1975 13' Boston Whaler Restoration

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
StephenSegari
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:32 am

1975 13' Boston Whaler Restoration

Postby StephenSegari » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:56 am

Hey everyone!

I just [found] this forum and am so glad that I did. This weekend I start the restoration of my 1975 Boston Whaler 13-footer. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. For the topside, I plan on following the instructions of this YouTube video, and some other similar videos I've found:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUOlWPvgLfQ&t=

I've already purchased all of the products mentioned in the video.

Fairing Compound: https://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/product.do?process=checkout&part=440098
Primer: https://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/product.do?process=checkout&part=490671
Paint: https://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/product.do?process=checkout&part=409307

Here are my questions:

    The current color of my gelcoat is Desert Tan, but I love the Whaler Blue. After the sanding, crazing repair, epoxy, etc., do you see any problems painting the new color (blue) over the old (tan)?

    I've seen several mentions of sanding off the non-slip surface. Mine has some tiny, tiny cracks, but nothing major like the other more prominent cracks in the gelcoat in other parts of the boat. What are your thoughts on the non-slip surface? Do people sand it away because it makes prepping and painting that surface easier? If it isn't that bad at all and only has some hairline cracks, is it ok to try and just a light sanding, priming, and paint to fill in those cracks?

    Is the entire bottom of the boat gel-coated? I've only bought product right now to focus on the top side, but I also want to clean up the bottom side. There are no cracks on the bottom, just some chips here and there and small gouges (nothing that let's water in) in the finish that I would like to epoxy and repair. Can any of you offer any advice for that part? Can I use the same epoxy and primer that I have for the top side? If not, what do you recommend? And also, what about paint? Obviously, something close to the existing color is fine.

I plan to document and blog the entire experience this Fall and Winter and will be taking lots and lots of photos along the way. Can't wait to have her back in the water next Spring.

Thanks again for any advice you may be able to offer!

- Stephen
1975 13' Boston Whaler
Madisonville, LA

jimh
Posts: 6932
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: 1975 13' Boston Whaler Restoration

Postby jimh » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:52 pm

Stephen--welcome to the forum, now in its 17th year of operation. Glad you found us. This websit began in 1994, or 23-years ago. The purpose of the website has always been to collect, organize, and archive information on the various topics of interest. For the topic of BOSTON WHALER boats the website has been in the top search results of all search engines for decades. It is very easy to find.

Turning to your questions:

I do not see any problem painting over the tan gel coat with blue paint, other than the obvious problem: paint is a very thin layer of material, so any abrasion or scratch will probably remove enough paint to reveal the underlying gel coat color. Personally, I would prefer the Desert Tan interior if the original color was Desert Tan. Any application of paint requires careful surface preparation for success.

The non-skid areas of the deck should be preserved if their condition allows. I would not gratuitously sand off all the non-skid; that makes no sense. I'd rather tolerate a crack here and there and preserve the original non-skid than get rid of all of it.

The entire exterior of the boat, the hull, the cockpit, the hull bottom, is finished in a gel coat layer. Since the hull bottom is not generally visible to anyone, the cosmetic detail of a repair to the hull bottom is not as important as repairs on highly visible areas.

My preference for repairs that are on parts of the hull that are under water is to use epoxy resin with appropriate fillers. Others prefer to use polyester resins. The choice is often debated.

I have made a number of minor repairs to the underwater portions of Boston Whaler boat hulls that I have owned (three boats) using WEST System epoxy resin and filler. I am a big fan of their packaging of the resin and hardener in foil packets and their "repair kit" bundles that sell for about $35. Epoxy resin sets up nicely, is a strong adhesive, is completely waterproof, and is easy to work with. Also the shelf life of the foil packets is very long--many years.

A can of polyester resin is really chemically trying to harden in the can, the reaction rate must be sped up with a catalyst, and the cure time is hard to control, particularly in areas exposed to air which must be then sealed from air with a waxy topcoat so the resin will cure to a hard finish. You buy a big can of resin and tiny vial of hardener. I suspect most people run out of catalyst long before they run out of resin. Or the resin cures in the can to a consistency too thick to be useful.

You can read about the merits of each method in many articles in the forum archives. This LINK will lead to over 180 articles from the forum archives.

Or, more succinctly:

Polyester resin can be used to make repairs to fiberglass laminates. Epoxy resin can, too. Epoxy is a better adhesive and will form stronger secondary bonds. You might find listening to this interview with Jim Watson of WEST Systems to be informative:

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/radio/playlists/west.m3u (Playlist pointer)
http://continuouswave.com/whaler/radio/media/westPart1.mp3 (MP3 audio file)
http://continuouswave.com/whaler/radio/media/westPart2.mp3 (MP3 audio file)

See: http://continuouswave.com/whaler/radio/

You may also find that these articles on repair of Boston Whaler boats will be informative:

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/whalerRepair.html
http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/repairInstructions.html
http://continuouswave.com/maintenance-logs/epoxy/

StephenSegari
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:32 am

Re: 1975 13' Boston Whaler Restoration

Postby StephenSegari » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:36 pm

Thank you Jim! I appreciate the advice. Since I've already ordered the blue paint, I'm just going to go with it, and if there are any problems, re-sand it and go with the original color. I may hit you up with questions about the bottom when I get there. I am not sure which side I'll tackle first.
1975 13' Boston Whaler
Madisonville, LA

jimh
Posts: 6932
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: 1975 13' Boston Whaler Restoration

Postby jimh » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:03 pm

Once you apply a blue paint top coat to the deck area with non-skid pattern, it will be quite a task to change it to a new color. The blue interior is evocative of the earlier days of Boston Whaler boats, and with a c.1975 hull you are close to that era.

StephenSegari
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:32 am

Re: 1975 13' Boston Whaler Restoration

Postby StephenSegari » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:20 am

jimh wrote:Once you apply a blue paint top coat to the deck area with non-skid pattern, it will be quite a task to change it to a new color. The blue interior is evocative of the earlier days of Boston Whaler boats, and with a c.1975 hull you are close to that era.

Well, I've got lots of prep work before it's actually time to paint. (Hoping to do the actual painting the week from Christmas to New Years since I'm off work). Maybe I'll change my mind before then and order the desert tan color... can't say for sure. Can't wait to get started this weekend!
1975 13' Boston Whaler
Madisonville, LA