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Paint over gelcoat

Repair, or reconstruction. Gelocat or structural fiberglass. If it's hull related, you'll find it here

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dustoff135
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Paint over gelcoat

Post by dustoff135 » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:29 am

Yes, I realize that this topic has been approached in some fashion here in the past, but I'm looking for a slightly different take on this.

I am looking at a 69 CC that has been painted with Dupont Centari acrylic enamel and have questions about how this can affect the project overall. The owner says the bottom shows some small bubbles under the paint and thinks that should be removed. I assume this finish is reacting with the gelcoat in some way. I assume everyting above the water line is okay. The bottom is painted a different color

1. It sounds like a nightmare to strip paint off fiberglass and not do damage to the gelcoat. If you can't get it stripped or find it prohibitively expensive or time consuming, what are other options?

2. What can be shot over an acrylic enamel without worrying about a detrimental reaction with the other paint?

3. Some people say painting a boat is a travesty. I think if one can get a durable and beautiful finish, why not? What are the best marine finishes out there right now?

I like so many others do not have an unlimited budget, but believe in quality and will pay accordingly. I am just concerned that something like this could turn into a long disappointing journey.

Any and all comments will be greatly appreciated and used to help in the decision of pursuing this project.
Patrick

Previous projects: 1940 17' Barrelback, #71572
1971 XK19, ORCZ19-2016V

New project: Looking???

cenger
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Post by cenger » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:31 am

Bubbles under the paint are usually indicative of moisture penetrating the fiberglass. First thing I would do is use a moisture meter on the hull. If moisture exists, you need to grind down the bubbles and keep a heat lamp under the boat for a few weeks to dry things out before repairing the fiberglass and applying a barrier coat.

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57 chris
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Post by 57 chris » Thu May 26, 2011 6:39 am

Patrick,
The bubbles you are seeing may be the paint or they may be osmotic blisters in the gel-coat under the paint. In either event I would be surprised if this is a chemical reaction between the fiberglass and the paint, if the bubbles are in the paint it's probably just an adhesion problem. If your intention is to repaint the surface anyway then you're not going to do damage by sanding off the paint that's already there. Take it down to bare fiberglass, repair any blisters you find, start with a barrier coat such as Interlux 2003E then topcoat. You can't beat Awlgrip for gloss and durability but any two part will do a good job.

Craig
1957 18' SeaSkiff #SK 18675 "Knot Sure!"
1958 18' SeaSkiff #SK18722 "Wreckreation"

Past projects: 1972 19' Lancer with 307 Volvo drive-Great Blue, 1968 23' Lancer Offshore with 283 Volvo drive-Narwahl
1988 FourWinns 245 Vista - Blue Ayes.

It's good to have wood!

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Paul P
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Steady as she goes...........

Post by Paul P » Thu May 26, 2011 1:16 pm

I would be reluctant to "take it down to bare fiberglass", and I would look darn closely at the thin outer layer of paint. The osmotic issues noted are not common to Chris Craft quality. Yes they could have had a bad day, but CC did their homework well and the horror stories exist because of other brands that shall remain nameless. CC quality gelcoat in this era was second to none. My 1966 Sea Skiff still has bare gelcoat on the bottom and no blisters (and no paint).

I would say the condition you note is a result of poor prep, Even using a tack rag can cause a fishmouth in varnish or paint. Sanding to gelcoat would be as far as I would go, and it would be VERY careful what type of device I allowed to touch my hull. Electric or pneumatic sanding is less of a sin below the water line on a fiberglass boat, but it can still do a lot of damage in a very short time in the wrong hands.

On the present day restoration of a XK-19 my friend Mike Watson has sanded by hand, his entire hull on many occasions, one top coat at a time, in different colors to assure a proper fairing. Here is a peek from my new book on the subject of fiberglass boat restoration.....featuring his project, due to be splashed this season. It will be stunning. Warning, this is an EXTREME restoration, top decks were removed, I think they finished the bilge with a single hair paint brush.

The blue hull you see in the first page below, is a lightly sand blasted hull, eroding dodwn to and into the gelcoat. Obviously, using a sand blaster can be catastropic in the wrong hands. Then you can see a little bit of what they had to do to fair everything back, this project was an obsession, the level of quality is very high and I am hoping to see this boat at Lake Geneva in September!


Image


Image

You will note the comment that this boat will be "far better than new". Chris Craft could not possibly make money on a production boat by spending this much time seeking perfection. This is a case where the boat will be better than new.

When you see what Mike has done, I would not be too afraid of taking it down to the gelcoat, but going into the gelcoat and into raw resin and glass may be a case of diminishing returns on this vintage of fiberglass from CC.

There are some other guys I am in contact with who have used a "coating" for this very same type of restoration, that appears to be half way between gelcoat and paint. I have seen the results and it is stunning. I can get you the details if you want, but most people are using Awlgrip or Perfection II (on the appropriate substrate and primer)

best,

Paul
Last edited by Paul P on Thu May 26, 2011 2:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!

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Paul P
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Re: Paint over gelcoat

Post by Paul P » Thu May 26, 2011 1:39 pm

dustoff135 wrote:paint?

Some people say painting a boat is a travesty.
Hatteras paints ALL of their yachts. Many restorations have little choice, especially when there has been excessive wear or damage. There have been MANY very awesome restorations of classic fiberglass Chris Craft boats using paint finish. It is a great way to recycle a strong old hull.

Bill Basler used INTERLUX Perfection II on his BLUE BOMB. From all I've heard from people who have done it, that is the way to go with the chemistry they're putting on the street today. I am going to have to paint the top deck of my Skiff, due to an accident......I hung onto the bow rail when the forward v-shaped hardware screw let go and I ended up in the water holding onto a piece of the bow rail. My Iphone didn't like it either.

regards,

Paul
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!

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