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Old 21-03-2018, 05:08   #1
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Do I need bottom paint in New England?

I live in New England where the boating season is May to October, about 5 to 6 months. Boats are normally taken out and stored the other 6 months.

Nevertheless, every dealer wants to offer "bottom paint", both on new boats on commissioning every year. I assume the idea is that it is "anti-foul" paint that is supposed to dissuade barnacles, but apparently modern anti-foul paint no longer has copper in it, so how well it actually does that is questionable.

The whole thing strikes me as the same as "car undercoating" which is worthless and just a way for a dealer to make a quick $400. With a boat it is more like a quick $2000.

Should I tell them to skip the "bottom paint" or does it have a real value?
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Old 21-03-2018, 05:11   #2
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Re: Do I need bottom paint in New England?

If you keep it in the water more than a week at a time you need paint. Plenty still available with copper.
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Old 21-03-2018, 05:24   #3
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Re: Do I need bottom paint in New England?

I think you should try it with no paint and report back.
This should be interesting...!
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Old 21-03-2018, 05:59   #4
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Re: Do I need bottom paint in New England?

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Originally Posted by Bruce Beard View Post
I think you should try it with no paint and report back.
This should be interesting...!
I guarantee it would be "interesting".

Once left a power boat in the water intending to return in a couple of days but had a family emergency that delayed my return for about 6 weeks. The boat was so coated with barnacles I could barely get it to move, much less plane out. Had to haul and scrape it to get it home.

So the answer is............????
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Old 21-03-2018, 07:24   #5
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Re: Do I need bottom paint in New England?

Where are you keeping the boat? Ask around at the docks. This is a pretty basic piece of information, and if you have that many questions about bottom paint, there are probably a lot of other things you need to learn.

The Boston area has long days in summer and a very rich ocean ecosystem, starting at the very bottom of the food chain. There's a reason you can't see the bottom in more than a couple feet of water. And why the whales come to Stellwagon Bank.

Anything in the water will be covered with growth in a couple of weeks. Even Boston Harbor itself is much cleaner than it used to be. Bottom paint will slow the growth down considerably, although nothing is 100%.

This is not a scam. You need bottom paint. DIY if you don't want to pay the dealers. It's not rocket science.
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Old 21-03-2018, 07:25   #6
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Re: Do I need bottom paint in New England?

LOL.

Go walk through a marina. Do the boats have bottom paint?
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Old 21-03-2018, 07:31   #7
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Re: Do I need bottom paint in New England?

The real question should be how often do you need to re-apply! On the great lakes you can easily get 3 or more seasons out of an application. The season here is short to, May to Sept.
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Old 21-03-2018, 07:38   #8
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Do I need bottom paint in New England?

Our boat is in the Long Island sound, and we pay divers to clean the bottom every few weeks (once a month, roughly). We use an ablative paint with copper and irgarol (which is now back, it seems there was a shortage for a while). Ultima 40, defender is having a sale tomorrow, or westmarine will match a price, whatever is convenient for you. This bottom paint has worked well for us.

On a previous boat in the same area, after 6 weeks the prop was a ball, provided no propulsion any more, had to scrape all that stuff off before the boat could move at all.
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Old 21-03-2018, 07:52   #9
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Re: Do I need bottom paint in New England?

It sounds like you are buying a new boat, and if that is the case and you're leaving the boat in the water, the answer is yes, you absolutely need bottom paint.

Which bottom paint to put on is another matter. The first thing to do is to ask around in the area where you'll be keeping the boat as to what other people use. Different brands, and different types of bottom paint within brands, work better or worse in different areas based on water temperature, salinity, the local organisms, etc. There will be "local knowledge" about what works best in your area.

You can do the work yourself, its not rocket science, if you have the boat launched at a DIY yard where they will put it on stands for you to paint. If it's going on the bare fiberglass bottom of a new Whaler, you should put on a couple of coats of barrier coat, more for it's primer qualities to ensure adhesion than for osmosis protection. If you're having someone else do it, make sure they prep the bottom well...dewax/clean, and degloss the bare fiberglass. This is a one time thing, and in future seasons you can just lightly sand and put on a new coat of the antifouling.

If you're using hard paint vs. ablative, you're going to want to put a new coat on every season as hard paint looses it's effectiveness when out of the water for a period of time.
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Old 21-03-2018, 08:46   #10
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Re: Do I need bottom paint in New England?

In addition to the anti fouling paint you should plan on having the bottom cleaned by a diver during the season. Again, ask around about how frequently it needs to be done in your area. Boats in most places need a cleaning every 4-6 weeks. Racers may have their bottoms done before every race.
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Old 21-03-2018, 09:07   #11
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Re: Do I need bottom paint in New England?

Personally Iíd say do it yourself. Saves money and it gives you time to actually work on your boat and get to know it. IMHO owning something means that you do everything youíre able to do. Paint it yourself, if you donít know how to paint then learn by doing and then blame yourself if you mess up instead of having to trust someone else with your investment. And if you mess up guess what, you get to learn to fix it. You pay letís say 500,000 for a boat. You really trust someone to paint/clean it for you? They have no skin in the game with it, if they mess up oops, but itís at your expense.
Simply put, If you own a dog you arenít going to take it to the vet every time he needs to be brushed right? Maybe a bad analogy but you get my drift.
Maybe Iím paranoid but I get really antsy when people start working on my stuff
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Old 21-03-2018, 09:13   #12
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Re: Do I need bottom paint in New England?

Yes, you need bottom paint in New England. And I agree that you need you or a hired diver to scrub the bottom during the season.
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Old 21-03-2018, 09:18   #13
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Re: Do I need bottom paint in New England?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsc7 View Post
I live in New England where the boating season is May to October, about 5 to 6 months. Boats are normally taken out and stored the other 6 months.

Nevertheless, every dealer wants to offer "bottom paint", both on new boats on commissioning every year. I assume the idea is that it is "anti-foul" paint that is supposed to dissuade barnacles, but apparently modern anti-foul paint no longer has copper in it, so how well it actually does that is questionable.

The whole thing strikes me as the same as "car undercoating" which is worthless and just a way for a dealer to make a quick $400. With a boat it is more like a quick $2000.

Should I tell them to skip the "bottom paint" or does it have a real value?
Don't get it and let know when you find a market for barnacles and other crustations and grass..
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Old 21-03-2018, 09:30   #14
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Re: Do I need bottom paint in New England?

I'm in CT and confirm opinions already mentioned that bottom paint is highly recommended. $2000 is obscene cost even for Boston. Don't recall the length of your boat, but would buy a gallon, with copper, for $110 to whatever, and do it yourself. For my 35 footer, I use about 1.5gallons/season of ablative - one coat. When she's pulled at season end I have barnacles on the shaft/propeller and a few on her bottom, but nothing significant...If in a yard would just check with them regarding their requirements...if sanding/scrapping old paint off they will most likely ask you to use a sander attached to suction from a shop vac and lay down plastic under the area you are working to catch any chips...would buy a cheap, disposable jump suit, disposable gloves, goggles, and mask or respirator. Never had the bottom cleaned mid season, of course, that could be why when going to windward those Sabres and Cals go screaming by me.
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Old 21-03-2018, 09:42   #15
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Re: Do I need bottom paint in New England?

If your area is as slow growth as like up here in the PNW, it might be worth a shot. However, green slimy grass grows very fast up here in some locations.
My experience with bottom paint in heavy growth areas is it kills things like Barnacles , but only by the time they get pretty big. So they are still there.... just dead. Some retardation of growth maybe. Now with paint with no tin or copper...?
In the PNW, with some water movement and current, we could go two seasons and only have a few barnacles. In the Caribe I would have a bucket of barnacles on near new paint in 6 weeks.
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