How to Paint Sailboat Decks
New Life for Old Decks: A fresh coat of deck paint on your vintage classic-plastic cruiser will make the old gal sparkle and shine.
Janet Van Leuwen and Steve Van Wig own a Whitby 42. Looking at their beautiful, well-groomed ketch, you’d never guess it was built in 1982. The name on the stern, Lunacy, may be the only hint of the incredible amount of work that the couple has put into rejuvenating their boat. Bringing the decks and the coachroof top to their present glory was a large part of the project, as these tasks would’ve been on any glass boat more than 25 years old. This is how they did it. And frankly, this is how it should be done.
Before the couple could begin doing any prep work for painting, the deck hardware had to be removed. They needed access to tight spaces where the horizontal deck surface turned into vertical bulwarks, around the masts’ partners, near the windlass base, and so on. (They also removed the chainplates, which needed attention as a separate project.) Out came all stanchions, their bases, various padeyes, winches—anything and everything, in fact, that could obstruct the power sanders required to remove the worn-down, cracking, original nonskid pattern. Steve then used silicon sealant to plug all the fastener holes that would be reused; silicon repels paint, so the fastener locations would be visible when they began reinstalling the hardware.