Category Archives: Boat Maintenance

Tips for Using Brushable Gelcoat

Brushable Gelcoat is a specially formulated product that is made to be applied like paint and eliminate the need for spray equipment. It has excellent leveling, Water/Osmosis resistance, UV light Stability, great Gloss Retention and a fantastic long-term durability and is available in a variety of colors. Here are some tips for successful brushable gelcoat application.

  1. Don’t add Patch Aid or Sanding Aid (wax). You don’t need to add sanding aid (wax) to Brushable gelcoat to have it dry tack free. The self-leveling technology added doesn’t require any additional products or additives.
  2. Proper gelcoat application requires you apply your coats about 15-20 mils thick. We offer mil gauge for purchase.
  3. Allow the gelcoat to cure overnight and then lightly sand it and buff it for an outstanding shine!
  4. Use Acetone for your cleanup. Just like other Polyester-based products, Acetone is the best cleanup material!
  5. The most important step: Adding the proper amount of Catalyst. We recommend 1.5%-2% Catalyst ratio. After adding the catalyst, you will want to mix for two minutes, preferably with a mechanical agitator (drill mixer). For your reference, here is the catalyst chart so you know exactly how much catalyst you need.

Here are some helpful tips on how to work with brushable gelcoat, especially during the warmer months.

  1. Cooling the gelcoat, by refrigerating the product to around 70 degrees, will give you up to 15 minutes of working time.
  2. Humidity can be another factor, so, make sure the mold and surrounding area is dry before applying your brushable gelcoat.
  3. Make small batches of gelcoat at a time and catalyze at 1 ½ % to avoid the material from getting hotter. When spraying the gelcoat, make sure you catalyze at 2 %. If you choose to use Duratec, please note, the product must be cool as well.
  4. If you seek to roll on the gelcoat, the product should be applied evenly at 14 mil thick.
  5. Do not apply gelcoat in direct sunlight.

Tips
1 mL = 1 ccIf using wood mixing stick, place stick in resin before adding catalyst so wood doesn’t absorb catalystOnly catalyze slightly more than needed. Resin that cures still in the mixing pot is unusable.

How To Mark Your Waterline for Bottom Paint

The waterline can also refer to anyline on a ship’s hull that is parallel to the water’s surface when the ship is afloat in a normal position. There are many reasons a waterline needs to be marked, it is a new vessel, the old paint has been blasted off for a new finish, or you’ve loaded it up with more stuff the original marking is off. Marking the waterline is often met with dread and getting the correct line for your bottom paint will provide stunning results. Getting it wrong, especially when paired with a boot stripe, will stand out like a sore thumb.

If your boat is new, the waterline should be marked on the designer’s drawing, if that is available. If not, you can take the measurements from a similar boat. If the boat has been in the water, even a few days, there may be some slight staining along the waterline (or just float the boat) that can be marked with a grease marker (best if it is full with fuel). Others have advised to throw sawdust in the water around the boat. Haul the boat and see where the sawdust has stuck to the wet hull.

Fine-line masking tape is ideal for this because it has some stretch and conforms very well to hull shape, especially if the hull has a lot of reverse turns. Don’t press the tape too firmly yet – you may need to peel it back for small adjustments. Once you’re happy with the whole line, press the tape firmly against the hull. Since the boat is already level, all you have to do for the second side is to set the level at the correct height and mark the stern with a piece of tape or transpose the wax crayon mark.

When the boat is aligned athwartships, set up the laser tripod, the exact spot is not critical providing the laser beam can see the whole side of the boat (if you can see it, so can the laser beam). Turn on the laser and adjust the height of the beam until it touches the marks you made at the bow and the stern. If it touches the mark on the bow but the stern is too high, lower the jack-stands at the stern or raise those at the bow—vice versa if the stern is low. Double-check the spirit level in the cockpit to make sure you’re not tilting the boat.

Supreme Urethane-the only Non-Antifouling Paint Recommended for Extended Water Exposure

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 marine paints and when one product might be used in place of another.

Note: None of the marine paints mentioned are Bottom Paints or Antifouling.  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.

Supreme 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

Use tabs in link for more information on Specifications and How to Use.

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 way 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 2 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!

Another 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.

The paints available in clear for spray application are the Mono Epoxy, Two Part Epoxy, and Supreme 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!

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

 

Choosing a Bilge Pump

What are Bilge Pumps?

Bilge pumps are devices used in boats to remove unwanted water from the bilge compartment of a boat. (The bilge is the lowest compartment of the inside hull of a ship.) Whether you have a sailboat or powerboat, they are as important as lifejackets in an emergency. If there happened to be a collision that caused a leak, having a bilge pump actively removing water from the boat’s compartments could buy you precious time. However, as many experience boaters know, you cannot rely on a pump to keep your boat afloat indefinitely.

Main Types of Bilge Pumps

Non Automatic:

Non Automatic pumps are controlled by means of a float switch and/or a manual panel switch. The panel switch allows you to control the pump remotely. Using the float switch is beneficial because the pump only runs when the water reaches a certain level. After the water is pumped out and the level goes back down, the pump can shut off. The most common type of non-automatic pump is the Electrical Submersible Bilge Pump. They are easy to install, very effective, and have low amp draw. Also, the motor cartridge can be easily removed to clean out debris and other obstructions.

Automatic:

Automatic Bilge Pumps function without the use of a float switch. It uses the principle of impeller resistance to sense if any water is present. Depending on the brand, the pump will automatically turn on every 2.5 minutes to check for water. If water is present, the pump will know about it from the slight pressure on the impeller as it spins. It will continue to run until all the water has been pumped out. The voltage needed for both automatic and non-automatic pumps will vary from 12V – 32V, depending on the size and capacity of each pump.

Manual:

If the boat’s electrical system goes out, a manual bilge pump would be invaluable. They are able to move lots of water effectively, but can be tiring to use. Water is heavy, and that weight is compounded when moving it some distance. When installing these sorts of pumps, take into consideration the ease of access, and imagine how it will be used. Putting a manual pump in a tight, cramped space may hinder your use of it when it is needed.

Which Pump is best for your boat?

The first thing to consider is the size of your boat. Smaller boats will need a good size pump because the bilge compartment is smaller and will fill up with water quicker than larger boats. Some boats have separate bilge compartments. If that is the case, it would be a good idea to have a pump for each section.

Most electric pumps are rated for the number of gallons that they can pump in an hour. (G.P.H.) It is recommended to select a pump the largest model that is still practical for your boat.  Also consider the size of your existing output hose and the capacity of your boat’s wiring and battery. Don’t hesitate to ask an expert when making these decisions. You can talk to a pump manufacturer and get their informed opinion.

Suggested Pump Capacity:

Boat Size

Number of Pumps

Pump Output in GPH

16’ – 20’

2

2500

21’ – 26’

2

3000 – 3500

27’ – 35’

3

3500 – 4500

36’ – 42’

3

6000

43’ – 49’

3

8000

50’ – 59’

4

9000 – 10,000

Where to place Your Bilge Pump(s)?

It is always a good idea to have more than one bilge pump onboard. Many boaters have a backup pump installed in the same bilge compartment. The first pump may be smaller and positioned where the majority of water will pool inside. The secondary pump may be a bit higher inside the hull. This pump should be bigger than the first, because if the boat has collected that much water the main goal is to get it out as fast as possible.

When deciding where to place your pumps, observe where the water accumulates in the hull when the boat is at rest as well as in motion. For powerboats the water tends to flow toward the aft when the boat is moving. Sailboats tend to accumulate bilge water in the middle.

Bilge Pump Installation Reminders:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s specifications – especially on wires sizes
  • Use a vented loop – if the thru-hull discharge can be submerged, a siphoning effect can fill your hull instead of empty it.
  • Keep discharge hoses short – long hoses make the pump work harder than it has to.
  • Use waterproof connectors – any connections in the bilge area should be protected.
  • Use smooth bore hoses – corrugated hoses are cheaper but not effective for pumps.

Bilge Pumps Available from the Bottom Paint Store

Can you use a Marine Descaler on an aluminum outboard engine?

We recommend a Hammerhead Marine Descaler Flush every 100 hours, or twice a year for any engine running in warm, calcium rich waters.  This is a revolutionary change to outboard marine engine maintenance which has come about through Bright Bay’s next generation chemistry.  Only Hammerhead Marine Descaler  is made with aluminum safe cleaning agents designed for today’s high performance marine engines. Now you can even descale your aluminum outboard engine safely!

The attached pictures were taken of a 4 stroke outboard engine in Key West.  The block cracked with less than 200 hours because marine scale had restricted water flow for engine cooling.  Because water flow and scale buildup are a maintenance item, damage was not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty on the $20,000 motor. A marine descaler would have prevented this damage.

When compared to other brands such as Rydlyme Descaler and Barnacle Buster, we found Hammerhead Marine Descaler to be as effective, less expensive  and safe for use on aluminum outboards.

Owners have historically only used “salt away” to flush outboard engines because acid descalers are not safe for the aluminum heads.  Salt away does not remove marine biogrowth which ultimately causes engines to overheat.  The traditional repair method for an overheating engine is to tear down and rebuild.  We are going to recommend that an outboard Hammerhead Flush be done with each oil change as a preventative maintenance procedure for avoiding marine scale buildup, overheating, and engine rebuilds.

Watch this video of Hammer Hear Marine Descaler in action!

How to Apply Bottom Paint Over Existing Bottom Paint

Bottom Painting is not very technical, but you must have a clean surface to insure good adhesion.

Refer to the Sea Hawk Compatibility Chart to determine if your existing coating is compatible with Sea Hawk antifoulant paint choice.To insure that your bottom paint adheres to your existing coating, it is important to have a clean prepared surface and an existing coating that is in good condition.

Known Compatibility of Existing Bottom Paint:
Power wash (pressure wash) to remove any loose paint,dirt, grease, or any other surface contaminants.
Scuff sand with 80 grit sandpaper, or scuff with a 3M Scotch-Brite® 7447 pad scrubbing thoroughly. Remove all residue and let dry.
Apply minimum of two coats of antifoulant. Allow 3 to 6 hours between coats and a minimum overnight dry. See the specific Technical Data Sheet for antifoulant being used. Some antifoulants may require more than 2 coats.

Unknown Compatibility* of Existing Antifoulant:
Power wash (pressure wash) to remove any loose paint,dirt, grease, or any other surface contaminants.
Scuff sand with 80 grit sandpaper, or scuff with a 3M Scotch-Brite® 7447 pad scrubbing thoroughly. Remove all residue and let dry.
Apply 1 coat of Bottom Paint PrimersHAWKocon or 1283 Island Primer (see respective technical data sheet)
Apply minimum of two coats of antifoulant. Allow 3 to 6 hours between coats and a minimum overnight dry.See the specific Technical Data Sheet for antifoulant being used. Some antifoulants may require more than 2 coats.

Poor Condition of Existing Antifoulant:
If previous coating is cracking, flaking or peeling then strip antifoulant with Marine Paint Stripper, or by sanding or commercial blast. Refer to Bare Fiberglass Application Guidelines for new antifoulant application.

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

Just Teak Restoration KitsRestoring your weathered teak wood is an easy 3 step process using the  JustTeak™ Teak Restoration Kits. Learn how to clean, brighten, and seal your teak or other wood. This simple teak restoration process can be used on an teak wood including teak furniture and teak decking.

Step 1 (Part 1). Cleaning Teak Wood with the JustTeak™ Teak Cleaner
 JustTeak™ Teak 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 JustTeak™ Teak Cleaner.

1. Hose down entire areas thoroughly with fresh water. Ensure the teak does not dry during the cleaning process.
2. Applying the JustTeak™ Teak Cleaner with a soft polypropylene cleaning pad, gently scrub the product across the grain of the teak. The teak will tum dark brown and the cleaning pad will fill with dirt.
4. Apply to one area at a time then immediately rinse down entire area with water to remove the cleaner. Repeat if necessary. 


Step 2. (Part 2) Using  JustTeak™ Teak Brightener
on Your Teak Deck

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

1. Following the application of Part 1: JustTeak™ Teak Cleaner.
2. Hose down entire area with water.
3. Ensure the teak does not dry during the cleaning process.
4. Apply JustTeak™ Teak Brightener  with a soft polypropylene cleaning pad, gently scrubbing across the grain of the teak. The teak will immediate lighten.
5. Apply to one area at a time then immediately rinse down entire area with water to remove the Teak Brightener. Repeat if necessary.


Step 3. Application of JustTeakTeak Sealer

JustTeak Teak SealerJustTeak™ Teak 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

1. For best results apply in temperatures above 10°C (50°F) on a sunny, low humidity day, ensuring the teak is dry. Shake vigorously prior to use. This product must be shaken periodically whilst using to ensure even colouring. Make sure the surface is completely dry prior to application.
2. Apply the JustTeak™ Teak Oil Sealer by either brush, pad applicator or rag. Take note to apply sealer along the length of the board to ensure even coating and avoid line marks.
3. Apply generously. Allow to dry, soak up any areas that may have not absorbed the sealer. When touch dry, apply 1-2 subsequent coats until the teak stops absorbing the sealer.
LOOKING AFTER YOUR SEALED TEAK Over time the sealer will start to lose its lustre and water beading capability. A fresh coat of JustTeak: Teak Sealer should be applied to restore the finish. For best results remove the Teak Sealer with JustTeak Cleaner and Brightener and re-apply.

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Maintaining and Restoring Your Gelcoat

As you haul your boat out of storage you may want to get the gelcoat shining once again.
Use the steps below as needed:

New Boats

Which Products To Use:
If your boat is new and the finish is still in good condition with little to no oxidation, you can use a one-step clean-and-wax product that combines washing and waxing in one step. We recommend using the 3M Marine Cleaner and Wax.

If your boat has light gelcoat oxidation use the least aggressive method, if possible, to prolong the life of gelcoat. We recommend cleaning with marine boat soap and buffing with the 3M Imperial Compound. Avoid direct sunlight and room temperature is best for application.

Note: An easy way to determine if gelcoat is oxidized is by wiping your hand across the surface. If any chalk wipes off on your hand, the gelcoat is oxidized and you will need to wash and buff the surface before polishing.

Follow these three simple steps to polish your gelcoat:

Step 1: Once you know which polish to use we recommend using a high-quality microfiber towel to apply the product. Avoid low-quality towels because they will shed fibers and leave streaks and residue on the boat.

Step 2: Wet the microfiber rag, remove any excess and apply a tablespoon of polish to the rag. This amount of polish will work for a few square feet. Remember, you want to work in small areas in order to cover the entire surface correctly.

Before buffing, spread the polish evenly across the boat’s gelcoat. You will get the best results when working the polish into the surface with circular motions.

Step 3: Once the polish dries into a haze you can remove it with a clean dry rag. Make sure you get in all the nooks and cracks for a smooth beautiful finish.

Older Boats


If your boat has been in contact with the elements over long periods of time (10-15 years), the process of restoring the appearance of the gelcoat will take some additional steps.

Step 1: Clean the surface. For boats that need a more aggressive cleaning just wash the surface and remove any loose contaminants. You can use a non-abrasive light detergent (marine boat soap) to remove all surface dirt and all previously applied coatings.
If you need something stronger to remove surface rust, oil, tar, algae discoloration, black streaks caused from water runoff, exhaust and waterline scum, or other stains we recommend using an acid-based stain remover like Hammerhead Hull Cleaner. It is important to completely remove all stains before waxing, or you’ll seal in the stain.

Step 2: Select your compound. If your boat is a bit more oxidized a rubbing compound (liquid abrasive which “sands” your hull) is needed, but do so carefully as you can run through the gelcoat. The more faded your hull the more compounding you’ll need. The 3M Imperial Compound usually applied with a polisher if possible and compatible 3M pads, like the white 100% wool pad, recommended by 3M. Keep product off bottom paint, if applicable, by taping off as it can spatter. If the compound isn’t strong enough for your level of oxidation and scratches, then you may need to “pretreat” with a 1200 (or 800) grit as needed prior to the compound.

Note: When buffing, you should work on small sections of the hull (3-5ft sections is recommended). It is important to keep the wool pad damp. If you notice the pad is dry and the wool looks ‘matted’ after working the material into one area, just rake the wool back into form with a pad spur and re-wet the pad to continue with the application.

Step 3: Polish the surface. We offer the 3M Finesse-It II (more aggressive), or the 3M Perfect-It Machine Polish (brightest finish), to help provide a nice finish to the gelcoat after compounding and bring it to a gloss. Apply with the yellow pad by 3M.

Step 4: Wax to seal. The last step is a wax coat such as Scotchguard Marine Liquid Wax or 3M Ultra Performance wax. These helps to seal and protect all the work you’ve just completed.