Advice for fixing up Albacore (~1969)

Hello all, I picked up an Albacore that I have researched to be likely 1969 era (plate is missing). It has not been sailed in a couple of years and needs some TLC, but appears pretty sound all around. It is 90% fiberglass with some remaining teak areas (though varnished). My biggest quandary at this point is about the paint.

At some point in the past someone painted the hull and deck - white over the pale blue original which can be seen clearly in many places and a power wash upon receiving it in the fall took more off + red color with white waterline on hull over the top of the white original. The red on the hull is faded and dinged, so needs a freshening. Because the white on the deck is flaking off I need to either get the rest of the white off (except in cockpit which was always white below the seats) or repaint it white.

I also have some small replacements for equipment like cleats, etc, possibly some of the rigging.

I just want to get ready to be on the water in a couple of months, so not trying to spend too much or kill myself on this, as I become more familiar with the Albacore class.

Questions:

  1. First, parts - where do I best find the correct Albacore parts or for a boat this old do I have to seek out vintage stuff, whatever I can make work? Any good Albacore or specific websites available?
  2. Paint - Can I get the remainder of the white off the original blue deck without damaging it and then do touch ups with the proper blue? What is the best way to try to get that off? Or is it better to cut my losses and just paint white over again? What would be the best paint for this?
  3. Paint - Is there an all purpose primer + paint that would serve to paint the hull whether I go with completely white to match the original or somewhat match the look now (dark paint, white waterline stripe,probably with something other than the reddish that is there now)? What would be the best paint?

I will probably store dry on trailer unless I move closer to the water, so keeping that in mind for the painting.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Stewart
Maryland

Answers to your questions will depend a lot on how much you want to invest in your new-to-you boat.
You may be able to find original replacement parts, but is it worth the time, effort, and cost, when newer equipment might work better and be more easily obtained? Unless you plan to race in a one-design fleet of Albacores and there are class rules about what fittings are allowed, searching out original equipment is not likely worth it.
Paint, and the effort involved is another investment issue. The original color of the boat was in the gelcoat - not paint. Forty years of UV exposure will make any gelcoat look dull, so someone painted it. Unless the painting was done to cover up a fiberglass repair, this was a big mistake. Gelcoat is much thicker and tougher than just about any paint. Though gelcoat can wear thin, or off, it can be compounded and polished over decades to bring back shine. (Think about guys with '69 Corvettes. They’re not painted.) As you can see from the flaking you’re getting, proper preparation of the deck and hull is required in order to make the paint stick. Paint chips, scratches, flakes, and fades much more quickly than gelcoat - often in just one or two seasons. Sometimes paint is what you have to do, however. Removing the existing paint down to the gelcoat will leave a surface that is too scratched to leave alone: you will need to paint.
There are three schools of thought about paint. You are looking at the results of the first school: throw something on there as quick as you can say Home Depot. The second and third schools are more involved. Boats are subject to a lot more wear, tear, and weather and water exposure than houses. To stand up to this, polyurethane paints seem to work better than others. There are single polyurethanes, like Brightsides, that you apply right out of the can, and two-part polyurethanes, like Perfection or Awlgrip, that require careful mixing and timed applications. (Mixing the paint sets off a hardening process. If the paint doesn’t get spread before it hardens, it hardens in the mixing tray.) Preparation of the surfaces to be painted is involved and painstaking. You have to follow the directions TO THE LETTER - including temperature and humidity conditions. They require sanding, cleaning and then using a solvent wash (not acetone) to remove any possible contaminants - like wax or residue from car exhausts - before applying the paint. Since the prep is essentially the same for both types of polyurethanes, we think it worthwhile to use the two-part paint because it lasts longer. The first time we did our deck (rolled & tipped) it held up for about a dozen years before it needed re-doing. We tried one-part on a trial deck section and found it lasted about two weeks before starting to look shabby. YMMV, however. Your dinghy may not have gorillas tramping all over the deck, gybing spinnakers racing round the bouys, but you will get chafing and wear from the trailer bunks and pads, so that is something to consider. The two-part is a bit more expensive and trickier to apply, but avoiding having to go through all the prep work to re-paint every couple of years is worth it to us. Your choice.

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Thank you so much! Super helpful and a lot to consider.

Hi Banosaur,

How have you been making out with the Albacore project? I recently acquired what I believe to be a 1973 Albacore (Grampian Marine Ltd.). I am trying to confirm via pictures I find online, but I am not having much luck. Either way, my boat appears to have similar needs for maintenance as your Albacore did/does. If you are (or if anyone reading this is) still involved with the project, or otherwise have pictures or knowledge that may be helpful with my effort to identify, renew, and become familiar with this 50yr old gem, I would appreciate you reaching out. Many thanks!