"Workboat finish"?

My Jimmy Skiff hull is getting to the point where there aren't any bits left to put in, all the voids in the fiberglass (don't tell anyone!) are filled, and I'm reasonably certain she'll float once I get her in the water.  Time to paint!

Looking at the thing, I am under no delusions that the surface will be beautiful.  Lines are fair in the plywood, but there are too many lumps in the epoxy, and I only have access to hand tools, so grinding out a sag, for instance, will not be easy.  What do you experienced buiders suggest for a finish?  I will have access to microballoons and  Interlux Pre-Kote.  Aside from the expense, I'm afraid that shiny marine paint will show all my many mistakes.  Does some kind of exterior house paint make sense?  Paint guy at Home Depot was not willing to commit to recommending something, but I suspect that since porches are generally located outside, and get stepped on occasionally, porch paint will probably be tough enough for the job.  On the other hand, should I buy some 60-grit sandpaper and not give up on a shiny hull just yet?


5 replies:

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RE: "Workboat finish"?

You can quickly and relatively easily get rid of lumps and sags, by hand, with a scraper. Lots more fun than sanding.

Is it your intention to fair it out with microballons, or just go straight to paint? The dreaded longboard might become necessary, if you don't spring for a ROS.

In any case, house and porch paint - latex or oil - has a long, successful history with boat builders. Make sure you sand the epoxied bits, first, so the paint will adhere. Flat, as opposed to gloss, paint is your best get at hiding imperfections.

Good luck!

Dave Gentry

RE: "Workboat finish"?

Buy the sandpaper, put in the effort, then decide whether to paint or varnish. Housepaint works fine, but is thicker, heavier and less shiny than marine paint. I use the ten-foot rule: if it looks good from ten feet away it's just fine. My Merganser was a rush job and full of cosmetic errors, but it still gets admiring comments every time I launch it. -Wes

RE: "Workboat finish"?

I'm planning to sand lightly, so all the hills and depressions stand out, then microballoon and prime, and then decide what to do next.  I might even decide that a shiny, jewel-like finish would be inappropriate on a skiff hull and go with house paint even if I get the primer's surface perfectly smooth.  Good to know that I've still got both options, though.  Thank you for your replies.

RE: "Workboat finish"?

I use short and long Stanley Sure Forms to take down the highs.  Cheap and quick.  Works on new boats and old ones being refinished and saves some on 80-100 grit sand paper. 

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