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Old 05-07-2010, 20:33   #1
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Long-Overdue Bottom Paint for Steel

Hi folks...

I know this topic has resurfaced again and again, and I have reviewed previous threads as well as the vast amount of lore and opinion that is endlessly Googlable. But I have a slightly odd situation, and thought I'd query the collective wisdom of my favorite nautical community.

It comes with a huge mea culpa - the last bottom job on Nomadness, my Amazon 44 steel sailboat, was by the previous owner... in 2005. Stuff came up. You know how it is.

I've just moved the boat to Olympia, and the first order of business (tomorrow) is a haulout for a long-overdue bottom job as well as a few ding fixes. My diver just scraped a frightening amount of growth prior to this run from my previous berth in Oak Harbor to my new one in the South Sound, and he reported that the bottom and zincs are in good condition. I'll know more tomorrow.

I don't have any information on base coat or the rest of the system below waterline, but the PO said the previous paint was West Marine "Bottom Shield." Being all gone, I'm not sure that's relevant, but it's a data point and may indicate previous decisions about system compatibility. The Pettit chart says "light sand and apply" across their entire line.

The fellow who runs the company that will be selling us paint and doing initial handholding suggested TriLux as his basic (though not necessarily "best") recommendation, but when I research that it seems to be primarily used on aluminum (being tin-based). Is this sound advice for steel?

I've had the boat about 2.5 years and have been working on systems, but am still a newbie when it comes to hull and paint... and there are also some rusty owies in the above-WL Imron that need attention as well while we're on the hard. Workboat patina is fine... any recommendations for these band-aid jobs?

I've been running a webcam and tracker on this trip, by the way, and will probably keep the camera on while at the yard... the link is Nomadness webcam and tracker if you want to peek over our shoulder.

Cheers, and thanks for any words of wisdom!
Steve
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Old 06-07-2010, 00:04   #2
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Hi Steve

I just went thru a similar issue earlier this year with Stargazer,


Ideally for piece of mind, if you can blast it and start again with a good substrate and the confidence that the hull has not had any past electrolysis issues which you may be covering up, or spot corrosion at the turn of the bilge, it is worth the one time extra hassel for a new owner.

Here is the thread I started with the paints I used.

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Old 06-07-2010, 04:57   #3
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A good coating of...

The shipwright at my local strongly urged an all over coat of International Primocon primer prior to antifouling. I got him to do this and so far it looks OK.

I'd suggest choosing antifouling based on your intended destinations over the next two years.

Here in Sydney a cheaper ablative paint is used as boats look to need slipping yearly anyway.
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:37   #4
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Pelagic - bautifully done! I hope I don't need that, but I can certainly see the temptation to know what's really there... I've already had a few surprises (some of which confirmed the dubious value of surveys).

Boracay - I didn't know about that primer - thanks!

About to do the last leg down to the haulout... I feel that same sense of nervousness I have when going to a doctor.

-Steve
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Old 06-07-2010, 20:14   #5
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I used two coats of gray epoxy primer, then two coats blue antifoulant, and then two coats red antifoulant. That way you can monitor how much protection you have left and how fast it's wearing. It's been two years and I'm into the blue in spots.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:22   #6
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Lorenzo - I like that idea. Discussing strategy with the yard folk this morning... thanks!
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Old 08-07-2010, 01:21   #7
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Update from the hot boatyard in the middle of the night... good progress today. Barnacle remnants scraped, about half sanded to 180 profile, bare steel spots (mostly rudder and skeg) identified and ready for acid etch and tie coat. No corrosion issues at all, Max-Prop smooth, all better than expected after 5 years.

The yard is suggesting the TriLux, but I think I'm going to upgrade to Micron 66 unless there are red flags (with an indicator coat). I just hear more good about it from what I can tell online, and the diff is about $25/gallon.

The company I'm working with (Shurtz Marine) has a delightful business model... they're fully supportive of DIY and offer all the coaching needed... and are ready to start the clock and jump in whenever I want. I decided to do that on the bottom job, but I'm doing the detail work on some rusty owies on stern (from dink gudgeons) and stem (from, um, driving up on a dock when having a crisis involving an impossible turn upwind to get out of there).

Interesting data point to share with y'all: 2 years ago, I nailed the Awlgrip hard with the dink rudder bracket in foul weather, making a couple of chips all the way to bare metal. One I left alone, the other I dabbed with Bag Balm. This is in an area that is frequently awash and then dried, so it's pretty much optimum for rust.

The unprotected one is deep and took angle grinder and Ospho. The other one is still shiny bare metal, though dirty from the sticky goo that picked up exhaust soot.

Cheers,
Steve
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:43   #8
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Trilux is a medium strength antifouling paint. In the UK you might get away with it in a low fouling area (Northern Scotland with cold water), but absolutely useless for us in Southern England. So much so that I wrote and complained to International Paints about large amounts of green weed started to grow on my stern drive after 2 months. They sent the rep around to view the boat and agreed Trilux hadn't work very well on the aluminium stern drive. Their answer was........... to give me another 3 litre tin of the stuff

You might want to look around the marina/yard to see what everyone else is using and if that has worked.

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Old 08-07-2010, 10:05   #9
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Changing to Micron 66.... economizing on paint in the midst of an otherwise expensive job would be false economy... and it might add a season before the next haulout. The big expenses are going to be acid-etch and prep for bare spots, plus a few deep-rust fixes in the Awlgrip regions. Thanks again for the helpful thoughts!
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