amusement park boat rides


Hi guys, I have to paint some fiberglass amusement park boat rides for children. These boats are submerged in water, and have kids climbing in and out of them for the ride. I need something super durable that also can hold up with the bottom portion being submerged in water. What type of paint(s) do you guys recommend? Like an Imron or something? or a marine-grade paint? thank you!
We use Awl Grip on some camera pan and tilts that are put on yachts. Just remember, you have above water stuff, and below water stuff, so if you want them to last a long time, treat them as a two tone job. You dont want the above water line stuff always submerged. You dont want the below water line stuff to be subjected to the UV
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Jim C

no paint is rated for below the waterline on fiberglass, not even awlgrip. "bottom" paint is just antifouling paint and doesnt block water at all. gelcoat on glass below the waterline....or epoxy. you could do spi epoxy primer or another type of epoxy paint if you can find it. pool paint is usually epoxy. as AI said, you will need to treat the bottom and top differently.


Top Banana
Pool epoxy paint didnt last on my pool 2 yrs. cost extra grand to remove & do right with cement.
Also tried boat epoxy on pool ramp, failed the same.
Rustolium industrial epoxy is on ramp now, chalking maybe a tad less, been 2yrs.
Spi i haven't tried.
Shine's got the long term answer, i'll guess epoxy in fresh water will last longer then chlorine.
Boat anti foul paint & kill 2 birds 1 spray er stone. Recoat every yr or 2.


It sounds like gel coat is the way to go. I've never worked with gel coat. Do I just sand the existing surface with 180 and spray a white gel coat? The boats currently are painted white on the bottom, and various colors on the top....I'll try to post some pictures.


Paint Fanatic
Staff member
How long are the boats in the water before they see air, if under four months or they pull them out to clean every 1 to 3 months changes everything?


i would guess they drain the water after the season . if left in to freeze gelcoats gonna pop circles in them .


Thank you guys...I will ask if the boats are left in the water year round. I think you're right Shine, they probably drain them, otherwise the water would freeze. Would gel coat be the most durable solution for the bottom? Is it hard to spray? Do I put epoxy underneath the gel coat? I'm guessing a high quality single stage for the tops?

Jim C

you should really sand the paint off that is on the bottom now. you have no idea what people have done or put on the bottom over the years. generally sand with nothing finer than 80 grit. gelcoat is not like paint. it sprays lumpy and dries dull. its actually just like polyester primer. if the company is looking for a high gloss finish then you need to sand and buff it when your done. be sure to get gel that has wax in it since you wont be spraying it in a mold. the place you get it from will know. in mold gel with no wax will dry sticky.