I recently painted my topsides on HERON. As stated, good preperation is where the time comes in. Painting takes about 30 minutes per coat (32' sailboat).
I used a great filler put out by System 3. It's a two part epoxy
that combines to make a smooth penut butter consistency. It dries quickly and sands to a smooth finish.
From there I used Interlux
Perfection products for priming and painting. It was VERY challenging to work with and it took a couple coats before I got the hang of it. It wants to go on THIN! I mean THIN!!!! This is the only way to control runs which happens after you've left an area. Once the run occurs, it cannot be feathered out. It requires sanding
once it's dry. It is best to use a foam roller. Roll some paint onto the roller and roll out as much paint off the roller before applying to the hull
. DID I MENTION THIN???
Only try to work on a small area such as 2 feet of hull at a time. We then SOFTLY used a good quality china
brush to TIP the bubbles left from the roller. The method is to hold the brush at a 45 degree angle and SOFTLY tip the paint in a verticle direction from top to bottom. SOFTLY!! SOFTLY!!
If the brush leaves ridges, add more of the appropriate thinner to the paint. Too much thinner and it runs.
My wife and I painted the vessel in 30 minutes per coat. I rolled and she tipped behind me. Don't move too fast, allow her to finish tipping before adding more paint with roller. Keep a wet edge.
Our first coat looked terrible. I had to sand the hull down to get rid of mistakes
and runs. You are going to have to do multiple coats so don't over apply the paint. DID I MENTION THIN?
On our third coat, the boat looked incredible. A professional painter came to look at it. He said it was hard to tell it was rolled, except for a couple spots. Don't get too fusy by examining the boat closely. I did this and started to "mess around" with it by trying to do touch ups. A BAD mistake. You have just got to say "good enough" unless you want to spend $200. per foot to have a pro do it.
We did the entire job for $350.
BEFORE DOING ANY PREP SANDING
OR REPAIR, MAKE SURE YOU CLEAN THE BOAT WITH A SPECIAL SOLVENT TO REMOVE DIRT, OLD WAX AND OTHER IMPURITIES. SANDING BEFORE THIS STEP CAN IMBED THIS SURFACE MATERIAL DEEP INTO THE OLD GELCOAT
Hope this helps you out.