Painting the Boat – an Aristo Blue Alexseal Update (in Harpswell, Maine)

In case anyone forgot, we’ve been painting the boat…

Before pictures - topside painting

…trying to get rid of the ugly chipped topsides and rediscover our pretty little boat!

Before pictures - topside painting

And now I *finally* get to post some beloved after pictures!

With Brio - Topside Painting - After Picture - Alexseal

Despite the bugs and the hours (and hours, and hours) of sanding, we’re *really* happy with how the Alexseal turned out — we used their complete system, including primer and topcoat.


Jon painted the whole boat with a 6″ foam roller, and the Alexseal leveled beautifully.


Now it’s time to enjoy summer sailing in Maine!

– LMK 🙂

Sanding the boat (sometimes called painting)

The only project more scary than installing a new engine in Maine in the middle of winter was painting the topsides. But the poor girl was starting to look a little rough (especially after we rebed the toerails a couple summers ago)…

So, of course, we’re painting the topsides.

Painting the topsides with Alex Seal - Before Pictures

Aside: why do they call it painting?

Painting the topsides - sanding the topsides - so much prep before you can paint Alexseal

It should really be called “sanding” with the understanding that after 60 hours of sanding (we counted) you might get to spend 1 hour applying a coat of paint on top of your immaculately smooth surface.

Painting the topsides - sanding the topsides

At which point you’ll probably realize you a) missed a spot, b) just orange-peeled your baby-butt-smooth-surface and now need to sand down the whole thing, or c) really are more cut out for computer work than this boat business!

Applying Alexseal primer - fully primed before Aristo Blue finish

Because I never like to miss an opportunity to be awkward, I thought I’d share my painting technique (perfected on 3 coats of primer):

Despite my help, we are making progress! We were nearly derailed at the primer stage — the grey looked sooo nice, and we had a serious case of color-indecisiveness.

*Especially* when we peeled the tape (which we had to pre-primer sanding – always more sanding!) and contemplated a silver & gold boat…

Sanding out the "orange peel" from the primer was oddly satisfying though!

Sanding out the “orange peel” from the primer was oddly satisfying though!

But in the end, in our hearts, Brio is a blue boat, so the first coat of “Aristo Blue” went on yesterday.

Painting Aristo Blue Alexseal in an outdoor workyard

And now we get to fully explore the #joysofoutdoorworkyards 🙂


This is why (at the Gosling Islands, Maine)

It’s not for the winter weather.

Or the ample shoe storage.

Not for the convenience.

Or the easy comfort.

Happy Jon

Not for the king-size bed.

Or the thermostat-controlled heat zones and flat screen tv.

It’s not for the “frugality”

(Although I do appreciate how affordable this life can be)

Or the option to “nuke a frozen pizza”

(a bitter joke we invoke when we’re feeling particularly worn down by boat life)

Instead we live this life…


…for days exactly like these.

– LMK 🙂


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