Tips for re-doing bottom of sunfish?

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by Crim, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. Crim

    Crim New Member

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    So I took the sunfish out last weekend and had a blast, but found out she takes on a good amount of water. Following the videos in another thread I've since patched up the places she was leaking on the bottom of the hull. Now I have a nice hull with several fiberglass and resin patches, and I'm wondering what to use to paint over them...

    So what do you guys suggest to use for painting the bottom of the hull? Do you use gelcoat or some other kind of paint? Any recommended prep tips (IE sand the hull w/ 400 grit to get it nice and smooth before or after painting?)

    Thanks guys!
    Stephen
     
  2. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2013
  3. sophijo

    sophijo New Member

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    Well; this is certainly a non-typical alternative! I am in process of rebuilting a pretty rough '74 Sunfish hull. After speaking with several paint company techs I decided to try Behr's Epoxy white garage floor paint. It went on with a 3/8" roller and looks like it was sprayed. It has a "satin" finish. We'll see how it holds up! $24/gallon.
     
  4. Crim

    Crim New Member

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    Did the paint come out slick/Smooth? Are you sanding it at all after painting?
     
  5. sophijo

    sophijo New Member

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    I'm here to tell you........it looks like it was sprayed on professionally; smooth as a baby's fanny; not glossy, satin.....3 coats, no sanding other that the initial glass repairs.
     
  6. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Interesting!

    1: Eager readers might want to know how you prepared the bottom prior to the painting.

    2: Will this epoxy paint stick to gelcoat (permanently)?
     
  7. sophijo

    sophijo New Member

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    I had 3 small glass repairs on the hull. I repaired those and sanded with a random orbital sander (fine grit) and then rolled it on with a 3/8 roller. I was expecting it to look llike it was rolled;and it did while wet. Went out to the garage in the am and my mouth dropped.....no roller marks, no "dipples". It really does look like a spray job.
    I figured that this stuff sticks to garage floors and gets some rigorous use; so it was worth a shot. BTW; when i asked one of the paint techs (no name)the difference between marine epoxy paints and this stuff, he said,"for your use; about $75 a quart".
     
  8. Crim

    Crim New Member

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    Cool thanks for the tip! This is the route that I'll probably take then. I just have one more fiberglass repair/patch to make on the hull and then its painting time!

    Thanks!
    Stephen
     
  9. AJC6882

    AJC6882 Member

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    Im not too sure how bad the bottom of your boat is but if its just a couple of spots you repaired? Well i did six spots on my 83 sunfish and two very large areas. on the bottom. I fixed the holes with fiberglass sanded them 1/16-1/8 lower then the existing gelcoat. after that I sprayed gelcoat with a wax in it through a Prevail sprayer. I had to thin the gelcoat slightly. First i tinted the gelcoat to match the boat. then i poured it into the sprayer. Once in the sprayer i added acetone till it was sprayable. then i did my first coat. let it set up . Sprayed acetone through the sprayer and cleaned it out. Then sprayed my second coat. Wet sanded and buffed and you cant tell it was even repaired. Looks perfect.. I got my supplies from Standish Marina in Tiverton, RI. (two miles from Laser Performance where they produce sunfish boats)
     
  10. Crim

    Crim New Member

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    so I ended up doing 3 coats of behr garage floor/concrete epoxy, waiting 12 hours between coats. Not entirely sure how its going to hold up. I flipped the boat back rightside up on the trailer and some of the epoxy as already peeled off....:( I'm kind of doubting its ability to hold up to beach landings. I'm off to the panhandle next week and will report in on how it holds up.
     
  11. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

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    we found the problem with a lot of "coatings" is what they are designed to "stick to". I wish I had a dollar for every boat we painted/coated that continued immersion with water caused the coating to peel off from the base gelcoat/fiberglass.
    Your coating is obviously formulated to react with the materials in concrete to form a bond and don't do the same with the gelcoat/fiberglass on the boat.
    Don't you wish everything that looks good on paper worked as well in real life?
     
  12. sophijo

    sophijo New Member

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    I'm taking it out to lake Michigan; sand and rocks, sometime during the next two weeks and will post a report! Looks good sitting in the drive!
     
  13. Porpoise2

    Porpoise2 New Member

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    I'm going to get some ridicule for this suggestion on hull paint. :eek:

    Has anyone tried Rustoleum spray? :eek:

    I spent $40 on 2 quarts of top-sider paint a few years ago, and had blisters after a few hours immersion. (Topsider was supposed to be OK for an occasional immersion of two hours.) :(

    Everywhere else I've used Rustoleum, it's been pretty satisfactory. (You really should use all of the can at one time: it stores—and resprays—with difficulty).

    Hey, it's got 'fish oil in it! :D
     
  14. Crim

    Crim New Member

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    I took my sunfish out of the water today. It spent 3 days in salt water in my slip here, and did 4 or 5 beach landings. The behr garage epoxy held up great to all of it. There were no blisters or bubbles from sitting in the water that others have described. The beach landings didn't peel back the paint either.

    What has destroyed the paint however are the rollers and carpet covered wooded blocks on my trailer. Each time I've taken the boat on/off the trailer, it has put scratches in the paint.

    So I guess take from it what you want.... I probably would try a different more durable paint next time.
     
  15. gleninst

    gleninst New Member

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    How has your garage floor epoxy held up?
     
  16. sophijo

    sophijo New Member

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    It got cold and I don't sail cold anymore! ......use to take pride in being first one out in the Spring...weaving Sunfish through the floating ice! 30 years ago I did a bottom with "porch floor paint", sailed it for 10 years and gave it to my son who took it to the Bruce Penninsula and sailed it until 2 years ago when a tree fell on the hull. It was pretty beat up even then but not a paint issue; no peeling and such. ...and I do believe that was not an epoxy paint. My sense is that "it's all about prep". Solvent cleaning, light sanding, cleaning again. Having said all that, I should tell you that my favorite shotgun is an old Parker with virtually no blueing left. I wouldn't have it refinished if you paid for it, and yesterday I dropped my Carhardt off at the upolstery shop to have new cuffs sewn on!! :)
     
  17. Alan Glos

    Alan Glos Active Member

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    A true two part epoxy paint will adhere well to gelcoat if the gelcoat is sanded rather aggressively and then cleaned with a good solvent like acetone. Sear Roebuck used to sell a general purpose two part gloss epoxy and it was very durable when applied over well prepared gelcoated surfaces. However the paint was very temp. sensitive and sometime went on a little runny, but it was cheap and very durable. They had a battleship gray color that was great for the inside of a hull where you wanted a non-descript color. Too bad they don't make it anymore. Petit still has a good two part epoxy but it it very expensive. I may try the garage floor stuff described above.

    Alan Glos
    Cazenovia, NY
     
  18. gleninst

    gleninst New Member

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    My Sunfish is moored in fresh water. Therefore I am looking for a paint that will withstand continuous immersion as well as provide a hard, abrasion resistant surface. On paper the garage floor epoxy is very intriguing but it sounds like the results are mixed at best. Interlux makes a 2-part bottom coat called "VC Epoxy" which is not terribly expensive at <$45.00/ qt. They advertise this as a "rock hard" finish for trailer boats or racing boats and also for boats moored only in frsh water. There are several very favorable reviews of this product and I believe I will give it a try.
     
  19. sophijo

    sophijo New Member

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    Re: Tips for re-doing bottom of sunfish? 1 season followup

    RE: Behr garage floor epoxy.....I just brought the Sunfish home after mooring for two months in fresh water; half dozen "loads/launches" in the back of a pickup, BTW; winter storage outside with no cover; bottom up. No blisters, peels etc. This seems like tough stuff. I had "over-run" some into the Centerboard well accidently, and even where the board contacted paint at rear of well there is no wear that I can see. Some of the sheen has faded but I expected that as this boat gets used daily in summer by all kinds of "deliquents" and stored carelessly! I do need to find another sail and am contemplating adding another boat to the "regatta" (winter project) as number of grandkids is growing exponentially! Unless you're doing a careful restoration project, I'd recommend this stuff as a cheap and robust alternative to marine epoxy paint.
     
  20. Zeppo

    Zeppo Member

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    An epoxy paint should adhere to a polyester gelcoat. For some reason you can apply epoxy to polyester but not polyester to epoxy.
     

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