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Old 02-13-2006, 09:03 PM   #1
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Default Bottom Paint?

Hello to all!

I have a few questions on bottom paint.

My wife and I are currently in contract for our first boat and know that after the boat is delivered to the Hudaon River this spring, we will want to do a bottom job before placing her in the water for the season. The previous owner used an Ablative paint and re-did the bottom every other season. We thought that we would have a professional do the first job, watch and learn for the next time. We were told the bottom paint would be a $4000.00 - $6000.00 job but we were told that this would last us for 20 years! I personally didn't get to speak to this professional, my wife did but the question is "What kind of paint job is going to be done that will last 20 years"?? Would this be an Enamel paint and would it require sanding and/or stripping for the touchups?? Is the Ablative paint a better paint for cruising and does that run the same cost if I did it myself?

It seems to me that even a better vinyl or enamel paint might be the biggest pain in the bottom (pun intended) if it would require sttripping and sanding etc...than a quick re-paint of the ablative when it was necessary.

Any thoughts or help in this area? Is it better to have a more expensive bottom paint that will last longer or an ablative paint job that will need more maintenance or up-keep??


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Old 02-13-2006, 11:27 PM   #2
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<font face="Arial"></font id="Arial">Scott,

I'm certainly no expert, but it sounds to me like the guy was quoting on painting your topsides with Awl Grip... which they say can last 20 years. $6000 for a bottom paint job seems quite excssive.

As to which bottom paint to use... I think it's always a good idea to discuss the matter with local boat owners who are familiar with the waters where you intend to use the vessel. Old Locals will tell you what works best.

Personally - I prefer ablative bottom paints. And the best (in my opinion) is the JOTUN brand.

Happy Hunting,


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Old 02-13-2006, 11:46 PM   #3
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Hello there

Now while I agree with Kirk, I have to mention a paint called CopperCoat. It is supposedly guaranteed for something like 10 years, and is ablative. Now these are pretty serious claims, but they appear a big company and were at the London Boat Show etc, which suggests they're not cowboys!


I'd just like to point out that I don't work for them, and I haven't used it - although I am planning to.

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Old 02-17-2006, 10:35 PM   #4
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We were lucky to get 3 years out of a very heavy bottom paitn. The Hudson River is awful on bottom paint. Everfything lives there.

Ablative paint is usually best for a power boat, because it's faster and will ablate (slough off) as the boat is moving. for a sailboat you'd have to scrub the bottom several times over the season to keep it relatively clean.

I don't think the fellow is talking about antifouling bottom paint. Unless it's pure copper (and there is such a thing, though I'm not familiar with it). I suggest you get more information from the contractor before committing to anything.
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 02-18-2006, 01:13 AM   #5
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You'll get it clarified by the painter but it sounds as if Bens on the mark - coppercoat or something similar would be at or around that quoted price.

These kinds of coverings are basically copper particles suspended in a harder plastic paint - maybe even epoxy. Once sprayed on, they need a light sand to expose the millions of copper particles, but done correctly and in the right waters - we've seen ours to be very effective. They provide a 10 year guarantee - we're in year 2 and its working fine.

General feedback we got from others seems to indicate professional application is vital - but and even then we've heard they don't always get it right - and lots of others have used these copper rich coverings and not had good results.

The normal ablative type paints referred to above are much softer and designed to wear away, taking light growth with them and revealing a new surface. But IMHO they are not good on power boats as a fast days outing can strip it completly away leaving you with a bare bottom. So I'd suggest they are good for sailboats only.

As others have said - best place for what paint advice is local and not on this board - as local water and temperature conditions will rule. What works for others locally should work best for you - so coopy them.

Good luck.

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Old 02-18-2006, 06:36 PM   #6
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Ever different brand of bottom paint will last different periods of time in different parts of the world. I have never come across a paint that will last twenty years, unfortunetly. My adivse to you is chat to some of the locals as to what bottom paint they use. Remember, though, if yuo have an aluminium hull don't use anything copper based and don't paint your anodes. a good method of devising how much paint you will need is the following

Loa (length over all) x (Beam + Draught) you'll get the answer in Metres squared. Try it! it worked for me!

If you have anymore questions feel free to ask

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Old 02-20-2006, 12:25 AM   #7
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I bet he quoted your wife an epoxy barrier coat and a bottom paint. The barrier coat will last a long time. But you still have to hull out and repaint every few years(epecially in hudson). The price sounds about that of a barrier coat.

owning a boat is expensive but not as much as 4-6K for a bottom job.

If its the barrier coat, you're not gonna learn much by watching because you'll never needed again. If its the bottom paint, its no different than rolling your bedroom or living room.
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Old 02-20-2006, 12:44 PM   #8
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(First, congrats on your boat...i saw an earlier thread of yours inquiring about wire tranfers and overnight checks during the purchase process...you have obviously made a purchase!)

unless your time & availabilty is an issue, i don't think you 'need' to have a 'pro' or yard do your anti-fouling paint this first season...that is unless you intend that it be sprayed, in which i would agree, you should hire out- due to the health hazards and necessary equipment required...but...if your doing it by roller and brush...you are capable...do some homework, you may need to pressure spray and sand off all existing paint. Many paints won't bond to other paints so if you are unsure what is there, or if what is on isn't as effective in your waters, you have to take the current stuff off by getting down to the gelcoat (assuming she is glass) in order to get the paint you want on to stay put and be effective.

...i think with some local networking you can figure out what you'll need based on your area waters & the type of boating you are doing ....and by doing it yourself you'll save some $$ and all the while you will get to know your new hull & locate your transducers (which require a special anti-fouling paint)

I believe, as a general rule, and i think most will agree, ablative paint is used more by sailboat cruisers while hard epoxy's are used by those who race. The reason is that in many cases ablative paints allow you to go multiple years with out redoing your hull while hard epoxy's require annual work...the hard epoxy's give your hull less drag...squeezing out that extra 1/10th of a knot to hopefully win your regatta...yet i do know some cruisers who do use the hard epoxy's...a glutten for punishment..??... personally, as a cruiser, i will stick with the ablative on my boat.

oh yes, one more item...you may look into interlux's interprotect 2000E...this is a barrier coat (mentioned earlier by phorvati) you can apply this between your gelcoat and anti-fouling paint. I have talked with boaters who have said if you put 4-6 coats of this on prior to your bottem paint you may be able to go at least 3 seasons without redoing your bottem...in some cases, depending on enviornment, up to 6 seasons! This stuff is suppose to last forever too...so, in 3-6 years, when you finally haul your boat out again to do new anti-fouling paint, make sure you tell the yard not to pressure spray down to the gel coat...just to spray lightly to get the old anti-fouling paint off...you want to keep this barrier coat that is underneath the old layer of bottem paint on your hull. Then you can just do a light sanding prior to your new ablative bottem paint to insure a bond.

For a crusier who is okay losing that 1/10th of a knot, ablative seems to be the best way to go ...through my eyes anyhow.

Best of luck...


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