Monthly Archives: January 2011


Online Store Help

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Common Questions About Us

How do I get more information or technical advice about the products you sell on your website? First check our Blog Articles by choosing from a category on the right side of this page. Our team of experts have spent countless hours writing HOW TO articles for many of the products we offer. You will find comprehensive answers to your technical questions along with the product links needed.

If the answer to your question is not there, our staff is available to answer technical questions. The fastest and easiest way to do this is through email by submitting your question to . Or for more advanced technical questions, please contact the manufacturer directly by going to their website via the about us tab.

Do you sell current, new products? Yes. The products we sell are always brand new and fresh from the factory. We offer no used, or preowned products.

Do you have a physical store location? Unfortunately we don’t have a store front, but we did ship out of 12 warehouse to anywhere in the world via our web store. Depending on the product(s) you order, you could have it the next day!

Do you have a printed catalog you can send me? We don’t offer a printed catalog. We are constantly adding new products and a printed catalog would be out-of-date as soon as it was printed! However, you can find over 30,000 items online that are updated daily. Many of the items ship for free anywhere in the US. Happy Shopping!

How do I locate an MSDS sheet or technical data sheet? We provide a link to this information on each product page.

What if I need warranty service? Our suppliers hold to the strictest standards of quality control, and all of our products are fully warranted by the manufacturer. If by chance you receive a product which is defective, the manufacturer’s warranty information and service address will be clearly marked on or in the package you receive. If your product is damaged in shipping, the issue can quickly be resolved by notifying UPS. If you ever have questions not answered by the manufacturer or by UPS, please contact us.

My Order:
How can I place an order?
We only accept online orders via American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa and Paypal. You may also call us to place your order at 888-505-2313.

How do I know that you received my order? Upon completion of your order you will receive an email confirmation of your order. If for any reason any of the information is incorrect please contact us immediately so we can make the necessary changes.
When will my order ship? Most orders placed before 2:00 EST. Monday-Friday are shipped the same day. There are some exceptions, including boat covers, and pwc covers which ship 3-5 days after you place your order.

How do I know when my order ships? As soon as your order ships we will send you an email confirmation with the tracking numbers next to the items that you have purchased.

How do I track my Order? As soon as your order ships we will send you an email confirmation with the tracking numbers. Login to your account and click on the tracking number. That will take you to the UPS website where you can track your order.

How do I Cancel an order? We are committed to shipping your order as quickly as possible. In the event that you wish to cancel this order, the cancellation must take place within 2 hours from the time the order was placed. We are unable to cancel your order after this time period because your order is already in the fulfillment process. Please email us at  to find out if your order shipped and to request cancellation of your order. Most orders are shipped within a few hours after being placed. If your order has already been shipped, simply refuse the order upon delivery and we will refund any charges to your credit card less the shipping cost.

How do I return an order or item(s) from my order? Your Satisfaction is our top priority! You can return any item for any reason for a refund within 15 days of receipt. Returns must be in salable condition, with ALL original materials and packaging and require a Return Authorization Number.  You are responsible for return shipping and any shipping charges are not refundable except in the case of defective merchandise. Please email or call us to request a Return Authorization Number.

Shipping and Tax:
How do I calculate shipping costs?
Shipping costs are based on UPS rates plus packaging if any. Most products are shipped via UPS Ground. Larger orders may be shipped with a freight company. Once you have placed items in your shopping cart, you can proceed to “Checkout” and then enter your zip code to calculate shipping charges, if any.

Do you ship International? No. We currently only ship to US addresses.

Will I be charged sales tax? We are not required to collect sales and use tax on deliveries throughout the US except in Florida. Any order shipped to Florida will be charged sales tax of 7%. You may be responsible for payment of tax in your state if otherwise required.

Delivery, and Returns:
How long will it take to receive my order via UPS Ground shipping?
  Must orders placed before 2:00 EST. Monday-Friday are shipped the same day. After the product leaves the warehouse, standard UPS shipping times apply.
The map below shows estimated shipping times for items shipped via UPS Ground from our main warehouse In Florida, to destinations in the US. Please note that your order may ship from a manufacturer, or another warehouse resulting in less or more time stated below.


Can I return an order or item(s) from my order? Absolutely! You can return any item for any reason for a refund within 15 days of receipt. (10 days for Gelcoats) Returns must be in salable condition, with ALL original materials and packaging and require a Return Authorization Number.  You are responsible for return shipping and initial shipping charges are not refundable except in the case of defective merchandise. Click here to request a return authorization number.

Do you charge re-stocking fees for returned merchandise? No. As long as the item is returned in salable condition you will NOT be charged a restocking fee. Original shipping costs will not be credited whether paid by you, or by Bottom Paint Store via a free shipping promotion at the time of purchase.

Is my credit card information secure through this site?
  YES! Your credit card information is protected with a secure SSL Certificate that encrypts all of your transactions through our site with industry-standard secure sockets layer (SSL) technology. If our online store accepts your credit card, rest assured that both your credit card information and personal information are protected. We do not retain any credit card information on file.

How to Clean, Restore, and Seal Teak Wood on Your Boat

Restoring your weathered teak wood is an easy 3 step process with Tip Top Teak’s premium system. Learn how to clean, brighten, and seal your teak or other wood

Step 1. Cleaning Teak Wood with
Crystal Deck Cleaner
crystal deck cleanerGetting the teak clean is the first step in the process. You need a really effective cleaner that will not harm the wood. You should not use any bleach. All weathered teak should be first be cleaned with Crystal Deck Cleaner.

1. Wet decks and all surrounding painted and fiberglass areas thoroughly with fresh water.

2. Sprinkle teak cleaner evenly and liberally over wet surface to be cleaned. Do not try to clean more than 6-8 square feet at one time. Mix 1 cup of Crystal Deck Teak Cleaner in a 1/2 gallon of water. If any areas appears to be drying during spreading, dip your deck brush into the water/teak cleaner mixture to that area assuring wet coverage on all surfaces. DO NOT ALLOW AREA TO DRY.

3. Let teak cleaner set for 10-15 minutes keeping the surface wet throughout.

4. Scrub entire surface completely. After scrubbing, rinse thoroughly with hose and deck brush to be sure all cleaning material and resultant dirt are completely rinsed from surface. Follow cleaning with Deck Brighten (if desired), and then Teak Wood-Oil Sealer.

Step 2. Using
Deck Brightener on Your Teak Deck

deckbrightnerTeak Deck Brightener is the answer to dull, gray teak. Specifically designed to restore light beautiful look of new teals.
– Brightens Teak Dulled by Weather and Wear
– Won’t Raise the Grain
– Containes No Bleach
– Cleans Away Discoloration in the Deck

1. Dilute contents of this container with equal parts of wate in a plastic bucket.

2. Wet decks and all surrounding painted and fiberglass areas thoroughly with fresh water. Do not try to brighten more than 6-8 square feet at one time. Allow to soak for 5 mintues, reapply to any dark areas. DO NOT ALLOW TO DRY.

3. Rinse teak thoroughly, scrub and rinse at the same time.

4. Allow surface to dry overnight before applying Tip Top Teak’s Wood-Oil Sealer. Follow brightening process with Wood-Oil Sealer.

Step 3. Application of
Teak Oil Sealer

woodoilsealerTeak Oil Sealer is designed to seal and protect teak. Restores and protects teak and other woods. Easy to use and extra long lasting formula.
– Easy to Use
– Extra Long Lasting
– Restores and Protects Teaks and Other Woods
– Adds Luster and Beauty to Your Deck

Never apply product when ambient temperature is below 50 F, 10C. Use a paint brush or clean terry cloth towel to apply Tip Top Teak’s Wood-Oil Sealer. Apply in the direction of the grain, lapping to ensure complete coverage. Apply at least two coats for essential protection. Allow to dry overnight bewteen coats. Excess Teak Oil Sealer should be removed with a clean cloth. Follow teak sealing process by repeating the 3 Step Tip Top Teak Process at least 4 times annually for optimum protection.

If the boat is taken down to gelcoat, is primer needed when applying bottom paint?

TUFFSTUFFnewPrimer for bottom paint is not necessary. However, if you use Tuff Stuff marine epoxy primer on the bare fiberglass, it will provide protection against blisters and any moisture. It will also improve adhesion to the hull. Tuff stuff marine epoxy primer will last for many years. It cannot be applied over paint, it must be applied on gel coat (bare fiberglass).  It only needs to be applied once, while bottom paint should be applied every season or two depending on your conditions.

If you decide to use Tuff Stuff, here is the link. You should apply at least two coats.

See Related Article> Application of a Marine Epoxy Primer

Application of Marine Epoxy Primer to a Boat

Marine Epoxy systems on the bottom of bare fiberglass is the best way to protect your boat against blisters. It also provides added adhesion of the bottom paint to the hull. Here are the steps that you need to take for proper application of a marine epoxy primer (barrier coat system) to the bottom of a boat.


When painting a bare fiberglass / gel coat hull for the first time, it is extremely important that all contaminants such as grease, oil, wax, salt, or other foreign material are completed removed prior to sanding or application of a Sea Hawk System. Scrub the surface with a detergent soap and stiff bristle brush.

Sea Hawk s-80 Wax N Grease KillerA. Clean and de-wax fiberglass hull with S-80 Wax N’ Grease Killer solvent based dewax. Saturate cheeseclothrag and wipe thoroughly to remove any cleaner and contaminants. Be sure to remove any residue before it dries and change rags frequently to insure contaminants are completely removed.


Sea Hawk S-90 Low VOC De-Waxing Etch & CleanerB. Apply S-90 De-Wax Etch & Cleaner with a maroon 3M Scotch-Brite® pad scrubbing thoroughly. Do not allow cleaner to dry on the surface and remove by flushing with water.Rinse entire surface with water and check for any beadingon the surface which will indicate that wax is still present. If necessary repeat step 2 again until the surface is contaminant-free. Choose your system below.

Sand and Clean
Sand to a uniformly frosty, dull looking surface with 80-100 grit (no finer) sandpaper, rewash with S-80 Wax N’ Grease Killer S-90 De-Wax Etch & Cleaner .

Apply Marine Epoxy Primer
TUFFSTUFFnewSeal the surface with 2-3 coats of Tuff Stuff Epoxy Primer. Apply the first coat of marine epoxy primer and allow the surface to dry to become tacky. Temperature and humidity affect the dry time, but you will know when to apply your next coat of marine epoxy primer once the paint film becomes “tacky”. You should be able to firmly press your thumb into the paint film and leave a thumbprint without any high build marine epoxy primer coming off the surface. You should use this method in between coats of marine epoxy primer and your first coat of bottom paint.

Tip: When applying marine epoxy primer over multiple days, it is always best to go overnight between coats of marine epoxy primer instead going overnight between the final coat of marine epoxy primer and the first coat of bottom paint. When over coating Tuff Stuff Epoxy Primer it is important to meet the required over coating times in order to achieve the best adhesion because temperature and humidity control dry times. It is hard to give exact times of cure. An easier rule in epoxies is when the coating is dry to the touch, yet still has some tack, it is ready to be over coated. However, if the coating is completely cured (after 24 hours) it needs to be thoroughly sanded with 80 grit sand paper to remove shine. If the marine epoxy primer is not sanded after full cure, bottom paint will not adhere.

Apply Bottom Paint to Marine Epoxy Primer
Apply minimum of two coats of  bottom paint. Allow 3 to 6 hours between coats and a minimum overnight dry. See the specific Technical Data Sheet for bottom paint being used. Some bottom paint may require more than 2 coats.

How to Apply Gelcoat

how to apply gelcoat
Below you will find a detailed gel coat preparation guide on how to apply gelcoat to your boat RV or other surface. Take steps to cover and protect the rest of the boat before starting. When working on the deck or cabin, tarp off the adjacent areas. 3M and UV tapes , and masking papers are recommended.

Prepping the Boat

    • Remove rails, cleats, louvers, snaps, striping tape, etc.
    • Duct tape off adjacent gunwale molding, and deck fittings you are unable to remove. **NOTE** Duct tape is recommended over masking tape because it provides better protection.
    • Remove seals from the edges of parts or fittings when doing a repair around that part or fitting.

Sanding Gel Coat
The heavier fast-cut grits (40/80/100) are used to feather sand and ground out a routed area prior to filling. Also, they are used for the first sanding of gouges, dock dings, scratches, and blisters. When sanding areas that have been filled with putty we suggest using 40 or 80 grit sandpaper, depending on how large the repair is. Once the fill area is level or contoured to the desired shape, sand with 100 grit paper to remove the course scratches from 40 or 80 grit. You should also feather the surrounding area of the gelcoat repair with 220/330. At this point, the repair is ready to prep and spray/brush with gel coat. When sanding flat areas use a rubber block. Use 3M Abrasives for best results.

Gel Coat Surfacing Agents

Sea Hawk 8140 Wax Additive: Add up to 4oz of 8140 Wax Additive per gallon for tack free surface on the final coat, or if applying one coat a recommended film thickness.

Sea Hawk Patch Aid 8185: Add 25-33% Sea Hawk Patch Aid 8185 when applying gelcoat for small repairs, to improve the working properties of traditional gel coat spray patches. Patch Aid is an additive that significantly improves the application, appearance and longevity of Sea Hawk Gel Coat patches, and also gives a faster cure, harder patch, superior gloss, consistent cold weather performance, superior color match, and less halo. Patch Booster also eliminates the need to thin, or add wax to gel coats prior to patching. Do NOT combine with Sea Hawk 8140. Use either one (8140,8145) but NOT both!


Tinting: Sea Hawk Gelcoat may be tinted using Sea Hawk colorants designed for use in Sea Hawk resins and gel coats. Do not use more than 1 oz tint per quart.

Thinning Gel Coat

Gel coat may be thinned up to 10% with Sea Hawk 7125 Gel Coat Thinner, or 25-33% Sea Hawk Patch Aid 8185. Use one or the other. Do Not combine. Acetone is NOT recommended except in clean up. Always add thinner, tint, or other approved additives prior to catalyzing with MEKp (also known as the hardener). Over thinning will result in an inadequate thickness for full curing. It is always best to start with 5% and work your way up to 10% if necessary.

Catalyzing Gelcoat with MEKP: The catalyst level (MEKP) should not exceed 3.0% or fall below 1.2 for proper cure. Ideal range is 1.8% @ 77°F. Gel time at 1.8% MEKP is 10-17 minutes. This time element is dependent on material temperature, room temperature, humidity, air movement, and catalyst concentration. Gelcoat should not be used when temperature conditions are below 60°F, as curing may be adversely affected.

MEKP Catalyst Levels

Spraying Gelcoat
Gelcoat may be thinned for use in a gel coat spray gun or preval sprayer with MEK gel coat Thinner. Acetone is NOT recommended except in clean up. Do not use more than 10% by volume of thinner, and always add thinner, tint, or metal flake first then add the Catalyst or Hardener and mix thoroughly. Over thinning will result in an inadequate thickness for full curing.
Please note

  • Gel Coat requires the addition of fiberglass resin hardener or catalyst (MEKP) at 1.8% by volume (77ºF) (approximately 12 drops per ounce)
  • Measure catalyst accurately. Under or over catalyzation retards curing and causes fading and chalking
  • Gelcoat will not fully cure without adding a surfacing agent or wax additive sanding aid. You can over-spraying with PVA before gel coal reaches its gel stage (5-10 min.), or adding 1oz per quart of wax addtiive sanding aid.
  • All Gelcoats from the Bottom Paint Store come with the MEKP catalyst and wax additive sanding aid, but additional amounts can be purchased.
  • Gelcoat should not be applied over paint, wood, metal or concrete. It usually will not adhere to these surfaces.

Initially spray a cover coat as smooth and evenly as you can to cover your repair. This coat should be mostly in the repair area, and may be repeated. Sanding between coats is not necessary unless a surfacing agent has been added to your gel coat. Once your repair is covered, feather a ‘flow’ or sanding coat on the masked-off area making layered passes to avoid a buildup of gel coat in any one area. Each of these coats of gelcoat may involve several passes. Be even and consistent in your gun movement, overlapping each previous pass slightly and not hesitating on the ends. When spraying to a radius, flow the gelcoat to the tape. In open flat areas, layer passes. Final thickness should be 16-20 mils minimum or the gelcoat may not fully cure. As soon as you are done spraying, clean your sprayer fully with acetone. Most re-sprayed gel coat will cure in 2-4 hours, although overnight cures are ideal. Begin wet sanding with the finest grit that will remove orange peel in the re-sprayed area. This will avoid unnecessary sanding scratches. Usually 320 or 400 grit wet paper is sufficient for the initial sanding. Wet sand to a 600 finish and buff with 3M Finesse-It Marine Compound and polish with Scotchgard Marine Liquid Wax.

Brushing Gelcoat

The major disadvantage of polyester coatings is that they cannot be applied in a perfect “self leveling” coat. It must be mechanically finished by wet/dry sanding and polishing if a factory mold finish is to be expected. Sand the entire surface to be coated with 150 grit sandpaper. If cracks or gouges are present, they should be repaired first. When sanding gelcoat is completed, the surface should be free of flaws and perfectly smooth. Choose a good pure (natural) bristle brush with tapered ends. Avoid brushes that are either too stiff or too soft. For most work, a 3 or 4 wide brush will suffice. If there is a trim color, you should have a narrow trim brush on hand.

Choose a shady location or an overcast day. You should catalyze your material so that it cures as quickly as possible within your working time. Generally mix one-pint batches. A good practice is to pour the mixed gel coat from the mixing container into another container used for application. This further assures that no uncatalyzed material is clinging to the sides of the pot. “Lay on” the gel coat in a heavy thickness (about 10 mils) using horizontal strokes, and working from top to bottom. Avoid re-brushing as this could remove the waxy surface additive. Remember to always lap wet. Generally, one heavy coat is sufficient. However, if you have opacity problems two coats may be necessary with a light sanding between coats. Once the coating (gelcoat) has cured, it should be block sanded using a 250 wet grit paper to remove all brush marks and high spots. Following this, it should be wet sanded with 320,400 and 600 wet grit paper, buffed, polished and waxed.

Important Tips

1. Clean repair area and all tools with acetone prior to application

2. Pot life (amount of time for application of the product) shortens dramatically as you mix larger batch sizes. Keep in mind that you have a limited time to apply what you have mixed (usually between 5-15 minutes).

3. Measure catalyst accurately. Under- or over-catalyzed gel coat will cure slower and look faded or chalky.

4. Do not add more than 10% by volume of MEK gel coat Thinner.

5. Gel coat will not fully cure without adding a surfacing agent or over spraying with PVA

6. Do not work in direct sunlight

7. Check color thoroughly before applying. Gelcoat will not darken or change colors when it dries. The color wet is the color when dry.

8. Store gel coat in a cool, dry place

9. Gel coat should be applied in temperatures of 60ºF to 80ºF

10. Always use eye and hand protection

11. Read all warnings on product labels

Gelcoat Repair Kit Instructions

Gelcoat Repair KitThere are two Evercoat gelcoat repair kits available: Large Gelcoat Repair Kit, which contains 4 oz. of polyester gelcoat paste with liquid hardener, coloring agents, cleaning solvents, mixing cup and stick and Mylar film for smoothing the repair surface. Small Gel Coat Repair Kit, which contains 1 oz. of polyester gelcoat paste and all the same components as the larger kit above, except for the cleaning solvent.

Gelcoat Repair Kit Instructions:

  1. Make sure damaged areas are clean and free of dirt, grease and wax, etc.
  2. Enough Gelcoat paste should be added to a plastic mixing cup to make all repairs. One of the six basic colors may match the gelcoat. If so, mix approximately 1 part pigment to 20 parts gel paste (in other words, fill the cup 1/4in and add approximately 1-2 inch bead of pigment from the tube). The pigments can be intermixed to achieve various shades. Please refer to the color match chart for mixing suggestions. NOTE: Exact color match will be difficult, but weathering will blend in slight color differences.
  3. After the color has been matched, take enough of the pigmented gel paste to fix a damaged area. Place it on a clean piece of cardboard and mix with several drops of liquid hardener. NOTE: adding liquid hardener will darken the color slightly! Four drops of hardener in 1 teaspoon of gelcoat paste will give approximately 15 minutes of working time before the material begins to gel. Mix the liquid hardener thoroughly into the gelcoat paste.
  4. Apply catalyzed gelcoat paste to the damaged area, working in into the area with a spatula or plastic spreader. Squeeze off the excess material.
  5. For greater smoothness and higher gloss, this repair should be covered with a piece of the enclosed clear plastic release film, and left to cure.
  6. After approximately one hour, remove the plastic film and clean the repaired area with the enclosed solvent and a clean cloth (applicable to 100668 large kit only )
  7. Deep damaged areas may require several applications.
  8. The repaired area should be sanded with 600 grit wet sandpaper. Then, the area should be buffed with a fine rubbing compound and waxed.

How to Make a Fiberglass Mold

Making a Fiberglass Mold

The Plug

In order to have a form from which to develop your mold, you must either build the article from scratch using wood, plaster, polyester putty, formica, sheet metal, etc. or you must have on hand a completed article which you wish to duplicate. The latter is of course the fastest method. The plug is generally a male model exactly like the item you wish to fabricate in every detail. If the plug does not have draft (taper) then you will have difficulty getting parts off. If the plug has reverse bends, like many canoes, then you will need to make a split mold which can be spread or taken apart.

If the plug contains soft materials on its surface such as plaster, wood, or putty, then it will have to be sealed with lacquer or resin to fill the pores. If plaster is used, it must be oven dried and then sealed.

To prevent your mold from sticking to the plug, the plug must be coated with plastic film known as PVA. This is a plastic dissolved in alcohol and has a green color. It can be brushed or sprayed on, but the best system is to spray on three thin coats, the first being a “mist coat.” The appearance will then be green. Each coat must dry half an hour or so and there must be no pools or drips to blemish your mold surface.  For the easiest possible parting, before applying the PVA, apply a soft wax (TR Mold Release) formulated for use with PVA. After the third coat of PVA has dried, a coating of this wax can be gently applied over it for easy parting.

The Mold

The first step is to apply a gelcoat which will be the mold surface. The gelcoat must be “exterior gelcoat” (wax free). If many parts are to be taken off the mold, it is desirable to use a “tooling gelcoatwhich is designed to give longer life in mold use.  The gelcoat should be in contrasting color to the surface of the part you will make. Since most parts are light colored, black gelcoat is

commonly used. This facilitates spraying up a uniform thickness of light colored gelcoat since the black will show through thin spots.

If the gelcoat is to be brushed on, two coats must be applied, and the first coat must cure several hours before the second coat is applied.  The best means of gelcoat application is a simple gelcoat gun designed for the purpose and easy to clean.  Air pressure of 80 to 90 pounds is desirable.  Gelcoat must be applied at least 15 mils thick, or a quart to every 25 square feet of surface.  If the plug was rough so that considerable sanding of the gelcoat will be necessary, then double the application.  Before applying the gelcoat, it must of course, be catalyzed with MEKp peroxide hardener, using from one to two percent. All gelcoats from the Bottom Paint Store include the MEKp.

When the gelcoat has cured so that it cannot be scratched off with the fingernail at the edge of the mold, which takes from 2 to 4 hours to overnight in cool or humid weather, you are ready for the “skin coat.” This is a layer of ¾ or 1oz.  fiberglass mat, thin enough so you can see and remove all air bubbles entrapped by the resin when you “wet-out” the mat. The resin should be applied with a mohair roller or brush until no white fibers remain.  Any air bubbles are then eliminated with a grooved plastic or metal laminating roller. The polyester resin used should be “lay-up resin,” which is wax-free. Be careful not to over-catalyze when laying up the glass. Above 75°F one 10-15 cc of hardener to the quart will generally suffice.  Below 70°F, 20 cc per quart. Do not work below 65°F.

In laying up a fiberglass mold, warping can be avoided by allowing each layer to “kick” or gel before proceeding with the next layer. For a large mold, it is good to apply just one layer per day. After the “skin coat,” you can use 1½ oz. fiberglass mat for a faster build-up. Generally, woven roving is not used in molds because the pattern transfers through the mold to the gelcoat.  If it is necessary to use woven roving fiberglass for strength in a large mold, it is applied after a thickness of 3 or 4 layers of mat has cured hard. The thickness required in a mold depends upon size and shape and the number of parts to be taken off. For a dinghy mold to be used only a few times, four layers of mat might be adequate.

Removing mold from the plug

Allow mold to cure several days if possible so it will hold its shape. The first step is to trim the excess laminate back to the molded edge. This is easily done with a saber saw and a metal-cutting blade. The edges are sanded carefully until the line between the mold and plug is exposed.  Then a sharpened “tongue stick” is forced between mold and plug to separate the edges. The stick is then pulled clear around the plug until all edges are free and no bridges remain. Avoid using metal tools for this purpose as they will scratch the mold surface. Then the mold should pull free of the plug. If not, the parts can be flexed or pounded gently with a rubber mallet. If necessary, air or water can be forced under pressure between plug and mold. A hole can be drilled through the interface for this purpose. PVA is water soluble, which facilitates parting with water pressure.

Polishing the mold

Depending upon the condition of the mold surface, it may have to be sanded with 220 grit working up to 600 grit wet or dry. The surface is then compounded with regular and fine finish compound formulated for fiberglass work. Best results can be achieved by using special compounds such as 3M Finesse-It Marine Paste Compound to bring out a mirror finish.

Before using a mold, it should be allowed to cure a week or more if possible. Be sure to use PVA parting film and soft wax for the first 3 or 4 parts, after which a carnauba wax can be used.

Gelcoat problems

Alligatoring, or wrinkling, can result from:

1.  Gelcoat too thin in some spots

2.  Insufficient hardener, or hardener not mixed will enough.

3.  Gelcoat not cured long enough before mat lay-up.

4.  Acetone cleaner drips out of roller or brush during mat lay-up.

Original technical article provided by Fiberglass Coatings.

Painting an Aluminum Outdrive

Outdrives are difficult to keep free of growth. The main reason for this is that traditional copper-based bottom paints cannot be used on an aluminum outdrive. Doing so will result in serious corrosion from the aluminum reacting to the copper in the paint.

Outdrive paint kitWhen painting an aluminum outdrive you must use a copper-free bottom paint. There are a couple of different brands out there. Interlux Trilux 33 (The most popular) , and Sea Hawk Smart Solution (The best). Trilux is the most popular and easy to find at your local West Marine. However, the results are not as impressive as Sea Hawk Smart Solution   (available in pint size black as Outdrive Paint) that uses the newest metal free technology. You will get the best possible results with Smart Solution, and is becoming more and more popluar as the best solution for painting an outdrive. It is also the best priced of the two, but is yet not available in an aerosol spray. You can get a quart and brush it on, or you can spray it with a conventional spray gun.

The Outdrive Paint shows best  results when paired with a primer such as Tuff Stuff or Bottom Paint Primer by Sea Hawk.  For spray options the Barnacle Blocker can be used alone or over coated with Smart Solution for improved protection. You can find our Outdrive Paint Kit for increased savings!

What’s the difference between freshwater bottom paint and salt water bottom paint?

Typically there is less growth in fresh water than in salt water. For that reason, bottom paint used in fresh water usually have less active ingredients (copper, zinc, etc.) to prevent growth. Most bottom paint for salt water can be used in fresh water. However, there are some exception, such as, Interlux Micron 66. This paint is limited to salt water only. Using Micron 66 bottom paint in fresh water, or where there is a lot of fresh water run off, will result in failure of the coating.

Consider using a bottom paint that is good in both fresh water and salt water. All of Sea Hawk Paints bottom paints are good for either types of waters and are considered both fresh water bottom paint and salt water bottom paint. You never know where you might travel that will have significant fresh water run off!

Keep in mind that you probably don’t need the top performing paint like Sea Hawk Biocop TF bottom paint if you are in fresh water. You can go with a less expensive alternative like AF-33 or Silver Bullet. Anything more is probably over kill!