Paint For Qutdrive


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Q. I recently purchased a boat with an inboard/outboard motor. The drive needs to be repainted, so I’m going to paint it with POR15 for the season after etch priming, but after the season I’m going to be dismantling it for a complete re-coating. Needless to say, it will be completely stripped and media blasted. As of now, I plan to use a high-end professional strength etch-primer, followed with coats of Dupont Imron. My question is, if done properly by a shop that is experienced with this work, would powder coating be even better?

This boat is wet-slipped, meaning it’s in the water for the duration of the season. Even though the drive will be freshly painted with new base and top coats as it came from the manufacturer, I will also give it a “season” coating to protect the paint (a sort of sacrificial coating) covered again by an anti-fouling paint.

For this application, if done properly, can powder coating equal or exceed the performance submerged in saltwater of Dupont Imron? H.K.


A. Being an experienced boater myself (I even owned a boat with an inboard/outboard) I recommend that you stick with the Imron liquid paint system. There are powder coatings that may outperform this material, but you will have to completely disassemble the outdrive before coating it, since the cure temperature for the powder will damage the seals and bearings (approx 400° F). This would drive up the cost of refurbishing this unit remarkably. The Imron will provide a high-gloss, smooth surface that will be fairly easy to clean. It can be applied to a fully assembled outdrive and can be sprayed by most repair facilities. 

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