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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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Tyson0317

J35 - Tips for bottom paint

13 posts in this topic

While the summer is here, I really wanted to investigate putting new bottom paint on the boat. I did a bit of research and it looks like our bottom has some life in it - maybe rest of this season. It is a 'cruising bottom' - rolled-on stuff and a bit rough to the touch. It is in fair shape though - only the fine angle hair growing on it, which I have cleaned twice already this season, but it comes back quickly which I am being told is a sing that it could use some attention.

 

I spoke with a reputable local shop - the guys there were really nice and took time to educate me. But the bid made me just about fall off my chair. A 'cursing' roll-on bottom similar to what I have now will cost $2k, but to get a 'race bottom' which is baby-butt smooth is about $7k!!! The major difference from what I understood is sanding time - they take it down to 600-grit. The thing is, there is not that much sanding there the price jump is because they are charging $90/h for a guy with a sander!! I realize that they need to pay for the yard, insurance and some consumables, but many contract Medical Doctors (who have a 12-year education track) sometimes don't get $90/h! It seems excessive!

 

I am handy (with a welder and otherwise) and am thinking about hiring some manpower and doing this myself. I could use a bit of advice...

 

1. The paint I have now - I need to sand that off, but how far down do I go? Until I see the white of the gelcoat, or just get it smooth? Does every bit of it need to be off, or about 90%?

2. After I sand the old stuff down, what should be done to prepare the surface?

3. What paint should I use? I'd like to do roll-on if possible and stay away from spray. What are my options?

A. How much in gallons/liters will I need?

B. How many coats?

C. Apply thin? How long between coats?

4. Sanding to 600 - should I start with something rougher first?

5. Should I quick-sand between coats?

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depends on what the paint is now, and what you want on there. if it sluffs, you cannot put a hard bottom paint on. vc offshore doesn't stick to something that is meant to fall off.

 

if you are going that route, you need to take it down to the barrier coat. if there is one. if not, and you are going with a sluffing paint again, you can scuff up the bottom with 80 grit and reapply the old style paint.

 

despite what some will say, roll on is the preferred method of application. you use a thin nap roller and the coats go on thin.

 

you need to figure out the square footage of the bottom, and then buy enough paint to cover it. there are tables available from most manufacturers for coverage.

 

at least 4 barrier coats, and at least 2 bottom coats will do. more will last longer. you can go a few hours between coats.

 

if you are looking for a burnished finish, starting with something rougher will just remove all the paint you applied.

 

you don't have to sand between coats.

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i'm going to go out on a limb here, but you may get more input if you don't put general maintenance questions in the J/Boats forum. but rather in Fix-It Anarchy

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Here's what one well known bottom painting house includes with various racing or cruising bottoms. http://waterlinesystems.com/services/standard-services/ and more here http://www.waterlinesystems.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/WLSbottomFAQ1.pdf

 

And like the previous post said, you MUST figure out what's on the boat before you can know what prep will be needed before you put a new bottom on.

 

$7K for a racing bottom on a 35-footer is the going rate in most markets I know of.

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I posted here to get the racer's perspective as I assume that Jboat owners would know what worked well for them in the past.

 

How can I figure out what's on there? I have no contact with the previous owner...

 

One thing that I can say is that when I dive it with a soft brush, there are not clouds of paint coming off with the angel hair seaweed.

 

Anyone know the square footage of the bottom on the J35?

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if you have no idea what is on the bottom, sand it off and start fresh. you'll want to find out just how far you can go... to barrier coat or to gel coat. maybe the previous owner did an epoxy bottom.

 

orbital da is your friend. if the bottom paint is thick, 40 or 60 grit. if it comes off fairly fast, 80 grit so you don't burn thru everywhere.

 

you'll pretty much want to put 4 to 5 layers of interprotect 2000 on, then 2 or 3 layers of vc offshore. burnish after a few days of curing. you can burnish in the water even.

 

area? math... do the math.. beam X lwl is a good start. you obviously don't have a rectangle of area, but you do have a keel and rudder to include, and the hull has volume.

 

the bottom can be redone over the course of a long weekend by yourself.. or you and your crew. it's not difficult.

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i'm going to go out on a limb here, but you may get more input if you don't put general maintenance questions in the J/Boats forum. but rather in Fix-It Anarchy

ayup

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It can seem like a daunting task and make no mistake about it, it is a big job. But, with a plan it can be accomplished.

Check out http://users.eastlink.ca/~mhoyt/Projects/Bottom_Job/bottom_job.htm

Rent a 2500-3000 psi pressure washer and start there.

Scrape what you can (remember to round the corners of scrapers to prevent gouging)

Sand - Dual Action Random Orbit sanders work great. (Here is one time when cheap and light and disposable maybe better than Heavy Duty)

Now you see what you have and where to go from here. If it is Gel Coat, consider Interprotect 2000 (or simmilar) before antifouling

IMHO - a cruising boat or club racer sanded to 180 or 220 is plenty good....but the debate starts here, and how big a project you want to make it.

My other tips: Gather all your supplies and have them on hand. Work in stages, take a section at a time. Do difficult sections first, like behind keel where it is almost all over head. Leave less taxing areas, like keel, for when you get tired. Work for a set period of time ie 30 or 40 minutes, then take a break and stretch, it will help you not feel as sore the next day and be less fatigued.

Good luck

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have a high school or college sailor do it for $100/day (normal day rate low end). you dont have to work as hard and their grades are guaranteed to go up so that dont have to do that shit again....

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I would add that if you change to a hard racing bottom then there is going to be more maintenance to keep it in good shape. Being in a northern locale it may not be as bad as down south where we have warm good growth conditions most of the year. We use BaltoPlate around here generally. If you are not worried about ultimate speed and lots of tender care a more 'cruiser' type of paint may be the call. I think there may be some in-between paints, but have not researched those myself.

 

We have used a pro where needed and then a crew call for some of the items that do not require such skill, such as wet sanding with 600.

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I would add that if you change to a hard racing bottom then there is going to be more maintenance to keep it in good shape. Being in a northern locale it may not be as bad as down south where we have warm good growth conditions most of the year. We use BaltoPlate around here generally. If you are not worried about ultimate speed and lots of tender care a more 'cruiser' type of paint may be the call. I think there may be some in-between paints, but have not researched those myself.

 

We have used a pro where needed and then a crew call for some of the items that do not require such skill, such as wet sanding with 600.

seesh what'd you have a diver twice a week in the summer?!

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I would add that if you change to a hard racing bottom then there is going to be more maintenance to keep it in good shape. Being in a northern locale it may not be as bad as down south where we have warm good growth conditions most of the year. We use BaltoPlate around here generally. If you are not worried about ultimate speed and lots of tender care a more 'cruiser' type of paint may be the call. I think there may be some in-between paints, but have not researched those myself.

 

We have used a pro where needed and then a crew call for some of the items that do not require such skill, such as wet sanding with 600.

seesh what'd you have a diver twice a week in the summer?!

 

Once a week, but don't be late about it.

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Tyson I bought a Schock 35 a couple months ago and have been through this on a couple of my boats.

 

1. IF you have a sloughing paint, or nearly any bottom paint system except freshwater paints like VC-17, you can simply clean and roll on a coat of sloughing paint again, such as Micron CSC or Petit Horizon. Both work fine for a cruiser/racer application and will go on over top of nearly anything, and both are pretty good at anti-fouling in the PNW.

 

2. If you want to play with the big boys in the J35 and similar fleet, you probably need a race bottom. At it's simplest, this means sanding down until all the sloughing paint is gone. Many boats this will mean going down to gelcoat, others will have an epoxy barrier coat somewhere down there that is the best place to stop sanding. Likely grayish in color.

 

3. Once the paint is off, decide how perfect your bottom needs to be. I am a fan of getting the keel and rudder as perfect as possible, and just getting the divots and chunks smoothed out in the hull.

 

4. If you have no barrier coat, you need to pick a barrier coat philosophy. A lot of guys will tell you you must have one. However, I believe that a boat that has been in the water without a barrier coat for years is better off left that way. You won't get all the water desorbed from the fiberglass, so a barrier coat will effectively just trap any moisture inside.

 

5. A race bottom will consist of either VC Offshore or Baltoplate (now known as VC Offshore Regatta). Balto is a bit more expensive, but finishes harder and I think may be a bit easier to work with. I just painted my Schock with the Baltoplate, as that was what it already had on it. Half a gallon of Balto, thinned appropriately, made for one full coat and a bit of extra on the leading edges of the foils. If the existing coat had not been in OK condition, I would have put a second coat on right away.

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