Marine Paint

A boat always wears the cloak of the sum total of her past owners, and the more illustrious these were, the better for the boat.

Unless they were stupid, in which case, they are cursed by the world of boats and everyone laughs at them.

I am in danger of being laughed at for not being able to hold a sander for twenty hours. That is a curse indeed!

But I am able to talk about this curse and hopefully thereby avert it.

The situation with Little Wing is that she has has many past owners. Some were worth talking about and some should be shamed forever.

It is not often that you find a Spencer for a thousand bucks. That is a sign of some kind of problem, usually involving a certain cluster of things, the most serious being that boat sank or got grounded, like, on her side or something. That is not good.

Fortunately a 9000-pound full keel made all of one giant piece of 3” hand-laid fiberglass is likely to laugh off a grounding or two. I can see evidence in the bulb of, oh, some sandbars or something. What’s not to love about a shallow cove where we can sit quietly and throw stones into the water? Oops. Too shallow.

Here are some situations with boats that got too close:

This is not the problem with Little Wing. She is actually intentionally aground, on stilts in a boat yard. If wanted and having $200, a large truck could just come get her. We are all hoping for that. 

The problem with Little Wing is more simple than that. It is paint.

Most boat refit situations involve solvable problems like scrubbing or problems that can be faced with a sewing machine, which I have. The old sail covers wear down and have to be replaced, mostly at a cost of more than the boat itself. Then there is cushions. They cost a thousand dollars. I can do all things involving the sewing machine, but I cannot do marine paint removal. 

Marine paint is basically glue. It has to be to hold up to being covered in ocean water all the time, and that is a good thing, or boats would rot. But when the glue is past its sell-by date, it is a big deal for somewho can’t scrape glue due to being too undermuscled to scrape the amount of glue that is available for scraping. 

I now understand marine paint better than I did, and I admit defeat. I have spent many hours scraping and sanding away at marine paint only to find that very little progress is made without a wrecking ball or the equivalent of shark’s teeth sandpaper. 

Maybe diamonds. Maybe that would get the marine paint off.

© Joann L. Farias 2023