Blue Turtle Cruising

Painting the exterior of our boat

For the past several weeks, Randy and I have been hard at work on a large boat project—painting the exterior of Blue Turtle. When we first purchased Blue Turtle, we knew immediately that we would have to paint her one day. The exterior paint was worn all the way down to the fiberglass in some areas and you couldn’t lean against the cabins or decks without it leaving a chalky residue on your clothes. The last 2 years we’ve been hard at work repairing and upgrading Blue Turtle to fit our needs and finally, it was time for some cosmetic work. During our last haul out, we got an estimate for having the exterior painted and it was somewhere around $15,000. We knew instantly that we would be doing the painting ourselves.

It was apparent that our old boat needed a paint job
It was apparent that our old boat needed a paint job

While we were docked at Cape Coral Yacht Club we discovered an exterior paint that we could use to paint the boat ourselves. Our neighbor, Bill, was using Signature Finish paint to paint his entire boat. We immediately liked how it looked and liked the fact that it blended well together when painting in sections. We decided we would give it a try, our current paint job was so bad, we really had nothing to lose. So, a few weeks ago, Randy ordered the first batch of paint. He called Tom at Signature Finish and gave him a color to match. We chose Interlux White since it was closest to the current color of Blue Turtle.

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Signature Finish marine exterior paint

When we received the paint and supplies, Randy tested it out on the back deck. We were immediately hooked. It looked so good, we made plans to do another larger section. There is some prep work (sanding, washing, scuffing and cleaning with a tack cloth and then taping) and the paint is a 3 part mix that Randy rolled on with a roller while I hit the smaller areas and edges with a foam wedge. We did 3 coats per area in 3 days. So far, we have done the entire main cabin. The only areas left on the topside are the interior bridge and the lower decks. We even repainted our blue stripe (on the cabin) using paint ordered to match Interlux Sapphire Blue.

"Interlux Sapphire Blue" paint by Signature Finish
“Interlux Sapphire Blue” paint by Signature Finish
Before - the dull blue stripe (with a little white paint)
Before – the dull blue stripe (with a little white paint)
In progress - after 2 coats of the blue paint
In progress – after 2 coats of the blue paint

We’re hoping to tackle the bridge interior and decks in May to finish up the topside before it gets too hot. Then we will complete the exterior next winter by finishing the hull and bottom (which is in dire need of paint as well).

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Our next winter project – the hull

Before photos

After photos

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