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Old 13-10-2009, 09:01   #1
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How Badly Do You Really Need Bottom Paint?

OK, here's my newbie question for the day.

Say you're located in a warm area, with nice clear water. You know where you can actually see your hand in front of your face. And on top of that, you're a diver.

If you're constantly in the water, and scraping and scrubbing the hull pretty often...why do you really need paint in the first place? Or...could you at least get away with repainting much less often?
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Old 13-10-2009, 09:04   #2
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problem is warm water is where stuff grows vigorously. my boat has not been out in 5 years, will be soon, but im scrubbing at least once a month until then. so yes you need to paint, but can get away with it less often
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Old 13-10-2009, 09:07   #3
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Repainting less often. Slime will build up on btton if boat isn't moving, even with bottom paint. Depending where you sale, a hard or hard-ablative paint should be applied. Soft ablatives fail too soon inmyopinion. Regular wiping will add to the longevity. I'm on my third year with SeaHawk hard ablative in tropical waters.
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Old 13-10-2009, 09:31   #4
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You don't need bottom paint if you aggressively and regularly scrub the bottom. Some growth seems to put stubborn roots which seems to defy scrubbing. But conceptually if you knock the growth off a smooth hull and prop you are fine.

Most people are not in warm waters and don't dive their bottom regularly and leave their boats for long stretches with no attention to their bottom relying on poison antifouling paints to kill and discourage growth. These paints are somewhat effective, but once the stuff dies AND is attached the action of the poison is cut down and growth can take hold on the old dead material.

The ablative concept is to kill and shed to dead stuff exposing new paint to the surface. It only works for boats that sail fast and often.

Bottom paint seems to be mostly hype and not doing what it's cracked up to be doing over the longer term of a month or two in most waters.

You'll need to scape anyway. Consider the alternatives.
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Old 13-10-2009, 09:37   #5
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Bottom paint seems to be mostly hype and not doing what it's cracked up to be doing over the longer term of a month or two in most waters.

You'll need to scape anyway. Consider the alternatives.
Hmm. Well then since part of my reason for wanting to cut the lines and cruise in the first place is to be in the water much more often...

Are you saying this is just another area where I can save a few $$$?
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Old 13-10-2009, 10:06   #6
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My experience is differant than Grunzster's. Here in the Fl. Keys there is still at least 3 months of the year that you aren't going to see me in the water. I paint with an ablative co polymer which supports no growth for the 1st year and minimal growth in the 2nd year. Dave
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Old 13-10-2009, 10:21   #7
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While living in California I would go diving at the Channel Islands and after each dive clean the bottom. Kept it nice and tidy. Even so I repainted every two years. Even with bottom paint growth will occur. Scrubbing while diving will keep it extra clean but the bottom paint lost effectiveness after a couple of years. But I think if you kept at it regularly there would not be a need to repaint.
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Old 13-10-2009, 10:54   #8
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It's a very good question, especially with today's anemic bottom paints. IF you are always in nice clean water then go for it. The problem is you may sit for 5 weeks in Luperon Harbor and you dont want to go in there! I had bottom paint and the bottom of my boat looked like a rock pile after being there 5 weeks. That may mean that basically my bottom paint was worthless... or it may mean that it would have even been worse! If you can get your bottom paint somewhere like Trinidad, then it's worth putting on...... Otherwise, at this point I think we are all being sold a bill of goods.....
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Old 13-10-2009, 11:08   #9
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My experience is differant than Grunzster's. Here in the Fl. Keys there is still at least 3 months of the year that you aren't going to see me in the water. I paint with an ablative co polymer which supports no growth for the 1st year and minimal growth in the 2nd year. Dave
HAHAHA!!! Up here, we refer to the conditions you see those 3 months as the water being toasty.
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Old 13-10-2009, 12:06   #10
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Whales don't use bottom paint, are constantly moving and STILL get barnacles. Go figure.............m
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Old 13-10-2009, 13:05   #11
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If you don't mind scrubbing your hull once a week or 52 times a year then you don't need bottom paint. When you think about it, isn't all that time and effort to scrub the bottom worth more than a gallon or two of bottom paint?
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Old 13-10-2009, 13:19   #12
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Whales don't use bottom paint, are constantly moving and STILL get barnacles. Go figure.............m
So you're saying we should start a paint the whales campaign?
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Old 13-10-2009, 13:20   #13
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The problem is, the paint doesnt stop it! (well the paint you can buy outside the US does!) I would guess that once every 2-3 weeks would do it... it is a lot of work though....
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Old 14-10-2009, 03:24   #14
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In my (minimal) experience I have found that different brands perform better / worse in different waters and so finding the right brand for the area you sail in is crutial.

Also, the price doesn't seem to make much difference. I use the same cheapo made in china product that the fishing fleet here uses and have found it works for considerably longer than the International antifouls
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Old 14-10-2009, 05:01   #15
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The cost of a bottom paint job includes, hauling, blocking, power washing, sanding, materials: - paint, sandpaper, brushes, rollers, solvents, tape, perhaps fairing compound, masking, gloves, protective clothes, getting back and forth to the boat and takes several days minimum being out of the water. But then you are in a queue to get hauled and then relaunched. When you figure all this, it's more than a gallon or two of paint. Do the math for your area, and compare it to the cost of a diver... and if you can dive and enjoy diving do it yourself. Obviously if this is done regularly the scrubbing is not as difficult or time consuming.
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