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Author Topic:   Desert Tan Bottom Paint
Tom W Clark posted 07-08-2008 01:07 AM ET (US)   Profile for Tom W Clark   Send Email to Tom W Clark  
I have now bottom painted the virgin bottom of my 1988 Montauk. The boat is being sold to friends who will keep it in the water during the summer on Lopez Island, WA so it was not an option, it had to be done.

I really do not like the appearance of bottom paint on Whalers. Black is the best conventional color choice in my opinion but is quite a contrast and spoils the nice lines of the classic Whaler.

I decided I would pursue a color choice that could be accessible to almost anybody and choose Pettit Vivid anti-fouling bottom paint because it is the first bottom paint in some years to be offered in white which I thought might be a good base for custom tinting. It turned out to be quite a simple task.

I took a Benjamin Moore color fan-deck I have (I use Benjamin Moore paints almost exclusively in/on my buildings) and walked out to where my Revenge 25 was parked and held the color chips up against the hull. I conclude the closest color match within that fan deck was their "Clay Beige" (BM color # OC-11).

I bought a quart of latex wall paint and painted a large sample swatch on paper at home and let it dry. I then held the sample up against my Revenge to compare it with the Desert Tan. It was close but not quite perfect. I was also comparing flat latex sample to a shiny gel coat hull. I decided it would be close enough for my purposes.

I bought a gallon of Pettit Vivid in white after calling Pettit's customer service and asking if their product could be tinted using universal colorants to create an off-white from their white without affecting the properties of the paint. Customer Service assured me there would be no harm in tinting the paint with universal colorants.

So I took my gallon of white Vivid over to my local Benjamin Moore dealer and asked if they would please tint my gallon of white paint to "Clay Beige". As I suspected there was an immediate insistence from the counter help that they could not do that. I told them I would take responsibility if the paint did not turn out as planned and to please just pretend this was a gallon of Benjamin Moore base. "No." was the answer. When I persisted, the store manager was brought out. In no uncertain terms he told me they would not touch another manufacturer's product. (I actually agree with this stance on many practical and legal levels.)

Not to be dissuaded, I then asked them to sell me a gallon of oil base enamel tinted to "Clay Beige" but to omit the gallon of base and sell me only the tints. In the end we compromised. They sold me an empty quart paint can that happened to have the color formula of tints necessary for a gallon of alkyd white base. It cost less than $3 with tax.

This tint was intermixed with the gallon of white Pettit Viivid last week when the Montauk was bottom painted after receiving three coats of Interlux 2000E epoxy barrier coat. It came out quite well with the color only a little off. It may change as the boat sits in the salt water for a while but this "invisible bottom paint" should be pretty well camouflaged against the Desert Tan gel coat.

[A dead link to an on-line image that no longer exists has been deleted.--jimh]

jimh posted 07-08-2008 01:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Tom--I think you have hit an (aesthetic) home run with your bottom paint formulation. Now, if it keeps marine growth off the hull, all the better--a Grand Slam home run.
WT posted 07-08-2008 01:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
HAPPYJIM posted 07-08-2008 01:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
Looks great!
RLwhaler posted 07-08-2008 01:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for RLwhaler  Send Email to RLwhaler     
Wow! Tom great color matching.
EyeDock posted 07-08-2008 01:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for EyeDock  Send Email to EyeDock     
That is phenomenal! Your persistence paid off.
Did you have any bottom paint on this hull prior to application?
I made the mistake of black bottom paint. Have not found the time or gumption to attempt that project yet. But your results may inspire me to look at it again.
bear99 posted 07-12-2008 08:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for bear99  Send Email to bear99     
I stopped by Tom's house today to help him with the drain tubes and He asked how I liked the bottom paint. It is so close I did not see it until He pointed it out.
Peter posted 07-12-2008 10:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
2nd WOW. Good job on the negotiation. ;)
Wasatch Whaler posted 07-12-2008 11:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Wasatch Whaler  Send Email to Wasatch Whaler     
Great Concept and Outstanding Execution!!!

Also Major Kudos for your diplomacy in getting the Benjamin Moore folks to sell you the tints to achieve your goal despite their (understandable) reluctance.

erik selis posted 07-13-2008 03:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Amazing Tom. My friend Eddy and Dirk were looking for something like this for their resp. Montauk and Outrage. I guess you'll be receiving some more chocolates soon.
Great info and thanks!


Tom W Clark posted 04-25-2011 11:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Update: Last summer, the current owner of this boat applied a fresh coat of bottom paint. He wanted to match the color so I gave him the color formula and sent him to the same paint store I had used two years earlier.

They gave him the tints for the paint in a brand new quart can and did not charge him anything. The store could not have been nicer.

Basshole posted 04-29-2011 02:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Basshole  Send Email to Basshole     
That came out really great. Changes my whole perspective on bottom paint. B Moore Aura sure is some good paint isn't it? That's all I use for walls.
dpdash posted 05-01-2011 08:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for dpdash  Send Email to dpdash     
Tom, I just did almost the exact same thing with similar results. I bought some Vivid white but wanted to match my Awlgrip Oyster White topsides. I called Awlgrip and they told me to use a tint of mustard and black. I got the small amount of tint from a fiberglass/paint store for about $10 and bought a cheap quart of white house paint at Home Depot. I played around mixing tints and could not get it right so I took my Awlgrip color chart to a local Benjamin Moore store and asked them if they could tint my Vivid to match the Oyster White. He did it with not problem and matched it perfectly. It came out great.
george nagy posted 05-11-2011 08:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
Anybody painted over any darker color bottom paint with either white or desert tan tinted paint? If so how many coats did it take to cover, or did it?
Jeff posted 05-11-2011 10:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     

Back in the spring of 07 when I refinished the bottom paint on my 22 Outrage I had a custom batch of desert tan made for my hull. I had pacific blue colored bottom paint and there and the manufacture of the desert tan recommended that I remove the blue. Otherwise, it would take a good 4-6 coatings to cover the blue properly. The reason for so many coatings was first to cover the blue and not have it show through but, the other main factor was so the blue would not show through after a couple months as the paint wore away from use.

I sanded my bottom back down to the white epoxy barrier coat and started over. It took 2 solid coverings to get a good coating.

Here are some images of the process Understrippedfront.jpg DSCN4357.jpg DSCN4358.jpg DSCN4359.jpg DSCN4374.jpg DSCN4382.jpg DSCN4383.jpg DSCN4378.jpg DSCN4379.jpg Beforeandafter.jpg

On the boat davesimage.jpg?t=1305165267 DSCN4767.jpg DSCN4772.jpg DSCN4784.jpg DSCN4798.jpg?t=1305165383

To get my color made I took a locker hatch to a local paint manufacture and had them color scan the under side of the hatch so, that they would get a reading from a surface that had seen little UV degradation. I also brought a chip of Pantone PMS#7527 colored paper (which matched my 1985 desert tan gelcoat). From there they the created a custom mixed bottom paint.

For those looking for Desert Tan bottom paint you can now order it from the manufacture I had custom make mine. They used to not sell and ship it due to newer hazmat shipping regulations. However, when Dave Buckalew (buckda) was over picking up his batch last month they let him know they were now mixing and shipping paint across the country again.

Here is the info for who made and now ships the Paint.
Kush Paint
19556 Masonic Boulevard
Roseville, MI 48066-1265
(586) 293-4545 ask for Kevin

The color mixing code is under my name.

They start with a Sea Hawk ablative white base and custom mix the color in to get to the desert tan.

Some things I noticed after using my boat with a desert tan ablative bottom paint.

1) If the boat sat in the water for more that 12 hours I noticed the paint would ever so slightly turn a tad bit lighter. If you look close at some of the images of the boat running you may notice it. The boat had been in the water for over 24 hours when those were taken. It never got any lighter than those images. Which to me is still light years ahead of any other paint color.

2)You do not want any black rubber rollers on your trailer or hoist. The black leaves marks on the light paint. You want to make sure to use polyurethane rollers.

I sold the boat is late 2007 and the current owners are still using the boat (now is saltwater) with the desert tan bottom paint and loving it. They actually had it over at Chesapeake Whalertowne and they told the owners after learning they keep the boat in the water that it really should have bottom paint on it. The owner told them it was painted and had to take them over to the boat to show them the bottom. The service people were surprised that they had been fooled.

Jeff posted 05-12-2011 10:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
One detail I forgot to add...Kush's desert tan mixed bottom paint is about $125 per mixed gallon.
george nagy posted 05-14-2011 09:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
Thank you jeff I remember your project as I was doing the same to my old 18'. I went all the way to polish on that bottom though. It may be a bit of irony to now go from a polished bottom to paint but it may have to be done.

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