I posted this in 2008.
Paint job still looks great.
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
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.
37' Custom Pilothouse