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Old 04-06-2009, 17:20   #1
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Maintaining New Bottom Paint

Hi Folks - A couple of novice questions. We recently put two coats of antifouling paint (Petttit Trinidad) on the bottom of our boat. How long should we wait until we restart our monthly bottom cleaning service? And what are the potential consequences of starting too soon?

Any help is much appreciated!
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Old 04-06-2009, 17:50   #2
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I started as soon as i noticed any growth appearing. The coating was on mine and in the water for about 2 months before I got it so there was a "fuzz" starting. I suppose I caught it in time. I just usually take a dive whenever I go to the boat and rub it gently with a scotchbright pad. I don't allow anyone to help either. If I screw it up, I don't want to get mad at anyone just trying to help.

OH YEA... welcome to the board.
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Old 04-06-2009, 17:59   #3
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I'm sure there will be lots of answers to this question.
I never use any more force than absolutely necessary on bottom paint.
Next time, try a terrycloth towel.

Steve B.
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Old 04-06-2009, 23:48   #4
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We use Micron Extra which is ablative ablative and we wipe with a cloth once a month. We are in a very tough environment and at about 7 months we start power washing once every 6 weeks or so. At about 12 months the useful life of 4 coats is about gone. At that point we are looking for boat bucks to do the bottom again. If we get 14-16 months on a bottom job we are lucky.
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Old 05-06-2009, 23:47   #5
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Dan: that's the same for the Caribbean but we can still get tin based here which makes the difference. I'll be switching to Micron 66 soon as we'll head north out of the tropics and into US waters. I have hopes it will work well once there.

cheers,
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Old 06-06-2009, 16:48   #6
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Thanks for the help, guys. Sounds like I'd better put the wetsuit on next time I'm down to the boat! Cheers -
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Old 06-06-2009, 17:57   #7
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It also depends on:

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Thanks for the help, guys. Sounds like I'd better put the wetsuit on next time I'm down to the boat! Cheers -
  • Temperature. If you are in cold water, less. None, in the winter.
  • How often do you sail?
  • How clean do you want it?
  • How long do you want it to last? The more you scrub, the less paint remains. You can easily make a 2-year paint into a 1-year paint.
I prefer a bristle brush, but I don't scrub often. Terry cloth is right for frequent scrubs.

No right answer.
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Old 06-06-2009, 20:15   #8
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Quote:
We recently put two coats of antifouling paint (Petttit Trinidad) on the bottom of our boat.
The running gear like prop and through hulls need more cleaning than the bottom. Sailling regualrly will do a lot to clean the bottom too. I also would agree no more force than required to clean a bottom. It's just wasting your money faster.
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Old 07-06-2009, 00:45   #9
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Quote:
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  • How long do you want it to last? The more you scrub, the less paint remains. You can easily make a 2-year paint into a 1-year paint.
Frequent, gentle cleanings are far better for your anti fouling (not to mention your boat's performance under power or sail) than less frequent, abrasive cleanings. Petit Trinidad is a very durable paint and can stand up to just about any cleaning regimen. That being said, of course you always use the least abrasive cleaning method that will get the bottom clean.
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:25   #10
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Frequent, gentle cleanings are far better for your anti fouling...
... always use the least abrasive cleaning method that will get the bottom clean.

Thanks for the simple, but wise advice.
Frequent & gentle. Two good words to live by.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:02   #11
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My bad. I forgot Trinidad is a hard paint. What about ablatives, like Interlux 66?

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Frequent, gentle cleanings are far better for your anti fouling (not to mention your boat's performance under power or sail) than less frequent, abrasive cleanings. Petit Trinidad is a very durable paint and can stand up to just about any cleaning regimen. That being said, of course you always use the least abrasive cleaning method that will get the bottom clean.
I can't imagine a towel making anything but a mess. In fact, cleaning seems rather hopeless and pointless. When it grows, you need fresh paint.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:47   #12
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We found that for ablative paints, any form of scrubbing/wiping is taking too much paint off. We use a 10" wide stainless scraper instead which removes almost no paint and cleans to the level that during the next sail, the ablative action of the paint works good enough to remove what was left after the scraping.

Hard paints are completely different. I had no good results with hard Trinidad paint but think that the reason is that we are in the tropics. It was formulated for the tropics however so that one still puzzles me.

cheers,
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:43   #13
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In fact, cleaning seems rather hopeless and pointless. When it grows, you need fresh paint.
You sir, are on drugs.
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Old 07-06-2009, 13:05   #14
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Really, I was asking for honest input.

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You sir, are on drugs.
How can one clean an ablative paint in a constructive manner?
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Old 07-06-2009, 13:41   #15
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How can one clean an ablative paint in a constructive manner?
"Constructive"? The act of cleaning is abrasive by nature and therefore will remove some paint, regardless of type or cleaning method. But it is a necessary evil, as there is no magic bullet. The anti fouling has yet to be invented that doesn't need periodic cleaning, especially in moderate to high fouling regions. According to your theory, boats in California would need to be repainted every 4 to 12 weeks.

A knowledgeable diver with the right cleaning tools will not harm an ablative bottom. Yes, some paint will be removed. Can't be avoided. But a good ablative bottom will last 2 years here, even with regular cleanings.
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