Best paint for steel jump ramp

coledimichcoledimich Posts: 10 New Baller
So we’re currently in the midst of getting a recently acquired jump ramp back into shape before we put it on the water here in south eastern Michigan and planning out all of the work needing to be done. Right now the steel frame has a exterior layer of peeling black paint which we plan on stripping and repainting. Does anyone have a recommendation of a good paint to use to cover up the steel and keep it protected for years to come? Our lake grows a decent amount of algae in the summer and has muscles as well so we’d like to do the best we can to keep it clear of those. I’ve read about antifoul paints being bad news but maybe some other newer boat bottom paints being better?

Also we are looking into a gate or some sort of safety stop to put up on the ramp while not in use since it is on a public lake. Any experience to share on this subject?

Thanks!
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Comments

  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,917 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    We had a steel ramp in SW MI (currently in Holland @ForestLake ). It was simply pained with rustoleum paint (primed and a white color coat). Touched up yearly. You might consider sandblasting and painting if it’s rough.

    For a gate, we welded 3 vertical pockets at the hight end which would accept a 1”x1” square tube. We made a gate of 3 - 2’ long pieces of tubing with a 1x6 treated piece of wood across the top. The legs for the gate slipped into the pockets and the middle one had a hole which we could put a padlock into. We’d unlock and lay on the lower deck when we skied. The pockets/brackets were held below the surface about an inch to support a piece of 3/4” PVC on top which has small holes 3” on center across the top to water.

    The gate worked fine but didn’t prevent occasional swimmers/“sliders” from getting on it and sliding down it. We considered adding a heavy rope or chain across the bottom but we’re concerned it would damage the surface or wax.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Chairman of the Board

    coledimich
  • coledimichcoledimich Posts: 10 New Baller
    Yea it’s currently pretty rough so we’ll sand blast before painting anything but thanks for the info about the paint and the gate! Very helpful! I know you said you’d touch up the paint each year, would it get pretty worn down over the course of a season? We have an island that we’ll winch the ramp on to during the winter so it won’t be the easiest to repaint so I’m just wondering if we maybe want to go with something heavier that would last multiple years
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,917 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    We pulled the ramp all the way on shore and blocked it up for the winter (4 - 55-gallon drums at the corners). So, cleanup and touch up was pretty easy. That said, it was also pretty minimal. We spent far more time touching up and repairing fiberglass and side curtains. We also had a 4'x14' carpeted deck off the front of the lower frame which was recarpeted every couple of years or so. Since the ramp was on a public lake we typically used the ramp as a floating starting dock for practice since it was inconvenient to use a pier or the boat (too many people and/or skis).

    @ForestLake may be able to chime in on any recent maintenance but that ramp was built back in the early 90's and still looks as good as new.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Chairman of the Board

  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,139 Mega Baller
    I would worry your safety rope could become more of a danger rope ie someone whips a tube at it. You might consider like snow fence (orange) on PVC pipes flexible enough to bend but clearly a orange fence.

    Not specific to a jump ramp but I did a trailer with POR-15 bit expensive but super durable and the gloss version was extremely slick and far more durable than rustoleum.

    I was sandblasting but switched to flap discs on an angle grinder went far faster. Rolled on the por 15.

    coledimich
  • coledimichcoledimich Posts: 10 New Baller
    @BraceMaker luckily our course area is in a spot that you can’t really tube near but that is still a good idea to be on the safe side. I’ll look into the snow fencing. Would you still place it at the top of the ramp like @klindy?

    I just read about the POR-15 and that sounds like what we’re looking for. How much paint did it take to do the whole trailer? And did you use the cleaning and prepping sprays they recommend?
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,771 Crazy Baller
    I would look into coal tar epoxy. Really tough and stands up to immersion.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • WIRiverRatWIRiverRat Posts: 82 Baller
    Sherwin Williams Acrolon will last forever. It is a 2 part epoxy paint. You have to use the primer made for it first. It is a bit on the pricey side but it is used in nasty environments all the time and holds up great.
  • coledimichcoledimich Posts: 10 New Baller
    @WIRiverRat looks like Acrolon is very similar in price to the POR-15 that bracemaker recommended. Do you have any experience with POR-15 to know if Acrolon has advantages over that?
  • JayShowerJayShower Posts: 8 Baller
    @BraceMaker I'm imagining something like this picture would be good? The fence posts could fit into little pockets like what @klindy described. This seems like it would discourage people from climbing on it and sliding down


    coledimich
  • coledimichcoledimich Posts: 10 New Baller
    @JayShower that would probably be ideal for keeping people off but would also be pretty difficult to setup and takedown each time. I’m thinking something just at the top edge on either a hinge or some sort of linear actuator so it moves just below the surface while jumping and then maybe if we find it’s being abused over the first season we could add more to it in the off season. Love the drawing though ;)
    JayShower
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,139 Mega Baller
    I would just go across the bottom edge to me the most likely offenders are going to be jet skis cutting across the bottom or wakeboarders doing the same. They'll still try that crap if you block the top - I doubt very many are going to bother climbing up and sliding down if there isn't water pumping.

    Cost wise a trailer has a lot of flat surfaces and sucks up paint - your frame is going to need less. I don't use their primer and cleaner I've always used hot soapy water, rinsed and then wiped with acetone.

    2 part finishes are also nice and very tough, some smell horrible when you start using them, but my big complaint with 2 part finishes is you have to mix a quantity and then you have started the clock, you have to get all of that on in one go so you either need to mix smaller batches and work bit by bit or mix large batches and have a group of people ready to go because usually in hotter weather that time might only be an hour or two to have all the product on, and if you don't you need to wait for the stuff to set some minimum time before you can blend in.

    Both are probably great for the application. On already rusted surfaces I prefer POR-15 from my experience with it on cars. But then again this isn't a car.
    coledimich
  • WIRiverRatWIRiverRat Posts: 82 Baller
    I do not have experience with POR15. We paint all our dock poles with acrolon which are 12in diameter steel poles that are 40ft long. There is constant wave action with the dock roller going on them and I have not had to repaint anything in 6 years. For my business we have coated equipment going in to harsh environments like salt water and waste water treatment facilities and it has held up well. Like anything you paint it is all about the prep work.
    coledimich
  • ForestLakeForestLake Posts: 25 Baller
    Sorry, I am behind! @klindy is right, there have been other repairs over the years, but the frame has not been touched up in at least the last 5-6 years to my knowledge.
    coledimich
  • DonTDonT Posts: 79 Baller
    one two part epoxy paint I use on the steel hulls of our houseboat on Powell is PPG Amerlock. It remains workable for a significant time before kicking off. But it is pricey
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