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Old 30-09-2015, 18:48   #1
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Painting an aluminum hull?

I'm considering buying an aluminum boat, but I hate the metal color. I read somewhere that paint can't stay on aluminum boats, that it will always come off in time. Is that true?
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Old 30-09-2015, 21:09   #2
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Re: Painting an aluminum hull?

With the proper preparation and following the manufacturers paint system to the letter, paint will stick fine to aluminum. Almost all the problems with aluminum paint adhesion is failure to prepare the surface properly, use the necessary metal treatment and undercoat before the paint goes on.

The question is why would you want to paint it?? The paint on the topsides of a cruising boat takes a lot of abuse from Dinghies, docks, other boats and the environment. An unpainted topsides shrugs off the abuse and looks acceptable forever. You are buying yourself a forever maintenance headache by painting if you want it to stay in a yacht appearance.
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Old 30-09-2015, 21:35   #3
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Re: Painting an aluminum hull?

As Peter said, Paint will stick if prepped and applied properly.

I would recommend only applying paint to large flat surfaces and avoid painting any "edges" that will receive wear like a rubrail, toerial, handrail, or where two surfaces meet like the edge of a cabin top.

Also, avoid painting anywhere a fastener or another piece of material (even aluminum) forms a crevice. A stainless steel bolt mounted in unpainted aluminum will create a little white powder in the hole but otherwise not be a problem. If the aluminum is painted, that same bolt will likely cause corossion to get under the paint and spread well beyond the hole creating an ugly blister.

No paint means no paint blisters.

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