Painting topsides and hull



I'm about to repaint my yacht (a seamaster 925) and would like some advice from anyone who can help.
The Hull has been previously painted (over the grp) and is peeling in a few places.

Do I need to strip back to the gelcoat, if so how do I strip.
What Paint should I use, Is there a cheaper alternative to specialist boat paints?

Also the topsides need repainting, the original paintwork seems sound, again are there any cheap alternatives and what is the best procedure?


Sean Foster


I went to PDS in Peterborough the bloke there sorted me out on exactely what paint I needed and how to use it .
They have an easy number it's
Or look in the back of P,B,O under coatings


Seeing this post has stirred my thoughts re the rather drab finish to my motor cruiser. Its a Broom 37 Crown
1980 and in those days the gel coat was finished a distinct off white almost ivory. Is it practical to repaint
the topsides and decks to give a whiter appearance, and if so how tough is the finish and how long would it last ?



New member
21 Aug 2001
Northland New Zealand
I have been investigating paint systems for my boat which like the original poster is flaking in places. Chances are, that if it is flaking it is a single pot(enamel type) paint. Unfortunately this is what mine is, so I am limited to another single pot type unless I remove all the existing paints back to the glass.
The preferred option is a two pot type which has much greater durability
I have been told this can be used over gel coats with suitable preparation. (correct primers etc.) The paint manufacturers usually have published material that gives all the information one would need.
A professional boat painter I have spoken to said that most of the work is in preparation.
A good two pot system should last quite a few years particularly as your climate doesnt have the high UV exposure that we have here in NZ.


New member
4 Jul 2001
Australia, East coast.
G,day all
Be aware that a painted GRP craft is worth less than one with it’s original gel coat, having said that it’s also a fact that old gel coat becomes porous and can lead to high moisture content or in some cases osmosis; but this is not the end of the world.
Two- pack Poly paint is very hard wearing, a pencil won't write on it, a bit like glass. It can last for many years and leaves enamel products for dead but it’s not cheap, so you have to consider how long you plan to keep your existing craft.
Have a look at as ToMo (above) advises for the latest information, also check

Andavagreatnewyear. Old Salt Oz…..


Active member
16 May 2001
As someone else said, the major work is the preparation. When I did mine, some three years ago, I used an orbital sander to remove the dark blue two pack paint (brushed on) down to the original dark blue gelcoat. I worked one day and rested the next because the sander is quite heavy and you need to really PUSH inwards to shift the two-pack. Removal of minor blemishes came next, using wet-sanding (by hand). The paint that I used was a two pack acrylic that is used for cars. It is not cheap but it was way below eqivalent 'boat-prices'. I applied some filler/primer coats, rubbing down between each coat. Topcoat was brilliant white - it needs to be, in the Mediterranean. I could have used a brush but the guy running the factory persuaded me to spray paint. When I pointed out that my spray painting 'experience' was limited to small areas such as are associated with model boats, his answer was that a large area is just made up of many small areas next to each other!
I am very pleased with the result. In fact, I did not even use a buffer. My only regret is that I only did the topsides of the hull and did not do the deck and cockpit.
The hull is still brilliant white.
Talk to someone in your area who sells automotive paints and say that it is for fibreglass.
Good Luck!