Fatty McFatterpants


Somewhere we saw that Pretorien’s come from the factory at 16,000 pounds. True? I have no idea.

Our little girl weighed in at around 19,000 this haul out according to the crane operator. True? I have no idea. I do know that we are sitting lower in the water than where the factory intended.

The length of the boat at the water is called the waterline. The word waterline is also commonly used to refer to the line to which you paint your anti-fouling bottom paint. The paint keeps sea creatures from making their homes on your hull and thus fouling your progress. It ablates when they get their hooks in and leaves a fresh layer of paint – assuming you’ve put enough on.

So, to keep the creatures at bay, we raised our waterline (paint) to our waterline (where we sit in the water).

We read that some people just paint it on, some sand lightly first to get better adhesion, and some put down a barrier coat first. A barrier coat keeps the water off of your fiberglass with the hope of preventing osmotic blistering. Whether that works is beyond the scope of this post, but basically we don’t have barrier coat on the rest of our hull so painting a stripe at the waterline isn’t going to change anything and if we decide to do it later removing an extra inch or two of paint won’t substantially worsen the process.

We sanded and painted the starboard strip and just painted the port strip. Ask us in a year which worked better.

Raising the waterline

Then we painted the entire bottom several more times with Micron Bottomkote XXX. That’s right; our underbelly is XXX. The blue painters tape covering the white stripe below the blue stripe (whe, this is confusing) is the same color (almost) in this photo as the bottom stripe (aka the boot stripe) and the line was nice and straight when we removed it.


I didn’t take a picture after removing the tape but we have the bottom paint, and above that a white stripe and then the blue bootstripe. A few Pretorien’s who have gone cruising have become so fat that they have to raise their waterline to the second bootstripe. Hopefully not, but we’ll see. She’s sexier with at least one stripe.


  1. There was a lot of discussion on what the design/build weight of the Pretoriens were when we were trying to get Seeker rated for the Vic-Maui. Not sure what Ken actually went with, but I don't think the owners have 100% agreed on what they weigh, and I don't know anyone who has hauled with an accurate load cell to really see what the weight is.

  2. Interesting both of you, thanks. We had everything full except our jerry jugs (both water tanks, main fuel, etc), all of our gear and personal stuff and, as we live aboard, a medium full stock of food. We haven't added any weight since then except for having our diesel jugs topped off.

  3. "We sanded and painted the starboard strip and just painted the port strip. Ask us in a year which worked better."

    Any reason why you couldn't have done this a year ago so I could benefit from your experience. As it is, we go into the yard July 12 and have to replace our current boot stripe with bottom paint and paint a new boot stripe on. Not having your experience to draw on, we're going to follow a ocal diver's recommendation for painting over gel coat: wipe down with denatured alcohol and follow up with a scrubbing using GREY Scotchbrite pads. Have to be the GREY ones.

    Last year we changed the boot stripe color and painted directly over the gel coat after cleaning it up some first. The paint has held pretty well although it lifts off with a pressure washer.


  4. Guess I should have proof-read my comments. "ocal" should be "local"


  5. @Steve - That's great info, thanks.



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