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Old 21-10-2009, 14:58   #1
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Antifouling in the Caribbean?

Be aware in many boat stores in the Caribbean you will find Seahawk is one of the main brands of antifouling available and is usually promoted and sold with Tin booster otherwise known as TBT which is so toxic to marine life and humans, it is banned in the States and Europe. I would rather use antifouling by the competition Interlux or Pettit, Jotun etc. than use a a company practicing double standards.
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Old 21-10-2009, 16:31   #2
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Can i ask you where is the problem with seahawk and the TBT?? thanks.
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Old 21-10-2009, 16:59   #3
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I have Sea Hawk Islander 44 hard ablative - four coats going into third year. DDT was banned, too and only resulted in about three million deaths from malaria in Africa.
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Old 21-10-2009, 17:11   #4
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Look up TBT tributlytin on wikipedia or some other resource - safe to say it's very bad ecologically if you're a boater who cares...
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Old 23-10-2009, 14:13   #5
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Half the world uses TBT based paints and the other half mostly not. It is the best paint for the Caribbean and you need half to one-third of the quantity of non-TBT paint because it will last 3 years instead of two or one. You have to take that into account too when considering the environment (the other paint is loaded with copper which ain't nice either)

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Old 23-10-2009, 16:42   #6
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Brings to mind a question, we are Great Lakes sailors and use VC17 but are going south for a year. Is there some compatible salt water antifouling that can go over VC17 and won't need to be stripped later? Or will the VC17 be OK with a cleaning or two? Don't want to be dragging an underwater jungle around but also would prefer to not get into major bottom jobs.
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Old 25-10-2009, 14:29   #7
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The real story behind the International Treaty to ban TBT bottom paint started in France. The French are nuts about seafood and shell fish. They eat shell fish that I have no name for and cannot find and any book. Many years ago they noticed that the texture/consistancy of the skin membrane in shell fish (e.g. clams) was breaking down and traced it back to TBT. TBT is not toxic or harmful to humans in the quantities used in bottom paint. But it is disgusting to try to east clams, oysters or other shell fish who have been contaminated by TBT. In Boston, my favorite shellfish places serve up steamers or half shell clams that look like somebody sneezed into the shell. It is disgusting. Needless to say the French were very upset and led the charge to ban the use of TBT paints on all vessels.
- - In the Wikipedia entry I really like this sentence . . . Tributyltin has also been linked to obesity in humans,. . . .
- - Trouble was nothing worked as well as TBT at keep barnacles or other foulants off the bottom of vessels. So - as usual - the ban was applied to small vessels - under 25 meters in length with an exception for aluminum hulls which cannot use copper. All larger vessels, military, etc. said sorry, we are going to continue using it. As with most environmental, etc., movements they only apply to us "little guys" and only in "eco-aware" countries. All other countries could care less and use whatever works the best. That is why it is still sold over the counter in the smaller, independent island countries of the Caribbean and elsewhere.
- - I had a special license for handling TBT and applying it to boats while I was working in Florida. Pain in the ass with paperwork and explaining to FRG boat people why they cannot use it while their neighbor with an Aluminum boat can use it.
- - When you finally cruise to countries outside the "major eco-aware" first world countries you will find that life is based on what works and is the least expensive rather than "politically correct or eco-correct."
- - Trinidad Boatyard 75 anti-foulant is the best of the "legal" paints to use in the Caribbean for those folks who are sensitive to the environment and such issues. In northern waters Trinidad is not as effective as other bottom paints, so you need to consult the local boating population for "really" works in their region.
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Old 25-10-2009, 15:07   #8
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Thanks for the info. I am going to go see if I can find some of this Seahawk stuff while the boat is out of the water.
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Old 25-10-2009, 15:14   #9
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Canbul - the nearest legal place to buy it is St Martin (Budget/IWW). Goes for about US$280/gal/4gallons. US$320+ for single gallons plus US$50 for the little bottle of TBT booster.
- - Oops - just saw that your boat is a 25ft power yacht with 300hp engines. Seahawk is an ablative paint. That would not work for you as after a week of running at high speed it would all be gone. You need a "hard" paint with as much copper as you can get in it - - or the "teflon" paints. The trick for your speed of operation is to thin the bottom paints to the maximum workable to get a very smooth "near glassy" surface on the bottom to reduce water friction which will slow you down and wear away the paint.
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Old 25-10-2009, 16:53   #10
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I've used Tropical ES black in the past, and gotten a couple years out of it. I like the thinning idea, though. That stuff is heavy.
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Old 26-10-2009, 11:07   #11
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SeaHawk Islands 44 plus (TBT) also comes in a hard paint for powerboats.

Fair Winds,
Mike
(waiting for my 4 gals of Islands 44 to show up, so I can paint and get back in the water!)
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Old 26-10-2009, 13:31   #12
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Well, I am torn between trying to get the old bottom paint off and expose the nice shiny red gelcoat, or painting it. I plan to put it up for sale sometime in the next couple months. I have to have a powerboat here, it's a necessity for transportation. But I want a smaller one, like an 18-22 ft. Then hopefully by next summer we will be in a position to nail down a used Gemini 105 for our REAL boat.
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Old 26-10-2009, 13:53   #13
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If the old paint is "hard" paint you can apply either hard or ablative over it. If the old paint is ablative, then only ablative can be painted over it. Either way, just lightly sand the old paint with 80 grit paper or a "Scotchbrite" pad system. Wash off the dust, dry and start painting with any average brand anti-fouling paint.
- - Taking all the old anti-fouling paint off is tricky and time consuming - and expensive. The idea is to remove the old paint and not the plastic hull underneath. Especially in power boats where the FRG hull is extremely thin to start with. Chemical removers are best for the thin hulls of power boats very much like varnish strippers are better for veneer teak paneling versus attacking with a power sander.
- - If you are selling the boat normally the new owner does the bottom job. Doing it yourself doesn't increase the selling price enough to make it worthwhile.
- - If it is your "new boat" then again if it is a power yacht or very small sailboat do the chemical bottom paint stripping. If that is not available than very carefully sand off the old paint being very careful to not dig into the gelcoat of the original hull underneath. Stripping/peeling machines are too dangerous to use on a small/thin hulled boat.
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Old 26-10-2009, 16:24   #14
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Ever heard of adding a can of Cayenne pepper.

1/2 the boatyard says it makes cheap bottom paint into expensive bottom paint.

Other 1/2 says all it does is season the barnacles for the BBQ.
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Old 26-10-2009, 17:03   #15
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Ok maybe I have an easy answer to all of this. Use what you have in your home country (cold or warm water). If you cruise to a different water temp. area, once a month put the mask and snorkle on and scrub your hull.

I have used all the paints mentioned and it didn't matter which charter company I worked for, as captain and crew it is general boat maintanence to scrub the bottom every month. Moving boats do not collect growth, only boats at anchor.

Of course this is a very simple idea and I know not everyone will agree, but most of us sail south not north so get wet, scrub the hull while the wife is in town shoping for supplies. Finish before she gets back and sit with a rum and coke knowing you had a productive afternoon.

Cheers

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