to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

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Herschel
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to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

Post by Herschel » Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:08 pm

I have a perfectly nice 1998 26X. Bought it in 2003. However, the front hatch and a place or two on the foredeck are showing a darker under layer. I assume it means that the Gelcoat there is terribly thin. My cockpit has, in the past, gotten a bit chalky, but for the most part I have keep the whole boat covered with either Newglass II or Fleetwax from Collinite during he past ten years. I confess I did let it go a tad the previous six years. That said, since I keep my boat in a slip year round in Florida, the effort at waxing it myself (75 y/o) or paying someone to detail it ($500+) is becoming an issue. I have found myself thinking about painting the boat above the rub rail. During this pandemic/stay at home and "watch YouTube" existence, I have seen a lot of videos of young couples fixing up older boats and painting them. These restored boats look great (at least on TV), and the topside paint seems to last several years even in sail water. I know some of you have used paint to restore the black stripe. Has anyone painted their deck and cockpit, yet, instead of trying to maintain the Gelcoat? :?

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Re: to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

Post by NiceAft » Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:34 pm

Herschel,

I am one of those who have painted the raccoon stripes.

I used Benjamin Moore impervex latex high gloss enamel (black). It has worked really well. It has been a few years. High gloss paint will give the best weather protection, but I am concerned about making the deck slippery; although, you did mention that you have waxed the deck in the past, so maybe high gloss paint will work. :?

The surface must be really prepared well for there to be a successful result. The paint is not very viscous by any means.

I am interested in seeing some of the responses.
Ray ~~_/)~~

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Re: to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

Post by Herschel » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:34 pm

Yes, I have kept the deck and cockpit protected with either NewglassII or wax. I have never felt it got slippery. The "waffle" pattern of the non-skid surface of the deck seems to maintain the traction. I will confess that I rarely go on deck when the boat is heeling any extent. I do all my sailing from the cockpit---roller furling jib plus main halyard line led aft to cockpit. But I have never felt insecure when I was moving about on deck to furl main or bring in my fenders. I keep my wife in the forward hatch sitting on deck when she goes forward to handle the bowline while docking. We are strong believers in use of boat hooks. So, bottom line: no slipping issues for us.

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Re: to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

Post by Russ » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:08 am

If you do go the route of painting, I would suggest NOT painting the nonskid area. If you do, add some nonskid "sand". I believe Ixneigh painted his top sides.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=27030&p=335826
--Russ

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Re: to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

Post by Herschel » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:00 pm

OK, went up to the marina today to clean my boat. Was pleasantly surprised that I think the wax job I had done last October (Fleetwax) was still protecting the boat pretty well. Cleaned the proverbial mold/mildew of a few weeks accumulation in various spots. That not even as bad as I though it would be. Really, the only place I see any darker areas showing through the Gelcoat is on the forward hatch. So, I think I will bring her home on my newly refurbished trailer in a few weeks and redo the wax job. With that said, I had hoped to find some discussion in this thread about what conditions/circumstances might make those of us with older Mac's start thinking about paint vs. wax. I suspect it would occur first for those of us that keep our boats outside and exposed year round. I would particularly like to hear from anyone who has crossed that threshold already either with an older Mac or Venture. Or any other boat for that matter. I painted my fiberglass 1959 O'Day Sprite way back in the late 60's just because I wanted it to be a different color, though. Was terribly "green" when it came to boats in my misspent youth. Didn't know my Gelcoat from and overcoat. :P

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Re: to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

Post by 1st Sail » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:12 am

Herschel,

Needless to say protecting Mac gelcoat is an on going issue. I have always been concerned as to what is the most effective long term solution. Not buffing and sealing via wax, NewGlass etc. leaves the gelcoat is a perpetual state of oxidation. Whereas seasonal buffing and polishing removes oxidation and long term reduces the gelcoat overall.

This year I have decided to apply marine grade Glidecoat ceramic finish. This is a two part acrylic catalyzed wax. More difficult to prep and apply than NewGlass. The one issue I have discovered is how to remove the NewGlass. So far this has been difficult and I have had to work in small 1 x 1 ft areas as the remover flashed off before I can wipe down.

So not to highjack the original subject of this thread. I have also been researching painting the stripes. I have worked with Impervo in the past for interior remodels and thing the product is excellent. Since it is water borne I would not hesitate to spray with my HVLP system. I have been following BoatworkToday on Youtube and found this post which may be of interest to you. The results of rolling Alexseal 2 part epoxy marine paint was impressive.
:macm:

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Re: to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

Post by Herschel » Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:15 pm

The one issue I have discovered is how to remove the NewGlass. So far this has been difficult and I have had to work in small 1 x 1 ft areas as the remover flashed off before I can wipe down.

I have been following BoatworkToday on Youtube and found this post which may be of interest to you. The results of rolling Alexseal 2 part epoxy marine paint was impressive.
Two points: (1) I thought the cleaner they sell to prep for NewglassII removed old NewglassII buildup. The years I used NewglassII it seemed to. (2) I have no experience with Alexseal, but I have been watching (Sailing Uma) a very technically savvy couple on YouTube that used Alexseal on their boat and were pleased with it.

I guess my question for you is what factors caused you to start thinking paint or ceramic covering? Was it chalking? Fading? Work associated with waxing/NewglassII? Expertise with spray systems? How or where you use your boat? Age of boat? Your age? Other? :?

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Re: to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

Post by 1st Sail » Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:13 am

Primarily I want to reduce the amount of buffing and polishing to preserve the gelcoat thickness. Secondly the less time polishing and preserving the more time to sail etc.

The NewGlass remover is effective at removing the NG. The issue is getting down to the gelcoat. You have to work in small 1 x 1ft areas as the remover flashes off and then gel/crosslinks again. Removing via buffer is not effective as it brings the surface to a shine but you can't tell if you just buffed the NG or are thru to the gelcoat. So I resorted to using the remover then following with the buffer. This would be absolutely necessary if you were to repaint.

I tried going a full season with one application. The back story is I originally prepepped the boat by fully buffing and polishing off the oxidation prior to applying the first application NG. I used straight buffing/polishing compounds with no wax additives then prepped the surface by the book. The very first application was wipe on application of 6 coats in 4 directions Horizontal, vertical, diagonal 45°left, diagonal 45°right, then final vertical and horizontal. That was a good build up and deep shine with no overlap streaks.

Each year following or during the season I would clean and polish using a fine grade 3m finishing compound. It worked well as a cleaner and by polishing you could see any thin areas if any. Then I would follow with 1-2 coats of NG. The end results were excellent with no complaints.

Supposedly catalyzed ceramic finishes will last multiple years without repeated buffing and polishing. Prep is the same as for wax, NG etc. Glidecoat works the same as NG in that is penetrates the surface of the gelcoat and fills the micropores thereby forming a mechanical and chemical bond to the surface. So I thought why not I have to buff and polish this year any way. I thought I would give it a go.

I didn't realized removing the NG would be so time consuming. I definitely opened Pandora's box on this one. I also switched to a Dewalt rotary buffer (DWP849X) which made a significant reduction in time spent to restore the surface. Previously I used my Porter Cable (7424) random orbital which worked well as a polisher but not a fast cutting buffer.

Review: the black stripes with NG definitely oxidized quicker that the top sides. I expected this as the stripes in full sun are in excess of 130°F. I have some areas (white gelcoat) where the NG held up and some that it released toward the end of the season. I lost most of the NG in the flat area above the rub rail and molded toe rail on the cabin tope and foredeck. Even though these were never walked on. I suspect that is due to not fully removing the original oxidation.

I already purchased the Glidecoat so I plan to give it a shot. Who know what corner I will paint myself into this time.

FYI
Alexseal really impressive how this paint shrinks and eliminates the roller pattern.
:macm:

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Re: to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

Post by 1st Sail » Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:15 am

Yes my age is becoming an annoying factor. I hit 73 and seem to be losing what little patience I have. Time to go sailing ..... more! Hope you are able to keep sailing as well.
:macm:

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Re: to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

Post by Herschel » Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:30 pm

Very interesting video. At first I found the level of detail he was advising a bit intimidating. I use to analyze "processes" in my professional work, trying to tease out each little detail to foster improved quality of outcomes (and make them reproducible). I think that if I were to go to that much trouble to clean off all the wax and NG buildup that might have occurred in my 16 years of ownership, I would be in for a long tedious job. Having just gone through a complete restoration of my OEM trailer, plus a major effort at stemming rust on the frame of my travel trailer, I was hoping for something a little simpler and more straight forward. Last October I had some professional boat detailers put down a nice coat of Fleetwax, but that set me back $500. The trailer restore set me back $1,200 after welding all three replacement boat support frames, total POR15 treatment, topcoats, new winch, new bow roller, new spare mounting kit, LED lights, Bearing Buddies, etc. Did all the work but the welding myself. So, I didn't think I could go the $500 route for the wax job again this year. But, I think I can pull myself together to apply the Fleetwax again. I'll just take it slow and do a little bit each day, spread it out over a week or more. But, I think if I revisit the painting issue again, the Alexseal product appears to be a major player. Like you, I want to be out sailing and going places. Life seems to throw so many different potential DIY projects, each with learning curves of varying steepness. I question my patience for processes that seem to border on the professional. :| That said, I do hope you will keep us informed about how your project is coming. I suspect I have a date with another paint roller out there in the future. :)

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Re: to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

Post by PAWSEIDON » Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:24 pm

Hello Herschel,

I just found you post as I had the very same thought. Only one Difference, I already put caution to the wind and both my forward hatch as well as my sliding hatch are sitting in my garage while paint is currently drying.

A quick re-cap of why this and why now.

First last September while motoring home from a weekend overnight trip with our 26X, our helm basically exploded. After a 3HR TOW, back to our marina we called our local boat works and scheduled to have the helm gearing replaced. As long as it was out of the water, we also had the bottom paint redone. We are in San Francisco so we have our X in a slip year round.

Fast Forward to March. My wife and I also ski so we transition to snow country early January. Well than came C-19. So what are you going to do when you have shelter in place, start Boat Projects of course.

I had been wanting to do the Main Hatch Slide (screech) fix for a long time, so I removed both Hatch slides (not an easy job) and removed the Hatch. Everything was dirty, grungy and dull with a lot of gel coat worn off. I was never a bit fan of the black on white so I decided if I was going to fix the slide screech problem, I would just go ahead and clean up the Hatch as well. So I painted it a Nice Deep Blue. I used Auto paint with sparkles. Between September and November I redid the motor cowling. Sanded it down to bare fiberglass and painted it with the same blue auto paint. Added a few eagle decals and it turned out really well. So I figured if it worked for the motor cowling, why not the hatch!

So now I'm in a bit of scope creep. I removed the forward hatch. Sanded it like the main hatch and did the same (amateur) paint job as the main Hatch. I'm keeping the main body of the boat white, but both the forward hatch and main hatch is now blue. The black strip on the forward hatch is now RED, as is my wife's face every time she see's me remove yet another boat part. My plan is to re-do the black strip around the top of the boat to red to match the forward hatch, and my wife's face. Not sure what I'm going to do with the anchor Hatch just yet.

So long story short.

We picked up this 2000 26X a few years back. We have been learning a lot. I have ready many posts on this site as well as other sources. What I have come to realize about MacGregor (the Man, not the Boat) is he created a very vanilla boat at a affordable cost to entry level sailors. He then enabled us to do what WANT WE WANT WITH IT.

If you don't like the galley, change it. You want a bigger motor, put one on. You want to remove the mast and just motor do it. It's Your Boat and he made it so we can have fun with it. Just look thru this site at all the wonderful things other sailors have done to make their Mac Their MAC.

I don't know yet if painting my hatch's and motor will end up as the "Best Practice Option". All I know is I'm having FUN doing with my Mac what I want to do with my Mac. If painting the Top Side does not work out for the best, Oh Well!!! Just have fun with what you want to do. In the End, it's a Hobby. Maybe an bit of an expensive hobby, but a hobby non the less.

I'll post pics later to this thread to show what I have done and how I decided to make my Mac, "MY MAC".

Sometimes you just need to have a leap of faith and hope fir the best.

Yours in Sailing
ML

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Re: to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

Post by Herschel » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:35 am

Nice ideas, ML. Yes, I suspect painting my forward hatch at least is on the horizon. Several guys have painted their black stripe. Changing colors is new, however. I think. You may be a trend setter. :D With the Florida heat, I am not moving ahead with any projects on the boat right now. It is in the slip and is the only place other than my home that feels completely safe. My wife and i went up to put a little wax on the puppy a couple of weeks ago and lasted about 30 minutes due to the heat. We have enjoyed a motor or sail about every two weeks lately. That really helps with the C-19 challenges. I'll post something on this thread when I have something new regarding paint to report. Got started planning a trip around Florida on the St. Johns River and ICW for next spring and the subject of solar power entered my noggin, and that spawn a long thread over on "mods". :P

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Re: to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

Post by Dimitri-2000X-Tampa » Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:56 am

Good thread, and to use a bad pun, I'm in the same boat! Owned my 26X for 17 years (longest of any boat so far) and at first I used to try waxing, polishing, etc. quite a bit but then it faded out over the years although I think I did wax the topsides 2-3 years ago for a trip to the Keys where I didn't want to look like the worst boat in the marina (which is pretty easy to do at a place like the Galleon in Key West). Bottom line is that I'm also thinking about paint now because of areas of gelcoat getting thin in areas of the deck..including but not limited to the hatches. But what I see is more of a yellow-brown starting to come through which to me looks like the fiberglass under the gelcoat...I really doubt that wax can fix that any longer....topsides could probably be restored but not the decks. I pressure wash it about 2 times a year I suppose and always see some white milky gelcoat coming washing off. I keep my other boats covered under the strong FL sun but the Mac26X was too difficult to cover and so I never did...now I wish I had though of something cause my 12 year old waverunner still looks like new...mind you I have spent a lot on covers over the years too so, you pay now or you pay later sort of thing.

Anyway, I'm following the responses..I'm a bit chicken to undertake it myself cause I'm worried about it looking like crap with brush strokes and that sort of thing. The pros would definitely spray it like I've seen them do in plenty of boat yards but hiring it out is not going to be cheap...I'm estimating $4-6K for the job but I could be wrong. Someone had posted a pic some time ago of a 26X being painted a light blue color in a paint shop but I can't seem to find it...will keep looking for it. Florida is very hard on boats but hey, we have beautiful places to sail all year round so like everything else, its a trade-off....faded well used boat versus never used boats that still shine. Made tons of great memories on this boat so no regrets at all.

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Re: to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

Post by Herschel » Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:37 pm

Dimitri said:
"Anyway, I'm following the responses. I'm a bit chicken to undertake it myself cause I'm worried about it looking like crap with brush strokes and that sort of thing. The pros would definitely spray it like I've seen them do in plenty of boat yards but hiring it out is not going to be cheap...I'm estimating $4-6K for the job but I could be wrong. Someone had posted a pic some time ago of a 26X being painted a light blue color in a paint shop but I can't seem to find it...will keep looking for it. Florida is very hard on boats but hey, we have beautiful places to sail all year round so like everything else, its a trade-off....faded well used boat versus never used boats that still shine. Made tons of great memories on this boat so no regrets at all."

I do follow a few young couples on the YouTube that bought old sailing cruisers on the cheap and literally spend their lives full time repairing, upgrading and fixing them up while they endeavor to sail to exotic places and see the world. But, they do this full time earning their way, for the most part, making YouTube videos and attracting sponsors/patrons. It appears to be very labor intensive. For the "real world" we inhabit where we have families, careers, homes, and service organizations we support, that level of effort is unrealistic. Trying to find a balance between honest DIY projects and other efforts that approach professional maritime work product is tricky. I will wait to the fall and cooler weather, but painting my forward hatch is highly likely. Hoping I can make a pretty good match to the Gelcoat on the rest of the foredeck and go from there. Probably Fleetwax the rest one more time, at least. :)

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Re: to paint or wax topside...when is it "OK" to start thinking paint

Post by Dimitri-2000X-Tampa » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:56 pm

Looking forward to hearing how your diy paintjob turns out on the hatch. My anchor locker hatch has cracked now so maybe if yours turns out good, that will give me some encouragement to do mine too..lol

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