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Old 03-22-2018, 07:32 AM   #1
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Vessel Name: Rose Mary
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Bad experiences with paint

I've been doing some research into different topside paints, and have read all kinds of stuff, this one is repairable, this one isn't, this one has a harder coating, this one tends to fade. A lot of stuff that is not first hand.

My question is, who has had a first-hand bad experience with their paint job, what kind of paint was it and what went wrong?

Who had a good experience?

I'm ONLY looking for first-hand accounts. Thanks!!

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Old 03-22-2018, 07:58 AM   #2
City: New Orleans
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Vessel Name: Scot Free
Vessel Model: Cheoy Lee 53' Efficient
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I have an Awlgrip hull paint applied three years ago and I did the house and top sides two years ago. I have no issues with the paint and it is still high gloss with only regular washing with boat soap. This is in high UV areas (Deep South) where varnish breaks up in less than a year.
I am in the shipyard now and looking at the little bumps and abrasion marks. I was at the dock in New Orleans when a tornado passed and have been at a dock in two Cat One hurricanes. I think in the areas affected, I am going to give a very light sand and recoat. These are very small areas. Due to minimal fading I doubt that I will have problems blending the color.
My only regret is that I didnít give more thought to color. It is oyster white and was the original color of the boat. Itís like a very light cream color. Nothing wrong with it but they have such a wide range of beautiful modern colors I know know if I had given it a little thought I would have chosen differently.

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Old 03-22-2018, 08:54 AM   #3
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The vast majority of bad paint jobs are bad preparation or priner...seconded by improper or bad application of the topcoats.

All of them.

Other than that, tge vast majority of what you hear about each paint from reputable sources is pretty clise to tge truth.

Awlgrip seems hard to spot paint, but its variations seem better.

One oarts seem to fade much faster but are easier and fheaper to apply.

One part poly sems to bubble from constantly being wet.

The list goes on and on....from using many kinds and brands the generalizations are pretty close.
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:33 AM   #4
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Vessel Name: Isobel K
Vessel Model: 37' Custom Pilothouse
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My paintjob is now 8 years old & still looks great

from a previous thread:

This past June I re-painted the topsides (hull-waterline to gunnels), using a
2-part Sterling/Detco system.

My boat is a 37' cold moulded pilothouse, outer hull finished with a layer of
fiberglass cloth and epoxy.

The original coating was Awlgrip. It was exactly 10 years old and was in need
of refinishing in a few areas - dull spots, small nicks etc.

I had been looking around to have the paint job done by different yards.
Quotes ranged from $12k - $22k for spray jobs. I did find one guy who has
some sort of AGREEMENT with a yard that lets him spray boats in a non approved
scenario, i.e. non-negative pressure paint booth. His quote was around $4k if
I did all the prep.

I have done alot of painting in the commercial construction trade - alot of
spraying with 1 part paints, and alot of rolling with 1 and 2 part paints.
The spraying of these 2-part polyurethanes is tricky, as the atomized
particulates and solvents are extremely toxic, hence the requirement for
constant neg. pressure in the booth as well as the applicator's hood, so you
end up paying extra for the overhead of an approved paint shop.

I was a bit skeptical of some of the claims concerning Roll and Tip
applications. You read/hear testimonies of how a well done roll and tip job
has a deeper luster than a sprayed job. During last years cruise we docked
next to a 32' Sundowner tug that had recently been roll and tipped in the
water no less - and it really looked great. So the reality is that many of
these products are very user friendly, so long as you follow all the
directions to the letter - this includes temp and humidity requirements.
Also, if the wind is blowing you will have dust bumps sticking to your new
paint, so it might make sense to drape the boat with tarps in that case.

I had never used the 'roll and tip' method until this time. I am now a fan.
We had a nice window of good weather and low wind and I painted the boat right
in the open yard. I think it came out great. Had so many walk by's and
compliments, that I could have sold a years worth of product right there in
the yard if I were a distributor.

The prep went much faster than I anticipated it would. Also, I thought I would
need to use the 'high build' primer, but found I was able to sand/fair the old
coating fair quite easily, then used the regular primer - 2 coats.

I used Sterling/Detco 2-part. Rolled and tipped with one helper(the admiral).
It took about 2 hours to do a coat once around.

The topcoat goes on like a dream, I used 3 coats as I had enough paint in the
'kit' to easily make 3 passes. After the first coat the finish was
spectacular, after the 3rd it is unbelievable.

Having used lots of different coatings over the years I can say 2 things about
this product:
1. It is the most expensive paint system I have bought.
2. It is the smoothest, nicest finished product I have applied.

So it is worth it & if I get another 10 years out of this coating, I will be
more than satisfied.

by the way, total price to do approx. 400 square feet of surface including
rollers, brushes and tape was around $600.00. - With the savings I now can
afford to fill up the fuel tanks.

here is a great primer on roll and tipping with the product:

here is a link to the mfg:

no affiliation with Sterling - just a very pleased customer

The paint job is now 3 years old.
The gloss is as pretty today as it was on day one, with the exception of one spot where the boat rubs against a large fender in the slip.
And even that spot is hardly noticable if you know where to look.
Of course I managed to nick the paint within 2 weeks of painting while loading the dinghy motor.
At least the touch up was easy - mix tiny amounts of paint and dab it on.

Good luck
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:44 AM   #5
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Pettit's new 2pk topside paint EZpoxyII is not ready for prime time by any means and they may have taken it off the market by now. They should. I wouldn't trust their epoxy primers either.

I have always had good luck with International Perfection & PrimeKoat on several boats in both light & dark colors.
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:14 AM   #6
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10+ years on the hull, 15+ years on the top sides of my charter boat and it still looks great!

2.5 years on my trawler and it still turns heads wherever I go.

Prep work and application are everything. New paint shows all the imperfections. Poor application makes the best paint look like crap. A number of good choices in paint if you have a good painter / prep person. Paints have very different application characteristics. Don't expect someone who shoots Awlgriip to be good with Awlcraft without a bunch of practice. While I didn't paint either of my boats, I was there for every step in the process.

Last point: If you don't keep it washed and waxed, the best paint job will look old and faded in several years.

I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:17 AM   #7
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Weíve used and use Awlcraft 2000, a 2 part acrylic urathane. It is quick drying and repairable. For repairs, we use a Preval Sprayer. For the decks, we rolled one coat, added non skid particles from Awlgrip and then rolled a second coat. The large flat smooth surfaces need to be sprayed. You can do 2-3 coats in one day. Itís not as hard as a 2 part polyurethane but the finish is all the way through the paint, similar to automotive paint. We had Hobo painted 6 years ago and so far so good.

When we were looking to have Hobo painted, the hull was beyond my capabaility. We found the best painter in the area for the cost. He was using Awlcraft 2000 so the choice was pretty much made for us. If I had a paint choice, i would probably pick Alexseal. From boat yard talk, this seems to be the newer paint of choice.

Alexseal Yacht Coatings: Yacht Paint, Primers & Fillers for the Marine Environment | Alexseal Yacht Coatings
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:18 AM   #8
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In 1977 I had a new sailboat. Dark red gelcoat faded unevenly over the first 5 years, so eventually I painted over it with Petit Easypoxy one part paint. It was a good practice for prep and for getting a good shine with a brush.
Within a couple of years the surface shine went dull, so within 5 I was ready for a better quality paint.
The next attempt was using Interlux two part polyurethane. As it happened, I bought a new boat when this repaint was done on only one side of the boat, so I know exactly when it was done. July of 1988.
In July 2007 I was on the same dock as my old red boat so I saw how the hull colour had held up. By this time the boat was 30 yrs old, so there were many signs of ageing, but the hull colour and shine were in much better shape than the rest of the boat. I was able to catch up with the owner, so found out that there were gaps in the history since my ownership, but the hull was not in such good condition that it would have again been redone. In the past two years that boat has been a frequent visitor to Silva Bay, as have I, so I have again caught up with present owners. The paint is still holding up, though doesn't have any sparkle. I doubt it has seen compounding or wax very often in the last 30 yrs.
I did find out from the owners that this boat has spend a few years in the tropics, including the Galapagos Islands, so has stood the test of heat and strong sun.
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Old 03-22-2018, 11:03 AM   #9
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I have a bad experience with paint every time I take the lid off. I hate hate hate painting.
We painted the bridge & bridge deck of our boat with Interlux Brightside. We sanded the whole thing with 220 wet/dry. The first time we painted the bridge with a coat of primer & the finish coat my wife rolled & I tipped. It was kind of warm so we ended up putting a tarp over the bridge so the sun wouldn't cause the paint to dry before it flowed out. I thinned it with just a capful of 33 brushing thinner. It really turned out nice. Very few brushmarks & a great shine. The trouble is after it was done the color was wrong. So we scuffed it up & did 2 more coats. The color was good but the paint job just didn't flow out like the first one. I guess it was a little warmer but I just couldn't get it to flow.
so long story short, the big factors are a good prepjob and not being in the heat or direct sun and you'll probably be happy with the results.
One thing to note. Even though we're happy with the results of the Brightside 1 part paint, I wish we had used 2 part Interlux Perfection instead of Brightside. 2 part is a little more durable & I understand it will flow out better. 2 part can't be applied over one part because it'll soften the 1 part. So now if we want to repaint the bridge with 2 part, it'll need to be completely stripped. Did I mention I hate painting?
It's all in our blog in our profile signature if you want a visual of our efforts!
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:05 PM   #10
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I painted the non-skid deck panels on Ancora with cheap-as-dirt water-based exterior house paint, 18 years ago. Needs a repaint about every five years with no prep... just roll on a new coat. Touch-up is a snap as the sun blends the new paint right in with the old.
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Old 03-23-2018, 12:35 AM   #11
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Awlgrip 3 years in use, live aboard.Click image for larger version

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Old 03-23-2018, 07:06 AM   #12
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My Mainship hull is painted w Awlcraft and I was very successful at spot painting several spots.
Same color chart as Awlgrip but a different system that is recommended for ability to do touch ups.
Info and write up available on the link below in the "Useful Links" section.

2008 MS 34 HT Trawler
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