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Duck boat paint - need opinions.

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Hey guys.

Last year I bought a 10' jon boat that needed a ton of work. I spent a ton of time getting the boat ready for hunting season; and feel as though the work was done well and it paid off.

The steps I took were;

-Sand down to the aluminum.

-Clean, clean, and then cleaned again.

-2 coats of primer.

-Base coat of paint.

-Quality patterning.

Given how well the boat turned out I have a buddy who wants me to help him with his boat, and I am thinking of painting my 14' fishing boat for some bigger water hunting this fall.

As a result I need to scale up my operation. Last year I spent over $150 buying individual cans of spray paint. I am thinking that it might be worth investing in a paint sprayer if I am going to work on 2-3 boats this summer.

So, the 2 questions for you guys.

- What is the best paint sprayer for painting duck boats?

- What is the best paint to use on a duck boat?

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We have done several using the oil based gallon cans we used to be able to get at Gander or Cabelas, it wasn't Herters, but all the stores used to carry it. Now I think it is the same stuff/brand as the cans, but make sure it is oil based. Also, you can get any decent tan/grass/olive at big box stores as long as oil. The Latex just won't last.

We used a air sprayer hooked to my compressor, two different models, just cheapies basically, but I like the kind that the tank sits on TOP of the sprayer so gravity is your friend. But the other one worked fine too.

Key is getting the pressure in the tank and also on the sprayer right, and you will need to thin down the paint a bit. Takes a bit of messing with it, but it turned out great on our duck boat (all marsh grass color) and my pontoon (painted just the side sheets blue; drilled rivets out so only doing flat pieces, no taping, then riveted back on when dry).

I am not a painter, but used techniques I saw on American Hot Rod and Bike building shows, and the finished turned out AWESOME! Has been holding up for many years now, at least 7 on pontoon and about the same on the boat, minus dock rash, etc.

We did one coat primer, two coats paint, and did then just heavy enough to not see anything under them.

Come to think of it, we did three duck boats, but only two of them still, and the one we did NOT use primer on is a bit flaky - we just did a quick coat to cover stuff up.

Good luck!

edit - I know I posted this before, but here is our rebuild on duck boat:

"Martha" duck boat rebuild/painting job

Here is my pontoon job, not up close pics of paint, but a couple you can see it okay.

Pontoon paint job / rehab

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Very Nice work...

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Shane Z

A couple years ago, I painted my 16' Alumacraft camo khaki. I picked up the paint from L and M and has held up very well (Hunter Specialties I think). Any who, I sanded down the entire boat and used a couple different size rollers and it turned out great. This year i plan on re-doing my 16' Alumacraft jon boat and painting it the same way.

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I used Parker's paint from cabelas, works awesome, i just prepped it not as good as yours, and rolled it on really easy!

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dan z

A Buddy of mine did Hus fiberglass boat last fall with parkers and it stuck very well. Lots of prep work helped I think. A while back my dad redid a jeep with parkers paint and the prep work also worked well. We used a Wagner power sprayer and sprayed it thick and used stencils and rattle cans for shadows looked awesome for quite a few years.

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Being in the painting industry,I am going to say that oil base is Allways best for good results.If you end up painting those other boats.Use oil base primer too.Remember in anything your doing the foundation of something must be done right.oil primer then oil paint.The EPA has mandated that oil base products will come to an end for environmental reasons.Most oil base has been taken off the shelves to the consumer already.If these spray systems you guys are talking about are oil based then I would get enough for your other projects too. LoL I could just be a paranoid painting guy too.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • CigarGuy
      My neighbor at my cabin recently bought several acres adjoining his property and another neighbor had posted part of it-thinking he owned it.  My neighbor was planning on having it surveyed, so for the heck of it, I downloaded the trial OnX hunt map.  Only one pin on my property is visible in the winter, it was right on the pin.  We went and checked his property lines out and the neighbor that posted it, didn't own as much property as he thought he did. The OnX map property lines were fairly close to the actual lines, which were verified when surveyed.  If there are indeed pins or some kind of stakes in the ground, this should get you close enough to use a metal detector. 
    • Wanderer
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    • Mike89
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