to look over some of these references and figure out what my options or needs are.

Gelcoat repair is only sucessful on a small area , and needs to be done by a pro.

The reason is the color match is really hard to do, since the repair color needs to match 30 years of ageing , and the repair changes color as it hardens.

Stress cracking must be repaired as it is a structural FAILURE , not just a cosmetic problem.

Boats that are too dinged are simply painted , spray is nice , but paints like Allgrip or Immeron are death without proper breathing gear.

Most will find a 2 part polly is fine with roll and tip.

Expect to paint the boat 2 times , now while its new to you , and just before selling her.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:43 PM   #8
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RE: Paint, Coatings, Epoxy, and other such goo

The trick is to balance skill, labor, and time to get the best job done without killing the bank account. The pros take dough, so I'll need to spend wisely.

A lot of my ills are some spider cracks and oxidation, and some paint needs. But my previous owner took some simplified short cuts in some places, so his work should be easily improved. He did some dumb quickie repairs in some places that should be easy to solve. I think in most places, gelcoat is not my problem.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:18 PM   #9
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Paint, Coatings, Epoxy, and other such goo

As the owners of an old boat with lots of cosmetic issues as well as the usual ongoing tasks all boat owners face we follow the advice a very experienced shipwright gave us within days of our arriving in Bellingham with our new purchase. We were facing all sorts of issues from plugged toilets (we hadn't learned the right way to use them yet) to windows that needed overhauling to a deck that need regrooving, reseaming, and about half its plugs replaced and on and on. He said (I'm paraphrasing) "Don't be in a hurry to get everything done at once. You won't be able to and it will just frustrate the hell out of you and ruin your whole boating experience. Pick one job, do it, then pick another one, do it, and so on. Make your goal just to get this one job done. When it's finished, decide on the next job. But don't think about all of them, just think about one at a time."

We have followed this advice fairly successfully for the last thirteen years, deliberately not worrying about jobs that we haven't gotten to yet. And for us, anyway, it's taken a lot of stress out of owning a boat. We've also discovered we can do a lot of jobs when we're out on the boat. I enjoy working on it but it's a lot more pleasant to replace deck plugs or refinish exterior wood in a nice anchorage than back in our slip.


-- Edited by Marin on Friday 29th of July 2011 09:20:01 PM
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:08 PM   #10
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RE: Paint, Coatings, Epoxy, and other such goo

Marin - Amen to that brother. I have 3 things going for me, I am slow, scared of botching something, and usually meticulous when I am not in a rush. I got a lot of boat things that meet the words, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", that I have toyed with and stepped back from for a while (electronics for example, mine are 15 years old, but work). But some of the mechanical, plumbing, woodwork, and glass work, I am building skills in. No major hurry unless it involves safety, then I call a pro.

Been reading "This Old Boat" by Don Casey and getting ideas. There are some simple problems I can fix (relatively) quickly.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:22 PM   #11
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RE: Paint, Coatings, Epoxy, and other such goo

Quote:
Marin wrote:
*I enjoy working on it but it's a lot more pleasant to replace deck plugs or refinish exterior wood in a nice anchorage than back in our slip.



Marin, Could not agree more even some mundane task seems to be more fun out on the hook!

JohnP
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:29 PM   #12
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RE: Paint, Coatings, Epoxy, and other such goo

Quote:
Ben wrote:
*
Been reading "This Old Boat" by Don Casey and getting ideas. There are some simple problems I can fix (relatively) quickly.
*Best thing about fiberglass repair is that it is most forgiving. If you don't like the way it is going Just grind it off and start it over. Believe me. Done a lot of grinding on*my 36 year old boat

Fear not.

SD
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