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Old 30-11-2021, 11:07   #1
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Some bottom paint questions re tools and recent barnacles

Hi everyone,

I've recently taken over as Captain duties since my Dad passed and I was surprised at the amount of bottom growth we had last weekend.

Timeline:

Jan 2020 - Dad's cancer returned, broke the news right after finishing our Exumas trip
July 2020 - bottom painted
January 2021 - Dad passes
Feb 2021 - quick cruise (30 miles or so) to "keep the dream alive"
April 2021 - moved marinas
September 2021 - another quick 35 mile cruise
October 2021 - moved marinas
November 2021 - another quiick 35 mile cruise

Best I can remember, this is the only movement the boat has had in the past 2 years. We had a bottom cleaning guy who seemed sporadic with cleanings. Sometimes it was every month, sometimes it was 8 weeks between cleanings, sometimes it was 2 weeks. Last week I dove to clean the bottom myself because I wanted to inspect (it had been 6 weeks) and I was surprised at the amount of growth. The whole bottom had dime to nickel size barnacles. Does that seem normal for 6 weeks of sitting and 1.5 years of little to no use? Did this kill the bottom paint?

I scraped them all off with a plastic putty knife but most of the bases remained. Should I have used a metal knife or what's the preferred tool? I also noticed the keel had what appeared to be small rust bubbles that would pop when I scraped them. What do we think about that?

The plan if we keep the boat would be to haul it out during hurricane season so we don't have to worry about it. Would having the boat on the hard for 4 months every year kill the bottom paint?

Thank you for the help, I'm trying as hard as I can to learn this boat. Wish I tried harder while my Dad was still here.
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Old 30-11-2021, 12:21   #2
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Re: Some bottom paint questions re tools and recent barnacles

First, sorry for your loss.

You are in an expensive area to keep a deep draft boat, and one without access to the ocean due to shallow water inlets (which you probably know). Consider moving north to Stuart or better Ft. Pierce for deep water ocean access at much cheaper rates.

Your boat probably has ablative bottom paint over a barrier coat. The lack of motion does contribute to the growth as moving water sluffs paint off the bottom exposing new (poisonous) paint slowly over about two years. Afterwards, it's time for a bottom job. Considering south Florida, I'd bet Cukote by Sea Hawk. Since you are already experiencing 3-dimensional growth, it may be near the end of it's useful life, but only 18 months is ridiculously short.

The 'rust bubbles' may be surface rusting in the steel encapsulated keel, or just minor blisters. Hard to diagnose this underwater. If you are really going to haul her next year, perhaps the best approach is get a respected diver to clean it as best possible and enjoy the boat for six months, then plan to have work done in Ft. Pierce at the haul. The work is not particularly skillful, but it is overhead, dirty, boring, and generally unpleasant. Forty by 10 feet does not sound like a great deal of area, but when dealing in 4-inch sections, it is really big. You may want to consider hiring it done, if this does not sound like a way to spend your weekends.
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Old 30-11-2021, 12:41   #3
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Re: Some bottom paint questions re tools and recent barnacles

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Trusty View Post
First, sorry for your loss.

You are in an expensive area to keep a deep draft boat, and one without access to the ocean due to shallow water inlets (which you probably know). Consider moving north to Stuart or better Ft. Pierce for deep water ocean access at much cheaper rates.

Your boat probably has ablative bottom paint over a barrier coat. The lack of motion does contribute to the growth as moving water sluffs paint off the bottom exposing new (poisonous) paint slowly over about two years. Afterwards, it's time for a bottom job. Considering south Florida, I'd bet Cukote by Sea Hawk. Since you are already experiencing 3-dimensional growth, it may be near the end of it's useful life, but only 18 months is ridiculously short.

The 'rust bubbles' may be surface rusting in the steel encapsulated keel, or just minor blisters. Hard to diagnose this underwater. If you are really going to haul her next year, perhaps the best approach is get a respected diver to clean it as best possible and enjoy the boat for six months, then plan to have work done in Ft. Pierce at the haul. The work is not particularly skillful, but it is overhead, dirty, boring, and generally unpleasant. Forty by 10 feet does not sound like a great deal of area, but when dealing in 4-inch sections, it is really big. You may want to consider hiring it done, if this does not sound like a way to spend your weekends.
Thank you John. Luckily for me I found an excellent slip option that's close to Lake Worth Inlet for dirt cheap. So if we keep the boat (which I sure hope we do), we have a spot for it as long as we're gone for hurricane season. Still searching for dry storage options over the summer. I'll have to check on the paint - my Dad was a well respected sportfish captain and I know parts/paint leftover from the boat he worked on often ended up on this sailboat. I already have another diver lined up to clean the bottom going forward so I'll get his opinion on how much life the paint has. And trust me, after spending 1.5 hours on scuba scraping the bottom I am well aware with how big of an area that is! Not my favorite dive that's for sure.

Do you think the paint will suffer if it's on the hard for hurricane season? I was reading that that's not great but I don't know what other options we have if we want the boat out of the water. What tool do you like to use to scrape the bottom?
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Old 30-11-2021, 12:49   #4
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Re: Some bottom paint questions re tools and recent barnacles

Update - it was painted with Micron CSC HS
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Old 30-11-2021, 13:20   #5
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Re: Some bottom paint questions re tools and recent barnacles

I believe (was told, heard or read) that bottom paint goes dead after about 6 weeks of drying out.
But, the micron tech sheet says: "This product uses Micron Technology to provide excellent, long lasting antifouling protection against all types of fouling. Controlled polishing means that it wears away like a bar of soap, reducing buildup of old coatings and minimizing sanding at reapplication. This also allows the boat to be hauled and launched without recoating. Micron CSC HS* is a high solids, low VOC formulation, that yields higher film build and is offered in bright colors and fast recoat times."

Now I want to hear from actual users in FL what their experiences are.

Wayne
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:08   #6
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Re: Some bottom paint questions re tools and recent barnacles

What a good way to celebrate your father's life!

Enyar, it does sound like your bottom paint is past any usefulness - you are taking on barnacles as if it's not there, even for south Florida. Good advice you have, so patch things up and make it to your next haul, the sooner the better. My yard pressure washes and scrapes the bottom with long handled steel putty knives as the boat comes out of the water for $2 a foot - well worth the price. Then it's sand what remains and re-coat with the smelly stuff. Two years seems about all I can get in Florida.
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Old 01-12-2021, 09:27   #7
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Re: Some bottom paint questions re tools and recent barnacles

Most bottom paint, especially ablative, can dry with no real loss. There are exceptions.

1. It sounds like the previous diver wasn’t really doing anything.

2. The rust bubbles are the iron keel rusting under the paint. It’ll need to be stripped and re/coated to stop this.

3. The sitting without a regular diver “exposing” more active paint allowed the barnacles to gain a foothold. The ablative works by shedding the exposed layers by the boats motion or a gentle scrubbing.

My condolences on your loss
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:52   #8
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Re: Some bottom paint questions re tools and recent barnacles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enyar View Post
Hi everyone,

I've recently taken over as Captain duties since my Dad passed and I was surprised at the amount of bottom growth we had last weekend.

Timeline:

Jan 2020 - Dad's cancer returned, broke the news right after finishing our Exumas trip
July 2020 - bottom painted
January 2021 - Dad passes
Feb 2021 - quick cruise (30 miles or so) to "keep the dream alive"
April 2021 - moved marinas
September 2021 - another quick 35 mile cruise
October 2021 - moved marinas
November 2021 - another quiick 35 mile cruise

Best I can remember, this is the only movement the boat has had in the past 2 years. We had a bottom cleaning guy who seemed sporadic with cleanings. Sometimes it was every month, sometimes it was 8 weeks between cleanings, sometimes it was 2 weeks. Last week I dove to clean the bottom myself because I wanted to inspect (it had been 6 weeks) and I was surprised at the amount of growth. The whole bottom had dime to nickel size barnacles. Does that seem normal for 6 weeks of sitting and 1.5 years of little to no use? Did this kill the bottom paint?

I scraped them all off with a plastic putty knife but most of the bases remained. Should I have used a metal knife or what's the preferred tool? I also noticed the keel had what appeared to be small rust bubbles that would pop when I scraped them. What do we think about that?

The plan if we keep the boat would be to haul it out during hurricane season so we don't have to worry about it. Would having the boat on the hard for 4 months every year kill the bottom paint?

Thank you for the help, I'm trying as hard as I can to learn this boat. Wish I tried harder while my Dad was still here.
Sorry for your loss.

Those are large barnacles. I plan on a haul every two years here in the Pacific NW and never see anything that large but I may get clumps that large. If you are going to haul out every year during hurricane season then that is the time to repaint the bottom. Talk to your neighoring boat owners on the prefered paint for your area.

It doesn't sound like you will be a big user of the boat since your father is gone. Boats do take ongoing maintenance and the dollars to support them. You have a decision to make. For what it is worth, neither of my sons has the interest level/time/money necessary to follow in my sailing steps so I will be selling my boat in the coming years.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 22-01-2022, 14:51   #9
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Re: Some bottom paint questions re tools and recent barnacles

Harbors each have different mixes of salinity, temperature and fertilizer/effluent runoff, so different antifouling paints may work better in some than in others. It is often best to ask what people find most effective where you will be. The direction that a boat tied in a slip points can also impact bottom growth, along with whether it is moored or anchored out.
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Old 22-01-2022, 19:20   #10
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Re: Some bottom paint questions re tools and recent barnacles

@Enya:

Sorry for your loss. My dad died alone, I didn't get to say goodbye. I know everyone's pain is a little different, please accept my condolences.

Barnacle bases usually only come off with the rest when the barnacle is less than 1 mm across. They are, however calcareous (high calcium content), and acid will soften and loosen them. Or, you can use a carbide blade scraper to scrape them off, but be careful to avoid digging in the edge of the scraper. Darned old barnies anyway!

If you have an iron keel, and it is rusting under the bottom paint, you are going to need to address the paint system on the keel, before you think too much about the bottom paint itself. There are You Tubes about the subject, and some marinas have professionals with whom you can consult, or hire to do the job, depending on inclination and pocketbook depth. It is the people local to where you keep the boat who can tell you what works best there.

Good luck with it all.

Ann
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Old 22-01-2022, 22:44   #11
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Re: Some bottom paint questions re tools and recent barnacles

Good tool-carbide
https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop...s?item=64K1001


https://www.latimes.com/bestcovery/best-paint-scraper
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