After years of use, A cats often get beat up and need a little attention. The hull bottoms get the worst of the wear and those unsightly scratch, dings and scraps just have to go. Painting and re-fairing a boat is a time consuming, costly procedure if done professionally. But there is a way to resurface the bottom of you’re a cat in your own garage with no spray equipment or air compressor.
Many of you might have seen A cats painted with a black/ dark gray bottom, The surface coating is most like called Hullspeed. This epoxy, silicon paint is purposely designed to reduce friction and making your craft go faster through the water. I have applied Hullspeed to 3 of my A cats with good success. I understand it might not appeal to everyone, especially those who like plain white boats.
First tape up the bottom of the boat. Be sure to make the newly painted surface finish above the float line and take into account and pitching motion the boat might do when sailing ( bow down stern down )
Then sand the bottom of the boat using 100 -120grit sand paper. Best if you use a fairing board or sanding block. At the very least the sanding block should fit half sheets of sand paper folded length ways. Better still Us 3M hookit fairing boards. Fill and fair all the imperfections. The best filling compound I like to use is Finishing gelcoat ( the kind that cures on the surface ) NOT laminating gelcoat. Mix gelcoat with Qcell or glass bubbles. The compound is light and very easy to sand. Sand until all the imperfections are flush and smooth with the hull surface. Finish sanding the entire boat with either 150-180 grit paper.
Mix paint as per instructions, Clean of the bottom of the boat so there is no dust. Apply paint using a foam roller. I found it best to roll out a 2 foot area going from one side to the other as you advance along the length of the boat. You will notice the paint fisheyes a little, this is the silicon coming to the surface
You will need to apply three thin coats of paint to the hull surface. The paint dries quickly and it is easy to see each coat as it is applied. The wet coat goes on more gray in color but dries much darker. See paint containers for recoating instructions.
The job comes out really nice and it’s really easy to do. You should not the surface is not mirror like and perfectly smooth, the coating dies with an orange peel type finish. The surface can be wet sanded to make it smoother. But you will be surprised how slippery this Hullspeed surface is straight off the roller. It’s that slick it’s difficult to get beach wheels to stay under the boat, NO JOKE. The paint can also be sprayed if you have the equipment.