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Old 13-08-2010, 04:39   #1
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Smile Advice for Newbie to Antifouling

Hi all,

Im in the process of buying my first boat. One of the first things I'll need to do is antifoul her. Ive never experienced the joy of this paticular activity before, and so started some research. Sadly most of the material I've dug up both on the intramaweb and in sailing mags are all thinly disguised ads for paints, and don't give you much more than the basic "Choose correct paint/wet sand only/apply evenly" variety.

She is 43 feet LOA, 13 foot beam, GRP. Existing antifoul is Ablative but she was last out of the water 4 years ago so her bottom is probably uglier than Kristie Alley's 4 years overdue for a wax and a few hours in a wicker chair.

Im hoping you guys can offer words of wisdom/caution:

Any GOOD sites on antifouling for dummies?
Should my first time be with a professional? (quiet in the gallery please)
Is this too big a job for one highly enthusiastic yet inexperienced man? (leave Kristie out of this)
Any advice on using a power sander with 80 grit wet paper on a fibreglass hull?
How long do you reckon it would take?
Am I mad or what?

All insights most apreciated.
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Old 13-08-2010, 05:55   #2
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Here is something I found a while back. Boat Bottom Painting Party I have to do my first anti-fouling job very soon. Where in Qld are you? I'm in Manly Brisbane.
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Old 13-08-2010, 05:56   #3
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No its all doable by you. However you either need to get her lifted or put the diving kit on to see how bad it is.

This side of the pond a yard will pressur ewash her when they lift her. Weed isn't a problem but barnacles won't come off, thats down to you.

Once you have got her out you then need to see how rough the bottom is. If under the weed the previous coat is smooth then a good wash with freshwater and a HD scrubbing pad is all I use. If the bottom paint is flaky, cracked, rough as old boots then you should think about taking it all off either by slurry or soda blasting, or scraping. However get her lifted and pressure washed first.

As to the painting, check with lots of other local boats what works and perhaps more importantly what doesn't and were to buy. Disposable coveralls and gloves, small gloss paint roller and tray and away you go. Imulsion paint foam rollers disolve in antifoul paint BTW so use gloss hairy ones.

Plan on replacing the anodes at the same time. After 4 years you may not have any left and this is an urgent job.

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Old 14-08-2010, 20:07   #4
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Thanks Reiner... that is a great article, complete with checklist! Im in the process of buying a new boat but it will be in Scarborough.

Pete7, great tips - especially aout the rollers, I never would have thought of that! Most appreciated.
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Old 14-08-2010, 21:09   #5
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Please be careful if you use a power sander and 80 grit paper. My advice would be to not do it.

A sanding bar is a much better choice but you will be well served to have a partner.

As has been noted if you are going ablative to ablative you don't necessarily have to remove the previous coatings.
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Old 15-08-2010, 13:59   #6
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Rather important to find out exactly what paint is on there now. Ask the previous owner. Not all paints are compatible and if you don't get it right you can have a brand new paint job just wash right off the hull. Most paint manufactures have compatibility data from their own testing. Take advantage of that.
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Old 15-08-2010, 21:03   #7
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Thanx Ex-cailf - I know I could be risking things with a power sander. Hand sanding a 41.5 feet LWL and 14 feet of beam by hand does not appeal. However, after your comment & a lot more googling I'm getting the impression you dont really have to sand back ablative paint too much, if at all. Just as well because Id have to by air tools & a compressor - 850 watt power tools and wet sanding tend to be a little incompatible. (BTW I had a few nice afternoons at Changi sailing club when I lived in S'pore - we never got more than about 6 knots of wind but very nice place & friendly folk! I recall a twilight race there on a little maxi with a gent from the aviation industry......)

Mikefp60, thanks for the tip re matching types. I also picked up another interesting suggestion - by tins of different coloured antifoul so you can see when the first coat is wearing off, and if you are worried about losing your keel & turning turtle you can paint "SOS!" or "HELP!" or "F**K!" on the bottom of your hull.

There are also different arguments re thinning - some folk say thin to less than 10% for a good finish, others are strictly against it.....anyone have thoughts on that?
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Old 16-08-2010, 01:44   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beenjammin View Post
Thanx Ex-cailf - I know I could be risking things with a power sander. Hand sanding a 41.5 feet LWL and 14 feet of beam by hand does not appeal. However, after your comment & a lot more googling I'm getting the impression you dont really have to sand back ablative paint too much, if at all.
Now that we have settled on Micron Extra we touch up sand and apply 4 coats a year. Well actually the boat boys do all that, I drink beer and watch.

So far so good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beenjammin View Post
(BTW I had a few nice afternoons at Changi sailing club when I lived in S'pore - we never got more than about 6 knots of wind but very nice place & friendly folk! I recall a twilight race there on a little maxi with a gent from the aviation industry......)
Once in a while we'll get the wind up during the northeast and have some fun.

If we sailed together I am sorry I don't recall. I may have been liquored up if it was a twilight race - LOL.
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