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Dang floats bottoms

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Dang floats bottoms

Unread postby Float Pilot » Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:02 pm

Whomever owned my floats before me painted float lacquer over dirty bottoms and the old float lacquer. Must have been to make them look better for a sale.

So last year when I roughed it up and added my white paint over that, my new white paint only stuck well above the water line.

Last fall I used boat hull bottom cleaner to cut off the brown lake crud and big areas of my paint came off.

I pressure washed most of it off yesterday and the white paint took the silver off with it.
BUT, oddly enough that old original float lacquer is sticking just fine on about 90% of the bottom.

So now they really look crappy....

Now I wonder if I should totally strip down to the metal, or just clean and prep over the original float lacquer that seems to be really stuck on there...

I still need to come partially up the sides with a darker color because white floats do not do so swell in the local yucky lake.

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Re: Dang floats bottoms

Unread postby jjbaker » Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:53 pm

I'd go back to the bare metal and start from scratch with a warmer color on the bottoms. Penobscot River Sewer Water proven concept.
Problem is, the paint suffers no matter what kind of water you park in and most products promising a fix are crap, sold at premium prices.
Taking the plane out of the water on a frequent basis is expensive and time consuming, so a fresh start is the best way to deal with it rather than dealing with the previous owners screw-ups.

I'd say the clear-coats and even finish laqueurs are barely able to be fine enough to prevent the trouble (if its clear-coated) and unless clear-coat is buffed and waxed prior to putting anything into service, there will be discoloration. In essence, the plane would need to be out of the soup once a month, with the floats being washed, polished and then waxed, to prevent this kind of stuff. In the end its a revenue machine, beauty isn't what pays the bills on any 172 on floats.

A clean surface will help with T/O performance and reduce water drag tremendously...

But, it takes effort to keep it in shape when operating out of loaded waters.
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Re: Dang floats bottoms

Unread postby KlausNW » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:12 am

We use silver lacquer on floats because it takes so little prep. On the commercial planes, they're painted every year or two depending how bad they look. I've never found a better paint than lacquer for floats. The other paints acrylic enamel, polyurethane, acrylic urethane and any other modern paint just don't seem to stick very well.

All of them stain, so the lacquer is the easiest to scotch brite , tape off, wipe down with lacquer thinner and shoot new lacquer. I can do a set of Beaver floats by myself in one day.
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Re: Dang floats bottoms

Unread postby Float Pilot » Sun May 03, 2015 3:20 pm

I have my bottoms stripped, etched and alodined. I spent yesterday sealing up cracks with POR-15 fuel tank sealer and a shop vac.

I will add another set of zincs this year. Our local lake eats zincs pretty fast. The big disagreement locally is between having the zincs mounted against the bare frame or over paint. Having grown up on fishing boats, I have heard that argument for half a century.
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