Mini-Brig Project: Hull Construction - Step 6

Painting and Finishing The Hull

Assemble the rigging platforms

Before finishing the hull you may want to fit and drill the holes for the rigging platforms. The rigging platform, in the case of the bow, is made from four pieces of 2x2"  timber is that is cut approximately 20" long (Hardwood is preferred) for the outside, and about half that for the inside piece.

There are two pieces that for the platform in the bow, one each side of the hull. The outer piece secures the rigging, and on the inside of the hull, the other 2x2" section provides the mount with  which the bow crossbrace will bolt on to. The rigging platform is placed just below the seam between the brig panels and the hull, and then it is bolted together using carriage bolts.

These are platforms assembled in a "clamshell" fashion. That is, a carriage bolt passes through the outer rigging platform, through the side of the hull. and then through a 2x2" on the inside of the hull. Of course it is followed by a nut and washer.
Outboard rigging platform
Here is an example of the outboard rigging platform
Inside Rigging Platform
A picture of the inside rigging platform -
notice it is about half the length of the outside platform.
At this point, once you have everything fitting in place, you will want to remove the platform, and do a final sanding of the hull, and prepare it for paint. You will want to "feather"the edges of the fibreglass tape until the seams are smooth with the hull. The more time you spend at this stage, the better your finished hull will look.
Priming and Painting the Hull
There is a great discussion and debate on what makes the "best" paint for boat building. After many round-table discussions with experienced boat builders,it seems one thing is clear, latex technology has improved drastically over the years with the big emphasis in home improvement. A great overall paint is either a marine latex or a good quality exterior "weatherproof" variety. There are several good paint companies on the market but some of the best "one-coat" coverages can be found through: Benjamin Moore, General Paint, Glidden, and Pittsburgh Paints . By using this type of paint you are getting the biggest "bang" for your dollar and it is easy applied and cleaned up, as the brushes can be easily re-used by rising them in hot soapy water.
In aiddition, when looking at paints the designation of "marine" usually adds to the price, but is not necessarily indicative of better performance and/or durability. If you have the money, going to an oil based brand-name marine paint is a good way to go for performance and durability. However, it will definitely hit you hard in the pocketbook. It can also be difficult to re-touch later,  and requires messy solvents for cleanup and sometimes special brushes to apply. Generally, with the cost of thinner so high, and brushes so low, we "one use" our brushes --- not very environmentally friendly for the landfill, but it does save the environment from litres of toxic solvents filled with paint from entering the ecosystem. When we are done, we simply wrap the brush in plastic and throw it in the garbage.  We think this lesser of two evils.
Oil based paints can be difficult to touch-up or repaint. Hopefully, you will be frequently using your boat, and as it scrapes up against the dock, is pulled up on the beach, and gets launched and unlaunched from the trailer there will be much wear and tear. In theory, a tough oil based marine paint will hold up better than conventional latex paint. This is somewhat true, and Interlux Paints provide some of the toughest, and best marine enamels around. However, no paint is generally strong enough to withstand the rigours of daysailing and trailering forever! Remember, your boat will generally be dry stored, that is moored in the water only for short periods. So it will be going in and out of the water quite frequently, and will be scraping beaches, docks, trailers, a pick-up bed etc. The tough oil based  marine paints require lots of work to strip, sand and re-paint. They frequently over time leave "layers" of paint that when touched-up by new paint, becomes hard to blend with the old. It is our suggestion, that small quantities of a good oil based marine paint, be used for a "colour" accent coat rather than the whole hull.
In addition, companies like Rustoleum, and Tremclad, make very durable and strong oil base "rust" paints, that will perform nearly as well as a good marine paint at only a fraction of the cost. They also dont require any special laquers or brushes. Cleanup is done with standard mineral based paint thinner. If you decide to use oil based paint, this is the best choice for both value and durability.   
The other alternative is using very very expensive epoxy paint. This is very though and certainly will last a long long time. However, the clean-up is much more difficult than even oil based paints, and special brushes are needed as the epoxy can eat regular polyurethane brushes, also if you make a mistake it is very hard to correct it. On a boat this size, and of this use, it is our feeling that epoxy paints are not only not cost effective, but do not provide any better longevity for the money. Our advice is unless you get a deal, steer clear of these paints..
Once you have made the decision on the colour scheme and type of paint, you will need to apply the primer coat. In one boat, we used a glossy alkyd exterior latex paint for the base coat, and then we found some "industrial" strength two part polyeurathane for the "top coat" at a discounted price. Since we got a premium paint at a low price we decided to use it, but next time we will finish the whole boat with latex or oil.
In the second boat, we used an oil based "rust paint" on the exterior, and a great quality latex on the interior.

Priming the hull: normally remove the rigging platforms first.
Hull Primed 2
The primed hull is starting to shape up.
The more sanding you do, the better your hull will look!
Finishing the Hull and Adding the Colour Coat
After allowing the hull to dry for at least 24 hours, we then applied the final coats. First, we applied several layers of white one coat at a time. Follow the directions on the paint for recoat times, but it is best to apply several thin layers. This will avoid paint runs, and will give a nice uniform look and good strength.
Once your base coat has been applied, you may want to top it with "colours". For the Adventure, we decided on a green/gold/white colour scheme. You can choose any hull colour you want, but you may want to look at different ships of the time period you are interested in to get some ideas

Applying the "Holland Yellow" stripe to the Adventure.
The Adventure Hull
A fine looking mini-brig!
The Liberte Mini-Brig
A different paint scheme on the Liberte