Category Archives: Boat Maintenance

How Do I Choose the Correct Supermarine Paint?

In the vast market of marine paint there are so many differing products to choose from that it is easy to be overwhelmed! We at the Bottom Paint Store want to make this part of the painting process as easy for you as possible. In this How To Article, we will briefly consider a few popular Supermarine Paints and when one product might be used in place of another.

Note: None of the Supermarine Products mentioned are Bottom Paints or Antifouling. For more information about which antifouling paint to select for your boat, please click this link. The products here are designed for application both above and below the waterline. Just because a paint product is not “bottom paint” or an antifouling coating does not mean that it can’t be used on the bottom of a boat.  Click the links to go directly to the product page. Read over the Description, Specifications, and How to Use tabs for more detailed information.

Supermarine Revolution Paint

  • Supermarine RevolutionBest choice if applying by roller or brush – self levels very well
  • Single stage formula is easy to work with
  • Choice of sheen and wide color variety
  • Non-toxic to humans and pets when fully cured
  • Prime most surfaces with SM-664D Etching Primer

 

Supermarine Mono Epoxy Paint

  • Mono EpoxyBest choice if applying with spray gun – spraying yields better results than brush or rolling
  • Single stage epoxy formula – less hassle than a 2 part epoxy
  • Choice of sheen and wide color variety
  • Non-toxic to humans and pets when fully cured
  • Prime most surfaces with SM-664D Etching Primer

 

Supermarine Aqueous Epoxy Paint 

  • SM-3000Supermarine’s Water-based Epoxy coating – thin and clean up with tap water
  • May be applied to existing paint in sound condition without primer
  • Choice of sheen and wide color variety
  • Non-toxic to humans and pets when fully cured
  • Prime most new surfaces with SM-664D Etching Primer

 

Supermarine 2 Part Epoxy Paint

  • sm-2020Best choice if you need a super durable coating – 2 part epoxy is the Supermarine workhorse product
  • Can be used on many surfaces and in many applications – very versatile
  • Choice of sheen and wide color variety
  • Non-toxic to humans and pets when fully cured
  • For Primer recommendation see Product Specifications Tab

 

Supermarine Ironside Urethane Paint

  • Best choice for “Top of the Line” durability – The Ultimate rough and tough coating
  • Withstands temperatures up to 500° F and corrosive chemicals
  • Two Component Acrylic Polyurethane finish
  • Choice of sheen and wide color variety
  • For Primer recommendation see the Product Specifications Tab

 

medical kit

Build an ‘Abandon Ship’ Ditch Bag

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:

Survival Items can include:

Other items depending on space:

Check your bag every season and before a long voyage for charged items and batteries needed. For added information on boat safety, please see the available DVD’s.

 

How to Apply Awlgrip Topcoat to an Aluminum Hull

Awlgip Marine PaintsFirst 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:

  1. Need a rag and some Lacquer thinner
  2. Sand the surface with 80 grit sand paper
  3. Apply lacquer thinner to the rag and hold it on the sanded area.
  4. Put a piece of plastic on to to hold the rag so the Lacquer thinner doesn’t evaporate.
  5. Hold rag for 35-45 min.
  6. 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.

D6600 CF WashII. 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.

  1. 545 Epoxy Primer – Thin, building primer. Usually applied when there is no need to fill scrapes or gouges.
  2. 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.

  1. Awlgrip – may be brush rolled or sprayed – usually lasts 7-10 years.
  2. Awlcraft – must be sprayed only – usually lasts 4-6 years.

For more information on Awlgrip vs. Awlcraft, click this link.

Hawk Epoxy System

How do I choose Hawk Epoxy Catalyst and Fillers?

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.

ChooseCatalyst

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:


Choose Hawk Epoxy FIller

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.

For the easiest was to choose your system, view our Hawk Epoxy Size 1 Kit

Aluminum Hull Repairs and More

jonboatHow 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 KitHawk Epoxy is an excellent product to repair aluminum hulls. We recommend getting one of the Hawk Epoxy Kits that 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 Epoxy made 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 at this link and below:

G Flex Epoxy by West SystemFix leaking seams and rivets

Patch holes in aluminum hulls

Repair pitted or pin holed surfaces

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 Article for more information on how to paint your aluminum vessel.

 

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

Just because a blister or two develops on your boat it is not a serious issue and only a small number of boats develop a big problem with blisters.

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

HawkFillerQuartCansMake 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.

CLEAN-UP
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 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.

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.

Restoring Awlgrip and Awlcraft 2000 Paint

Over time contaminants can build up and cause the finish of your Awlgrip/Awlcraft 2000 paint to appear dull.  You can restore the gloss of a freshly painted boat and prevent the premature aging caused by contaminates by following these steps:

  • Wash your Awlgrip or Awlcraft surface with Awlwash mixed with water (1-2 capfuls in a bucket of water for washing) using soft, non-abrasive cloths and rinse well. Doing so on a regular basis (once per month) will help control dulling buildup.
  • Solvent cleaning of Awlgrip only: Awlprep and Awlprep Plus can be used to aid in removal of stains or markers.
  • Solvent cleaning of Awlcraft 2000 only: Awlprep or mild solvents should be used.

Awlgrip AWLwashIn both cases apply solvents with soft cloths and do not allow the chemicals to dry on surface or soak. Wash with Awlwash to prevent remaining solvent to attack paint. As always when working with solvents, test in an inconspicuous area first.

 Distilled white vinegar and hot water will aid in removing salt stains, always follow with Awlwash.

Protecting the Surface

awlgrip awlcareAwlcare can be applied to the surface like a wax to remove pollutants (such as diesel soot), protects the finish and leaves a glossy shine. Awlcare should be applied regularly to protect against pollutants. It can be removed with Awl-Prep Plus (Awlgrip only) when it’s time to repaint. What to avoid with Awlgrip and Awlcraft 2000:

  • Abrasives
  • Polishing compounds
  • Traditional waxes as they tend to break down rapidly, yellow and attract dirt
  • Acid based products such as teak or metal cleaners and strong solvents on Awlcraft 2000, Awlbrite Clear or Awlspar Varnish.
  • Trapped moisture from supplies as paint can blister or delaminate