Prior to launch and prior to bottom painting, I had prepped the surface by sanding the two-year-old bottom paint. This revealed a number of chips and imperfections in the surface. They looked like either 1) adhesion failure of the barrier coat (along with any of the few remaining layers of paint on top), or 2) small gel coat blisters. One section near the bow revealed rust-colored fairing compound underneath, so there was some damage repaired prior to my ownership.
I skimmed these imperfections over with thickened epoxy (thickened with fairing compound). After this cured, I sanded smooth. These were not large sections, so no grinding or long-board fairing was needed. Just sand the small proud areas smooth with a random orbital sander and wipe down in preparation for bottom paint.
When sanded smooth, the surface was perfect. I applied new bottom paint, and we’re ready for another season! Changed color to red this year, using the previous black color base as a signal coat.