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How much paint?

When it comes time to paint your boat you will need to have some idea of its surface area in order to estimate how much paint to buy.

Every well organised boater will have a file where useful bits of information can be stored. Nowadays this could be a note taking app like ‘evernote’ or ‘trello’ on your smart phone. Some might be using a more traditional exercise book as a sort of ships log. It could even be a dusty old manila folder filled with slips of paper and equipment manuals.

To Calculate how much Paint:

Well first you need to record your boat’s particulars.

  • Length Over All (LOA)
  • Length Water Line (LWL)
  • Beam (B)
  • Draft (T)
  • Freeboard (F)

Keep the units consistent. For most of us this will be metres. If you are perverse then this will be in feet.

You can then apply the following formulas to calculate the areas to be painted.

Topside area = (LOA + B) x 2 x F

Bottom area = (B + T) x LWL

Deck area = LOA x B x 0.75

These formulae are only approximate. For instance the formula for bottom area works well for a simple canoe body but if you have a yacht with a long fin keel the estimate will probably be on the under side. After the first coat of paint you will have an idea if theses approximations are an under or over estimate.

Knowing the area to be covered allows the use of the paint manufacturer’s specification for litres per square metre to be applied to your purchase.

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