Last Fall before pulling my M26X out of the water for the season, I
decided to repaint the trailer.  Actually the trailer itself was not in
too bad shape, a few rust spots here and there, but the the fenders were
terrible with rust with paint peeling off in strips.

The previous owner, in the three years that he sailed, had never launched
the boat in water.  He had the boat lifted in with a crane.  I had
launched and retrieved it perhaps a dozen times so I would have to blame
the factory for the problem.  It looked to me like a poor prep job
before painting.

I removed the fenders and took them to an auto body shop, had them
sandblasted to remove the rust and then had them primed and a baked
finish put on them.

Instead of just touching up the rust spots, which I initially intended 
to do, I decided to repaint the whole trailer.  However, on examining it
more closely, I found that one of the welds had cracked.  Actually the
crack was on one side of the weld so the weld was OK.  The crack was on
the starboard side where the cross member forward met the side rail. I
have no idea if the crack was there when I purchased the boat or not but
this is something a prospective buyer should check.  Anyway, I took the
trailer to a welding shop and had the crack welded.

Next, I started to get rid of the loose rust.  I tried a number of
things in doing this.  I used a file, coarse sandpaper (this worked
quite well), MIRACLE ERASER BLOCKS.  I did not like them at all.  I
found that synthetic steel wool worked well.  I did the entire trailer
to make sure that there was no loose paint or rust before painting.  

The auto body people told me that they use a primer first before
painting.  They recommended a product called RUST MORT and then finish
painting with RUSTOLEUM. They said that Rust Mort bonds with the rust to
form an undercoat.  I think that this substance must be sold only to the
trade because I could not find it anywhere. So, I went back to see my
autobody friends.  They said to use a product called EXTEND which would
do the same thing.  This was readily available.  It is a white liquid
and you must wait 12 hours for it to dry.  By that time, in bonding with
the rust, it turns black.

I then repainted the entire trailer with a flat black Rustoleum fussing
more over the places that had rust on them.  

If I were to do it again, I would use a gloss or semi-gloss Rustoleum
because after finishing with the flat Rustoleum the trailer did not look
like it had been painted.

In talking with one of our members at a MOANE meeting about trailer
rust, I thought that his recommendation had a lot of merit.  He keeps
some touch-up paint handy and checks the trailer often and when some
rust appears, he touches it up right away.

Fair winds

John O'Conner