Any boat cruising off shore needs an emergency ditch bag for unplanned situations. Being prepared means never assuming that rescue will come before you would need things in a bag, one can never predict circumstances or weather. Having a life raft or kit that comes with your vessel may not have everything you want or need as minimal gear is all that is included so building your own insures your needs are met.
The bag should be water resistant to insure it doesn’t fill immediately with water and sink. Purchase one that is yellow or international orange and you can attach reflector strips for added visibility with a flashlight. A throw bag can be back up as needed.
Clearly label the bag so everyone on board knows what it is keep it in a handy place.
Rescue items can include:
Functioning EPIRB (emergency position indication rescue beacon)
First Identify the paint that is there. Is it compatible?
If yes – Sand, Primer, Paint
If no – the previous coating needs to be taken down. Sand with 80 grit paper until the coating is gone. Sand blasting is not recommended because it takes away the aluminum itself.
How do you know if previous paint is compatible with Awlgrip? Perform this test:
Need a rag and some Lacquer thinner
Sand the surface with 80 grit sand paper
Apply lacquer thinner to the rag and hold it on the sanded area.
Put a piece of plastic on to to hold the rag so the Lacquer thinner doesn’t evaporate.
Hold rag for 35-45 min.
Remove rag slowly. Is surface bubbling or lifting? If no, scrape surface with the blade of a knife. If the paint comes off with the blade or the paint feels rubbery you have identified an acrylic based paint. Awlgrip may be applied on top of it. If the surface was bubbling or lifting, the paint is not compatible and must be removed.
II. Apply Awl-Wash Primer CF (Mix Part A and Part B) within 4 hours of cleaning the surface. This provides excellent adhesion to the aluminum surface. Awl-Wash CF can be overcoated with primers after 1 hour of application. Maximum recoat time without sanding is 6 months.
III. Apply a Primer to the Awl-Wash Primer CF. There are 2 main choices.
545 Epoxy Primer – Thin, building primer. Usually applied when there is no need to fill scrapes or gouges.
Awlquick – a medium build, primer/surfacer. Applied to a surface that needs to be filled where there are scrapes or gouges. Awlquick Base + Converter.
IV. Apply a topcoat.
Awlgrip – may be brush rolled or sprayed – usually lasts 7-10 years.
Awlcraft – must be sprayed only – usually lasts 4-6 years.
When painting a boat used for hunting/fishing, such as a jon boat, typically a flat finish is desired so you’ll want to use one of our camouflage paints. A primer coat is used to help the paint adhere to the aluminum surface and provides an extra layer of protection from corrosion. Or use or Aluma Hawk that is a paint and primer in one.
If you desire a gloss finish, look to the Duralux Marine Enamel or Super Marine paints for other options. Duralux High Gloss Marine Enamel is affordable and easy to apply and only recommended for above the waterline or moderate use on the bottom (a day or so in the water, not extended periods). This topside paint works best in very thin coats; see the prep recommendations found on product page on “how to use” tab. For aluminum application apply one coat ofDuralux Zinc ChromateM739, Top with two full coats of Duralux Marine Enamel. The enamel works well thinned with M650 by Duralux.
You also have a choice fromSuper Marine Paints that can be used above or below the waterline and come in a few different styles. The Revolution (great option if rolling/brushing) or Mono Epoxy (durable and looks best sprayed) are the easiest to use and usually customers choose the Super Marine Etching Primer (SM 664D)for the primer. They are also available in your choice of sheen (satin or gloss). Click on “view more” for the paint and use the specification/how to use tabs for detailed instructions, coverage and preparation on any of the product pages. The “work horse” is the Two Part Epoxy, most durable of the Super Marine choices with the top of the line selection is Ironside. The previous two paints are available in flat and semi-gloss as well as satin and gloss. For aluminum application see details on each product page but it is a two-step primer process:
You have many options when painting aluminum. Your use of boat, budget, and amount of time you want to spend on the project determine the right paint for you. For more information see our ‘topside boat paint options’.
Below shows the comparison of the West System products to the Hawk Epoxy products. Hawk Epoxy is comparable to the West System with how it works and its uses. West System is known for A/B/C/D selection system size (Size A resin with Size A hardener) the Hawk Epoxy uses 1/2/3/4 (Size 1 resin with Size 1 catalyst). The pumps are sold separate with West System and Hawk Epoxy, this works where 1 pump of resin is mixed with 1 pump of catalyst, or more depending on instructions. This is just to make it easier and less chance for error for the customer and it doesn’t mean a 1 to 1 ratio because the pumps are calibrated differently and each pump size can distribute different amounts.
Please Note: This chart simply shows the likely equivalent product by brand. It is not recommended to mix the products brands.
Many people choose to paint a pool deck to customize the decor and revive a dated look and renew a concrete deck aged by weather and wear. Unpainted concrete can become slippery and may need to be sealed.
The most popular pool deck coating we offer is Deck Kote.Deck Kote a one-part acrylic water-based pool deck coating designed as an effective weapon against UV rays and weathering in a coating that is easy to apply and clean up. Longest lasting protection against fade on painted or unpainted concrete surfaces. Dries quickly, durable, and resists fading, chemicals, and abrasion. For non-skid surfaces, add sand or pumice stone or Polymetric Non-Skid as desired. Cleans up with soap and water. Designed for maximum protection against algae, UV rays and chlorine.
The Supreme Acrylic Urethaneis a super-duty commercial quality two-component acrylic polyurethane pool paint that performs well. Will not pick up to hot tires when applied to pool decks and covers up to 300 square feet per gallon while available in 100 colors.
Seal It (Deep Penetrating Sealer) treats concrete, plaster, gunnite, marcite, tile and masonry three ways; it permanently seals out water, densifies and hardens it all at once.
For a non skid pool deck area, Pro-Textexture additive can be added to the Supreme Acrylic Urethane.Use it to improve slip resistance or simply to add decorative texture to any finish. Stays suspended better than aggregates, resulting in a more even finish and improves safety.
Paints are available with non skid aggregate pre mixed in the paint for ease. An example of this is the Supermarine non-skid paintcalled Floor Grip, or Floor Grip II for wood. The supermarine paint is an easy paint to apply, especially for the “do it yourselfer”. For best results you will want to remove any of the existing paint on the surface with sand paper followed by a good pressure washing. This removes any grit or oil that may interfere with the adhesion of coats of non-skid paint you will be applying.
* Be sure to check if a primer, sealer or other products are suggested for your surface preparation in our ‘how to use’ information located on each product page.
R1 Epoxy Resin – a smooth, low-viscosity liquid epoxy resin. With a variety of Hawk Epoxy Catalysts, it can be cured under a wide range of temperatures and environmental conditions to form a high strength plastic with superior moisture barrier characteristics. Hawk Epoxy is available in four system sizes color coded on each label. Note: Mix ratios vary by catalyst. For optimal product utilization, be sure to choose the same Size for both the resin and catalyst. I.e Size 1 Resin with Size 1 Catalyst.
C1 ULTRA SLOW CURE CATALYST:Designed for use with HAWK EPOXY R1 Resin for construction and repairs with superior adhesion, strength, bonding, filling, and moisture barrier qualities at higher temperatures and for an ultra slow cure. Do not use under Sea Hawk marine wood varnish.
C2 SLOW CURE CATALYST: Designed for use with HAWK EPOXY R1 Resin for construction and repairs with superior adhesion, strength, bonding, filling, and moisture barrier qualities at higher temperatures and for a slow cure. Do not use under Sea Hawk marine wood varnish.
C3 FAST CURE CATALYST: Designed for use with HAWK EPOXY R1 Resin for construction and repairs with superior adhesion, strength, bonding, filling, and moisture barrier qualities at cooler temperatures and for a fast cure. Do not use under Sea Hawk marine wood varnish.
C5 CLEAR FINISH CATALYST: Designed for use with HAWK EPOXY R1 Resin for very clear fiberglass cloth and coating applications with exceptional moisture barrier characteristics. Perfect for natural wood and carbon fiber clear coats with no blush. Longer working times in very warm temperatures. May be used under Sea Hawk marine wood varnish.
TIP* For easy accurate measuring be sure to use the Hawk Epoxy Pumps that are calibrated to dispense the correct amount of resin and catalyst. This is much easier and leave little room for mistakes.
Next choose the best Hawk Epoxy Filler depending on the application:
F1 High Load Adhesive Fiber Filler– Thickens to a light grey color creating an easy to use adhesive designed for bonding hardware and other applications with dissimilar materials. This mixture will maximize bond strength for anticipated high loads.
F2 Structural Adhesive Filler– Thickens to an off white color, creating a general purpose thickening additive for bonding, gap filling and filleting. Mix to a workable consistency allowing sag-free and easy flow properties for vertical and overhead applications.
F-3 Light Density Adhesive Micro Fiber Filler – Thickens to an off white color. Great for bonding many substrates, especially wood. The mixture also creates a multipurpose adhesive for many other substrates in addition to providing excellent substrate wetting and penetrating characteristics. Increases impact and abrasion resistance.
F4 Bridging Adhesive Filler – Thickens to a brown color, creating an easy to use adhesive with excellent gap filling and filleting qualities. This mixture blends with many different types of wood to allow for a natural looking fillet or gap fill.
F5 Light Density Fairing Filler– Thickens to a reddish brown color, achieving an easy to sand and carve fairing compound while still remaining strong and light weight.
F6 MicroSphere Fairing Filler – Thickens to a white color, creating a lightweight fairing compound for small to large areas. This product holds a feathered edge very well and is suitable for nearly every substrate. This closed celled structure can also be used for increased acoustic and thermal insulation.
How to Fix a Leaking Seam or Rivet on Aluminum Boat
As aluminum boats age they show various signs of wear and tear. One of these signs may be a leaking seam or rivet. Over time, rivets can stretched and loosen, causing a gap in the hull integrity and this results in a leak. The solution to this problem is fairly simple and may be fixed at home using just a few tools and know-how. So, how should this problem be addressed?
Locate the Leaking Rivet or Seam
The first step is to find the exact seam or rivet that needs repair. To do this, put the boat in water and observe carefully. You could also put water inside the boat and see where it allows the water to escape from.
Assess the Damage
The second step is assessing the extent of damage to the rivet or seam. If the seam is too wide to be filled or caulked, it will need additional rivets in combination with a sealant product. If the damage is easily visible a sealant or caulk will be sufficient.
Choose a Sealant or Epoxy Product
There are hundreds of products out there that claim to fix leaks and seal cracks. How do you know which to choose? The Bottom Paint Store has done most of the hard work for you and can confidently recommend 3 products that really work.
Hawk Epoxy is an excellent product to repair aluminum hulls. We recommend getting one of the Hawk Epoxy Kitsthat will contain everything you need for filling in the aluminum. Hawk Epoxy is a versatile product that can be used for many other application too. Everyone should own this kit!
The second is BoatLife’s LifeCalk Sealant. This sealant may take a long time to cure (1 to 3 days), but it results in a waterproof, rubber seal that will adhere to almost anything. It can also be applied underwater for emergency repairs!
The third option is G/Flex 650 Epoxymade by West System. This liquid epoxy is more flexible and versatile than regular epoxies and will adhere to almost any surface. The bond that it creates can absorb shock, vibration, expansions and contractions. It will fully cure in 24 hours. Also, West System has created a detailed and comprehensive set of instructions for a wide variety of applications. They can be found atthis linkand below:
If your hull is bare aluminum you can cover the entire surface with a high build epoxy primer to help seal and protect it such as Tuff Stuff. For application details see our link for application of a marine epoxy.
Now that your leaky rivets and seams have been repaired, you are ready to paint! Check out this How To Articlefor more information on how to paint your aluminum vessel.
What Size Spray Tip Should I Use with my Spray Gun?
There are many different things to consider when selecting the appropriate size spray tip for each job. The amount of information on the subject can be overwhelming, so we at the Bottom Paint Store have done our best to make this step easier for you.
There are three main factors to consider when determining the size tip that will produce the best results.
First, examine the coating that will be sprayed. Put simply, heavier coatings will require a larger orifice size than lighter ones. For example, primers are usually thicker than the accompanying paint so you should use a 1.7 or 1.8 mm tip to prime most surfaces. Most painters will stay in the range of 1.2 to 2.0 mm unless the paint being applied is specialized. (See chart below.)
The next thing to consider is your project surface area. This determines the appropriate fan width that your sprayer will produce, that is, the shape in which the product will leave the gun nozzle. Airless spray guns have more control over the fan width than conventional spray guns because the coating is forced through the tip without being atomized by air. This causes the tip to have a large impact on the fan width and shape. Most boat projects consist of large surfaces and so a wide fan will increase the spray coverage and also provide the ability to spray close to the surface without too much build up. Smaller surfaces will require a small fan width to reduce overspray. This also makes it possible to spray further away from the surface without too much falloff because the fan is more focused.
Lastly, consider the spray gun that is being used. Make sure that the spray tip you plan on using will be supported by the gun. Most spray gun manufacturers will provide this information in their product overview. The Bottom Paint Store distributes ES Manufacturing Spray Guns. The ES G830 gun will support a range of 0.8 – 2.0 mm. The ES G100and G200gelcoat spray guns support a range of 0.8 – 7.1 mm tips. If you aren’t sure about your gun’s supported sizes, check with the gun manufacturer.
Common Spray Tip Sizes and Their Uses
Tip size (mm)
Commonly Used for
Parting Films – PVA – very fine mist
Clear Coats – super fine finishes
All Around Tip – clears, base coat, single stage paints
General Purpose – light to heavy viscosity materials
Primers – will apply primer quickly
Gel Coats and Resins – for thick resins and not paints
Typically 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 metalflakebut gelcoat isn’t as easy to use as paint. Gelcoat typically covers 48 sq feet applied at 18 mils thick per gallon.
Make sure blisters are drained and grind blister deep enough to remove damaged material beneath the gelcoat. Increase area as needed until all laminate around is sound. Clean area and allow to dry.
Hawk Filler goes on like putty to fill, patch, seal or rebuild aluminum, wood, concrete, fiberglass and steel. Hawk Filler can be drilled, tapped, or machined.
Mixing Mix on a non-porous surface. Do not mix on cardboard, paper-based and/or porous surface. Wear tight-fitting rubber gloves. Using equal parts of Part A and Part B, mix thoroughly to even uniform color. Mix using a putty knife, trowel or spatula. Apply immediately after mixing.
Application 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. If applying multiple coats, begin spreading away from the previously applied film so as not to trap air bubbles or leave an uncoated surface area. When using as a patch or grout, force material into hole or joint and smooth to the thickness needed.
Wear chemical resistant gloves. Mix leftover Part A and Part B, allow curing before disposing. Scrape up spilled material with a putty knife or cover material with an absorbent material and sweep into a container for disposal. For product already mixed, use acetone.
After repairs paint with Sea Hawk bottom paint or if redoing the hull apply Tuff Stuffprimer, followed by bottom paint.
If the blister has damaged the fiberglass that will need to be repaired with fiberglass clothcut to match damaged area.