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Old 30-06-2009, 22:35   #1
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Timing Bottom Paint Application

We live in the PNW where the water is relatively cold (usually around 54 degrees). We are headed down to Mexico, where we've heard rumors that the waters up in the Sea of Cortez are warmer than here. We were advised to use a hard bottom paint like Pettit Trinidad SR (which is a hard modified epoxy). Our question is: Is there any advantage/disadvantage of either painting the bottom while up in the PNW verses waiting until we get down south or is water temperature and application of bottom paint a mute point?

Ray and Sandy
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Old 01-07-2009, 04:13   #2
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Cost, Convenience, Availability. These three factors drive many of my boat decisions.

Will the paint be cheaper in Mexico. Maybe. Lots of folks from San Diego used to take their boats to Ensinada to bottom jobs.

Convenience. Probably easier to do it in a yard near you and have it done. Stopping in the middle of a cruise to do a bottom job may not be fun.

Availability. Availability in Mexico can be spotty.

I would do it before I started the trip and have it out of the way.

The type of bottom paint is up for discussion. We use an ablative paint and think that it is best for sailboats. There are lots of proponents for either type hard or ablative.

George
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Old 18-07-2009, 18:00   #3
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BETTER ALTERNATIVE TO BOTTOM PAINT

As a much more effective alternative to antifouling bottom paint, Cupronickel coating has been found to last for decades without reapplication, given no collision damage.

In researching this material for my own boat, I found that it has been in use for marine applications, chiefly boat hulls, at least since the 1960s. In Australia in the 1980s, a study was done on sisterships in service as parts of a fishing fleet. 2 boats were compared: 1 a cupronickel hull and the 2nd an identical boat with standard bottom paint. After a year, they were both hauled, and the 1st had zero marine growth, while the 2nd showed the expected accumulation of critters.

The 1st had a fuel bill that was 29% lower than the 2nd. The 1st also achieved a 10% increase of speed through the water at any given RPM compared to the 2nd, apparently due to the low drag from the cupronickel hull . I will be happy to provide that reference for any interested parties, since the study was published. Right after that, the Italian government built a fleet of 8 cupronickel hull fireboats during the mid-1980's. Reportedly, they are still in service with no antifouling problems.

That decrease in fuel burn also meant 29% smaller carbon footprint, not to mention the salutary impact on water quality due to absence of copper and TBT. The latter conclusions are mine. I don't think any of that was in anybody's mind in the 1980's, before we heard of global warming or were as concerned a poplulation as we are now about the environment in general.

The problem then was the cost of the solid cupronickel alloy hull (comprised of 90% copper and 10% nickel) which was considered too expensive for widespread use in commercial ventures. Since then, I have learned (via the internet) that several outfits tried various methods of applying cupronickel over existing hulls of different types. Most of these methods failed due to failure of adhesion of metal to the hull. For example, there have been a coupleof European companies that marketed cupronickel foil to be glued on in squares. ( I think EcoSea was one, but I might dis-remember that). I heard that hasn't worked out too well, though, due to a tendency for marine growth along the junction lines between squares, unless they were meticulously joined, and that proved too expensive & unreliable to be marketable beyond just a few boats. Also, they had problems wih the foil squares coming off.

This month, July, 2009, one of those European companies introduced to the US market a hull coating they call "Coppercoat". They have a website at CoppercoatUSA.com. There's a video that shows their process, but they are using straight copper in some type of proprietary epoxy that they roll on like regular bottom paint. The trouble, as I see it, with that idea is that it's copper, and, even though they claim a low copper leach rate, with the EPA coming down so hard on copper in bottom paints, it would make me nervous that it might not be on the market all that long. As well, their roll-on method has little or no advantage with regard to drag through the water, although they claim it does, it seems to me unlikely to provide much fuel cost savings or speed increase.

By the way, EPA lowered the acceptable leach rate for copper to 1.9 parts per billion of seawater beginning this past January 1st. No current bottom paints meet that standard. That's why all the bottom paint companies are scrambling to come up with something without any copper at all, given that they know EPA is only going to get more stringent with time. I just saw a new entry into that market this week. The name escapes me right now, but I'll come up with it. Anyway, when reading the fine print on the flyer, even that one is still copper-based, albeit without the TriButyl Tin (TBT) that has the EPA really fired up.

That said, most places in the world are still using paints that do contain TBT, a really nasty toxin that poisons marine life, lasts damn near forever, and ends up in the human food chain via predator fish eating the fish eating the small life that ingested the TBT out of the water.

As well, there have been companies in the US that played around with cupronickel back in the 80's, but they never really achieved much market penetration due to cost and the fact that the boating world then just wasn't as environmentally conscientious as now.

Now there's a new company, Marine EcoCoatings, Inc out of southern CA, that is applying cupronickel alloy via a cold spray method. To be sure, it costs more than paint, but it pays for itself over time. In the interest of not waxing commercial here, let me just say that I applied it to my boat hull, and I'm delighted with the result. My understanding is that the website will be fully functional in another week or so, although it's there in rudimentary form now at MarineEcoCoatings.com.

I think cupronickel really answers the need to provide effective antifouling without the necessity of subsequent hassle and expense for haulouts for repainting. That's what made it worth it to me, and I think this represents the future of antifouling. I also think it won't be long before the racing sailors of the world figure out they can go 10% faster than their competitors wearing bottom paint in the same wind.

I'm a newby here, so when I figure out how to do it on this site, I'll post some photos of self & wife on board BLUE CHIPS and during the hull coating application process on the meet & greet place or whichever is the right forum, if someone will inform me about that.

DOCRIVERS
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Old 18-07-2009, 19:51   #4
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I would agree with Sunspot Baby. If you know you'll need it - do it now and under circumstances that are yours to choose. The money saved getting the work done in what you think will be cheaper may cost a few days on land with no place to stay.

Always better to take on the hard stuff you know about before you venture off. There will always be enough surprises to fill the adventure schedule without asking for more rolls of the dice. Around here I can get it painted for less than the cost of paint and know it will be done right or I can could do it myself at a yard I know the folks that work there. Either way that sure trumps a cheaper labor rate from an unknown vendor in a place I've never been with no place to live.
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Old 19-07-2009, 00:30   #5
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That said, most places in the world are still using paints that do contain TBT...
TBT-based anti fouling paints have been banned worldwide. Considering you seem to have all the answers regarding anti fouling paints, I'm surprised you didn't know this. Further, since you seem to be pimping for this "Cupronickle" stuff pretty hard, I wonder if you are not associated with the company that produces it.
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Old 19-07-2009, 10:03   #6
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Bottom paint whilst cruising

If you're going to be cruising for an extended period of time, bottom paint has to be considered as part of your cruising maintenance. Figuring out when you'll need to do it is difficult if you're moving from your home waters to someplace very different; you may be able to pick out exactly when your paint needs to be redone at home, but will it last longer/less well in warmer/colder waters?

I think Ixtlan22 should ask cruisers in San Diego/Mexico waters if Petite Trinidad SR lasts well in their waters, and how long it's effective. If it does, then just stick with it, and plan to haul out when they would suggest it be redone. If it doesn't, and the planned cruise will be there a while, then add diving on the hull to the regularly scheduled maintenance. At the first sign of bottom growth, head to a boat yard you've researched before leaving the PNW to have the bottom stripped and good locally-popular bottom paint applied.

So, anyone here from San Diego/Mexico waters? Does Petite Trinidad SR hold up well in those waters?

Small aside for Fstbttms: TBT is *not* banned world wide, and is specifically allowed in the USA for certain very limited commercial applications. It is currently under consideration for the Rotterdam Convention.
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Old 19-07-2009, 10:27   #7
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In southern waters you will likely be needing bottom paint every year. Make your boat as prepared as possible now. If you are lucky maybe you can find Jotun like they sell in Trinidad next time you have to paint. Had my HC38 done in Trini with the Jotun, cruised back to florida, the boat sat for sale in a canal for 1.5 years... so were talking about 2-2.5 years on the paint...I had a diver go down to clean the bottom in anticipation of a sale... he came back out of the water and said "there's nothing to do, are you sure it wasnt just cleaned?"
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Old 19-07-2009, 11:44   #8
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Anyone use Coppercoat?
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Old 19-07-2009, 12:42   #9
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Clairification

Thanks for all the replies...most helpful.

Looking back, I realized we were actually asking two or more questions about the bottom painting issue. What we really wanted was some input about whether people in warmer waters had better luck (experiences) with "hard" verses "ablative" paints or vice versa. We can put on either one while were here in the PNW and plan on doing that before we leave....the issue is really what might work best for the long-run in warmer waters?

The admiral wanted to know if water temperature had any immediate effect on the adhesion qualities of the paint?...meaning if we put something on up here in the NW is it going to just fall off after we get down there because "everyone knows the XYZ brand of ablative or epoxy paints are what everyone uses in the San Diego to Panama area." What this did was bring up even more questions about such as "does the location of where you put your paint on" or, " installation temperature (including humidity) have any effect on adhesion qualities or overall performance of either type of paint." Would like to know this without having to get a degree in bottom paint form Paint U.

Believe it or not, this is not a dumb question as we noticed that application of some types of ablative paint in cooler (make that colder) waters do not appear to adhere as well as others. Up here, we didn't have very good luck with one brand of ablative paint. It was non-functional within a year (sorry don't remember the brand I just know I'm not going to buy it again ). It could be just the paint...it could be the water temp...or it could be a multitude of other factors such as type of algae or water creatures, salinity, tidal action, electrolitic action etc. etc. etc.

As most everyone knows...bottom paint of any kind is not cheap especially when boats get over 10' or so. We just hate to go hand mother nature $600-$800 bucks for the privilage of finding out that our choice of paint may be "not-so-good" and if we had just have asked...we would have known better. and no, just for the record, we don't use the copper stuff.
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Old 19-07-2009, 13:36   #10
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I used Seahawk ablative while in St. Maarten. By the time I got to Florida I was sailing the paint off the bottom of the cat. That was 2 coats with several extra leading edges.

I had good luck with Petit Trinidad from S.F to Puerta Vallarta, and back. The boat sat on the hard a couple of times for several months before she came back to Ca. Once back several years after leaving Ca. her bottom was still good. This was on my mono.........i2f
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Old 19-07-2009, 15:33   #11
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Whoa, fstbttms, pimping is not what I intended. I'm just delighted with it and wanted to share the news with folks here. I just joined up a couple of days ago, so if I stepped on somebody's toes, it was not intentional. Maybe I'll catch on to the etiquette of this site with a little more practice.

RE: the world wide ban: I just talked to a cruiser who had his bottom done maybe 2 months ago, and he said he got "regular" bottom paint put on in Ensenada. I didn't ask him about copper content or TBT, but 'regular' had that connotation for me. I hope I was wrong and that everywhere in the world people are heeding the ban. But I guess time will tell.

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Old 19-07-2009, 16:18   #12
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Is Tin paint really banned. What if you have an aluminum boat. Seahawk still lists Islander 44, that is on my boat, on their web site.
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Old 19-07-2009, 16:56   #13
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YES, TriButyl Tin has been banned as a constituent of marine bottom coatings due to its serious toxicity to marine life of all forms. As fsstbttms said, the ban is supposed to be worldwide. How well the ban is enforced worldwide is another story.
It will be interesting to see what the bottom paint industry comes up with. This is one of the reasons I switched to cupronickel.

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Old 19-07-2009, 21:10   #14
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Whoa, fstbttms, pimping is not what I intended. I'm just delighted with it and wanted to share the news with folks here. I just joined up a couple of days ago, so if I stepped on somebody's toes, it was not intentional. Maybe I'll catch on to the etiquette of this site with a little more practice.
If you go to fstbttms website, you'll notice that he endorses a specific type of paint. And if you stick around here long enough, you'll notice that he tends to be hostile to anyone who proposes alternative means of anti-fouling. While this site certainly has its own etiquette, I wouldn't recommend looking to commercial venders as exemplars of that etiquette.

Welcome to the forum, by the way.
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Old 20-07-2009, 08:47   #15
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...if you stick around here long enough, you'll notice that he tends to be hostile to anyone who proposes alternative means of anti-fouling.
I don't believe that's true. What is true is that I have performed about 20,000 in-water hull cleanings over the course of 15 years in the business and I think that gives me a level of expertise regarding anti fouling paint performance that few others have and I freely share that expertise here. I will admit to being somewhat testy towards those who take a cavalier view towards their (and the anti fouling products they choose to use) effect on the environment or towards those claiming something I know not to be true. And yes, I am skeptical about each new anti fouling magic bullet that comes down the pike. But when someone new comes to the forum and immediately starts pushing a particular product, that's a red flag. It often means it's a vendor abusing forum rules, looking for some cheap advertising. If I was wrong about DOCRIVERS in this instance, he has my apologies.
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