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Essexgirl

Advice required

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Hello there. We are shortly to (hopefully) become the proud owners of an ex-hire Alphacraft 42ft. She is in good condition and just needs a bit of TLC. This is where I need some help. I would like to fit Holly and Teak flooring and also paint the topsides. I was wondering if any of my fellow forumites could give me some advice as to where to get this work done and roughly how much I would be looking at. Kind regards.

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Not sure where you are based but you could try giving Paul Crampton a bell at Swancraft in Brundall. Telephone 01603 712362

He has experience of these boats as they had them in the hire fleet. Good luck!

 

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Hi - Thank you for the replies. She is an ex-Sabena hire craft. Her interior fit suits our needs perfectly, what with 2 teenagers and possibly their friends. We are hoping to moor her at Brundall so will look into Swancraft. Many thanks.

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When you say "painting the top sides" what do you actually mean......? is the gelcoat too far gone?

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Hi Jonzo - The roof is fine (white fibreglass) but the sides and deck are blue. I would like these painted navy (if possible) to match the line just under the rubber strip. Many thanks, Andrea

393-img-2776.JPG

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Hi Jonzo - I am aware of her history and obviously will be getting a survey done. It's just that her layout really suits us. Obviously if she fails the survey then it will be a no go. It is Sabena who are selling her. Andrea

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Agree- look to restore the original gel coat else it will £££££££££

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I second what Jonzo says, don't bother painting the blue bits they aren't bad. You can paint under the waterline. It maybe worth chatting to Graham at Maffetts about the other work (and maybe he can give you some history considering he used to run it).  But get quotes from lots of Yards, Moonfleet (re)laid our teak flooring and did an amazing job. cheers 

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Hi Jaws,

That is something I have considered and will now do. We've dealt with Maffetts before and they are great people.

 

 

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hi Essex girl

choosing  the colour of the decks.

if you plan on using and cruising after dark then I found a colour that makes the decks clear to see is good.

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Could I suggest that dark blue cabin sides and decks will become quite hot in the sunshine (should we have some of course) which will mean raised cabin temperatures. Even the blue you currently have will warm up but nowhere as bad

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1 minute ago, JanetAnne said:

Could I suggest that dark blue cabin sides and decks will become quite hot in the sunshine (should we have some of course) which will mean raised cabin temperatures. Even the blue you currently have will warm up but nowhere as bad

What JA means, the chocies will melt quicker in a darker coloured paint! :naughty:

cheersIain

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Iain, a very good friend of mine (a fellow woodie of course) was painted dark blue one season. They made an excellent job as well, you could have shaved in the shine. Anyway, after launching all was well for a couple of months then the sun got out proper and heated the planking up so much above the waterline she opened up good and proper. You could wave to people through the gaps!! 

Then it rained. The rain ran off the decks, down the hull, through the gaps and into every bed, cupboard, wardrobe...  you get the idea. Next season she was back in white!

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Well we had the survey done and apart from a few very minor bits (cleaning out bilges etc) she is sound - thought she would be as Maffetts were the last to hire her out and I know they did a lot of work on her. We have agreed a price and she is soon to be ours after the minor bits have been sorted. Now all we need is a mooring! Have been in contact with Swancraft who have spaces and will be going to look at them soon. Will be hopefully out and about the second week of the Easter holidays. Obviously there are still bits that need doing but these are cosmetic only and a case of "making her ours". Not sure about the name. Undecided whether or not to change it. 

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Glad the survey went well, that's good news indeed. cheers

Hope you can get fixed up with Swancraft, I promise you will be very well looked after :-)

New moorings with all services laid on. Plenty of parking space too. 

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Thank you, Howard. I've arranged to go and look at Swancraft on Saturday. I'm really impressed at how quickly Paul replies to emails. Very good customer service.

 

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This boat was a dog when Maffets first got her. I know that a lot of work was done to it including an engine replacement. I suspect that you have a decent boat there now. 

The blue superstructure is almost certainly painted as is the hull and deck. 

 

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3 hours ago, Essexgirl said:

Thank you, Howard. I've arranged to go and look at Swancraft on Saturday. I'm really impressed at how quickly Paul replies to emails. Very good customer service.

 

Paul is a lovely bloke, very professional and helpful too. Knows his stuff. Do please keep us posted and good luck!

When the numbers come up he would be my first port of call. 

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If it's not painted, then a professional compound polish can work wonders, we had Rondonay polished and she went from tired to factory condition. I was amazed.

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So here is my opinion:

IF the topsides are original gel coat pigmented blue, then you could have this compounded and then polished. What this would do is remove a layer of the gel coat and this could mean your quest for the perfect gloss finish may hit the barriers if this work has been done several times in the boats life (likely) and the gel coat in places, especially on corners therefore may be pretty thin. 

Think of compounding like cutting hair – go too far and it is impossible to put back. What happens is you could end up having the underlying pattern of the fibre class begin to come through almost as a ‘shadow’.  Your only options then would be a complete re-gel or paint. 

If however, the gel coat is in good condition and thick enough it will probably come up looking good after compounding (and polishing) then you will likely have a very nice finish that will only require annual or biannual machine polishing to maintain. Bear in mind though and deep scratch, pit or chip would need to be filled in and then gel coated (colour matched to the original) so these areas do not stand out light a sore thumb.  

Our eyes are amazing at seeing details in large glossy surfaces without a pattern to break them up which is why anything that is left will be very noticeable. 

The hull will not be the original gel coat and will more than likely have been painted throughout her life as a hire boat in single pack paint.  While this gives a good finish initially, it won’t last as long as two-pack paint since it is not chemically bonding to the substrate your painting over.  You can’t paint two-pack over the top of single pack paint either (unless you want an orange peel effect).

Whatever you do the rubbing strikes and that big long black rubber ‘bumper’ around the gunnels will look very shabby once the topsides and hull are looking great so factor in this as a replacement too.  

So paint the boat or just keep the original gel-coat compounded and polished?

Well the one advantage gel coat has over paint is it is thicker to begin but will require more long term care – things like staining affect gel coat more than a painted service even just from the local bird popular dropping their load on the boat. Remember the gel coat will fade – this is just the nature of the beast through oxidisation especially with a pigmented colour like yours has. 

This is something to consider that if you needed a repair. A good example is look at how, just in the short time the boat was with Maffet’s named Kestrel – the gel coat has faded where the vinyl lettering was not covering the surface.  If painted this would not happen.  Furthermore, if you came to pain the boat with the same paint colour 3 years after you first did, it would colour match – gel coat would not and need to be carefully worked out to look the correct colour. 

If I owned the boat...

I would give careful consideration to having the top sides painted in two-pack paint, as then I can choose the colour scheme and make filling in scraps, chips and the like easier to do and cover up with the paint. It would also mean in 4-6 years time when the finished may not be at its best that a re-paint using the same paint would still colour match.  

Painting of course would not afford you with the wear resistance (especially in high traffic arrears of places where scratching may occur) but it would produce a better aesthetic finish and would be easier to polish and keep looking good and require less work that gel coat would which would always lose its gloss over a short period of once you’ve had the boat compounded and polished. 

As to the hull, I would skip painting all together and have the hull vinyl wrapped.  It is increasingly a popular choice, requires less preparation time and usually can be done in a day and companies that supply and fit the warp can help with design – e.g. a scheme painting would prove very hard to achieve or integration of your boats name into the wrap. It is something that is comparable with the cost of painting as the Jolly Richie from Richardson’s has shown, even stands up well with high use on a hire boat.

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Thank you to everyone who has replied. You have certainly given us food for thought. We will be up for the second week of the holiday so will give her a thorough clean and see exactly where she has gel coat and where she is painted and then think carefully about what to do. Once again, thank you all for replying and offering advice. I will keep you all posted. 

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I just ordered fibreglas restorer and wax from Force 4 Chandlery £13 + vat & p&p to do the Whimp, our dinghy. Now I need to find the polishing attachment for the drill that I bought 40 years ago!

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7 hours ago, Polly said:

I just ordered fibreglas restorer and wax from Force 4 Chandlery £13 + vat & p&p to do the Whimp, our dinghy. Now I need to find the polishing attachment for the drill that I bought 40 years ago!

There are many on line suppliers of backing pads and various buffing pads to suit, keep the speed down low and plenty of water as well (mind the electrics) as it is very easy to burn / scorch the gel or fiberglass.

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