As promised (at last) we are pleased to produce a start to finish Awlgrip job to show what steps are taken to achieve a professional finish. The subject of this study is a Defeaver 41 which we sold last fall.
Step one is basic patch work. This boat needed a lot of that! We use a product made by Sikkens as a filler but have also experimented with others as well. The main objective is to achieve a preliminary surface for the primer without causing an adverse chemical reaction. And no job is complete without the paper work. All surfaces which do not get painted, get papered or covered with plastic. This can be fairly time consuming as each piece of exposed hardware must be individually masked or removed.
The fairing compound applied in step one is sanded smooth and the entire boat is sanded to ensure a good bonding surface for the primer. Step two is the initial primer coat. Depending on the surface you have to work with, the boat may need two coats of primer.
Step three is going back over the whole primed surface and once again filling imperfections which actually show up pretty well on the flat finish of the primer. We also tape off and paint the boot top and coamings at this time. After a drying period we are able to retape and cover these painted surfaces to tackle the hull sides.
Repetition is the name of the game when doing a major paint job. Once again the whole boat needs to be sanded to allow the top coat to bond to the surface. All dirt, dust and oils (from touching the boat with bare hands) must be removed before the top coat is applied. This is the crucial sanding.
The job is beginning to take shape and all that remains is the final shoot and the removal of masking materials. A thorough cleaning of the area takes place before each shoot and all masking is inspected to insure againt penetration of paint spray onto other surfaces.
And the end results.
To keep picture download times to a minimum, I compressed them quite a bit but the color scheme of this boat is –
Boot Top – Vivid Red
Hull Sides – Jade Mist Green
Coaming – Snow White
Rubrail – Sahara
As you can see many hours go into a production like this. Is it worth it? I guess the question is whether you want to protect or increase the resale value of your investment. Gel coat has a fairly long life but also a limited life and when it’s life is over your boat’s value goes down. Also consider the maintenance cost of maintaining your gelcoat over the years. I think you will find that the answer is yes, it is worth it.