Thought I would share recent experience of redoing decks on our Soverel 48.
The boat was built in 1976 and part of the decks had original molded features and had been repainted several times using what appeared to be both 2 part polyurethanes and the last coat was a one part polyurethane
. The non skid was no longer effective as the "valleys" had been filled in.
Additionally, the previous owner used a product called Durabak on several of the non skid surfaces. From a non-skid perspective this coating seemed to work pretty well. However, it could not be cleaned to a decent standard. Dirt was extremely difficult to remove (almost impossible).
Considering the poor non skid performance on the lower decks and the "dirty" appearance on top of the cabin
top I decided to redo the decks.
Removing the Durabek was very time consuming as I was unable to use either a grinder or sandpaper since they would clog immediately and I found no chemical to strip the Durabek. I wound using using a heat gun and a scraper. Painful exercise.
On the molded portions of the deck
I used a rotary sander and 80 grit paper. his method was quite fast as I could remove 1/4 cup of dust in about two minutes.. Being careful not to ding the decks was important with the rotary as it is not very forgiving.
Once Durabek and non skid removed and all of the smooth surfaced prepared (removing one part polyurethane) I needed to make the big decision.. What type of paint
I went crazy on this. One part poly versus twp part poly.. I considered the enamels and the two part epoxy
paints.. In the end I wound up using gelcoat
. Yes, gelcoat
. Gelcoat to redo the decks on a 48' sailboat. Sounds crazy.
It worked great and I believe was the path of least resistance to get to where I wanted to be.
My reasons were this:
1. I only needed to do one application. Albeit a very tick application on smooth areas. With two part paints I would have had to prep a bit, tape off, prime, sand, retape, final topcoat. With the gelcoat on the smooth areas I prepped to within 1/32" fair, masked one time and sprayed the gelcoat on. Using the Duratec High Gloss Additive I had only had issues where I did something silly (touched the hose,etc). I was working outdoors and there were bugs and other bits of airborne boatyard bits. It was extremely easy to touch up the gelcoat where the two part paints are much more difficult to touch up in my opinion.
2. Since the Duratec helped level out the paint
so well I started in with a quick sanding
of 400 right to the 600 and directly to buffing with an aggressive compound. This worked out well and tool less time than I would have thought.
3. For nonskid I rolled out an unthinned coat of un-waxed gelcoat and sprinkled in a US Gypsum product that had identical particle size. And then finished off the non-skid with a coat of duratec thinned gelcoat (50/50). It looks great!! Much better than I anticipated.
I learned so much here and battling conventional wisdom of non using paint seems to have worked well..
All said I have about $400 in coatings on the deck
(4 gallons gelcoat and 1 gallon Duratec) with a thickness of .020". Looking at DuPont Imron the cost would have been about $650 for the same deck including primer.
Labor wise I have about 400 labor hours invested from removing the first stanchion to polishing the last corner.