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Old 30-10-2012, 15:34   #1
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Cruisers who do not bottom paint

This is a little more direct than my previous thread.

If you are a cruiser who does not use normal ablative bottom paints, please share your stories or experiences with that.

I'm especially interested in:
1) Catamaran specific experiences (keelboat stories also welcome!)
2) Fiberglass/Plastic specific experiences
3) Whether there is a risk of long-term damage
4) What you do, if anything, to keep your bottoms clean
5) Your experiences of just how significantly your performance is affected by bottom growth
6) Comparison of cost of your method to regular bottom painting

I've read some posts in the past suggesting there are some cruisers out there who are not bottom painting, and many others who say that it is an absolutely necessity. I'm searching for the truth (which is likely somewhere in between!)
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Old 30-10-2012, 15:42   #2
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Re: Cruisers who do not bottom paint

While bottom paint certainly doesnt work that well, one advantage is it is sacrificial to bigger barnacles. Some times when you scrape them off... a chunk comes off right down to the gel coat. If no paint was there... would some gel come off with the barnacle? Problem with most US paints now sold is the barnacle can grow up to maybe 3/8" before it dies.
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Old 30-10-2012, 20:40   #3
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Re: Cruisers who do not bottom paint

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Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
I've read some posts in the past suggesting there are some cruisers out there who are not bottom painting, and many others who say that it is an absolutely necessity. I'm searching for the truth (which is likely somewhere in between!)
Why don't you try going without and let us know how that works out for you, mmm-kay?
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Old 30-10-2012, 20:47   #4
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Re: Cruisers who do not bottom paint

If my boat is sitting in a slip in Florida, the lack of bottom painting will soon have it's consequences. If I'm cruising the Bahamas, constantly moving and store my boat on the hard, when not in use, it's a different story all together.
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Old 30-10-2012, 21:57   #5
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Re: Cruisers who do not bottom paint

Almost all bottom paints work well when ya are cruiseing! never get much of anything on a 1500 or 2000 mile trip! but as soon as ya Stop ya need to start scubin again LOL if we could keep on sailing I wonder how long todays bottom paint would really last ??? ( Its late for me LOL and my mind wonders ) Just wondering ! any excuse for makeing Long sails !!
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Old 30-10-2012, 23:37   #6
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Re: Cruisers who do not bottom paint

On a 2400 mile passage to the Marquesas the bottom stayed perfectly clean(soft copper paint) but I had barnacles for half a foot ABOVE the waterline from the bow and stern wave. Yes they will attach while underway.____Grant.
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Old 30-10-2012, 23:52   #7
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Re: Cruisers who do not bottom paint

Didn't have any bottom paint on my pocket cutter without any problem. But then I only day-sailed and otherwise kept landside on trailer. With my current boat permanently waterbound, I positively use anti-fouling bottom paint (with plenty of zincs).

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Old 31-10-2012, 00:11   #8
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Re: Cruisers who do not bottom paint

And speaking of zincs, A fresh copper bottom paint job will eat the zincs pretty fast for the first few months.
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Old 31-10-2012, 06:12   #9
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Re: Cruisers who do not bottom paint

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And speaking of zincs, A fresh copper bottom paint job will eat the zincs pretty fast for the first few months.
And you make this observation based on what? Not only have I never heard of this phenomenon before, I have certainly never found it to be true.
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Old 31-10-2012, 06:36   #10
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Re: Cruisers who do not bottom paint

You could always use a boat bag... Depending your local authorities. http://www.sail-world.com/photos_201...%20bag_021.jpg

And if you dont mind putting chlorine tablets in once a week :-D
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Old 31-10-2012, 06:40   #11
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Re: Cruisers who do not bottom paint

On my first boat I had a cast iron keel, ground and sanded it down then painted it with black anti rust paint. I fully intended to paint over it and the rest of the bottom with anti-fouling but when I saw the price I decided to buy beer instead and painted the rest of the bottom with the left over black rust paint (Tremclad). I did not see any difference between my bottom and the others come haul out day. Just a bit of slime near the water line. That was in Lake Ontario and the boat was sailed a lot during the season.

On my last boat we loaded up till the waterline was submerged and sailed to the Caribean. The anti fouled bottom stayed very clean, but the 1" of submerged topside paint grew a small reef; It was unbelievable, there were even little crabs scuttling about. And we were moving around quite a bit.
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Old 31-10-2012, 09:22   #12
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Re: Cruisers who do not bottom paint

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Originally Posted by ozskipper View Post
You could always use a boat bag... Depending your local authorities. http://www.sail-world.com/photos_201...%20bag_021.jpg

And if you dont mind putting chlorine tablets in once a week :-D
I'd have to use three of 'em.
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Old 31-10-2012, 10:24   #13
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Re: Cruisers who do not bottom paint

I tested the idea of zero bottom paint this summer and the results were not encouraging.

Boat was in water (Puget Sound) for 10 weeks with only epoxy undercoat. Boat was in moored in a slip in a marina. Boat got a fair amount of use - 50 hours on engine, lots of sailing, crabbing etc.

First few weeks received just a little slime growth. After a month the "grass" was about a foot long but only in areas that received direct sunlight. At this point I rigged a long pole and a small float to a scrub brush/scrapper. After an hour or two of "exercise" I had convinced myself that the bottom was clean and I would be free from bottom paint forever.

Examination of the bottom after haul out proved otherwise. Although I was mostly successful at removing the soft growth, The areas that were shaded (like the bottom of the 1 foot wide "clam crusher" keel) received heavy barnacle growth that my pole mounted scraper was ineffective at removing even if I could see and reach it.

We have lots of tide here so beaching/scrubbing is possible as is scrubbing with scuba gear. The boat will be in the water for only a maximum of 5 months per year so the above is workable without bottom paint if I plan on 3 or 4 beachings or dives per year.

In the end I believe I will grow weary of such a large hassle and use bottom paint.

Steve
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Old 31-10-2012, 10:34   #14
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Re: Cruisers who do not bottom paint

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Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
And you make this observation based on what? Not only have I never heard of this phenomenon before, I have certainly never found it to be true.
On this old woodie I had years ago. In San Diego the zincs would last around 4-6 months. But after adding 5 qts. of good old copper based paint the first zincs deteriorated before the second month. You think maybe the marina got hotter while I was out of the water? Or was it polishing them 22" 4-blade props?

And the same with my sailboats but not as extreme. Actually hardly noticeable unless one keeps records.

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Old 31-10-2012, 10:41   #15
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Re: Cruisers who do not bottom paint

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panope View Post
I tested the idea of zero bottom paint this summer and the results were not encouraging.

Boat was in water (Puget Sound) for 10 weeks with only epoxy undercoat. Boat was in moored in a slip in a marina. Boat got a fair amount of use - 50 hours on engine, lots of sailing, crabbing etc.

First few weeks received just a little slime growth. After a month the "grass" was about a foot long but only in areas that received direct sunlight. At this point I rigged a long pole and a small float to a scrub brush/scrapper. After an hour or two of "exercise" I had convinced myself that the bottom was clean and I would be free from bottom paint forever.

Examination of the bottom after haul out proved otherwise. Although I was mostly successful at removing the soft growth, The areas that were shaded (like the bottom of the 1 foot wide "clam crusher" keel) received heavy barnacle growth that my pole mounted scraper was ineffective at removing even if I could see and reach it.

We have lots of tide here so beaching/scrubbing is possible as is scrubbing with scuba gear. The boat will be in the water for only a maximum of 5 months per year so the above is workable without bottom paint if I plan on 3 or 4 beachings or dives per year.

In the end I believe I will grow weary of such a large hassle and use bottom paint.

Steve
My boat had fresh bottom paint this spring, Had similar use to yours. In the laconner marina my boat had the same issues yours did: Long grass and slime growing on the sun exposed areas. I dont think the vegetable matter cares much...
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