After this season we have a mind to repaint and basically beef up the hull protection (e.g. Gelshield). I’ve no experience of this – but would welcome any thoughts from more experienced Sonata drivers w.r.t. the “do-ability” of a complete sanddown, priming, undercoating, painting and anti-fouling job.
Alternatively, if someone knows anyone who does this (preferably in Ireland), and approx costs, I’d really appreciate the name.
I’ve just done that very job and in all honesty would quite happily have paid for someone else to do it (if I could afford it!).
Stripping off the old layers of antifoul and a liberal layer of VT tar took in total 7 full days. Armed with a circular sander and drill attachment (antifoul stripper had zero effect) it was an extremely messy job which needs to be carefully undertaken in order not to damage the gelcoat.
Once completely nude from all external coatings I have applied two coats of Blakes SFE200 gel protect, one coat of underwater primer and finally two coats of antifoul.
The total cost (not including my time) was about
This year I repainted the Topsides on our Sonata as an ‘untalented amateur’ – some comments below on the experience.
First of all – I used the Perfection Undercoat and Perfection (Topcoat) two-pack paints from International. I could get into a lot of detail about how to use these but they have good info on their website (www.yachtpaint).com and a CD you can order (or usually can pick up near the paint section at your local chandlers). If you dont have experience with 2-pack, take a look at these and the article from Practical Boat Owner (http://www.ybw.com/ybw/reprints/pbo/topcoat.html).
I didnt have a shed. Unless you’re reading this in a sunnier climate than Ireland, being dependant on the weather is going to eat into your sailing season ! Possibly a lot !! One less obvious impact of not having a shed was that I didnt always have good light to see how the paint was going on or how flat I could get the sanding-work. I found this had a big effect on the end-product.
To get from a pale blue factory colour to white took 3 undercoats and one topcoat. I was working single-handed so getting a single coat on each took approx 2.5 to 3hours with brush alone. Sanding in between each coat took a little longer but in reality to get a proper ‘professional’ look I could have been sanding *forever* !! The PBO article suggests having a continuous platform. If you can do this or have someone moving ladders it would have sped things up. I had to make do with one ladder and while I was able to keep the ‘wet edge’ it did slow my progress. Note that for me, the 3 undercoats helped me get a painting technique I was happy with before doing the topcaot.
The transom and 2 sides of the Sonata consumed about 3/4 of a 750ml tin. I didnt attempt to re-use the remainders. Painting topsides is more like painting a car than wooden/DIY/antifoul so the higher grades of sandpaper (>150) wont be stocked at the local DIY store – find a nearby motor factors.
How long did it take ? Assuming sunshine (!) sanding+one coat was overall about a days work and (as mentioned) I did 4 coats. I’m sure fitter/more skilled practitioners could get a 23ft boat done quicker – but thats what it took me to get a ‘pretty good’ finish. Also, I was lucky – none of the coats I painted got wet. I found even on a warm summers day (up to 22 celcius) sometimes it took >24 hours for the previous coat to cure so its hard to plan the work.
In addition I found there was a *lot* amount of time wasted – most to do with the weather, but also logistics (I had to move the boat twice) and the inevitable trips to the DIY/chandlers. It helped a lot when I had the boat at my own house as I could get to work immediately when the weather opened up. In all it took >5 weeks and we didnt get the boat into the water until end-May 🙁 . At one point I had I had over 3 weeks of rain between coats; I was never able to confirm with International if this was going to have a detrimental effect on the end-product but I assume not. After all, the basecoat went on in 1979 !!
Cost ? About 400euros (250 pounds) including a variable-speed orbital sander which I used for the rougher grades. There was some wastage – like rollers I didn’t use and I’m not including plastic sheeting and battens I bought as protection which proved useless (due to wind, in case you’re wondering). I spent 25 euros each on 2 really good decorators brushes for the last 2 coats which were worth the cost.
Overall ? Happy with the result. Definitely not a pro job but passes the ‘she looks well’ test from the clubhouse (well *I* think so anyway ;-). Would do it again – but will find a shed first !!
Brian O’Regan “Sonata-in-Sea” K209N
[Note : I own the boat with michaeld who posted above. We didn’t strip the antifoul or do any additional work on the deck]
One last thing worth mentioning – if you’re in Ireland Noonan Boats will re-paint your topsides; price quoted was 75 or 80 euros per foot. I only found them after I’d started so I can’t give a recommendation, though they sounded like they know whats involved in a good job.
Noonan Boats, Newcastle, Greystones, Co. Wicklow +353 (0)1 2819175
What a great, helpful, detailed set of replies. This is what keeps our web site alive – please keep it up everyone. Also don’t forget that if you’re willing to write an article on any relevant Sonata topic, then I can probably find it a permanent place in the site. Half a page to a page of A4 with good quality digital pictures usually does the business. If you have any ideas for an article then email them to me.
jack hardie (firstname.lastname@example.org)