There’s nothing like a good long voyage to sort out a boat, for better or for worse. That much I learned running a working charter boat for so many years. Every season we’d cover around 8000 hard miles between the English Channel and the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. On our return to Falmouth at the [...]

Staying On Your Feet

Staying safe on deck needn’t be an eyesore. Question: What’s one of the easiest ways to sustain a serious injury on a yacht? Answer. A fall. Question: What’s one of the easiest ways to prevent that happening? Answer: Decent non-slip everywhere! So why is such a simple way of staying safe so often ignored? When [...]

It’s Painting Time Again

As the old saying goes, you pay for your pleasures, and that’s certainly true when it comes round to the annual re-fit. The many little jobs that were just too awkward afloat, added to the big ones like antifouling, can all back up and lead to a formidable worklist. And to top it all, there’s [...]

We have been using various formulas of zinc-based antifouling paint (copper is out for Morgan’s Cloud since she is aluminum) from E-Paint for 12 years with varying results. For the last three years we have been using their ablative ZO product with generally good results. However, there are a few things to know: E-Paint ZO [...]

Why White?

Question: Why did you paint Morgan’s Cloud white? I thought she looked better painted dark blue. Answer: By the end of our last cruise, the hull paint on Morgan’s Cloud was in pretty bad shape. In fact, we had two large circles on the starboard side that were worn right through the paint and down [...]

Question: Where do your main problems with the paint on Morgan’s Cloud lie: with the paint becoming chipped from wear and tear, or from inadequate preparation, or from salt water working under the paint edge? Answer: All of the above, but any inadequate preparation will result in a bubble sooner or later and it is [...]

Question: You say you would not paint aluminum. Ok, it is hideously expensive (I have been quoted £10,000 just for materials), it is difficult to key, and we have been advised to sand blast and paint the same day (tricky!). So, if you were to start all over again with a newly built boat, what [...]

True Grit

I’m going to make a confession here: I think brightwork is beautiful. However, since I’m the one that ends up maintaining it—that’s because John insists I’m so much better at it than he is, which is a rotten trick and one I fall for regularly—I also believe it doesn’t belong on our boat. In fact, [...]

Question: We are considering applying Coppercoat to our aluminum boat and would be interested in your thoughts. I have attached some correspondence that I had with the makers of Coppercoat that may help: Question to Coppercoat [edited for brevity]: I'm seriously considering Coppercoat for my aluminum cutter. I am confused by one group of advisors [...]

Question: I’m thinking of leaving the bottom of my aluminum boat unpainted since I’m afraid of electrolysis caused, or at least made worse, by antifouling paint, particularly if the bottom is scratched. The boat is in fresh water, so she will not foul much. Answer: There is no reason why properly applied antifouling paint that [...]

Why Is Morgan’s Cloud’s Hull Painted?

Question: You call painting an aluminum hull a mug's game yet you painted your hull? Answer: The problem is that Morgan’s Cloud was built before computerized plate cutting and bending and like all boats of the time has a lot of fairing compound on her to cover small dips and hollows induced in the plate [...]

Question: I bought an aluminum 40ft Roberts from the original owner and am in the process of many changes. One area which seems very gray these days is what bottom paint to use. An epoxy barrier coat is there but I do not want any copper impregnated paint anywhere near my boat. Could you please [...]