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I received a query from one of our regular readers several days ago. He’s close to buying an Amesbury 16 like mine. He had several questions for me that I’ll share because there is some relevance to almost anyone that is acquiring a new boat that has never had bottom paint applied. So, the question first:

Hi Ed-

Hope your summer is going well.

As i mentioned i’m looking at either a Holland 14 or a Sturdee. My plan is to drop the

boat in the water in the beginning of the season, and then take it out at the end. In the meantime, i will leave her tied to a dock. I will be bottom painting the hull.

I actually have two questions.

1. How do you determine how far up to paint the hull without first putting her in the water…as it will be the first time painting it.

2. If I plan on not being by the boat for several weeks, I may pull the boat up on a floating dock and leave her resting on one . Is that a good idea

to have the boat resting on its side, or would it impact the structure of the hull?

Thanks for any advice you can give, i appreciate it. Talk soon.


To determine the static waterline on any boat that has never had bottom paint applied or where the actual line has not been previously established, the best bet is to load the boat as would normally be loaded and float it. Make some pencil marks at the waterline and haul it back out. Connect the dots and make your line.

My Amesbury is probably a bit heavier than many because I have quite a bit of extra equipment installed. Full console with electronics, 6 Gallon fuel tank, two group 27 deep cycle batteries, cooler. It all adds up on a small, relatively light-weight boat. So, the static water line on mine looks like this:




Bryan, count the strakes from the wood rail and you can get a feel to the static waterline on my Amesbury. I use a white Petit Vivid anti-fouling on the boat. Looks sharp!

In the photo below, my son Mason and his fishing buddy Sam are out on the Fly Zone. No fly rods on that trip.




Bryan, to your second question, no I do not recommend leaving the boat resting on its side for extended periods. I think you are going to find the boat is just a bit too heavy to moose up on its side easily.

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