The decking and topsides of wooden boats need repainting every few seasons (or more often in the tropics). Fibreglass boats can look brand new with a fresh coat of paint that can restore the beauty of the yacht. Two-pac epoxy or linear polyurethane paints do a better job protecting the boat than its original gel coat. These paints are available in a wide selection of colours and many will stay shiny years longer than gel coat. Repainting should be considered anytime the gel coat becomes so dull that chemical cleaners and buffing cannot renew the lustre.
A significant difference between an amateur and a professional painter is preparation. The amateur focuses on painting while the pro puts most of his efforts into preparing the boat for painting. The majority effort of a good paint job lies in the preparation. It doesn’t matter if the boat is wood or fibreglass, prep work still has to be done. This job on both types of boats starts with removing all hardware, windows, ventilators, decorative name plates etc. After that, the steps to prepare a fibreglass boat are slightly different from those taken with wood.
It is no longer possible for do-it-yourself application of many two-part urethanes popular for refinishing fibreglass boats. These paints use isocyanates and other dangerous chemicals in their formulations. Less durable formulae are available for most two-part urethanes. These do not use the regulated chemicals, so can be used for do-it-yourself application. Even so, true chemical respirator masks, protective clothing and eye-ware are essential.
Unless you are an expert with spray equipment, the best way to apply paint to fibreglass is the “roll and tip” method. One person rolls a thin coat of paint onto the hull. The second person follows the roller with a foam brush. The brush removes the “stipple” created by the roller and produces the smooth finish.
- Small touch up repairs
- Two tone finishes
- Colour changes
A qualified shipwright will be able to both look after and maintain fibre glass vessels, as well as more traditional classic wooden yachts by also providing a full varnishing and teak preservation service.
Gel Coat and Painting experts will match the colour of your boat as closely as humanly possible to make any repair practically unnoticeable. Maybe it’s repairing minor aesthetic damage, maybe refinishing a structural repair, or refreshing the whole vessel with a complete re-paint.
Together with your selected boat paint technicians, you will choose the boat painting technique that will create the best results for your budget, however regardless of whether you choose roll and tip, spray painting, dockside or boatyard service, you can be sure of the top quality results you’d expect if you deal with professionals.