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Boat Paint & Varnish

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Boating Know How
How To Choose the Best Boat Paint and Varnishes.

How To Select Proper Boat Paint And Varnishes

An elegant and well-kept boat is always a sight to behold. It not only brings pride to the owner but also attracts a lot of envy and admiration from passers-by as well as other boat owners. The glossy finish, the flawless appearance, and the color depth are the main reasons ... read more for the attraction. However, even the best kept boat will lose its appeal at some point in time. This may be due to mishandling, accident, and also wear and tear. In order to bring out the elegance of a boat, it is necessary to apply a few coats of paint or varnish. Choosing the right boat paints and varnishes can be a tricky affair. This is influenced by availability of a wide range of products.

Why Use Boat Paint or Varnish?

Many people appreciate and admire a beautiful boat. However, they do not know what it takes to have the vessel in such a state. Boat paints and varnishes play an essential role in maintaining as well as making the boat pleasing to the eye. The products offer the following benefits:

· Aesthetic Appeal: - A fresh coat of paint or varnish is what gives the boat a new look. The higher the quality of products and painting skills - the more appealing the boat will be.

· Protection: - Marine paints contain special ingredients to protect it against salinity. Also, copper based paints minimize corrosion that may be caused by electrical currents.

· Personal Touch: - Custom painting also gives the boat personality. This makes it standout from the rest.

Boat Paint and Varnishes for a Boat's Hull

Types of Boat Paints (Marine)

There are many varieties of paints for boats. They will vary by cost, brand, effectiveness, durability, water resistance, protection against salinity, and other factors. Generally, the paints are classified in three main classes:

1. Topside Paint:

These are meant to be used only on the top part of the boat. Usually, they are manufactured from polyurethane as well as nitrocellulose. They form a hard and glossy surface thus making the boat shiny.

2. Bottom Side Paint:

These are painted at the lower surface since they are more resistant to the saline conditions.


They can be further classified as follows :


· Hard bottom paint: They form a hard and smooth surface hence suited for speedboats. They can’t be applied on-top of other paints.

· Ablative: These are much softer than the hard bottom surface paints. They also offer the best protection and can be applied on top of other paints.

· Self-polishing: These are more glossy hence making the boat more aerodynamic. They can be re-coated on top of other paints.

3. Specialty:

These paints are customized to suit very specific applications. These include anti-skid, electrical resistance, less drag, bilges and much more.

Types of Boat Varnishes

Varnishes play several important roles on a boat. First, they bring out the sheen. Secondly, they protect the boat against the elements of weather such as rain, snow, or sun. Third, they inhibit pests and pathogens from penetrating the surface. The main types of varnishes are as follows:

· Alkyd resin based varnishes: These are the most common types of varnishes. They are easy to use and quite versatile.

· Polyurethane Varnish: These are fast drying and also offer hard and more durable coating.

· Two Pack Polyurethane: They are not so easy to apply. However, they offer a highly glossy finish and are very resistant to chemicals.

· Spar Varnish: This varnish expands in high heat or temperatures and contracts in a cold environment. It will feel sticky when touched during the hot weather.

When choosing a varnish, it is necessary to go for one that contains Ultra-Violet (UV) absorbents. This stops the dangerous UV rays from the sun from damaging the boat surface. Also, a good varnish will also contain anti-oxidants that prevent oxidation from taking place.

Painting or varnishing a boat shouldn't be rushed. It requires some research, time, effort, and most certain patience. It first starts with selecting the appropriate boat paints and varnishes. Secondly, the right procedure should be used. For professional results, it is better to use an air gun or spray gun instead of a brush and roller. Also, it is essential to remove any loose paint and varnish. All dents and cracks ought to be repaired before re-painting. By following the above tips, you will have your boat ready for the next marine expedition or the fishing trip. Follow the link to learn about 3M paints for repair. Click to learn about the specs of Interlux antifouling paint.
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Rough Boat paint

Inspecting Old Bottom Paint (Video)

Inspecting the bottom of a boat and the importance of removing the old paint and starting over. Presented by Interlux ... read more



Video Transcript

I am Jim Seidel from Interlux. We are here in a boatyard looking around talking about problems that people have painting the bottoms of their boat.

All right, this boat has a bunch of problems. The first thing I noticed was that the paint was worn off the leading edges of the bow, the rudder, and the trailing edge of the rudder. The reason for that is when you are rolling on paint you tend to squeeze it as you are rolling over here so the thickness here of the paint is thicker than what is on this edge. And this edge gets a lot of wear so it wears faster there.

Here, there is a lot of paint on this boat. And he did the right thing. He put signal coats on so he could tell where he was in the coating. These are ablative coatings. But there is a lot of paint and it is older paint. And it is starting to get a little brittle and falling off. And there is green, there is blue, there is some red, and all the way down to the primer.

You see on the bottom and where the paint wears off. You have a lot of barnacles at the bottom. And on the top here, the paint is coming off in sections. It is cast iron where it is a lead keel so he’s probably some electrolysis going on as well. But you can even see that it is really in bad shape.

And down at the bottom where it wear off. And these barnacles are coming off those little barnacles at the end. Probably, it got a lot of slime and sitting around. And then the barnacles started to grow on the slime. It cleaned up pretty well. But again, to really fix it, you need to take all the paint off and start over.
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Awlgrip boat paint

Awlgrip Finish First (Video)

Learn more about the quality paints of Awlgrip for boating and marine applications. ... read more



Video Transcript

Stakes in the yacht world have never been higher. With every build, with every new project, risks are greater, challenges increase, so we asked our customers to tell us what they need. When boundaries are being pushed so far, they need reassurance and support. They need performance they can trust. They need to believe. They can believe in Awlgrip because we’ve been involved in the world for 30 years from our first contribution to winning races at the highest level, to prestige events worldwide because we perform.

We’re at the pinnacle of the world we operate in. Our expertise meets the very highest of demands, and we will be the first to develop solutions for the future because we make a difference to performance, to business, to reputations. We’re exclusively professional. We’re recognized the world over as a demonstration of success. Whether you’re an applicator, a boat builder, a captain, an owner because we know great performance is not enough. It’s about the ultimate finish, the ultimate show. Not just performance, prestige performance.

So what can our customers believe? They can believe in our reputation, our leadership, our expertise, our dedication. They can believe in our technology, our support, our science, our performance. They can believe in Awlgrip because we’ve made this industry ours, because we’ll continue to go beyond expectations, because together we will finish first.

Awlgrip. Finish first.
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Interlux Micron paint

Interlux Micron® CF Paint (Video)

Learn about Interlux Micron paints, presented by Interlux ... read more



Video Transcript

We are an environmental organization, so everything that we do to the boat, that we put on the boat, we are doing with the healthy ocean in mind. So the bottom paint that we put on this here is the Interlux Micron CF. CF stands for copper free, and we picked that because of the lack of heavy metals in it.

The company has been doing what we feel is a very thorough job in its research and taking action to make products that are appropriate and good choices for our oceans.

Interlux has a great big history as well of supporting organizations that are working towards a cleaner ocean, and inspiring people to be part of the solution to a clean and healthy ocean, and I include great lakes and all of that as well. So we did - we were very, very lucky to win the waterfront, the Interlux Waterfront Challenge two years ago. And that win really helped push our organization forward doing what we do. Getting American Promise on the water, and meeting a lot of great people, and cleaning up a lot of trash.
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How to Paint Fiberglass

Painting Fiberglass

Many boaters wonder if creating fiberglass paint for their boat is possible. The answer is yes, it is possible, and it has several advantages as far as finances and long-term maintenance. For those who are ... read more not familiar with the concept of fiberglass, it is a strong, lightweight material made up of the fibers and remnants that are also in glass. These elements are extracted from glass and are then formed into a hard, plastic-like material. The process of painting fiberglass is straightforward and simple, and, when done correctly, your boat's exterior will have a shiny, glossy new look.

What You Will Need:

  • Fiberglass
  • Primer
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Brush/Roller/Spray Gun
Step 1
Your first order of business will be to apply your sandpaper to your fiberglass. Before you do that, you will want to clean the designated surface thoroughly. The more you sandpaper the fiberglass, the smoother it will be. Sand it down until you are completely satisfied with the results. Be sure to clean the fiberglass thoroughly with a subtle soapy application, and then rinse with clear, clean water.

Step 2
After you sand down and clean the fiberglass, you will have to choose what kind/color top coat paint you will need, as well as a matching primer base. You will want to put the primer base on first. Apply one thin, even layer on, let it dry, and then apply a second layer. The strongest primer base material possible is acrylic, so try to get acrylic if it is available. Apply one or two (no more than two) layers of paint over the fiberglass. To get thin, even layers of paint on the fiberglass, you should use a paint roller or a spray gun.

Step 3
The last step in this process finally introduces the gel coat/fiberglass. Combine the gel coat and fiberglass into one component. You will take this material and mix it with a hardener. Then, apply as evenly and level as possible. Do one layer first, let it set and dry, and then put on one more layer. Using a spray gun instead of a brush is preferable and highly recommended. Spray it from about a foot away to keep the gel coat from running. Let the gel coat set and harden.

Once the above process is done, you will have a newly refurbished fiberglass coating that will last you a good, long while. As long as you regularly maintain and clean your fiberglass, it can last even longer. Enjoy!

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Painting your boat

How to Paint your Boat with Build Up of Aged Coatings (Video)

Learn how to paint your boat with layers of aged paint. Presented by Interlux. ... read more



Video Transcript

I'm Jim Seidel from Interlux. We're here in a boatyard looking around talking about problems people have painting the bottoms of their boat.

What he's got on here is probably a micron, Mircron CSC, Micron Extra, or something like that and what he's doing is just touching up at the water line. These paints are meant to wear down as the boat moves to the water and it's still good year to year. This paint is still good, antifouling paint. It will still give you good protection.

And what may have happen, he may have put this several coats of paint on here. He may have had started with the hard paint and then started to break it down and it didn't all come off. And he decided, "Well, I'm going to stop right there because this is what I see."

Put the paint on and put on a blade of paint on so you don't build up thick heavy coats of paint.
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acid wash and boat paint

How Acid Wash Affects Boat Paint (Video)

Learn how acid washing affects boat paint. Presented by Interlux. ... read more



Video Transcript

I'm Jim Seidel from Interlux. We're here in a boatyard looking around talking about problems people have painting the bottoms of their boat.

This is an acid wash that they've washed the water line to get the stain off with an acid and it has run down on the paint. Should give this a good cleaning ahead of time. The acid does affect the copper underneath. Give it a good washing and then before you repaint.
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boat paint electrolysis

Electrolysis and Boat Paint (Video)

Coating the bottom of the boat to avoid electrolysis. Presented by Interlux. ... read more



Video Transcript

I'm Jim Seidel from Interlux. We're here in a boatyard looking around talking about problems people have painting the bottoms of their boat.

Actually, this boat is fairly clean on the bottom and we get a lot of calls every fall about, "The bottom of my boat looks really good. There are no barnacles on it but all the metals are felt. How come that happens? I use the same paint on boat."

The reason is you get electrolysis between the copper and the paint. In this case, it's stainless. Underneath, it's bronze. And the first thing you go, because the copper is less noble than the stainless or the bronze, the first metal to be eaten away is the copper.

I prefer the Interprotect because it's harder, it's going to last longer, and give you a better job. Plus, it's easier. It sticks to the metal better by itself.

With the Primocon, it's easier to use. It's one part product, you open the can, and brush it on but it's a lot more preparation on the metal. You have to get the metal much cleaner and you probably need three coats of the Primocon equal two of the Interprotect.
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