Ok Matt, since you asked. I own a steel
boat which is currently undergoing a refit
. This is my second steel
boat. I hope to start building my third in a year or so. So, my experience is hands on, been there, done that kind of experience. There are folks here who talk a lot, but have no real world experience.
Step one, quit talking to West Marine
. Unless the guy you're talking to actually owns a steel boat, he's not going to be a good source and his job is to push the products sitting on West Marine's shelf. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. West Marine
has some very knowledgeable folks in their employ and some good products, I'm not knocking them at all. It's just that hands down, the best product line for steel boats is not to be found on West Marine's shelves. That being the case, they are unlikely to recommend it to you.
I have no experience with Phospho. I have looked at it, I've talked to a lot of steel boat owners about it and the jury is still out. Some seem to like it, some have had bad luck with it. I chose not to use it. It is a mild acid that....(oh shoot, read the product literature if you want to know exactly how it works) anyway, the problem is it's an acid and if you don't get it all off it can cause the paint
you apply over it to bubble. It's not commonly used in the Commercial
Industries nor the Oil
Industry, so that should tell you something right there. If this were my boat, I'd contact my local Ameron Rep and ask him what to do, then following his instructions to the letter. I know the rep for the PNW, he's a great guy and very patient with my sometimes inane questions. PM or email
me and I'll give you his contact info. He will also talk to you about Phospho...maybe as I remember he isn't a big fan, but then his job, like the guy at West Marine is to sell his product line. Sometimes these questions are hard to get answers to. Ya' know?
Basically, after you shot blast, you follow that immediately (I'm talking minutes, not hours) with a zinc rich primer. After that Ameron 235 is what almost everyone uses, including me. Paint
everything, inside and out (if new construction). Mascoat has some interesting products on the market that I'm going to try on new construction. One is an anti-condensation product the other a sound dampening product. Steel boats tend to rust from the inside out, condensation
on the interior
above the waterline surface is the bug-a-boo for all steel boats. After all interior
coatings are applied, the above the waterline surfaces should be sprayed with a high density polyurethane
foam (non-flammable, closed cell) A coat of latex paint on top of this once it's cured will make it easier to clean and won't hurt.
Exterior, after multiple coats of Ameron 235 I'd use Ameron 229 as a topcoat. It's got the look of a polyurethane
, but unlike the ones you buy at West Marine, this one can be recoated to repair inevitable damage. It's good stuff and comes in a variety of colors. I believe it's less costly than what you will buy at West Marine as well, but even if it's not, it can be retouched which their products can't.
Now, since yours is an existing boat, it's sometimes hard if not impossible to find a yard that will allow sand blasting and spray painting. So, here's what I've been doing, and it seems to work ok. I buy poly-carbide abrasive disks at Harbor Freight. The 4" disk is item #94016 but I mostly use the 4.5". They cost less than $5 each. I love these things!! They mount on your 4.5" angle grinder and will remove rust and old paint in a jiffy. So, I go to a rust spot and start cleaning
with the grinder until I get to good paint (paint that won't lift
easily), then (depending on the size of the area) brush or roll 235. I try to use 4 coats, 3 if I'm in a hurry. Word of caution, epoxy
paints don't like anti-fouling
paint. Remove all the anti-fouling
paint from the area you are repairing. If you don't, the 235 may not adhere well. My current
boat was sadly neglected before I bought her, so we have rust issues. Properly maintained steel boats don't have rust issues.
It's pretty hard to have too much paint on a steel boat, but if you do the job right, you should have no rust problems.
As mentioned earlier 133 is the product of choice for potable water tanks
. It's NSF certified for that purpose. Concrete will give the water
a "sweeter" taste, but getting it to stick on the inside of the tank is a trick. I don't like the taste of water from plastic tanks
. Call me picky.
Out of time. Email
or PM me if you would like.