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Old 09-01-2021, 08:11   #1
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McMaster-Carr Marine Products - Any Good?

I'm in the middle of a re-fit of a steel sailboat and am researching protective coatings. I've been browsing through the extensive McMaster-Carr website and was pleasantly surprised to find a number of hard-to-find products developed specifically for marine applications. I include a few of the more promising looking ones:


Coal Tar Epoxy (I didn't know this was available anymore!)
https://www.mcmaster.com/paint/subme...PAINT+STRIPPER
Antifouling
https://www.mcmaster.com/paint/marin...PAINT+STRIPPER
Rust Blocking Marine Paint
https://www.mcmaster.com/paint/rust-...PAINT+STRIPPER
2-part epoxy with 316 SS flakes
https://www.mcmaster.com/paint/stain...PAINT+STRIPPER
Corrosion-Inhibiting Primer for Metal
https://www.mcmaster.com/paint/corro...PAINT+STRIPPER
Marine Coating Remover
https://www.mcmaster.com/paint/heavy...PAINT+STRIPPER

So, my question is, has anyone used any of the McMaster-Carr items and can validate their performance?


Interestingly, the product images all show plain containers with no labels. I don't know if this means it's a proprietary McMaster-Carr product or do they source from other manufacturers that meet the spec?
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Old 09-01-2021, 08:44   #2
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Re: McMaster-Carr Marine Products - Any Good?

Through my onshore business pursuits, I have been a McMaster-Carr customer for nearly 40 years. I have not used any of their marine specific products.
As far as I know, M-C is a product stocking distributor. They stock the production of industry for industrial use. Their products I have used have all been of good to excellent quality, but not inexpensive. I donít believe they have much private label distribution, if any.
I think their model is to be the universal distributor of good quality industrial products, no matter how esoteric, and have nearly everything they distribute in stock, for rapid delivery.
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:31   #3
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Re: McMaster-Carr Marine Products - Any Good?

Agreeing with PirateGuy, with very similar experience, including building our boat. In addition, M-C has one of the easiest on-line catalogs to use that I've ever found, because it is branching - you start with "fasteners" and gradually narrow down to "SS 1/4-20 bolt 3" long." You don't even have to really know the common name for what you have in mind. But, as PirateGuy says, once you are there if it is a commonly stocked item you may find a better price elsewhere.
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Old 09-01-2021, 11:20   #4
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Re: McMaster-Carr Marine Products - Any Good?

What pirateguy and tkeithlu say is my experience as well.
Iíve bought from them for boat and business for decades.
Excellent service, good quality, and fair prices. You will pay for the convenience but itís very often worthwhile.
I rebuilt my Schenker watermaker this summer with orings from McMaster-Carr using oring picks from there as well.
I could have bought from any of several specialist oring suppliers but setting up the account and dealing with minimums wouldnít have been worthwhile.
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Old 09-01-2021, 13:18   #5
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Re: McMaster-Carr Marine Products - Any Good?

Don't know about their paint products but they're great for good stainless in bulk and odds and ends that you'll never find in the local chandlery.
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Old 10-01-2021, 08:20   #6
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Re: McMaster-Carr Marine Products - Any Good?

Thanks for your comments.

My own experience with M-C was that they provided good to excellent quality products but I've never ordered chems or paints from them. Was hoping (still am) that someone has direct experience with one or more of the items I highlighted.

So, in general, what about the coal-tar epoxy option? For those of you with experience in steel hulls, would you recommend coal-tar over the other options out there? The description in McMaster-Carr says that their product should be sprayed only. Is that normal? I would've thought coal-tar could be applied with roller and brush.

Also interesting that M-C has a steel primer with 316 stainless steel flakes in them to add corrosion resistance and hardness. I wonder, however, about what possible impacts it might have in terms of dis-similar metals, electrolytic wasting, etc. I'm not enough of a chemist or metalurgical expert to predict whether I'd be doing the boat a favour or dis-service by using such a product to protect the hull.
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Old 10-01-2021, 09:24   #7
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Re: McMaster-Carr Marine Products - Any Good?

I have tried to order from M-C and found that they would not ship to Canada or accept a Canadian credit card and ship it to Michigan where I could pick it up.

That was several years ago and that may have changed.
Good luck
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Old 10-01-2021, 09:46   #8
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Re: McMaster-Carr Marine Products - Any Good?

I love MC. Not cheap, but fast, efficient, and they stock a lot of things that no one else stocks. AFAIK all their products are repackaged from other vendors.

One trick for the chemical products, click all the way through to the product details and then to the SDS and open that up, from there you can frequently find the OEM. I did that with the antifouling and it comes from TotalBoat. I’ve never used (or even heard of) them, but you can use that to do more research.

[Edit] the water-based was TotalBoat JD Select, the solvent-based is SeaHawk Cukote - $300/gallon at MC, available for $200/gallon elsewhere.

The SS-filled epoxy is Steel-It
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Old 10-01-2021, 10:04   #9
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Re: McMaster-Carr Marine Products - Any Good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Mc View Post
I have tried to order from M-C and found that they would not ship to Canada or accept a Canadian credit card and ship it to Michigan where I could pick it up.

That was several years ago and that may have changed.
Good luck
They won't ship anything outside the US any more from my experience. I have a dive shop in the Caribbean and they won't ship direct overseas or even to a US based exporter. Something about paper work etc. etc... So have to get order shipped to a US address and then reshipped onto a freight forwarder or shipping company.

I have found M-C to be one of the best sources for quality and selection of stainless. Very good and accurate grading. If you order 316L you will get 316L. Cheap they are not.
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Old 10-01-2021, 10:11   #10
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Re: McMaster-Carr Marine Products - Any Good?

No experience M-C paints but with over 20 yrs of steel boat ownership, I gravitated towards paints by PPG/Ameron/Devoe. (They started out as Devoe paints, got bought out by Ameron and subsequently Ameron got bought by PPG.) I've never heard of a paint with ss flakes in it, but I don't think that's a good idea for a steel boat. The purpose of paint is to keep oxygen away from the steel to prevent rust. Metal flakes would create channels for oxygen to permeate the paint. The Corroseal folks say that even colorant pigments can create micro-channels for oxygen migration which is why they use a clear latex with their rust converter.

Coal Tar epoxy used to be the gold standard for prepping steel and is still widely used. Another good primer is inorganic zinc compounds like Devoe Cathacoat 302H, etc. Red lead paint is another good choice for priming in as much as it will chemically combine with any existing rust to form an insoluable compound that will no longer rust. It has fallen out of favor due to the concerns about lead poisoning but it is still readily available. I've seen bilges painted with red lead that are still in great shape after several decades! I would tend to stay away from paints that come in unlabeled containers! That tells me they're buying it by the drum and selling it by the quart/gallon and who knows what you're getting?
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Old 10-01-2021, 10:21   #11
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Re: McMaster-Carr Marine Products - Any Good?

Lazy Sunday, the MC coal tar epoxy is Rustoleum C9578

The primer is from Canada Seymour of Sycamore - you’d have to dig for their specific product.
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Old 10-01-2021, 10:27   #12
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Re: McMaster-Carr Marine Products - Any Good?

I first heard of Mc Master Carr from various boatyards on the eastern seaboard that use that vendor extensively for parts and material used for the jobs that they perform on peoplesí boats. Pretty good indication of their utility.
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Old 10-01-2021, 12:28   #13
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Re: McMaster-Carr Marine Products - Any Good?

Re Tar Epoxy.
Great: but bleeds through topcoats unless overcoated with special barrier coating. Any diesel or oil spill will soften or even dissolve it.
Re Zinc rich epoxy.
Can be problematic externally below the waterline as it can cause top coats (antifouling) to bubble/blister off. I'm not sure what the actual process is.
Re Metal flakes in paint:
Some primers use aluminium flakes in them. Highly impermeable. I've seen them perform remarkably well on wooden boats when used below the waterline - even under copper antifouling. Strange. There are also super tough paints using resin and glass flakes that are used to create a slippery surface instead of antifouling. Used on ships. So I'm not sure that this theory of "micro channels" holds water (so to speak).
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Old 10-01-2021, 13:01   #14
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Re: McMaster-Carr Marine Products - Any Good?

Totalboat is (I think) the house brand of Jamestown Distributors. They have a good reputation and I use them frequently. I have used their epoxy filler products but not their other Totalboat epoxies. I am currently rebuilding a 1965 Town Class with their products and MAS and West epoxy.
They are in Connecticut.
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Old 11-01-2021, 06:41   #15
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Re: McMaster-Carr Marine Products - Any Good?

Awesome tips and advice. Thanks so much everyone! This gives me a number of leads to pursue.

I like the Amercoat/Devoe products as well. I have several fiends who use them on their steel boats and I've seen them used on ships where they stand up to very rough use i.e corrosive cargoes and intense abrasion in cargo holds etc.

I'm going to see if the Rustoleum Coal Tar paint is available in Canada. As for it leaching through to antifouling, I've got some Interlux Primocon which the SDS says will work as a barrier to all marine coatings, prior to antifouling. Any direct experience with Primocon over coal tar?

I've got to get this right. I don't want to do this again in a couple years!
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