Monthly Archives: August 2014

Clear Coat My Bass Boat

how to apply gelcoatTypically the clear coat on a bass boat is meant to protect the metalflake. You can choose a clear paint or clear gelcoat.

Clear gelcoat is typically what bass boats use at the factory for UV protection over metalflake but gelcoat isn’t as easy to use as paint. Gelcoat typically covers 48 sq feet applied at 18 mils thick per gallon.

Ironside Urethane

Ironside Urethane

The paints available in clear for spray application are the Supermarine Mono Epoxy, Two Part Epoxy, and Ironside Urethane. Paints typically cover 200-400 sq feet per gallon.

So paint vs. gelcoat, the thicker the coating the longer it takes for the sun to burn through. Time in the sun/elements is what will determine how long the clear coat lasts.

Use each product link for more information on price, application and  coverage (tabs under picture for specs/how to use).

How to Apply Gelcoat 

Topside Boat Paint Options: What are your choices?




Boat Blister Repair

Has your boat developed a blister or two? Don’t worry too much! A blister is not a serious issue. Blisters very rarely get so bad that they cannot be repaired. You can even repair them yourself!

Needed materials: Acetone, sanding block, Hawk Epoxy, acid safe disposable brushes.

Hawk Epoxy KitMake sure the blisters are thoroughly drained and grind them deep enough to remove any damaged material beneath the gelcoat. Increase size of ground area as needed until all the laminate around the blister is sound. Clean the entire area and allow it time to dry.

f6-filler-large-may-2014The filler recommended for blister repair is F6 MicroSphere Fairing Filler. F6 MicroSphere Fairing Filler thickens to a white lightweight fairing compound for small to large areas.This creates an easy to sand putty that will help fill in transitions and hull imperfections.  Apply using a putty knife, spatula or trowel. Spread smoothly on the surface in a 1/8″ – 1/4″ layer using heavy hand pressure to displace air bubbles/voids. Try to force the material into holes or joints and smooth to the thickness needed.

Before applying the Hawk Epoxy, the hull must be very dry. Make sure the hull moisture is under 15% by using a moisture meter. Wipe down the entire area with clean rags and acetone. This will remove any remaining contaminants on the hull.

Hawk Epoxy is a low viscosity epoxy system that makes fiberglass repair easy for everyone! Equipped with a wide variety of Catalysts and fillers, you can mix up the exact epoxy batch needed for almost any job. For more information on how to mix Hawk Epoxy, click this link. Mix only enough Hawk Epoxy to use in 5-10 minutes. Apply the Hawk Epoxy to the hull using the Roll and Tip method. Use a roller to apply the epoxy and then use the tip of a high quality brush to smooth the epoxy evenly. The roller should be lint free and non-wicking. Any fibers that get in to the epoxy could compromise the integrity of the seal.

Apply the second coat when the first coat is tacky to the touch. Your finger should leave an imprint but not lift any of the epoxy coating. Allow the second coat to dry fully. Once it is completely cured, wash the repaired area with soap and water. The repair is now ready to be sanded and painted with Sea Hawk bottom paint. If redoing the hull apply Tuff Stuff primer, followed by bottom paint.

If the blister has damaged the fiberglass, that will need to be repaired with fiberglass cloth cut to match damaged area. There will be an upcoming How To Article that discusses that topic.

The video below is from Sea Hawk Paints and demonstrates how to seal a fiberglass hull using the Hawk Epoxy System.

Choosing Anodes: Zinc or Aluminum

The main water types: salt, fresh and brackish call for different protection needs for your boat. Zinc and aluminum anodes protect in salt and brackish waters and never mix zinc and aluminum on the same vessel.

Zinc= Salt Water only

Aluminum= Salt or Brackish Water

Zinc and aluminum sacrificial anodes are for use on hulls, propeller shafts, rudders, trim tabs, outboard engines, stern drives and in the cooling system of most inboard engines to protect metal parts from galvanic corrosion. Check your manual for recommended size needed and  check them on a regular basis as environmental conditions can accelerate deterioration.

What Varnish to Choose?

Typically a varnish is what is used to protect wood that exposed to the elements for long periods of time (think teak wood on boats).

Here are the links to our varnish choices to check as well.

Captain Jacks Premium Varnish Captain Jack's Varnishhas been designed for the highest quality work, with outstanding results and durability. A combination of high quality pure phenolic modified tung oil provides excellent weathering performance and will enhance the richness and beauty of the wood with classic bright work appearance. BEST VALUE!

Epifanes Wood Finish Gloss Wood Finish Gloss is the ultimate varnish alternative without sanding. It is based on phenolic-modified resins and tung oil with microscopic porosity properties. Specifically formulated for oily woods like teak and iroco, Epifanes Wood Finish Gloss has an ultra high gloss finish. Its color is clear amber. One of its outstanding characteristics is its ability to build up coats quickly without sanding. No sanding is required if re-coating within 72 hours. Wood Finish gloss has excellent flow, gloss and durability and offers great flexibility and water resistance in all weather conditions. So, when its a deep high gloss finish with excellent U.V. protection and no sanding in between coats that you are looking for, Wood Finish Gloss is the perfect choice. Sold by the 1000ml (1 quart).

Awl-Spar Classic Spar Varnish (with reducer) is the highest quality classic spar varnish with state of the art ultraviolet inhibitors and absorbers used for brightwork protection against water and weather. It has excellent durability, and is fast dry, fast recoat for quick build up. For above waterline use only.

Cetol® Marine Gloss with Next Wave™ UV-absorbing technology is a durable clear gloss protective wood finish, developed as a topcoat for Cetol Marine, Cetol Marine Light and Cetol Marine Natural Teak.  Next Wave technology is the next generation of Cetol Marine from Sikkens with a unique UV-absorbing package, which is specialty resins and advanced UV absorbers that provide greater protection, durability and longevity.  Cetol Marine Gloss provides a high gloss, hard wearing, UV protection and an easy to clean finish.  It can be used where a gloss appearance is preferred on top of Cetol Marine, Cetol Marine Light and Cetol Marine Natural Teak.  Do not use on decks.

Marine Spar Varnish is a super clear, high gloss varnish for exterior and interior use on new or previously varnished surfaces subject to abuse from parching sun, fresh or salt water, severe weather conditions or abrasion. Formulated with an ultra violet screening agent, Marine Spar Varnish will hold its gloss on exterior surfaces far better than conventional varnishes. Excellent for use on boats doors, furniture, porches, bar tops, or any other surface where a durable clear gloss finish is desired.