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Old 02-10-2021, 13:59   #1
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Extensive barnacles on bottom paint that's 10 months old

Hello, I bought a daysailer (Freedom 21) back in May. The guy I bought it from said he had it hauled out and painted in December (not exactly sure what kind of paint but I'm sure it's ablative) and had the bottom cleaned by a diver in April. I believe him as he gave me the receipts.

I haven't paid much attention to the bottom since then because I knew it was painted and cleaned recently. I saw barnacles on the rudder and figured that must not have been painted along with the rest of the boat, so I planned to just take the rudder off and repaint that alone. The water isn't very clear here so I hadn't noticed anything on the bottom while she was sitting in the slip.

However, I took her out today in some breeze and had a look at the bottom as she was heeling, and it turns out there are barnacles everywhere. Not yet a full layer, but getting close.

Obviously I need to haul her out and scrape/sand/repaint, but I wasn't expecting this cost so soon. I mostly want to know why might this have happened so quickly? Could it just be that the ablative wasn't effective because the boat didn't move much? Is it possible that the diver cleaned the bottom with a scraper and destroyed the paint? Any other likely suspects I should look for?

This will be the first time I've hauled a boat and painted it, so any advice at all is appreciated. I have a small budget but I also don't mind spending more now to save money later. Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-10-2021, 14:11   #2
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Re: Extensive barnacles on bottom paint that's 10 months old

No paint can keep growth away for long in certain areas. Other areas paint can last for years.

If the paint is only 10 months old, Id just get the boat on a regular cleaning schedule with a diver.
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Old 02-10-2021, 14:15   #3
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Re: Extensive barnacles on bottom paint that's 10 months old

Equally not all paints are made equal. So your selling a boat, do you put the cheap stuff on or the very expensive stuff? both will look good with either for a while until after you sell the boat.

Barnacles, well you are going to have some fun getting them off, we used a garden hoe on one boat because the pressure washer just didn't do it.

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Old 02-10-2021, 14:17   #4
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Re: Extensive barnacles on bottom paint that's 10 months old

Try marine Anti-foulin paint. House paint isn't up to the job.
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Old 02-10-2021, 14:37   #5
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Re: Extensive barnacles on bottom paint that's 10 months old

This isn't surprising. In your area you probably should be having the bottom cleaned every 4 weeks at a minimum.
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Old 02-10-2021, 14:49   #6
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Re: Extensive barnacles on bottom paint that's 10 months old

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This isn't surprising. In your area you probably should be having the bottom cleaned every 4 weeks at a minimum.


I just looked at the OPs profile.

Around Tampa bay this year the barnacle growth has been extreme. Boat bottoms and air conditioning systems alike.
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Old 02-10-2021, 15:30   #7
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Re: Extensive barnacles on bottom paint that's 10 months old

Thanks everyone! I'll definitely get the bottom cleaned more often. I figured biannually would be enough since I'm not racing, but clearly not. At least I'm learning these lessons with a small boat

Maybe this is a dumb question, but can I get away with just scraping it and moving to a monthly cleaning schedule (without repainting)? I'm guessing the scraping would destroy the paint?
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Old 02-10-2021, 16:35   #8
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Re: Extensive barnacles on bottom paint that's 10 months old

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Thanks everyone! I'll definitely get the bottom cleaned more often. I figured biannually would be enough since I'm not racing, but clearly not. At least I'm learning these lessons with a small boat

Maybe this is a dumb question, but can I get away with just scraping it and moving to a monthly cleaning schedule (without repainting)? I'm guessing the scraping would destroy the paint?


Get a diver onto it now. The paint may be fine for the winter.
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Old 02-10-2021, 16:58   #9
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Re: Extensive barnacles on bottom paint that's 10 months old

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Maybe this is a dumb question, but can I get away with just scraping it and moving to a monthly cleaning schedule (without repainting)? I'm guessing the scraping would destroy the paint?
Any place where there is/was a barnacle is not going to have any anti fouling protection going forward. You're likely looking at a full-on scraping every time the boat is dived until you repaint no matter what.
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Old 02-10-2021, 17:02   #10
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Re: Extensive barnacles on bottom paint that's 10 months old

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Equally not all paints are made equal. So your selling a boat, do you put the cheap stuff on or the very expensive stuff? both will look good with either for a while until after you sell the boat.

Barnacles, well you are going to have some fun getting them off, we used a garden hoe on one boat because the pressure washer just didn't do it.

Pete
Yes, even a drywall plaster spreader will move lots of them.

@iansan: Clean every other week, in the water till you haul. In the meantime, start asking around as to what people are using where you are (warm, highly nutritious water) that they are pleased with, so you have an idea what to try. Sometimes, you can just have the ablative paint washed, and much growth will come off, but if it sets without the boat moving, it doesn't ablate noticeably, and stuff starts sticking that helps more stuff stick, and bang! It's a mess.


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Old 02-10-2021, 17:16   #11
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Re: Extensive barnacles on bottom paint that's 10 months old

Iansan5653 why not save yourself a headache and just slip the boat and apply a decent coat of antifoul paint. 21 feet is pretty small and you should be able to accomplish the job yourself in a day or two. I doubt it will be that expensive to do and then instead of getting a diver to scrape you can just wipe the bottom with a piece of carpet when your in the shallows.
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Old 03-10-2021, 08:56   #12
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Re: Extensive barnacles on bottom paint that's 10 months old

It may have been that the boat was not put back in the water within 24 hours of the antifouling being applied, or whatever the manufacturer advises.
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Old 03-10-2021, 09:25   #13
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Re: Extensive barnacles on bottom paint that's 10 months old

You're in nutrient rich water, exacerbated by the Big Piney phosphate leak in Tampa Bay. Our boat is in Marco Island. We have to clean every month or pay more per cleaning. The water in Floriduh is just getting worse. Plan on cleaning more often in the future.
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Old 03-10-2021, 09:29   #14
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Re: Extensive barnacles on bottom paint that's 10 months old

AFAIK, ablative paint is not designed to be scrubbed by a diver. The paint is designed to slough off as the boat moves through the water, carrying any critters with it. You can imagine that most of the paint is removed when a diver scrubs it.

In fact, here in Puget Sound it is illegal for divers to scrub ablative paint--it leaves clouds of toxic chemicals in the water.

If you hire a diver to scrub, coat the boat with a hard bottom paint. Epoxy or vinyl-based paints work well, and select a copper content appropriate to the location.
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Old 03-10-2021, 09:31   #15
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Re: Extensive barnacles on bottom paint that's 10 months old

I'me just wondering if warming oceans may be partly responsible for marine growth and in future the remaking of bottom paint formulas to compete with marine life... where will we draw a line.. between ocean life
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