Top sides paint - waterways or no

Vincent DePillis

Super Anarchist
1,078
13
Seattle
Thinking about painting my much patched and modified topsides. Would have the yard do it. Guy at yard told me that taping off for waterways is actually one of the most time consuming pars of the job.

The were no waterways in the original gel coat. Hardware mounted direct to nonskid. Do I really need waterways for some reason? Getting a waterproof connection to the deck?

I have a lot of deck hardware, the boat is more workboat finish than concours. And I think the waterways would look kinda precious. Would like to not do them.

Experience, opinions?
 

MiddayGun

Super Anarchist
1,179
442
Yorkshire
They look nice, and can make keeping a wet edge on the paint easier, but you don't need them.

Plenty of people don't bother.
 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
9,664
5,621
Canada
You don't need them. They make placing gelcoat patterns in the mold easier and it "looks nice" but you'll never see a workboat with them. Just the whole deck with nonskid.
 

allene222

Super Anarchist
3,961
58
SF Bay
I did my deck for the first time without the waterways. Just put the sand stuff in the paint and rolled it on. Brush at the edges. It saved many days and looks great. Plus I didn't get any paint coming off with the tape for the waterways. Previous time the tape took off 50 years of paint in spots and added several days to the job.

Just be sure you really stir the paint constantly. There were areas where you could see where I did one section and then the next as the texture was slightly different but after a few months I forgot to look at it and get upset.
 

WCB

Super Anarchist
4,401
859
Park City, UT
Are what you are calling waterways the smooth deck paint areas without non-skid? This is the first time I've heard this term.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
6,163
1,200
worldwide
Are what you are calling waterways the smooth deck paint areas without non-skid? This is the first time I've heard this term.
Same with me

Waterways are the deck edge at the sheer clamp … many times with a toe rail or bulwarks

The perimeter around fittings are not waterways
 

WCB

Super Anarchist
4,401
859
Park City, UT
Same with me

Waterways are the deck edge at the sheer clamp … many times with a toe rail or bulwarks

The perimeter around fittings are not waterways
Thanks...that's interesting. I always considered that "deck" and the other parts "non-skid" but never heard that term for that area. A google search turned up nothing useful.
 

El Borracho

Verified User
6,664
2,642
Pacific Rim
Waterways are the deck edge at the sheer clamp … many times with a toe rail or bulwarks

The perimeter around fittings are not waterways
Correct. But those who know call all such features “waterways.” Likely some historical connection to wooden deck construction.

If a sailor wants that workboat look then no need to have any waterways. Try not to let too much non-skid get on the fittings or drip down the topsides. If a sailor desires a proper yachtie look then waterways will be worth the small extra trouble.

Gloss paint at the toerail is a huge plus in keeping that area clean of dirt and growth. Much easier to scrub.
 

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