Repainted and Refurbed a 1970’s Ski Boat

I have always wanted a ski boat. When I spotted this boat for sale in 2019 I was convinced I needed to buy it. I got it at the right price and then set about starting to refurb it. I knew it needed a repaint but I had never repainted a boat before. I’d barely used a spray gun and didn’t own one, nor did I own a spray compressor. I ended up fully repainting it. This post mentions some of what was involved and some of the photos during the restore.

My Pride Cheetah ski boat before I started restoring it. 2019
My Pride Cheetah ski boat before I started restoring it. 2019

After much research on YouTube, forums, Facebook Closed Groups, chatting with my local Paint Shops, tips from a Spray Painter mate of mine and tips from my Dad (who had repainted a tinnie boat and vehicle body parts when he was younger) I plucked up the confidence to repaint the boat. I had to buy a Spray Gun (2 of them actually) and also a decent Compressor to do the job, and a lot of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) gear.

Side note: Many years ago (when I was 20) I spent 15 months working as a junior signwriter (apprentice) for some really good tradesmen. They taught me a LOT about safety, chemicals, surface preparation, masking, sanding and painting (with a brush and airbrush). All this was going to come in very handy during this project.

Myself and a few helpers started working on this boat project in our spare time back in late 2019. We finished repainting it in January 2021.

If you have spray painted a car or boat before you would be well aware that it’s 90% prep work. The removing of the old decals, removing the windscreen, sanding the old Gelcoat, puttying up all the rock marks, rock dints, scratches and other blemishes with 2 pack bog and then EVEN MORE sanding to get the boat smooth took quite some time and effort!

Painting each coat, waiting for it to dry, sanding, prepping and then painting the next coat of paint took quite some time too. All up we applied 2 full coats of undercoat and 2 full coats of top-coat (the colour).

I made a timber stand so we could take the boat off the trailer so I could repaint the hull. We then sanded it and prepped it. I then crawled in under the boat to paint the hull.

Pride Cheetah Ski boat on timber stands ready to repaint the hull
In this pic you can see one of the timber stands that I made, which allowed me to repaint the hull.

I repainted the boat with 2 Pack Norglass Polyurethane marine paint. It is durable and will last many years.

We also refurbed the trailer and repainted it black. We removed the rust before prepping it for repaint. We also applied a rust treatment. I also rebuilt the leaf springs including new bolts. I also had to do some welding repairs. Basically, the entire trailer was fully reconditioned and all bolts were replaced.

Boat trailer - repainted
After I re-sprayed the trailer black.

Boat trailer - repainted

I also have a blog article about this boat project on my Green Valley Digital website. Check it out here.

Even the steering wheel got a refurb.

Steering wheel masked up an undercoated
Steering wheel masked up and undercoated
Steering wheel repainted
Steering wheel repainted

There were many jobs that had to be done during the project. Some of them included:

  • Replacing the outboard engine gearbox.
  • Battery replacement
  • Cleaning the rub-rail to get it white (use Acetone to do this — it works really well)
  • I repainted the seats using Vinyl Spray Paint
  • Some basic wiring jobs
  • Lots of other little jobs
  • New stickers/ decals (not yet added)

The Cowl still needs to be repainted. I will do that soon.

It was a fun project and we all learned a LOT!

Below are some photos I took during the project. I’ll add others to this blog post soon.

Sanding the undercoat smooth
One of my team sanding the undercoat smooth. We used the ‘guide-coat’ process to assist.
Sanding the Pride Cheetah ski boat
Time spent sanding took up approx 40% of the total time of the entire project.
Spraying the first coat of undercoat
We sprayed the boat outdoors. This was taken while preparing to spray the first coat of undercoat.
Removing the boat from the trailer
The day we removed the boat from the trailer
2nd coat of undercoat
This was just before I sprayed the 1st coat of top-coat red.
Sprayed the top coat in the back yard
This was taken just before we sprayed the 2nd coat of top-coat red.
After spraying 2nd coat of red
This was taken just after I sprayed the 2nd coat of top-coat red. This was the final coat.
Letting the final coat dry
Took this pic while the final coat was drying.
Dressed and ready to spray
All dressed up but nowhere to go … lol
Before, during and after I repainted the first chair
Before, during and after I repainted the first chair
Seats repainted and re-installed
Seats repainted and re-installed.
Blue light
Definitely needed a blue light

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Title Here ?