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Author Bottom Cleaning/Painting/Polymer Coating???
Michael Dekoekkoek
San Francisco

Boat Name: Yellow Brick Road

Model/Year: 1972 C22

Hull No. 1227

Hailing Port:
08/06/2004 2:13 PM Pacific Time

I'm debating on methods of cleaning my hull, and whether to paint or use the polymer coatings like poliglow or vertglas.

So for starters, I've noticed very small cracks and chips on various parts of the hull. They cover much of the hull and they all seem to be less than 1/8" long. Is there a way to seal these easily? They don't look really serious, and don't really show up until I get some of the brown stains of the hull. Are these things that I should be really worried about? Are there quick fixes that would deal with these? They don't look like blisters, but look like they could let water into areas that water shouldn't be and cause blisters.

Second: Previous to me owning the boat, I don't think it was ever painted. I'm going to be mooring each summer in the pretty cold water of Lake Michigan starting next summer, so I'm wondering what I should do. Polish and Wax? Paint? Barrier Coat? Ablative? Poliglow?

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Boat Name:


Hull No.

Hailing Port:
08/07/2004 6:28 AM Pacific Time


My boat came from Chicago and has the bottom painted with V-Tar paint. It seems to be holding up well.

I sanded and polished my hull to a gloss. I like the results rather than painting or coating. You can read all about it on my web site:

Hope this helps
Bob Vick
Caldwell, TX

Boat Name: Over Keel

Model/Year: <1985

Hull No. 13059

Hailing Port: Lake Somerville
08/08/2004 7:53 AM Pacific Time


My boat came from Michigan, it had various small hairline cracks on the hull. When I removed the bottom paint & the tar (which was hell to get off) I found more & more small cracks. It looked like the bottom had been whipped with a chain. I can only assume the boat had been left in the ice frozen lake at some time. The hull was developing tiny blisters at the water line area, from the wicking effect of the under water cracks/leaks.

Since there were so many cracks, I elected to do the extreme & removed the complete gel coat to the fiber below the water line. I let it dry out for a month with heaters & fans blowing 24/7 with occasional washes of the hull with fresh water to remove the entrap ooze that was under the cracks. I then painted & squeegeed in 7 or 8 coats of West System Epoxy some neat & some with barrier coat additive. I top coated that with multi year bottom paint.

I just pulled the boat after a year in the water & had a easy to wash off thin coat of slim on the bottom paint. Amazingly the Teflon paint I had painted the boot strip with was slim free, thought it was stained after a year in the water.

This is one fast Catalina I do think the removal kept the boat from being too heavy from years of build up & bottom jobs. One note is epoxy adds to the water resistance of water intrusion look up water intrusion in fiberglass before you make your decision!

If I was doing this, again I might try to spot patch & would absolutely pay for soda blasting rather than sanding off tons of “tar” – 5000-year-old technology.


Bob Vick
Caldwell, TX
C 22 #13059
Over Keel

Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller
Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller / Bottom Cleaning/Painting/Polymer Coating???