Making cowl vents and dorade boxes look (almost!) like new

February 7, 2012

Reality Check came with 2 plastic dorade boxes over stainless steel mushroom vents. Topping off the dorade boxes are the Vetus flexible PVC Cowl Vents with red interior.

no cowl vents Reality Check without the cowl vents, just stainless steel mushroom vents on top
Sep 2009

The sun does a lot of damage and eventually my Cowl vents looked terrible. Yellow to brown sunburn on the top that was even pitted and pock marked. What to do? Years ago I'd taken them off and painted the cowls with Vinyl spray paint. That lasted a couple of years before it deteriorated again. In 2008 I took the cowl vents and dorade boxes off to work on them, taped over the deck screw holes with white tape, and that's the way the topside was for another two years! I actually liked that no cowl vent look, just the shiny stainless mushroom vents.

How to clean up dingy cowl vents - paint them with Plastic spray paint!

cowl vent Cowl vent after 1 1/2 years
Jan 2012

Finally got to work on the vents. When I used the Vinyl spray paint years before I sprayed the red interior. That was a mistake - the inside was a piece of work getting that paint off.

After a variety of paint removing products and scrubbing the heck out of the cowl vents with a green scotch-brite scrub pad, I very lightly sanded the exterior of the vent with the finest sandpaper I had. Then covered the inside with aluminum foil and taped over the opening to prevent paint from getting inside. Sprayed the cowl vents with Rust-Oleum White Plastic spray in a couple of passes.

Turned out so well I decided to spray the dorade boxes and brighten them up too. Before putting them back on the boat, waxed the cowls and dorade boses with expensive boat wax. A year and a half later, still looking great!

cowl vent and dorade box Repainted cowl vent and dorade box after 1 1/2 years


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