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Bedouin 06-07-2006 04:16 PM

Adding to anti fouling -----
I was recently contacted by email by another 'old salt' who asked me if I ever added "red peppers" to my anti fouling and if so what ratio. It brought back memories I'd long forgotten of being told that curry powder, red pepper powder or ground mustard mixed in the anti fouling will cut down growth; but never have heard a ratio; or forgot with time. Has anyone ever tried it as I'm thinking that 'old salties' stories usually have a fair bit of truth in them or is a thing of the past with todays anti fouling.



Gallivanters 06-07-2006 09:46 PM

I heard about that from an old American radio commentator, Paul Harvey, many many years ago, too.


Tell you what - since we live in a marina with a boatyard and grocery store across the street... I'll set-up a test strip with the additives you mention, check it periodically and report back later.

Maybe some others could try, as well.

And in the meantime - it would be great to hear if anyone else has ever tried adding spices (or anything else) to their bottom paint and learn of their results.

There was a guy who'd hauled out in Langkawi who could still read the price of his propeller (which had been written with a "Magic Marker" type pen on one of the blades)after a year in the water. I saw it with my own eyes. The prop had fouled everywhere BUT where the price was marked. So - everybody began "painting" their propellers with Sharpie Pens, Crayons, and whatever else they could get their hands on in hopes of keeping their propellers clean.

There was also a chemist shop in Penang who sold Tri Butal Tin to unscrupulous boatowners. Nasty stuff. The three dogs that hung around the storefront looked like something from a Frankenstein movie, which is pretty much what I understand TBT does to shellfish, too.

And I've heard that a diaper rash ointment works to keep critters away.

Now... what's the best thing to use on a Rigid Inflatable?


Bedouin 06-08-2006 05:14 PM

Thanks Kirk, don't forget a sample with no additives as well as keeping an idea of the ratio. The story is too widespread to not have some basis to it. It is always the older chaps who know about it so maybe new types of anti fouling elimates the need for 'additives' or maybe we have all accepted what the paint manufacturers say and have lost the ability to experiment and try the 'old ways'. Keep us informed please Kirk as I'm really interested in the subject, as I'm sure others would be too if it helps keep the 'critters' away.>/smile.gif



Swagman 07-01-2006 03:25 PM

Hi KIrk,

I can verify the use of an indelible marker ink on your prop to keep it clean.

Was shown this trick years ago in Oz and ever since, each time we slip, we polish the prop until it shines like new, then sribble all over the blades and boss.

It works.


Jan 07-04-2006 03:50 PM


I know that guy in Penang. I didn't see the dogs, but the guy himself is about 80 years ol! Considering his stock and the way it is stored, that's a miracle itself. Maybe he also got the Peter Pan / Tinklebell stuff...


Bedouin 12-19-2006 05:33 AM

I'm now trying a mixture of hot curry powder, ground red pepper and mustard powder mixed in the anti fouling on my tender after seeing a difference with a patch done with just curry powder added as an experiment. This is being done on my plastic tender that gets about the same growth rate as Bedouin.

I recently had talks with friends in the marine industry and environmental agency here is Australia and on the quiet was told that anti fouling today is not as effective as yesteryear (that's news!!!) because of the toxins that are now 'not acceptable'. I figure that if the 'home brew' anti fouling works that will reduce haul outs and so cruising costs and can't see it being harmful to the environment if my 42 feet has no growth on it protected by natural products.

I'll post results as they become known.



Trim50 12-19-2006 12:10 PM

Sounds like a good one to send to MythBusters. is the link:

I'll fall outa my chair if I see this one on the show.

Gallivanters 12-20-2006 08:01 AM

What a great teevee show - Myth Busters!

Last summer, I made a sample board of additives to two popular (available locally in the Caribbean) bottom paints on both fiberglass and wood... unfortunately, they were lost three months into the experiment due to re-planking our marina docks... I'll try again when we haul out next June.

Happy Holidays!


Bedouin 12-21-2006 05:49 PM

Hello Trim 50. You won't fall out of your chair. I'm more than prepared to do the tests myself and therefore have first hand knowledge on the results. I've experienced the reduced effectivness of anti fouling paints over the years which is blamed by most on the evironmental control organisations.

The adding of curry powder to a 'patch' as my first experiment on my tender gave noticable results so I'm doing a mix to see if that works better.

Regards and seasons best to all


mercedes 12-27-2006 07:12 PM

with regard to curry powder in anti foul what was the ratio you used ie; how many parts curry powder

Auzzee 12-28-2006 06:18 AM

This topic fascinates me. There is a local medico who swears that the addition to his antifouling of a quantity of antibiotic keeps growth to a minimum over a 2 year period. Another local mixes an amount of Blackberry and Tree Killer, into his paint. My last antifoul was five years ago using a Jotun product bought and applied in Malaysia. It needs recoating now and, to buy the only supposedly really good product available in Australia, requires the purchaser to own a ship with a minimum displacement of 500 tonnes.

My concern with 'doctored' antifouling paint is simple. My boat has a full length keel and a waterline length of 49'6". The cost of removing existing paint, (or barrier coating) and reapplication is very high and I am not prepared to spend a lot of money on good paint only to see it either fail to work or fail to adhere, knowing that doctoring the product has voided the warranty.

I feel that R & D laboratories must be aware of the claims made by cruising sailors and would be quick to test urban legends, especially if the 'improved' brew requires only the addition of a readily available organic substance to render it substantially more potent.

There is no doubt that the lack of availability of 'unsafe' paint (which can be used on the USS Enterprise but can't be used on S/Y PuttPutt), means the paint we are now buying is marginally less effective than that which was generally available 20 years ago; but I would need a heck of a lot of convincing that a condiment or similar household product, could substantially improve the value of propriety antifouling paint, before I would commit to mixing a batch for use on my own boat.


Bedouin 12-28-2006 07:08 AM

Hi Auzzee. The fact that a better anti fouling is available if you have a ship over 500 tons in it's self says that the paint manufacturers are aware that we yachties are being 'short shafted' and being 'fobbed off' an inferior product. The adding of curry powder to the test patch didn't involve any removal of old anti fouling apart from a light sanding and wash down, I mearly mixed some curry powder to the anti fouling for the test patch. I've found that warranty of paint is voided when it is removed from the can!! Once you buy the product and have a problem the reps invariably say that the fault is in the application. R&D is limited to making a product cheaper; as you say anti fouling isn't what it was 20 years ago and I totally agree. I've spoken to paint reps and they have all had their injections of 'our paints the best' etc.. but they are only interested in selling their product. R&D seems to be only interested in producing as cheap a product as possible that is reasonably effective - in other words; prifit for the company.

I'm not trying to get you to add anything to your anti fouling Auzzee; if your happy with what your getting that's fine.

The use of tree killer, probably glysophosphate, added to anti fouling paint would be a very toxic brew. Antibiotic powder I would has it a guess would be regarded too expensive to justify it's use.

I'm not impressed with what is available today and recall some stories(fact or fiction, I don't know) from years ago and as I can't see an environmental issue involved am trying to reduce the growth on Bedouin. The ratio I'm tsting is 5% in volume but that may or may not alter with testing. If good results come forth then it would be cost effective; if not then I will accept that a world wide claim by 'older salties' is just a yarn that has spanned the world and decades of time.



Auzzee 12-28-2006 08:01 AM

Hi Peter. I'm not trying to stir the pot, but it is worthwhile to note that the use of poisons and heavy metals in antifouling is prohibited by governments not by paint manufacturers. If left to manufacturers, we would still be able to use TBT and arsenic based products on recreational craft.

What irks me is that governments allow the use of massive amounts of these toxins on commercial craft whilst denying you and I the same opportunity of choice. If a product is bad for the environment, then it is bad for the environment whether or not it is used on an ocean liner or our modest craft.

It is in the interests of manufacturers to provide the most commercially acceptable product for public sale and I am sure we would all be much happier to know the most toxic ingredient would be a dash of Vencatachulum or Clive of India.

My one experience with warranty on paint was quite positive.On my previous boat, I petitioned International Paints after the two pack coating I used on the deck was slow to cure, then produced poor adhesion. International had specifically recommended the product. I suspect it had been on the shelf for too long, but they did not admit to that, or indeed to any other fault. However,they paid for the deck to be stripped and recoated after the results of their laboratory tests on the failed product, were returned.

Best wishes.


PS I have searched Google for 'Antifouling additives' 'Antifoul curry powder - chilli' etc. So far there have been surprisingly few results. I will keep looking and would appreciate the posting of results if anyone else has more success. Myths and legends usually have some basis in fact. It would be nice to discover any scientific, or otherwise controlled research into this subject which could lead our members to have access to a better, yet environmentally more acceptable antifouling product. I hope Peter, that your tests prove conclusive either one way or the other.

mercedes 12-28-2006 01:32 PM

Hi Swagman

can you tell me exactly what type of indelible marker you used fro prop we have our yacht out at the moment, 42' Kaufmann Mercedes V' having major repairs to sillette sonic sail drive and will be doing an antifoul as well definitely with curry to see how that goes

regards mercedes.


Originally Posted by name='Converted Post'
Originally posted by Swagman

Hi KIrk,

I can verify the use of an indelible marker ink on your prop to keep it clean.

Was shown this trick years ago in Oz and ever since, each time we slip, we polish the prop until it shines like new, then sribble all over the blades and boss.

It works.


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