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Old 06-12-2010, 20:31   #1
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Can Wax Substitute for Bottom Paint ?

Hi Gang, Newbie here. Actually, I'm a long-time participant at TrailorSailor, but I'm here to do some mining for info from the cruiser community.

I have a Clipper Marine CM26 on a trailer. I'm planning a trip to Alaska this Summer (from Puget Sound, and, hopefully, back). I did this once before, and when I got back I had grown a 2-inch green beard at the waterline. That was with the boat's original bottom paint, which was about 30 years old at the time. What, it wears out that fast???

Anyway, I have since stripped that old bottom paint and applied a coat of automotive wax. The boat spends a lot of time in my back yard under a tarp, so that wax coat is probably not even needed.

So I will haul this boat out of my back yard, spend about 4 months in salt water, and then put in back in the yard. My question is this: if I do a righteous job of applying a fresh layer of quality wax shortly before launching, can I reasonably expect that to be anywhere near equivalent to a coat or two of bottom paint?

Thanks in advance,

Greg in Seattle
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Old 06-12-2010, 20:37   #2
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No. Sealife probably eats wax for dessert.

But boats like dinghys spend like amounts of time in seawater. A weekly (heh, what cruiser does that?) hand cleaning will go a long ways to keeping the bottom clean.
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Old 06-12-2010, 21:54   #3
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My question is this: if I do a righteous job of applying a fresh layer of quality wax shortly before launching, can I reasonably expect that to be anywhere near equivalent to a coat or two of bottom paint?
Bwahahahahahahaha! Umm... no.
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Old 06-12-2010, 22:19   #4
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I took my boat up the Frazier river (fresh and silty) the brought it hope through 15' chop...by the time I got home it looked like it had just been hauled and painted, a year later I hauled the boat and just had a bit of green slime (and a cluster of barnacles the size of a beach ball on the bottom of the keel). The paint used was that expensive hard 75% copperous oxide paint but even after 4 1/2 years it didn't really need hauling. Boats that just sit in the slips here grow sea annenomes, the ones that are used stay pretty clean.
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Old 18-01-2011, 22:59   #5
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Howdy!
I've got a trailer sail too -Nimble 20- havent painted the bottom for a few years now and it's time. I had it in the water last summer for a week trip around the San Juans and had slime all over and you're not going to get it off without a pressure wash, I'll bet money on it!
PAINT THE BOTTOM!
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Old 18-01-2011, 23:06   #6
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try mixing in red hot chilli pepper,then you will only have goumet barnacles...........
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Old 19-01-2011, 08:23   #7
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Hi Greg,

Our trailered 26' diesel power cruiser does a 2-3 month trip on the BC and/or SE Alaska coast every summer. Though we can travel at 18 knots, we usually do only 6-6.5, more like a sailboat.

Five years ago I got tired of the accumulation on the waxed hull, and the LONG cleanup job at the end of every summer, so I went ahead with bottom paint. What an improvement!

After some research and reading test writeups in Powerboat Reports (sister pub of Practical Sailor), I chose Pettit Hydrocoat. It's water-based, far less obnoxious to apply and clean up. Did a thorough washing job, then carefully applied a wax solvent to make sure no wax remained. Two coats of "sandless primer", then two-three coats of Hydrocoat.

It was still doing a good job last summer, but I'm planning to put more on this spring. Highly recommend bottom painting in your situation, and Hydrocoat specifically.

BTW, if you'd like some Inside Passage photos to whet your cruising appetite, here are a couple of links:

Picasa Web Albums - Richard Cook - Cruising SE A...

Picasa Web Albums - Richard Cook - SE Alaska 2010
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Old 19-01-2011, 18:52   #8
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wax worked for me...on a rowing scull I pulled out and dried off with a shamy after each row....no barnacles. Though I had been rowing in a fresh water lake in Maryland, when I tried to enter California with this beautiful varnished toothpick on top of my car.....the California border patrol almost didn't let me in...they were afraid of Zebra mussels.
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Old 19-01-2011, 20:06   #9
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Hi Greg,

Our trailered 26' diesel power cruiser does a 2-3 month trip on the BC and/or SE Alaska coast every summer. Though we can travel at 18 knots, we usually do only 6-6.5, more like a sailboat.

BTW, if you'd like some Inside Passage photos to whet your cruising appetite, here are a couple of links:

Picasa Web Albums - Richard Cook - Cruising SE A...

Picasa Web Albums - Richard Cook - SE Alaska 2010
Welcome to CF !

Perfect boat for doing the inside passage and thanks for the great photos.

Alaska still is very special!
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Old 19-01-2011, 21:43   #10
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Going with the "wax" substitute

Hi Cruisers,

Hey,New Moon, I'm guessing your albums dedpict one trip starting at Port Hardy and another starting at Prince Rupert. Am I right? I'm a trailer boat myself, and I know that the roads go to those places. I launched at Egmont once, to visit Princess Louisa (HIGHLY recommended: I assume this is old news to this site).

I'm planning to launch from Seattle on May 1, although the date is a little squishy. The last time I sailed to Alaska from Seattle, I was under some time pressure, which does not work well with a boat that is supposed to be propelled by wind. This time will be different: if the wind is favorable, I go: if not, I read a few more chapters. I intend to have as much time as it takes.

But back to the wax issue: I would say that it's clear that the consensus on this forum is that the simple answer to my question ("Can Wax Substitute for Bottom Paint?") is "No Way."

Well, I'm going to do it anyway. I've always had problems with authority (thanks, Dad ), and the surest way to get me moving on something is to tell me it can't be done. So, I thank you all for your input, and I intend to report here about how it worked when (if) I get back, maybe Sept. or Oct.

I have one advantage going for me in taking this risk: I will be sailing a swing-keel sailboat. What that means in practical terms: if the bottom fouling does go all fubar, as some of you have predicted, I can just study the tide charts, find a soft beach, and crank up the keel. Tide goes out, and there's easy access to one side of the hull, for scrubbing, re-application, whatever. Tommorrow, do the other side.

I found a product that is not really wax (I guess), but kinda goes on in a similar way. The product that I'm going to try is called "VS721 Bottom Coat," from Aurora Marine Industries. They claim it lasts a whole season, which is pretty much what I'm looking for.

I found out the first time I tried to post this info that I am not allowed to post a link, although I have observed that others do that. So I'm going to sneak in a link (see discussion about authority above): if you put "http://" and "www." in front of: auroramarine.com/aurora/catalog/fiberglass-boats/vs721-bottom-coat-11120.htm, you will see info about the product I'm going to try. It's rather pricey, but compared to what bottom paint costs, it's almost free!

If anyone has experience with this specific product, I'd be interested to hear it. As I said, I'll check back in when I get back.

Fair winds,

greg
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Old 19-01-2011, 23:37   #11
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Probably not legal, but there are definitely things you can mix into that wax to make "antifouling wax."
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Old 19-01-2011, 23:47   #12
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Probably not legal, but there are definitely things you can mix into that wax to make "antifouling wax."
Such as...?
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Old 19-01-2011, 23:55   #13
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shortly before launching, can I reasonably expect that to be anywhere near equivalent to a coat or two of bottom
Lanolin grease is a great anti-foulant for the propellor. It's a wax. You could do worse than try one half of the hull with that and the other half with your product. Heat the lanolin with a hair dryer to apply.
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Old 19-01-2011, 23:59   #14
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Old 20-01-2011, 00:15   #15
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The OP is going find out first hand why nobody (and I do mean NOBODY) uses wax as an anti fouling on boats that live in saltwater.
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