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

How To Select Proper Marine 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 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.

Paints and Varnishes for a Boat's Hull

Types of Boat (Marine) Paints

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 paints:

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 Paints:

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 paints: 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. Speciality paints:

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) absorbers. 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.
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