Selecting Paints And Sealants For Your Boat

There are particular things you need to know about when choosing and making use of paints and sealants to your boat. Paints for cosmetic and protective purposes fluctuate tremendously in response to the material being treated.

A number of the most complex remedies have been devised to counter rusting in steel hulls. In GRP production boats with hulls coated with gelcoat, the only upkeep required outside is occasional polishing above the waterline, and cleaning and anti-fouling below. Anti-foulings are thick paints containing chemical substances toxic to marine life akin to weed and barnacles. Some leach away leaving a spongy residue which can simply be sanded off, while different newer types are ablating, which means the action of the water wears them away leaving contemporary toxins. The toxins are mainly natural copper, mercury or tin compounds. Some countries prohibit the use of sure anti-foulings, particularly in enclosed waters, so it is important to check your native legislation.

Fibreglass, if it is to be painted, ought to first be coated with a fibreglass primer. Wood should be sanded smooth and either varnished or primed for a colour coating. Where it is enclosed, wood must be treated with a preservative to prevent rot. For exposed wood, a varnish containing ultra-violet filters must be used. The very best opaque paints for marine use, are the two-pack polyurethanes which are more costly than enamels, but produce a very hard film. Enamels are simpler to apply, are thinned with mineral turpentine or related, and are simpler to the touch up. Polyurethanes are thinned with fragrant solvents like xylene and toluen which give off disagreeable fumes, and being two-pack, should be mixed in quantities which will cover the required space and used within hours.

Aluminium must be washed with dilute phosphoric acid, after which painted with an etch-primer before being painted with a traditional chromate metal primer after which preferably a polyurethane type paint. Galvanized metal ought to be degreased, and then handled with dilute hydrochloric acid to etch a key for the chromate metal primer. Underwater areas, either GRP, timber or metal, should first be painted with a coat of epoxy. In the case of GRP hulls, this reduces the likelihood of osmosis in which molecules of water pass by the gelcoat and form bubbles. Metal boats need a high quality sandblast before the anti-corrosive system is applied.

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