Aluminum RIB bottom paint question

kent_island_sailor

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This may be a dumb question, but how do you paint an aluminum RIB? My current dinghy is fiberglass and I use the "official inflatable paint" designed for the tubes and fiberglass. It is supposedly extra flexible, although maybe since I never deflate the dinghy that isn't critical.
Aluminum needs special copper-free paint, but does that paint also stick to the tubes well enough?
 

Zonker

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Keep your dinghy out of the water when you can. Or take it ashore, flip it over and scrub the bottom every month.

You can certainly buy aluminum specific bottom paints. Best bet for a small RIB is a can of spray Trilux 33


Maybe you apply the special tube paint to just the tubes separately
 

kent_island_sailor

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Keep your dinghy out of the water when you can. Or take it ashore, flip it over and scrub the bottom every month.

You can certainly buy aluminum specific bottom paints. Best bet for a small RIB is a can of spray Trilux 33


Maybe you apply the special tube paint to just the tubes separately
Doing either one would be a major PITA. The dinghy is in the water from March to December, there is no real easy way to get it in and out.
 

Zonker

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How big is the RIB and motor? Find a beach, unscrew the motor clamps, lift off motor and set aside, then with a helper if the boat is big, flip it over.
 
Paint is more of a pain than it's worth. We rigged a bridal inside and pick on a halyard. I can do myself with boat hook and keep off the boat, two people is easy. Old school work boat lift, rig painter far fwd and hook up halyard and off you go. Only need to go up a few ft for growth. It's a big deterant for crime as well. Easy to pick then put a cable lock on our board ding and stantion pad eye. Also on the hook if it gets super shitty in a hurry this is a safe arrangement to bail and move without worrying about swamping dingy. Ours had two internal padeyes aft and one fwd, rig with outboard weight and slight aft trim to drain.
 

toddster

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Who got married in the dinghy??????

Just upgraded to aluminum rib. It’s already painted… though no doubt will soon wear away in key points. The thought of scraping it away to bare alumin(i)um just to apply bottom paint, when one could simply lift or flip it over for a scrub… Nah!
 

kent_island_sailor

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The "no paint" idea does not work for me. If I were to hang the dinghy off a halyard, every time I wanted to go sailing for an hour or two I would have to drop it in the water, go sailing, come back, hook it back up, and hoist if back out. I also would have to get a bigger slip, my current location is too tight, the dinghy would hit something at certain tide ranges.
I tried the scrubbing idea once more than 20 years ago. It worked sort-of if you don't mind towing a slimy dinghy until we were out of town for a month and in 4 week's time I had a nasty mess that took all day to clean. Scraping barnacles off of an inflatable without putting a hole in it sucks. In the warmer months our fouling grows incredibly fast.
 

kent_island_sailor

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Antifoul on yacht tender ribs is messy

many large ribs are antifouled …ask the rib guys for the best solution
It isn't any messier than any other boat, I paint my fiberglass RIB and my Whaler in the yard every spring and the mess factor is the same.
I should call the local dealer and ask. I have a line on a nice aluminum one in the area but don't want to buy it if I can't paint it.
 

slug zitski

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A yacht tender gets manhandled …..that antifoul rubs off on everything

On fiberglass ribs the hull can be protected with copper coat

The tubes get waxed
 

slug zitski

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It isn't any messier than any other boat, I paint my fiberglass RIB and my Whaler in the yard every spring and the mess factor is the same.
I should call the local dealer and ask. I have a line on a nice aluminum one in the area but don't want to buy it if I can't paint it.
I don’t like aluminum ribs

corrosion , disbonding , at the tube to hull joint is an issue that you don’t have on a fiberglass rib

this joint is difficult to repair …grind bright, prime then adhesive

the only reason to buy an aluminum rib is weight
 

kent_island_sailor

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I don’t like aluminum ribs

corrosion , disbonding , at the tube to hull joint is an issue that you don’t have on a fiberglass rib

this joint is difficult to repair …grind bright, prime then adhesive

the only reason to buy an aluminum rib is weight
Points to consider for sure.
The one thing you left out is aluminum is good for pulling up on rocky beaches.
 

sailman

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This may be a dumb question, but how do you paint an aluminum RIB? My current dinghy is fiberglass and I use the "official inflatable paint" designed for the tubes and fiberglass. It is supposedly extra flexible, although maybe since I never deflate the dinghy that isn't critical.
Aluminum needs special copper-free paint, but does that paint also stick to the tubes well enough?
I have a Walker Bay RHIB that has aluminum attachment point so I have to use outboard paint. I bought a pound of powdered zinc and added half of it to the paint. Marine life steers clear
 

Arcas

New member
I'm curious as to the answer on this as well. We're looking at painting an aluminum dinghy we keep in Maine. By the end of the year, it gets a significant layer of growth on it. I figured slapping some paint on it would make a big difference. Sounds like copper is a no-no, so looks my go-to of Trinidad Pro isn't going to work. Any other suggestions?
 
It's not the hull you have to worry about FRP or Aluminum, they can take alot. Its the aft third of the pontoons that will get trashed. With the weight of a outboard that's about what sees the water, and getting paint to stick and not destroy is a challenge. Once you get growth on the tubes it's all over and you will be forever cleaning. The more abraded it gets the easier for stuff to grow.
 

accnick

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I have an aluminum RIB (9' AB) in Maine. I lift it out every night, and the bottom stays clean all season long with no paint The first year I had it I left it in the water in Maine for most of four months. It took all day to clean the bottom at the end of the season.

Of course, I have davits, so it is roughly a five-minute job to pull it out in the evening. Some days it doesn't even go back in the water.

On my last sailboat, we had a 2.80m fiberglass AB RIB that weighed 50 pounds more than my current slightly smaller aluminum AB. That RIB was lifted out almost every night on a halyard, and lashed off to the topsides at about deck height. It was stored deflated and upside down on the foredeck for passages, and never painted.

When cruising, it was as much about keeping it from being stolen as it was about keeping the bottom clean.

In 50 years of boat ownership, I don't believe I have ever put bottom paint on a dinghy. I am religious about either hauling them out almost every night, or hauling them out every few weeks to scrub the bottom.
 




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