Repair & Painting superstructure advice needed

Want to know how to fix or improve something aboard your trawler? Ask Chuck Baier who, in two decades of living aboard and cruising, has repaired and renovated just about everything.

Repair & Painting superstructure advice needed

Postby Administrator » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:56 pm

I would like to see some suggestions on how to repair the ply wood superstructure and cabins on the marine trader.

I have been refurbing ours using new marine plywood for the major pieces and a combination of clear resin and fiberglass cloth for the next-to largest repairs and bondo for the small cracks in the exterior all grip.

This is all in preparation to paint the boat topside.

I am particularly looking for suggestions on top side paint as i plan to do this in the marina and cant really use a sprayer.

Suggestions are appreciated.

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Re: Repair & Painting superstructure advice needed

Postby capn chuck » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:50 pm

Mike, sounds like you are already into a major repair so I don't know how much I can add to what you already know. But I do have a fair amount of experience using Awlgrip without spraying it and have written a few posts on this on our website. First I personally would not use bondo anywhere since it can and will crack out as soon as things start to flex. It will also absorb water, not a good thing on a boat. Since I have been using Awlgrip for many years it is of course my paint of choice. Whatever paint you settle on, think of it as a complete system. Used the same primers, fillers and topcoat to insure compatibility. We generally will use a high build primer on the first coat to fill in all of the small areas. Next comes the fairing compound and I often will use West System mixed with fairing thickener or Awlfair. Once I am satisfied that the surface is now smooth, I apply 3 coats of primer with a foam roller, and I only use the foam rollers that are white and kind of shaped like a hot dog. If you develop the technique, you don't even need to tip it. Once 3 coats of primer are on and sanded to a smooth finish after each coat, I apply 3 coats of the topcoat. I use 220 grit between each coat even though Awlgrip wants 320 or better. We have had occasions where the Awlgrip came loose with 320, but never with 220. I would stay away from one part paints since you will have to repaint in a couple of years where with the two and three part paints they can last 5 or more years, longer if properly cared for. Many folks like Interlux Perfection and I have seen some nice work but have no experience with it myself. If you decide to use the roll and tip method, keep in mind that this really needs to be done with two people, one rolling and the other tipping. Let me know if I can answer anything else. Chuck
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