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Old 18-02-2008, 06:33   #1
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Antifouling a Prop

I have just heard one can have a bronze prop copper coated (electro-plated) to provide a antifouling effect.

Anyone tried this - pros and cons? - any electrolysis issues?

I have always just painted them with antifouling or just polished them as shiny as possibile.
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Old 18-02-2008, 06:53   #2
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Never heard of that one, seems like would be some issues with the dissimilar metals, but I don't know.

I have a new wheel and am looking at propspeed, which I believe originall came out of your neck of the woods, but don't quote me on it.
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Old 18-02-2008, 08:31   #3
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If the prop is made of bronze, it can certainly a super idea in my opinion. Critters and other fouling slimy thing hate copper, and most anti fouling paint are based on this fact. Bronze is anyway mostly copper, and I don't believe that there are risks of electrolysis. I like this idea, thanks.
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Old 18-02-2008, 08:32   #4
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A friend of mine on the Chesapeake did that. Some company in Norfolk or Virginia Beach does it. He said it worked pretty well.

I've also heard that if you cover your prop with ink from a magic marker, it will retard marine growth.

Who knows??? Maybe I'm spreading rumors!
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Old 18-02-2008, 10:15   #5
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I've heard the magic marker thing several times, but I'm not all that convinced.
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Old 18-02-2008, 11:17   #6
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It has to be pink magic marker - barnacles don't like pink.

Whatever you do, don't use green....
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Old 18-02-2008, 11:19   #7
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A prop that gets used does not need any sort of anti-fouling. Run it periodically.
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Old 18-02-2008, 11:26   #8
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Hmmmm, I like this idea too. How come I didn't think of it earlier :-) It is dead easy to electroplate copper. And I don't think there would be any issue with dissimilar metals. I imagine the copper will wear away, but it would be far less wear away'able than paint.
I was reading an article last night about Electrolysis and that Prop-speed falls off if any electrical action takes place. The guy liked that idea as it then identified he had a problem. My view was it is a dman expensive wistle to have blow, losing prop-speed. Copper wouldn't be as big an issue as it is the copper that tends to be the last to go. But I don't know if the Zinc can permeate through the copper coating. I wonder if I can experiment with some bronze and copper coat it and drop it over the side and see what happens. I need to find an old prop.
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Old 18-02-2008, 11:45   #9
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Zinc plating a bronze propeller? ..if I read that right? I think the zinc would be gone in about a month from electrolysis Pure copper over bronze might make sense but pure copper is relatively soft. I wonder how long it would last? ..and how much economic sense it would make. The guy at the prop shop who has to true your props and remove the dings probably would not like the idea too much...having to remove the copper so he can do his metal work.

One thing I learned about barnacles from a biologist. When barnacles are in their larval state in the watercolumn, they can sense where other barnacles are by a special "scent" that the adult releases. The larval barnacle is then much more likely to take up residence where an adult barnacle is already located. The point here is that once one barnacle has established itself, the chances of getting more in the same area are much higher. So when you scrape them off....try to kill every damned last one of them!
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Old 18-02-2008, 12:25   #10
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Quote:
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A prop that gets used does not need any sort of anti-fouling. Run it periodically.
I've never been anywhere in south florida where that applies.
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Old 18-02-2008, 12:48   #11
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Quote:
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I've never been anywhere in south florida where that applies.
Ok...you must have more voracious critters there. Where I am from its not a problem for people who move their boats occasionally.
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Old 18-02-2008, 15:02   #12
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I've never been anywhere in south florida where that applies.
We just have to make cavitation speed and it steam-cleans the little buggers right off the blades....

Oh I forgot we have underpowered sailboats...
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Old 18-02-2008, 22:44   #13
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Eeegghh cavitation isn't good for the prop. Worse than the growth. It'll eat holes in the prop as if it was copper on Aluminium.
But I do assume you were just joking...err...right??
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Old 19-02-2008, 02:01   #14
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Hmm... looks like a copper coated bronze prop painted with propspeed, highlighted with a pink magic marker, used only north of Florida, run periodically at cavitation speed and soaked in anti-barnacle scent is the way to go.
Where can I get some anti-barnacle scent...
Seriously, it looks like the prop will be off to the electro-platers soon - only concern is - if its such a good idea, why wasn't it common practice for the last 50 years.
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Old 19-02-2008, 02:15   #15
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only concern is - if its such a good idea, why wasn't it common practice for the last 50 years.
cause maybe we're clever'a cousin jimbob
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