Posted by Mitchell Bernardo on July 15, 2014
To bottom paint or not to bottom paint that is the question. If you plan to leave your RIB inflatable boat in the water for more than about 4 days at a time then I would recommend bottom painting. Painting the bottom of an inflatable RIB is not the same as painting the bottom of your sail or power boat. The paint must adhere to both the fiberglass and the PVC or Hypalon fabric. A specific type of bottom paint is selected for use on both the fiberglass and the tubes. You might think having your dinghy painted at the boat yard along with your yacht is a good idea but I recommend against it. The paint they will use will not work well on your RIB. It will crack off the tubes and not look good. So picking the correct paint is important. Next is preparing the bottom of the dinghy for painting. We believe that sanding the fiberglass hull before applying the bottom paint is the best way to prepare the surface. We like this method over using a primer. Once sanded and cleaned with acetone the bottom is ready to be taped and painted. Two coats is needed. The paint should last a good two years provided your bottom cleaner is not to hard on the bottom of your RIB. We recommend having the diver use only a T-shirt for cleaning the bottom of the dinghy for as long as possible. Don't clean the bottom at all for the first couple of months. We offer bottom painting services at our shop. Please ask us about the service on your next visit.