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Old 20-04-2019, 11:30   #1
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My deck needs your help!

On the new-to-us Irwin 46, one of the items on our ToDo is to paint the decks. Not only are they two different colors, whoever painted them, in my limited boat painting experience, didn't prep properly. Here'a a few photos of what they look like.

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I'm putting her in dry dock for this. My thinking is that I have a 3100psi pressure washer, and it would likely take most of the loose paint off. Once I do that, I have two issues - the gel coat has tiny surface cracking, and the colored areas are all textured.

I have never worked with gel coat, but I have heard that it needs special attention. I've been all over YTU, but only 1 series actually covers it, and he isn't dealing with the textured issues I have, and the gel coat areas he is glassing over so he basically has a blank canvas.

Three questions ....for those who know:

1. If I pressure wash the textured areas, can I simply wash the deck with acetone, tape them off, then apply something like 2 coats of Topside paint?

2. Notice the splotchy areas in the second photo. Once the gel coat areas have been washed, will I have to sand all the tiny cracks and splotches before I apply anything to it, or will the gel coat cover them?

3. After I tape and apply a coat or two of gel coat, do I need to do anything else to those areas?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 20-04-2019, 14:02   #2
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Re: My deck needs your help!

Reg. Washing with Acetone.

1)
If it's a badly prepped 2 component paint it will not help. 2 Component Polyurethane paints are not affected by Acetone.
2)
Badly prepped 1 component paint, it will dissolve to some degree, but probably not enough.

If it turns out to be single component you could mask of all areas around it and use paint stripper. Cover it with newspaper after application. Let it sit for few hours, wipe up as much as you can, than use your pressure washer and probably repeat paint stripper.
Sand very thoroughly with wirebrush. Pressure wash again. Alternatively soda blast from first moment. Clean thoroughly.
Let thoroughly dry, apply 2 Component paint or epoxy to seal surface.
Sand and wash again.
Cover with KiwiGrip.

If it's a flaking 2 Component, pressure wash. Let dry and sand with wire brush very thoroughly. Pressure wash again & let dry thoroughly.
Alternatively soda blast from first moment. Clean thoroughly.

Apply 2 Component paint or epoxy to seal surface.
Sand with wirebrush, wash & dry once more.
Cover with KiwiGrip.

It's a lot of hard work & will be a pain. Been their & done it on my 35ft cat. Lots of deck area :-)

If someone suggest to epoxy it and put coral sand on it. That works in principle, but be aware that normal epoxy discolours under UV (=sun) light. Either choose one specifically formulated for this purpose or add enough white pigments to it.

Try not to fix anything with normal gel coat. It cures with a sticky surface as there is no stearine in it. Gel coat is meant to cure without oxygene present. This is the case when it's applied into a mold, but not when rolled onto a surface.
You need at least a special topcoat (which has stearine in it).
Best is epoxy to seal any micro cracks.

The rough surface KiwiGrip would leave covers any surface imperfections from your repair underneath properly.
Plus, KiwiGrip claims that you can repaint it later with KiwiGrip without an aweful lot of preparation.
We have used it on Lady Rover and it's anti slip properties are really nice!
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Old 20-04-2019, 14:13   #3
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Re: My deck needs your help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
Reg. Washing with Acetone.

1)
If it's a badly prepped 2 component paint it will not help. 2 Component Polyurethane paints are not affected by Acetone.
2)
Badly prepped 1 component paint, it will dissolve to some degree, but probably not enough.

If it turns out to be single component you could mask of all areas around it an use paint stripper. Cover it with newspaper after application. Let it sit for few hours, wipe up as much as you can, than use your pressure washer and probably repeat paint stripper.
Sand with very thoroughly with wirebrush. Pressure wash again. Alternatively soda blast from first moment. Clean thoroughly.
Let thoroughly dry, apply 2 Component paint or epoxy to seal surface. Cover with KiwiGrip.

If it's a flaking 2 Component, pressure wash. Let dry and sand with wire brush very thoroughly. Pressure wash again & let dry thoroughly.
Alternatively soda blast from first moment. Clean thoroughly.
Apply 2 Component paint or epoxy to seal surface. Cover with KiwiGrip.

It's a lot of hard work & will be a pain. If someone suggest to epoxy it and put coral sand on it. That works in principle, but be aware that normal epoxy discolours under UV (=sun) light. Either choose one specifically formulated for this purpose or add enough white pigments to it.
Oh my! Yes, that sounds like a lot of work. But I'm up to it.

As to using paint stripper and a wire brush on the textured parts, are you saying I need to take it down to the bare flat fiberglass, or just remove the paint, get it clean, and awl grip ...or KiwiGrip ....over it?
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Old 20-04-2019, 14:28   #4
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Re: My deck needs your help!

Try to get rid of anything loose as much as possible. Make sure anything remaining is really well sanded & roughened up.
Get rid of any dust.
If you really have cracks underneath, you should coat with epoxy or an epoxy primer underneath to seal that off. KiwiGrip is great but not 100% watertight.
The primer needs to be sanded with a wirebrush (not flattened).
Can be done with a machine.
You can check with the primer manufacturer if they have an epoxy finish you could use which chemically bonds with the primer. Than you could skip the sanding of the primer and finish with this.
We found that the glass microballons which some manufacturers recommend to add to the last layer of paint to achieve antislip properties are not rough enough for us. Coral sand on epoxy or KiwiGrip work better for us.
Maybe try on a board if plywood to see what you like best.

Good luck.

Btw. If you can, sodablast, saves a lot of time and hard work.
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Old 20-04-2019, 14:38   #5
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Re: My deck needs your help!

Always make sure your hardener to resin ratio is 100% correct. Epoxy needs this and is not forgiving on this as polyester is. Get it wrong and it will not cure.
Check if the ratio is given by volume or weight.
If mixed wrong, discard batch and mix anew.
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Old 20-04-2019, 15:56   #6
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Re: My deck needs your help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
Always make sure your hardener to resin ratio is 100% correct. Epoxy needs this and is not forgiving on this as polyester is. Get it wrong and it will not cure.
Check if the ratio is given by volume or weight.
If mixed wrong, discard batch and mix anew.
Wow! Impressive! I will do that. Thank you so much!
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Old 20-04-2019, 20:42   #7
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Re: My deck needs your help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
Alternatively soda blast from first moment.
Just making notes. I think I understand everything but this. Are you referring to something like sand blasting, ....or crushed walnuts, .....?
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Old 21-04-2019, 00:58   #8
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Re: My deck needs your help!

Yes. For the best media in your case check with someone who does this.
Sandblasting might be to harsh. Soda blasting is making less mess, but it is generally a messy job and you might need to tent the area you are blasting or move the boat away from other boats.
Check with the people who own the property as well if they allow it.
We did it with the wire brush on an angle grinder at slow speed.

You'll need a few of those disks...

If you do that, make sure the bristles are stainless or brass. Otherwise you end up with lots of tiny rust spots later.
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Old 21-04-2019, 06:37   #9
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Re: My deck needs your help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CptCrunchie View Post
On the new-to-us Irwin 46, one of the items on our ToDo is to paint the decks. Not only are they two different colors, whoever painted them, in my limited boat painting experience, didn't prep properly. Here'a a few photos of what they look like.

Attachment 190483

Attachment 190484

Attachment 190485

Attachment 190486

I'm putting her in dry dock for this. My thinking is that I have a 3100psi pressure washer, and it would likely take most of the loose paint off. Once I do that, I have two issues - the gel coat has tiny surface cracking, and the colored areas are all textured.

I have never worked with gel coat, but I have heard that it needs special attention. I've been all over YTU, but only 1 series actually covers it, and he isn't dealing with the textured issues I have, and the gel coat areas he is glassing over so he basically has a blank canvas.

Three questions ....for those who know:

1. If I pressure wash the textured areas, can I simply wash the deck with acetone, tape them off, then apply something like 2 coats of Topside paint?

2. Notice the splotchy areas in the second photo. Once the gel coat areas have been washed, will I have to sand all the tiny cracks and splotches before I apply anything to it, or will the gel coat cover them?

3. After I tape and apply a coat or two of gel coat, do I need to do anything else to those areas?

Thanks in advance.
Much depends on how deep you want to go into it, as well as the underlying condition of the gelcoat and structure under it.

From the pictures (a notoriously unsound source of judgement) the actual gelcoat (the sections not hidden by nonskid) looks in pretty good shape; blown up 500% I didn't see any cracking or crazing anywhere. If that is indeed the case, then you may not need to do anything but remove the old paint/nonskid and reapply new.

Done 'properly' any hardware that is atop nonskid should be removed, and the condition of any deck penetrations should be verified to be good and corrected if found bad.

There are, however, any number of gradations of 'properly'...

Removal of old paint/nonskid tends to be rather idiosyncratic. Pressure wash it first, hopefully that will give you at least a little idea of what you're up against; if it blows away easily, a scraper and grinder may do the job, as suggested, paint remover works well on single part paint (seems I remember hearing of some that works on 2 parts also, but I've no experience with them), but I don't like working with it unless I have to (toxicity issues). They have a distinct advantage in that you don't have to worry about divoting up the surface with a grinding wheel...

Blasting is an option, but again this will likely be determined by how far you intend to go. If you plan on a complete topsides refinishing (removal of all fittings, stripping and recoating) then blasting might be the best option. Control is the issue in a less-than-total overhaul; the time spent masking and protecting areas not to be blasted may outweigh the advantages.

Much also depends on the media in the nonskid, plastic is generally easy to remove, sand is generally a bear, particularly in an epoxy or acrylic matrix.

I've never liked wire wheels for use on any type of fiberglass; they tend to melt, clog and shed, but they might be useful in some situations.

My favorite compromise, providing the nonskid is removable with abrasives, is an adjustable speed, 6-7" dual action sander with dust extraction and very coarse sanding discs for bulk removal, going to finer grits as you approach the gel coat.

I would certainly never use neat epoxy on top of a gelcoated deck, nor would I mix it with any kind of grit for a nonskid.

There is no problem applying gelcoat out of a mold; it is common practice. Wax must be added for it to properly cure, the repair is generally buffed to blend. Gel coat can also be sprayed an a finished fiberglass surface, but this is a highly-skilled and equipment-intensive undertaking.

Under nonskid, however gelcoat can be either brushed or rolled, and then finish-sanded (if necessary) to get an adequately smooth surface.

Two part epoxy paint, followed by some sort of proprietary non skid like Kiwigrip is a valid option, as is any two part urethane-type paint mixed with an appropriate grit, or with the grit sprinkled on while the paint is wet (this is more difficult than it sounds), and then painted over. Be aware though, while sand, or sand like grits, are very good nonskid indeed, they are also very good at grinding skin off elbows and knees...better to use hard plastic grit if you can find it, and intend to go that route.
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Old 21-04-2019, 07:10   #10
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Re: My deck needs your help!

Jim. Regarding the wire brush disks. I suggested those, because you do not need to take all the antiskid structure off with them. They go a fair bit into the hollows if you are not operating in a to fast speed.
With normal disks you need to sand everything completely flat to get an evenly rough surface ready to be painted.
Absolutely agree, taking off sand embedded in epoxy is a real big pain.
Sanding of sand with sand seems almost impossible. One might even try carefully with a heat gun and scraper instead. Not sure, have never tried that.
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Old 21-04-2019, 08:23   #11
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Re: My deck needs your help!

Wow. Lots to reply to. Thanks, Franziska and Jim.

I'm glad I posted this thread, because I was all set to use acetone to clean it after pressure washing. But as to using a power wire wheel on an angle grinder, I'm not sure I would do that. Being a wood worker, I know well how easy it is to strip a surface both by friction and abrasion, and my concern is that I would either burnish or gouge the fiberglass.

It's a 30 year old boat, yet it has no leaks (except one window), so I'm resistant to removing deck hardware, particularly when I don't really need to. 'If it ain't broken, I ain't fixing it.' I will, however, use rolls of frog tape to mask everything off.

I'll have more photos once I take possession and get it home (a 1200 mile motor up the west US coastline). At that point, I will show you the crazing of the gelcoat ...or the painted gel coat. There are NO deep cracks in the gelcoat, it is all surface. Sadly, it looks like crap because dirt has settled in the tiny cracks.

Here's where I am with it, what I can do and what I can't do.

Blasting isn't an option, but I can and will pressure wash it, then brass wire brush the entire deck. The gel coat does have tiny scratches, like it is flaking, as if it was painted with some kind of deck paint like Topsides.

As you can see from the second photo, it also has blotches that look to be filled holes, covered with dabs of paint. These need to be sanded down and prepped before I do anything. I have a multi-tool with a sanding attachment to do that.

The pale blue and cream is definitely paint, and not properly applied. As such, I believe it was put over a deck that still had wax on it, which is why it flaked. If so, (and I will know more when I get back on it next week) pressure washing with 3100psi 'should' remove 90% of the paint. A thorough brass wire brushing will be next, followed by my shopvac with a brush attachment, then hand sanding the smooth areas with 100grit. After that, I'm thinking I may use the cleaner KiwiGrip suggests before the sealer coat.

Franziska, I read that KiwiGrip was slippery when wet. You say it needs an additive to the final coat. Will this make it the non-slip it says it is? Is that additive a grit, like some kind of sand? If so, I'd rather just re-roll it as it sets to bring up more of the peaked finish ....or is that possible?

BUT, ...and it's a big BUT, ......I'm in grey-matter gridlock as to which I should do. Both the smooth 'gelcoat' and the blue/cream areas need work. I thought about painting the white areas with a roller, followed by foam brush to remove the brush marks. I have seen it done with fabulous results, I'm just not sure I'm that guy.

However, I have an HVLP gun that I use to spray pre-cat lacquer on my furniture. Since I know the dry dock won't allow me to spray without a cover, I'm thinking of bringing my compressor onboard (plugging it into my 7Kw genset), anchor out somewhere, and spraying the entire deck. This would definitely give me a nice sealed finish. I could then spray the 'gelcoat' areas. Once it had set, I would apply the KiwiGrip with a trowel and their roller.

Would that work?
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Old 21-04-2019, 08:40   #12
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Re: My deck needs your help!

I think with that, I would power wash, rough sand a bit and roll on Kiwi Grip. It's a latex like material, will work well, cover up some of the blemish and be easy to do. It will look good but not "Yacht pristine".
Of course you can redo the whole thing grinding, glassing, two part polyurethane painting etc....but it's a major job.
I have not found Kiwi Grip to be as slippery as most new boat gel coat non skid. But I never had it long term. It has a gripiness to it like court shoe soles. It's easy to put on another coat in a year or two also.
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Old 21-04-2019, 08:49   #13
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Re: My deck needs your help!

You misunderstood. KiwiGrip does not need an additive. It gets its antislip properties from the rollor you use to apply it.
It's a special roller you buy together with KiwiGrip.

Additives like glass microspheres are normally used to achieve antislip properties on 2k Polyurethane paint. You dust over the freshly painted surface (still wet) with them. They embed themselves into it and you get modest antislip properties by this.
For some it's enough, it's skin friendly if you slip, but letal if you go overboard due to this.
Personally I prefer a rougher surface, at least in steeper angled or more exposed areas.

Coral sand applied to epoxy does the same but much more rough.

KiwiGrip is somewhere amongst the two options and can be adjusted in coarseness by the way you roller it.
No need for a trowel.

Look on the KiwiGrip website and on YouTube and you'll understand how it works.
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Old 21-04-2019, 08:55   #14
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Re: My deck needs your help!

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I think with that, I would power wash, rough sand a bit and roll on Kiwi Grip. It's a latex like material, will work well, cover up some of the blemish and be easy to do. It will look good but not "Yacht pristine".
Of course you can redo the whole thing grinding, glassing, two part polyurethane painting etc....but it's a major job.
I have not found Kiwi Grip to be as slippery as most new boat gel coat non skid. But I never had it long term. It has a gripiness to it like court shoe soles. It's easy to put on another coat in a year or two also.
Thanks, Cheechako.

I just had another thought, though a tad radical.

I have a Trophy 24' fiberglass boat I use for fishing. It also is 30 yers old and has gel coat cracks. I did a ton of research on products I could use to cover and protect certain areas of the boat. One of the best products I found is a product used for ATV's and truck bed liner.

Here is the product.

I did a mock-up on my computer to see how it would look. Just note, I have NOT applied it to the boat.

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To give it more texture, they use the same roller as KiwiGrip, they just wait until it starts to set up and give it another rolling.

Thoughts?
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Old 21-04-2019, 09:21   #15
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Re: My deck needs your help!

It's a tad bit unconventional to use antislip paint on the top sides.
Not sure that is a clever move :-)

Any rough surface is a real pain to keep clean. On a deck I accept this. Non slip is a safety feature. But on a hull? Why would one want to use it there?

Reg. bedliner paint. Might be cheaper, not sure how well it will last under marine condition. You run the risk to have to redo everything if it fails....
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