Keeping the boat looking good and well maintained means painting, a job that takes a lot of time and consumes a big chunk of our budget every year.
This little tip has been well tested, at sea in the tropics, for years now. It will work even better if you live outside the tropics.
Polyurethane paints give a good hard working finish. They touch dry rapidly, and give good protection. The problem is they fade in the sun and can be scratched easily. The ones sold for yachts are also very expensive.
You can get great long lasting results without using the super expensive yachtie products. All you need is a good quality 2 pack polyurethane paint designed for exterior use. You will need two types. One is the color you want and the other is what is called "Clear".
As with any paint job how well you prepare the surface will have a lot to do with the final finish and durability. In the best of cases all you will need is a light sanding and a good washing down with dish washing soap and water. Be very sure you rinse off all the soap or the paint will not adhere properly.
Once clean and dry apply the first 2 coats of colored paint evenly. 2 thin coats well dispersed are better than one thick coat. Let the colored paint dry then wipe it down to remove any dust before applying at least 2 coats of "clear" over top of the colored paint.
The result is a finish that will usually last at least 3 times longer and is much more resistant to color fading, scratching, and chaffing. The time and money you save this way can then be more profitably employed in the club bar hoisting a cold one while watching others scraping, sanding, and painting.
I am perfectly aware that the majority of Wooden Boat aficionados are sensible folk. However, I need to point out that I am an amateur wooden boat enthusiast simply writing in order to try to help other amateur wooden boat enthusiasts. And while I take every care to ensure that the information in DIY Wood Boat.com is correct, anyone acting on the information on this website does so at their own risk.