Below Waterline Finish

by Russell
(Stamford Lincolnshire UK)

What is the best finish for below the waterline on a carvel planked hull?

I am considering red lead direct to wood and then car underseal on top.

Comments for Below Waterline Finish

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Jan 04, 2015
Below the waterline finish
by: Tom

Can anybody tell me if there is a varnish which is suitable for finishing a new clinker built lake boat above and below the waterline.

I am not familiar with using epoxy resins.


Dec 01, 2011
by: Mike

Well it certainly sounds like a reasonable idea.

I must admit it’s not something I’d even thought about.

I hope you will get back to us and let us know how you get on with it.

Dec 01, 2011
by: russell

Hi Mike,

The idea of the car underseal coat over the red lead is its high flexibility under all temperature ranges and high durability.

Nov 30, 2011
Red Lead Paint
by: Mike

Hi Russell,

Red lead is one of those old tried and tested methods for helping to preserve wood and as an undercoat on both wood and metal.

Its flexible and breathable.

At one time just about everything that was likely to get wet was primed with red lead paint.

It is perfect for all timbers, steel keels and centreboards and especially all those areas that would be impossible to gain access to once the boat is constructed.

Unfortunately environmental and health concerns (nanny state) have made it hard to come by but it is still available from specialists such as

I’m not so sure about the car under seal, I guess it would be OK.

Is there any particular reason for using it instead of ordinary paint?

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