Aluminum Drift Boat bottom coating – what works best?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Greg Price, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. I purchased a used drift boat in the mid 90’s. The bare aluminum bottom was sticky, so I painted a slick epoxy with graphite and Kevlar. I cannot remember what brand of bottom coating I used, but my memory is that there was a “glove it” and “coat it” epoxy brands available at the time.

    The coating developed bare patches within 5 years, so I patched the bottom by chipping off the loose coating, then painting the bare spots with the epoxy. The procedure was simple; the paint matched the original perfectly and filled in the bare spots. Again, I cannot remember what brand epoxy was used.

    Just this summer the boat needed another patch to the bottom. We purchased and used the “coat it” brand that is owned by goop. Wow, what a disappointment. The epoxy is less viscous, so it did not fill the holes left by the old coating. The new patches are almost see through, so it appears the new “coat it “ brand have less % of graphite.

    My question is this, has “coat it” changed over the years?
    I cannot remember what brand I used in the past. I thought I used “coat it” in the past, but I do not remember it being owned by goop. The “coat it” is not as dark or thick as the coatings I used before. Did goop by a great brand and alter the chemistry to make more profit?

    Are there other, better products on the market now?

    Is glove it still available for sale? Is it better than coat it?

    Is there a slick coating that is not affected by UV light?

    Is there a slick coating that lasts longer than 2-5 years on a boat that is stored outside?

    I am sure the new coat will work fine, but I am eager to hear from other drift boat owners who may have found a magical new coating that will offer the same slickness without the need to constantly re patch due to UV light degradation.
  2. We always use gluvit. I've never used coat it, so can't testify to that. But gluvit has always worked like a charm on my old alumaweld I had. I helped a buddy redo his Willie with gluvit two years ago, and worked like a charm still.

    Now, I haven't used it. But I've read (but have not seen first hand) that companies like Rhino Lining have a slick coating they can put on the bottom. Lifetime warranty I assume, and works good (from what I've read). I'd be interested to hear some first hand reports myself on the LineX/Rhino lining on the bottom.
  3. glove it and coat it won't bond to each other. When you did you boat originally, you most
    likely used glovit. Coat it works just as good you just need to get all of the glovit off your boat to use it.
  4. I've rowed a boat that has a Line-X'd bottom and was pleasantly surprised. We took it though some skinny water, over some rocky bars, and it was great. I'd always thought the Line-X/Rhino would stick to the rocks more. It was also a little quiter. Keep in mind, this was a fiberglass boat, I have no idea how this stuff would hold up on aluminum.
  5. Hyde's UHMW bottom coating is good stuff. I had it put on a work boat a couple years ago and put it through some paces floating the upper Spokane river at night in various flows and banging off numerous big rocks, getting it stuck in shallow water and winching it up the bank where no launch was available. After thirty+ days of that treatment the bottom coating is still going strong with no cracks, just scuffs.
  6. UHMW is the shit, but it's problematic to put on. We just had Linex applied to the bottom of our River Wolf aluminum drift boat. It wasn't as smooth as we'd hoped, and it added some weight to the boat, and I've yet to truely test it. So far, the water's been high and we haven't gotten the opportunity to scrape any rocks. It does seem to lag a bit getting up on plane, but that could be a more mental than anything. The last time I rowed it before we did the Linex the Clearwater was at 8,000 cfs. The first time after we did the linex, the river was at 35,000 cfs. My gut feeling is that it was a good thing to do. Total cost for the 16' drift boat was $325.
  7. you can also make your own coatings
    buy an epoxy kit and add graphite and other fillers to create the right consistany
    system three is based in fremont and are very helpful
    plus there are always projects for the straight epoxy
    i deal with alot of aluminum seine skiffs that are beaten and pitted from saltwater use
    dont forget to scuff the repair area well
    epoxy likes a tooth to hold on to
  8. I used coat it and it has worked well for me.

    I have a question to add to this. Is it necessary to remove all of the coat it before you apply a new coat? Or can you just fill in the spots?
  9. Used a new product too me it's called Fasco material is so slick when you run the DB bow on the gravel bar it want's to slide off. I've been coating DB over 40 yrs and this is great it's only been on DB June this year and only used 30-40 outings /retired guy.This coating is what is used on mud boats and is hands down better than Tap plastic /Coat-it or Glove it.
  10. Okay, I'll bite. Fasco epoxies has about 30 different types of epoxy. Which one were you referring too?
  11. Sorry it's mudboat bottom coating you will need too call and get the # great people to talk with also.
  12. You can buy (at Fisheries Supply, or West Marine), cans of graphite to add to your choice of epoxy. I would highly recommend either System Three or West System epoxies. This will make a super slippery coating that is very tough.

    As someone else mentioned, you will need to have a pretty good "tooth" on the aluminum, blasted is nice, but a 60 grit or so (green 3m discs), will provide really good adhesion.
  13. The best solution is done by a company here in Portland. They install a product that's far more durable and lighter than Line-X, etc. and less expensive yet tougher than UHMW. Glove-It and Coat-It like all expoxy based products are going to create an ongoing maintenance issue. Send me a PM and I'll provide their details.
  14. I've used the West System Epoxy mixed with graphite powder on my wooden drift boat for 15 years now. Really easy to touch up, very durable, and really slick. I don't know if it works as well on aluminum, but for wood it is the bomb. Rick

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