PBO reader David McDermott wants to know what’s the best boat paint for the topsides of his Prospect 900. Boat paint expert Richard Jerram has this advice…

PBO reader David McDermott of Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire asks: “Because of the Coronavirus pandemic we didn’t put our Prospect 900 into the harbour this year so instead we aim to spend a few months restoring our 40-year-old boat, bringing her back to her former glory.

“We are going to repaint the hull, topsides and deck. Both are otherwise in excellent condition, but can you advise which is the best boat paint to use?

“Also, should we wipe the sanded hull with white spirit before applying both the primer and top coats and would International Toplac be your recommended choice of paint?”

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PBO boat paint expert Richard Jerram replies: “The best boat paint to use would be a two component polyurethane which has good durability and a high gloss finish.

“When painting GRP it is important to pay particular attention to preparation. The surface must be thoroughly degreased and well rubbed with a 180/240-grade abrasive to achieve a matt finish. This will ensure good adhesion of the paint to the GRP surface.

“After sanding it would acceptable to wash down the sanding debris with soapy water and then flush with fresh water.


David McDermott wants to repaint a Prospect 900 like this. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

“The application of two-component polyurethanes is not difficult but do ensure the painting is done in temperatures between 15°C and 20°C.

“Application is made easier using a good quality foam roller and tipping off using a soft-ended quality paint brush.

“If there are two people involved one should roll on the paint and the other do the tipping off.

“You’ll probably require two coats of undercoat/primer (also two component) and a minimum two coats of finish.

“Two component polyurethanes are susceptible to high humidity which will result in blooming (loss of gloss), so try to avoid painting if humidity readings are above 65%. I’d recommend you commence painting after 10am and finish no later than 2pm.

“The hull can be painted with International Toplac but this product would not be as hard and durable as International Perfection which should be applied over Perfection Undercoat.

“Should you choose Toplac the preparation is the same but you’ll require a minimum two coats of PreKote undercoat as the base.”

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This article appeared in the January 2022 edition of Practical Boat Owner. For more articles like this, including DIY, money-saving advice, great boat projects, expert tips and ways to improve your boat’s performance, take out a magazine subscription to Britain’s best-selling boating magazine.

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