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Motor Canoe project

Chick Ludwig

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Thanks, Meester.


Hey Tiger, ya still didn't tell me the brand you used. Was it one of the "water clean up polyurethane fortified porch and floor enamel" you mentioned? Painted over poxy without primer? Where'd ya get it? I used some water based two part poly from Sherwin Williams on Summer Breeze. Way too thick to spray. I didn't try roll and tip, but that probably woulda worked fine. It was expensive, though.


Build to plan? Me? Never! Fill her with what to the water line? Turtles? Water?

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Sorry, bud. Not at all trying to be vague. I really have no preference.

I don't do big box, but I do hardware store and paint store.

The last few batches of paint I've gotten were from the hardware store, and they were Valspar. I've used Glidden, SW, Pittsburgh...

With a little floetrol, the Valspar flowed nicely.


There is no need to prime with these modern paints, I don't think, for any reason other than color saturation. Easier to get a better color quicker with a tinted undercoat.

Also primer allows you to fill and fair a bit more before the final coat. I primed my Frolic mostly for the ability to continue to fair without wasting topcoat.


Some crazy people on this board have suggested Killz primer, but I am not that savage. I use Bullseye. :)



Water clean up paints need more cure time to really "harden" but they hold tenaciously when cured, in my experience.


Shoot, I had some stick to silicone(!) on the blue pirogue for almost two years.


For a little boat what will get dinged regular, I feel easier to repair and retouch paint is better.


Water clean up clears are all inferior, in my experience.





P.S. I always paint with a brush. Can't stand rollers, and hope to never have to spray anything again. Or chase after the spray with a roller or brush...

I have about 10 brushes, and rotate regularly. I think brushes need to be kept clean and fluid, or they mar the finish by adding slightly cured paint to the mix.


I paint from a small pot, and change brushes with every pot.

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I started using System Three's waterborne 2-part poly on my boat.  The brush marks were horrendous.  PAR has has similar experiences.  It dries too quickly for spraying, too. I'll be using porch paint on my porch next month.  That's the place to experiment with that stuff.  Wanna come over and help me paint a porch?

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The paints you have to worry about not sticking well to epoxy are the alkyds. Some of the polyurethanes are also alkyd based, but I haven't seen any with this issue. This issues only comes up when you apply topcoat over epoxied surfaces, without a primer. In days of old, there was a product called a "tie coat" which was a special primer, sometimes application specific, such as an aluminum etch. Now, most primers (except on some surfaces) includes enough "stuff" to insure it'll permit the topcoat to stay stuck. It would be exceedingly rare for me to not use a primer of some sort. I've had too many issues when I tried to skip this step. Primers stick better to the top coats, than if using just a straight top coat over whatever. If painting over well toothed epoxy, use a polyurethane or an acrylic, to avoid finding out about the compatibility issue. I don't recommend painting directly over epoxy with alkyds, but most do stick, just not as well as applied over a primer and some (a few) just don't stick, cure or get fully hard. There's no way of telling which brand or formulation will have this issue, until you're pulling sheets of barely cured paint off the epoxy a week later or long after it should have been dry.

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While contemplating my sins and paint, I've gotten some more done in actual construction. As a matter of fact, ALL construction is finished. Today's job is a bit more sanding, and then resin coat the inside.


Check out the pictures of that final construction detail. Capping the top of the transom with walnut, and the addition of a "motor pad" (don't know a good name for this) on the back of the transom. I had to boil the cap strips to get them pliable enough to bend, and make shaped blocks of wood to force the strips tightly into the radius. I couldn't come with a good way to clamp them other that screws through the top of the blocks. It all worked out well, but I'll need to fill the holes with some walnut wood flower/cabosil/poxy mix.


Here it is all clamped up. That funny looking thing in the background is my steam box which I didn't use. Boiling seamed easier.



Finished inside view.



Outside with the "motor pad".



So, now it's time for varnishing and painting. I'll be back in a few days with a final commentary and pictures when it's all done. And a final weight, too. By-the-way, I've already got my registration and numbers. Have ya got time for a short rant? Good 'ol North Carolina requires not only a registration, but also a title for any powered boat over 14 feet---even a canoe! This thing measured out at 14' - 1". $70.00 for one year! Maybe I shoulda left my mistake way back when I marked the side panels too short. If I'd left it that way, registration alone woulda been $35. Awww, you say, "quit your belly-achin' over a stupid $35." Sorry 'bout that. Guess I'm getting to be a cranky old man.

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RATS!!!!!  I typed this a few days ago, but forgot to hit "Submit Reply". Sorry gang.

Walt, glad I don't live in CA!

All I got done today was to wash off the amine blush. There was some---kinda waxy feeling. Tomorrow it's SAND,SAND,SAND. Maybe some primer on the outside. Just to upset Don, I think I'll try the "Tiger Method". Bullseye primer and water clean-up poly. But, PROBLEM, ACTION TIGER, HELP!!! I've been looking around town for the one part water based poly. No one seems to have it. Only poly stain---not paint. (Now, I wonder if he's suggested it just to confuse me, and there is no such thing. Or, only in California.


So, now we're up to today.

Got her (him?) primed and painted. Sure is red! When the paint's dry, We'll do the flip and varnish everything that's not red.

In case you're wondering, I tried Tiger's suggestion about Bullseye primer. But settled on some marine enamel from Duralax Marine Coatings. Sorry, Don. Cost, ease of repairs, ability to thin and spray the paint with my itty-bitty 2hp compressor, and shelf life considerations won me over. No more arguments, please. It's done.


I'm gonna let "it" sit for a couple of days before the flip to let the paint dry good. I've already got my aforementioned registration, along with HIN number and NC numbers. We'll be taking "it" camping later this month, and I'll give ya a final report then.



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We have pretty stringent environmental regulations out here, so we may have a wider range of water clean up type paints than other places, but the stuff I got is a valspar porch and floor "enamel" that is "polyurethane fortified" and water clean up.


It seems to be harder than the typical water clean up paints I'm used to.


Either way, for small boats like this, I prefer the ease of repair to ultimate durability.


Your canoe looks AWESOME!





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Thanks, guys. It'll do. I like the deep red color. I hope it looks good complementing the varnish.


Tiger, after going back and re-reading your comments, I found the  "polyurethane fortified" part. I've been looking for "water based polyurethane". I coulda gotten the fortified kind if I'd had enough sense to ask for the right stuff.


Don, the Bulls Eye is water clean-up. I had to roll and tip it and it still had brush marks. I thought they'd flowed out and leveled, but they show up after being painted. As for holding up---folks have been using enamel a LONG time and been satisfied with it. The varnish is what's gonna get the most abuse and get to looking "used". Anyway, for a canoe that'll be used hard, it will be fine. 


So, let's move on now. What am I gonna name the canoe? What am I gonna build next???? 

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Enamel is a bit of a misnomer now. It was once the alkyds, in fact darn near all paints were lacquer or enamel, but then this changed and the word enamel was being used as a marketing tool, more so than an accurate descriptor. The real trick is the MSDS, though often the label is honest about it and you'll see the word acrylic someplace, which is the real descriptor. BullEye has both shellac and acrylic primers (single part). Avoid shellac based, as it's not really good outside and particularly in a marine environment and not at all, around any of the usual solvents (like gasoline).


Looks good Chick. I was supposed to be up in your neck of the woods for our annual mountain time, but I have this transom job on an outdrive boat, I have to finish up, so . . . I will be up in the fall and will get to see this puppy for myself.

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Alex, thanks. Clever idea. But we can lift the canoe on top the old fashioned way with no real problem, and Turtler is WAY too much boat to carry on top. Not just the weight, but the bulk. He really likes his cozy trailer. No need to car-top him. That's why we came up with the motor canoe to take camping while pulling the camper.


Paul, seems that if you get 10 of us amatuer boat builders together, you get 12 opinions about paint. I know that we can trust your experience and knowledge, and are thankful for it.


OOh, when I was in the fiberglass boat repair business, I had a love-hate relationship with transom jobs. I hated the hard work of removing the old wood, and having to remove the deck to get to it. Or cutting the back end of the deck off to reach the repair, and then re-attaching it by glassing it back where it was cut. Then doing the gel repair. It was often a challenge matching and blending into the faded gelcoat of some of those old boats. I got pretty good at it. Including polyflake. Bot I did enjoy the challenge. AND the money was good when I'd finally find folks that liked their old boat enough to pay for the work.


Ya ever hear this? " WHAT!!!! $1200.00!?!? I've got a friend who knows someone who has a brother that saw a boat once, and he'll fix it for ya for $150.00---$200.00 at most. better'n new."


Then there was the guy who'd cut through the top cap of the transom, use a chain saw to chop/grind out the old wood. Then he'd shove some re-bar in the cavity and fill it up with concrete. Actually, there was a company that cold a slurry made of ground up scrap fiberglass roving mixed with resin that you'd pour in instead of the concrete. Never tried it. Seems to me that doing it the right way is better. Oh, yeah, the guy that would cut off the OUTER skin of the transom to remove the rotten wood, not know what to do next, and then bring it to me. Then ya gotta rebuild the dang thing from the inside out and try to make it strong enough. not to mention the massive get repair.


Ahhhh, thanks for the trip down memory lane. Glad to be retired!!!! I'll look forward to your visit. But try not to look to closely at my paint work. Gel coat, I'm (was) good at, paint, not so much.



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A little post script on yesterdays painting.

You'll notice the neighbor's yard up above the retaining wall beside my carport? Here's why you should notice it. Right after finishing the paint, Miss Debbie and I went out for the afternoon. Never looked at the canoe when we finally returned. Seems that the neighbor's yard got mowed while we were gone! Guess where the dust and clippings went....


I moved out there to paint to get away from all of the dust filtering down from the rafters in the garage. Silly me.


Don, the expensive paint woulda gotten junk in it, too. And it woulda bothered me a LOT more after spending all that money on paint.


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