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Auzzee 08-11-2007 11:27 PM

'Belinda' is painted with Awlgrip. The paint job has lasted 10 years, but to be fair it has been crappy for the past three. The harsh tropical sun of sub equatorial Darwin has made the paint chalky. The dark blue colour has of course added to the deterioration.

I was chatting to an old salt yesterday and told him I was going to repaint in a lighter colour using International 2 part epoxy. He told me two things which I feel deserve the benefit of discussion here.

1) Undercoat with black. He says that is the standard in the aircraft industry because it is more impervious to damage from UV. Consequently he says the substrate will remain undamaged for longer.

2) Use a high quality, exterior house paint.

Interestingly, my house was painted 12 years ago with Dulux Weathershield, exterior gloss. A quick blurt from the high pressure water blaster makes it look like new, yet it exists in the same environment and under the same sun as the boat.

Has anyone any experience with non-marine coatings on boats?



Trim50 08-12-2007 12:14 AM

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I guess it really depends on how nice you want your boat to look. I certainly wouldn't use anything beside linear polyurethane.

Linear polyurethane (LP) paint is a wondrous thing — especially for older boats that suffer from chalky gelcoats or dingy aluminum finishes. When you paint with LP, you’re actually applying a thin layer of high-strength plastic over fiberglass, wood or metal surfaces, creating a waterproof, chip-resistant finish that can be expected to last 10 years or more. My previous LP paint job lasted 12 years and could have gone a few more. Chip resistance and ductility is somethng that you really want to have in a boat paint and I don't think you'll get it with a house paint.

I've seen a lot of Boeing aircraft being painted and never once did I observe a black primer coat being applied. I would hope that the UV didn't get that far.

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Trim50 08-12-2007 12:44 AM

Maybe the guide coating process is what he was refering to:

After drying, the gray primer was lightly misted with a black primer (spray can). This is called the "guide coat". The black primer was then sanded off with 400 wet sandpaper. This process identifies the imperfections in the prime coat and guides the sanding process until the surface is really smooth.

Auzzee 08-12-2007 12:55 AM

Seems plausible. I had not considered using anything except urethane. But the bloke I was yakking to sounded knowledgable. What are the arguments for using single pack over two-pack and vice versa? For instance, International have developed 'Brightside' (single pack urethane), which has Teflon suspended within the paint. It is supposed to give flawless results off the brush; which could be a good thing for detail on deck where spraying is not possible without major work on my boat.


Trim50 08-12-2007 12:57 AM

Do you mean single-part versus two-part paint?

Auzzee 08-12-2007 01:00 AM

Yup...Dialectic difference..In Oz we call it single pak...2 pack.



Trim50 08-12-2007 02:04 AM

In simple terms ...and trust me, acrylics, urethanes, polyurethanes, epoxies, acrylic aliphatic polyurethanes, linear polyurethanes can be a very complex chemistry discussion...but again in simple terms, a single part urethane cures in reaction with air/moisture and OH from moisture in the air or sometimes with UV or IR or a combination of all three. These paints will remain ductile as they have little or no cross-linking…they are typically less UV resistant as well.

If you look at acrylic urethane under a microscope you see the resin structure looks like a simple ladder. A polyurethane will look like an over reinforced truss structure due to cross linking. A linear polyurethane will primarily cross-link in a single plain thus maintaining ductility, yet still having the tight surface draw during curing to achieve that glass slipper look, chip and UV resistance. There are many other additives for UV resistance as well. This is in contrast to an epoxy which is very strong but brittle because the cross linking is in all directions.

Activation of Polyurethane requires the addition of isocyanate located in that second container of a 2-part system.

I actually called one of my polymer chemists to confirm this information.

Also, just for confusion purposes, urethane is not a component of polyurethane.

Auzzee 08-12-2007 08:48 AM

So, what is your recommendation?


MMNETSEA 08-12-2007 11:59 AM


Originally Posted by Auzzee (Post 11771)
So, what is your recommendation?




Trim50 08-12-2007 05:54 PM

This is the hardest part....I've always used Sterling, however we shot our cockpit with Awlgrip and I must say that the Awlgrip laid down and pulled tight much better than the Sterling. I've had a lot of professionals tell me that Awlgrip is better than Sterling as well.

Trim50 08-12-2007 11:29 PM

Also, spaying dark colors like blue in LP are much much more difficult than white. If you read my blog, you'll see that it took the yard numerous attempts with midnight blue to get it right.

I'm seriously considering having my boat painted white in Ensenada on my way South.

Auzzee 08-13-2007 12:48 AM

Thank you sincerely for your input. I will repaint the topsides in Awlgrip and I am leaning toward a light oyster grey at the moment. I am still looking at Subic bay for the ork...probably May/June '08.

Thanks again


Bedouin 08-15-2007 09:08 AM

Hi Auzzee. I've used Brightside on Bedouin applied by brush and also seen Awlgrip applied the same way. Both give similar results in finish and application. I've got a mate who used house paint on his 52' yacht. It was easy to do; that was good as it lasted no time at all. Maybe a year at best. Then he had the job of totally removing the house paint and redid it with Awlgrip --- bitching non stop at the price of Awlgrip against houe paint, which was the only reason he used the housepaint to begin with.

Bedouin was a Royal Blue but I redid her in Brightside Squal Blue which is much lighter in shade. A much cooler yacht below and I'm thinking that it may stay longer looking better as the paint won't be soaking up as much heat.



Auzzee 08-15-2007 09:48 AM

Hi Peter,

Was there any specific reason why you went with the single pack Brightside, instead of the 2 pak Awlgrip or International equivalent?

Best wishes


Bedouin 08-18-2007 09:05 AM

Hi David, No particular reason. The guys at a chandler I know really well and respect their advise said it was a good product and easy to use. I considered 2 pak but thought if it wasn't applied by spray gun it may not be a sucess. I'm happy with the results I got but took a lot of time in prep work and that showed in the finish result. For what it's worth in Darwin go for a white with just a smick of the colour you want! the lighter the better under the sun for lasting quality and for making it bearable down below.

Have a good one David



Gallivanters 08-18-2007 03:41 PM


From my own experience... those little black molecules added to white in order to produce a touch of grey can absorb heat well enough to make one dance on deck on a sunny day!

I once painted a dinghy interior with a light mist grey and it hurt my feet!

Then I changed to a light creme colour and it made a world of difference.

To Life!


Trim50 08-18-2007 04:59 PM

So, am I correct in thinking that it is insane to sail a midnight blue hull near the equator?

MMNETSEA 08-18-2007 10:39 PM


Originally Posted by Trim50 (Post 12220)
So, am I correct in thinking that it is insane to sail a midnight blue hull near the equator?

Not at all, Many thousands of hulls in dark colours - the deck colour and composition the major factor in heat transfer. to a lesser degree the colour of awnings and bimini/dodgers.

At anchor breezes easier to direct into boat. Marina's the hottest places to be in.

Trim50 08-18-2007 11:04 PM

I've talked to a few people that said they used a small water pump to run sea water across the deck on hot days as evaporative sounded plausible.

MMNETSEA 08-18-2007 11:22 PM

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Originally Posted by Trim50 (Post 12231)
I've talked to a few people that said they used a small water pump to run sea water across the deck on hot days as evaporative sounded plausible.

Very much so !!

Another consideration are the hatches over the forward cabin and the saloon - In cold water climes these are often set to open facing aft. In the seas , say 20 degrees either side of the equator the hatches that open forward allow the use of " wind scoops" ( or whatever they call them) suspended by sky hooks. This one on a cold water boat :-

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