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Hull Painting Below waterline

802jollyhawk

New Member
I am a rookie at Sunfish repairs and could use some advice. I have an old Sunfish that had large gashes in the sides, was waterlogged and had much of the gelcoat scraped away. It had been used on a rocky shoreline on Lake Champlain in Vermont. I made a port on the topside (not shown in the attached photos) and dried it out over a four year period. I repaired the defects in the hull using the West System. As you can see from the photos there are multiple areas of fiberglass repair and the rest of the hull has nearly worn through it's gelcoat.
My shoreline is rocky and I have no place to lift the boat out of the water - so my best option is just to moor the sunfish in front of my house. Getting itchy to sail, I just painted over the hull with VC 17 bottom paint and sailed the boat from a mooring for a summer. It sailed very well and did not leak (I did do a leak test as best as I could first). Unfortunately I could not get over the fact that the brownish bottom aestetically looked awful so I have since removed the VC-17 (quite annoying to do, but now done). I want the hull to be white. Now - what to do? It will be in the water from June, 1 until October, 1. Do I try to re-apply gelcoat? Do I use a 2 part epoxy paint meant for under the waterline (such as Interlux Protect ) or do I use an above waterline product like Rustoleum or Easypoxy (all options over the appropriate primer)?

Most of the threads I have read involve repairing small cracks in the hull. This hull was a disaster!!

I greatly appreciate any advice from you experienced veterans....
 

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Pettit Paints has a “Vivid” series of anti-fouling paint, with a variety of colors from which to choose, one being white. It probably won’t be as slippery as the VC-17, but the hull will be protected and will look good out there sitting on the mooring.
 

NCWindRunner

New Member
The first thought that comes to mind is using an epoxy barrier coat kind of paint, rather than an "aesthetic" top-coat kind of paint. An epoxy barrier coat would be very hard and durable, and if you sand it properly could be smooth and would be a good foundation for some kind of antifouling (although I'd rather just pull the boat out with a dolly after every use). If you really want to moor the boat... I believe there are some interesting non-traditional bottom paints that are simply incredibly slick and allow you to wipe off marine growth, rather than killing it with toxins.
 

802jollyhawk

New Member
Pettit Paints has a “Vivid” series of anti-fouling paint, with a variety of colors from which to choose, one being white. It probably won’t be as slippery as the VC-17, but the hull will be protected and will look good out there sitting on the mooring.

Thanks for the tip - I will look into this.
 

802jollyhawk

New Member
The first thought that comes to mind is using an epoxy barrier coat kind of paint, rather than an "aesthetic" top-coat kind of paint. An epoxy barrier coat would be very hard and durable, and if you sand it properly could be smooth and would be a good foundation for some kind of antifouling (although I'd rather just pull the boat out with a dolly after every use). If you really want to moor the boat... I believe there are some interesting non-traditional bottom paints that are simply incredibly slick and allow you to wipe off marine growth, rather than killing it with toxins.
Thanks for the response - this is the way I am leaning.... I definitely want to protect that fiberglass from blistering. My shoreline is steep and rocky and lake levels vary by as much as 5 feet depending on the year. I am stuck with a mooring or putting it on my wooden dock (the latter option has been rejected.......) :)
 

tag

my2fish
How about this as an option? Then you can just spray 3 cans of Rustoleum (or paint with Rustoleum Marine) Cheap and easy. I would avoid anti-fouling paint.
Not my boat, I use a Seitech dolly, but this might work for you!
I was going to recommend the same. Our friend has a similar setup, but with 2 "H" frames for storing a paddleboat, should be easy to replicate for a Sunfish.
 

4cpus4me

Active Member
Dock augers, I think. There are likely various options based on the lakebed material.
Yes, simple dock augers and the PVC slips right over them. I don't even bolt them down so they swivel around which actually makes it nice because I can load and unload on either side depending what the wind is doing.

I screwed cleats on to the PVC pipe so the sunfish is securely held down with rope from one side to the other. It survived a wind so strong this year a neighbor's dock flipped upside down with the car tires sticking up out of the water and the Sunfish was untouched.

The front and rear support frames are both V-shaped this year as the H frame didn't work well for obvious reasons ;)
 

802jollyhawk

New Member
Dock augers, I think. There are likely various options based on the lakebed material.
My lake bed near me isn't just rock - it is layers of large rocks and boulders. I would need to set something on it. My dock sits on those square aluminum plates holding the vertical poles. It is ony stable because it is so large....
Thanks for the thought!
 
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I cannot find that Rustoleum actually endorses their marine paint to be used under the waterline. I do like the price and the ease though...
Rustoleum Topsides is commonly used on canoes and sea kayaks. I've done 3. While a canoe isn't as fast as a Sunfish you probably don't take a Sunfish through rocky Class III rapids. It holds up well above and below waterline. My canoes have spent up to a week in the water on extended trips and have not noticed any issues.
 
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