Finish decision, JS II

�So I just finished with filling the weave on my JSII. I'm thinking of painting the bottom to the water line and then varnish the rest of the way. My question is can I extend the water line up a few inches without making it look like a mistake.

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RE: Finish decision, JS II

I'd paint to where the waterline's supposed to be then decide later, once my project's been launched & viewed from a distance, whether it needs to be brought higher.

Reasoning? Easier painting over (sanded first!) varnish than stripping paint off then varnishing what'd been painted over.

In either case it's you who decides what looks right or wrong anyway so go with your gut.

RE: Finish decision, JS II

i would ask as part of sorting this out, what is the purpose of the paint...if it is bottom paint or just decorative.

if its bottom paint (and you intend to keep the boat in the water for periods of time), you want the bottom paint to extend up a little bit above the waterline for it to do its job.  an inch above the waterline would be reasonable for bottom paint.  if its can put it anywhere you want it as looks are the only thing that matters.

that said,  you can definitely float the boat prior to paint application to confirm location and looks using some tape to make sure you have it the way you want it.


RE: Finish decision, JS II

���Thanks, it's for show only, I'll be rolling it in and out for each use, no mooring for this boat! I like the idea of floating with some tape before I paint. Thanks again, Sean

RE: Finish decision, JS II

Traditional boats, with traditional shear, should have "waterlines" that also have some spring to them. The bow should be higher than middle, and the stern a little less high as the bow. The sailplan line drawing, and a couple of the gallery pics show a straight/level waterline, and it looks off. On the line drawing especially, the waterline looks hogged or drooping at each end, since it contrasts with the rising bottom and shear.


RE: Finish decision, JS II

that's an interesting point.

one thing i know is that it also depends on what situation you are looking at it from.  a stripe, for example, or contrasting bottom paint, for a boat sitting on the water, typically looks best to be parrallel to the waterline the boat is sitting on.....which may be a different perspective than when it is on the hard.

water color vs hull color and bottom paint color and potentially a boot stripe color all come into play...and again, are you looking at the boat from the dock/beach sitting on a mooring or looking at it in the parking lot sitting on its trailer before it goes in.....that's why a temporary tape line is something that can help.




RE: Finish decision, JS II

I guess I'd disagree about that. Below is one of John's blog posts that happens to show several boats- most are drawn with "shear" for their waterline. It's considered proper for boot tops, or stripes, or contrasting bottom paint to not be parallel to the water- the perspective effect will always make the line look hogged, and the sweep of the shear, even if the chine is below water, the shear will still visually look best with a swept waterline.

I'd argue that most of clc's boats (not the kayaks of course) are wide with lots of traditional shear- both factors that most designers recognize as needing swept boot top to look proper.

My point in bringing this up is that it's easy for new builders to want to measure and calculate their shear based on the flat water the boat will sit in, not realizing that a simple straight line actually isn't the normally proper way to paint a bottom.

RE: Finish decision, JS II

This is an issue that I thought long and hard about when finishing my GIS a couple of years ago.  I elected to bring the bottom paint up about three inches above the bottom and keep it parallel to the bottom instead of trying to paint an exact waterline.  First of all, on a small crew ballasted boat like the GIS or JS2, where is the real waterline?  It totally depends on the weight of the crew and exactly where they are sitting.  Secondly, the boat will most alsways be healing so a waterline is is a mute point.  I decided that my approach was the easiest to apply and looked the best on the trailer.

A couple of other thoughts.  First, on a boat like the JS2, all varnish above the waterline and the interior presents a lot of okoume.  To me this looks a bit monotonous.  I prefer one color on the botoom, another on the sides and bright on the rails and interior.  Secondly, if you are looking for a REALLY tough paint on the bottom, look at Wetlander.  I applied it to the botoom of my Goat and it has held up very well.


RE: Finish decision, JS II

This is a little late for the OP's boat, but some years ago I worked out an easy solution for hard-chined boats. It works equally well for flat or shaped bottoms and yields an aesthetically pleasing waterline and/or boot stripe that matches the rocker. It actually works best for boats like the Jimmy Skiff. The trick is to do it while the panels are flat.

Once the panels are cut, trimmed to shape, drilled and sanded well enough to allow glassing, but before they're stitched together, use a marking gauge to make a line parallel to the bottom chine (where the side panel meets the bottom panel). The distance depends on how high the side is. For something like the JS I'd say between 1 to 2 inches, but it's up to the builder. I prefer to use a pencil instead of a blade or point in the gauge so that the line can be adjusted.

A single line parallel to the chine will automatically yield a constant distance waterline that will exactly match the curve of the rocker. If this is not the effect you're looking for, it's easy enough to make marks at different distances from the edge and to connect them with a fairing batten. A second line at a different distance will result in a nice boot stripe.

Once the lines are where you want them, use the gauge to make a very heavy pencil line if you're going to be glassing the outside. Then, glass the outside of the panels before stitching them to the bottom. This results in a perfect line that will now be visible through the glass right up until it's time to paint. At that point, you have a nice, true and fair line to guide the application of the masking tape. If the line is 2 inches or so from the chine, it also makes a nice boundary for overlapping the bottom glass onto the side.

This assumes that the outside sides are going to be glassed. If not, instead of the heavy pencil line use the marking gauge to make a deep scratch, instead. The scratch will fill with epoxy and leave a darker wood-colored line above the chine that can be used for reference.

Here's an example from when I built my schooner some years back.

The unglassed bottom is glued to the glassed side and the reference pencil line is visible through the glass.

Have fun,



RE: Finish decision, JS II

Here's the same schooner showing what a boat painted to the waterline and varnished otherwise can look like.


Any monotony is broken up by the contrasting rubrails and the natural variation of the wood grain. The deck, which is what the sailor would mostly see, has, in addition to the okoume, 2 different colors of cedar, white pine, a multi-colored onlay, white canvas and cordage. Add in the black and white masts and tanbark sails and there's enough going on visually to work with the varnished sides.

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