SV Pilgrim - 1979 Morgan 382 - Homeport: Beaufort, NC

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Painting Ice Box and Engine Beds

We chose to use Alexseal Epoxy Primer and Alexseal Premium Topcoat for the engine compartment beds and surrounding  hull.  Why the Alexseal? 
  • We used the same system on the interior of the new ice box and are very pleased with the finished product. 
  • The Alexseal system will create a durable, glossy, easily cleaned surface. These attributes are desirable in both the engine compartment and the ice box.
  • We need to paint the seam along the aft wall of the ice box. Using the same paint will allow us to tackle both the engine compartment and the ice box project at the same time.

I know it’s been awhile since we mentioned the ice box rebuild (Ice Box Rebuild Photo Album).   We completed the fabrication of the new ice box last spring.  Painting the seam along the aft interior wall remained unfinished.

Seam along the aft wall of the ice box is prepped and ready for primer.

Building up the Alexseal epoxy primer "wet on wet" creates a stronger bond between the layers and eliminates sanding between coats.  How to reach the aft end of the compartment without marring the still tacky primer? 

The lower engine compartment ready for primer.

I experimented with painting the aft area via the cockpit locker and quarterberth access panels, but this proved too awkward.  My solution... leave the tops of the engine beds for another round of painting and place a piece of ¾” plywood across the beds.  This created a stable, albeit slightly angled, platform above the curing primer.

3/4" Plywood painting platform atop the engine beds.

Using this system I applied four coats of primer…

Four coats of epoxy primer complete.

The primer must cure for a minimum of 3 hours between coats.  The four coats of primer when on over a two day time span. The primer must be allowed to cure for 24 hours and then sanded before the top coat application. 
When using a brush to apply top coats a 24 hour cure time followed by sanding is required between coats.  The sanding generates unwanted dust so the area must be cleaned and wiped down in prep for the next coat.  Applying the two top coats occurred over a four day time span.

The finished product... a blank canvas on which to begin the engine install.

The top of the engine beds still require some primer and paint.

The top of the engine beds will be painted along with the interior face of the ice box lid.  The ice box lid is still under construction, but the ice box interior is looking good.

The interior of the new ice box is ready for divider & shelving installation.

The next step on the ice box is to install the vertical divider and the shelves.


  1. Really nice looking work. I don't think I've heard of Alexseal before seeing it mentioned on your blog.

    1. Thanks Dan. The Alexseal Product is similar to the better known Awlgrip in it's application and finish properties. I prefer the Alexseal product. I feel I achieve a better finish when rolling that tipping Alexseal than with Awlgrip.