This was one of the reasons to choose aluminium as a construction material.
It is evident that bare aluminium gives a rough appearance to the boat and that any irregularity in the welding will show evident.
This very much depends on how accurate was the initial welding. And particularly the welding on the hull and topsides that was done at the beginning of our experience when managing the easy distortion of aluminium was not so easy.
So one may be tempted to cover these irregularities with paint.
Horror!. Forgetting the terrible cost and fatigue to apply primer and filler to the surface of the boat, my experience is that the results, initially entusiasthic, will inevitably disappointing.
Cracks will appear in the area subject to stress, around stanchions bases, at the corners of plates, where there is a stagnation of water and after sometime the owner will have two choices: suffer and live with this "aged" aspect or spend a lot of money and time and redo the paint job.
Even worse is the idea of placing a nice teak bridge. I remember seeing an owner of a Meta boat ravageously remoouving the teck from his deck where the unseen corrosion had eaten a lot of the aluminium. And Meta has a 2 centimeters thick deck plates!
So: NO PAINT, NO WOOD
Nevertheless we had to prime the hull to be able to apply the antifouling.
As for the deck we will use TreadMaster as antiskid glued to the aluminium.
The first stem was sanding of the hull
The process revealed some imperfections that were corrected
Priming was next (International Paint)
Up to the DWL
Including the rudder of course
Next was gritting the topsides: one pass at 80 and one at 120.
Finally all the vertical portions of the deck. The rest will be Tread Master
And this is the final finish. One week of work!