Hull Finsih

Hi guys. just a question for all the poeple out there. how do you finish your boats. do you use a sepcial type of paint?
the reason i ask is that i am going to be painting me boat soon. and I would like to get that shinny gloss you see on the ac boats. you know the type were is you take a picture. you can see the wave in the hull. i would like to paint my next boat a dark blue. and i think having the finish glossy would look real nice. does anybody know how to do this?
what do you do? how do you paint?

Cougar -

usually, those are either gel-coat finishes, or they are a two part sprayed on polyurethane finish. The two part stuff is VERY expensive - not sure of you can purchase less than a gallon… and requires a very very very good finished surface or every blem and irregularity will show. Also it requires a two part primer first - more $$$$$ !!

You could try a one-part topside polyurethane paint, and those might come in pints - quarts for sure, but again, probably looking at $45 or so.

A good lacquer that can be polished out - or an enamel that you can spray on withhigh gloss might be OK. If I were you, I’d ask at auto body repair shops and have them “shoot” your hull when they are painting a blue car. Just a suggestions - good luck

To do a super nice paint job you need to have access to some spray equipment. Spray cans will do, but they rarely get the quality that even a modest spray gun can provide. Morover, you can not get the ultimate paint in spray cans.

Automotive paint is your best bet for really top drawer results. Use two part urethane type. It is durable, glossy, and expensive. It is almost obligitory to use a primer before you apply the finish coat. Not that the Urethane will not adhere to the bare hull, (it will) but the primer gives you an opportunity to see dents, blemishes, and uneven surfaces that you could not see before. Any fault in the hull skin will become glaringly visible when your glossy paint is applied. The primer lets you discover and repair those flaws before it is too late… Use Wet or Dry sandpaper of about 400 grit to do the finish sanding. Do your sanding wet. A bucket of water with a few drops of detergent is the right wetting agent. Beware of dish detergents that have hand softener. That stuff sometimes has glycerine or other ingredient that is a no no for a paint prep.

After application of the finish coat, give it about a week to get to the fully cured state. Even though the paint will be dry to touch and handle within a few hours, it takes longer to really cure. After a curing period you can give the boat the masters touch by buffing appropriately. 3M has a product called “Finesse It”, also from the automotive paint store. It is the most finely ground buffing compound you can imagine. A session with that product will produce a finish appearance that is incredible. Not only that, but the surface of the skin will be smoother than any that you have previously done.

Doing this right is a lot of work but it produces enviable results. Here is what you will need from the paint store…

  1. One can of two part urethane paint. (DuPont Imron is regarded by many as the ultimate best, but almost any brand sold by the auto paint store will do fine.)
  2. Catalyst for the paint
  3. Appropriate reducer(solvent) for the urethane.
  4. One can of light gray primer
  5. Solvent for the primer (usually Laquer thinner)
  6. Wet or dry sandpaper, 240 grit, 400 grit, 600 grit
  7. You might do well to get a tube of laquer based filler to repair dents and nicks.

If you do not have experience with spay application then practice on some cardboard sheet or something like that. If you see orange peel finish you are either using too much air pressure or your paint is too viscous. The distance from the spray nozzle to the object to be painted is important. Practice until you find the right distance. It is usually in the region of 10 inches but it depends on the nozzle of the gun. There are many different types of nozzle. Also a decent gun has a fan control adjustment that either narrows or widens the impact area. Too narrow and you’ll get runs, too wide and you’ll get a poor gloss and a sort of pebbled surface that is different from orange peel.

There…I have probably told you more than you wanted to know. Your alternative is to have a pro at the auto paint and body shop to do the job for you.