Water based anti-fouling in the Chesapeake - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 68 Old 02-05-2017 Thread Starter
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Water based anti-fouling in the Chesapeake

[I'm posting this in the Chesapeake sub-forum because selection of antifouling paint is specific to local waters.]

I've used Pettit solvent based antifouling paints with good results on my prior boat for the past 7 years (both Vivid and Ultima SR-40/PCA Gold). But that was in the "freshwater" Delaware River. Since moving my new boat to Rock Hall's brackish water last summer, I have higher salinity level and potential for hard growth, so paint selection will be much more important. The previous owner of my current boat had the Herrington Harbor slap some very low-end ablative on it just before I purchased, and it worked well for one season (except for barnacles on every spot that the paint didn't cover, like prop, shaft, and air conditioner strainer). The boat definitely needs fresh paint this year.

Paints have changed quite a bit since I last painted my prior boat. In 2015 BASF discontinued the Irgarol anti-slime additive (aka "NCN"), so paint compositions have changed a lot. Manufacturers are packing more copper in than they used to (Ultima SR-40 increased copper from 40% to 47.5%), and adding other ingredients like PTFE to enhance ablation in the absence of Irgarol.

Given that the paints I used to like have all changed, and I am in different waters than I used to be, I need to reconsider what paint I'm using. During the boat show, paint reps were pushing waterbased paints, saying that many Chesapeake boatyards are starting to switch to them. Of course, most of the market is powerboats, and what's best for powerboats may not be best for sailboats due to the need for different ablation rate.

So I'm interested in hearing recommendations from those who have purchased Irgarol-free paint in the past two years.

Just as a warning, any suggestion that starts with "I've been using this paint for x years" may get some push-back if x>2 years. Any paint bought before May of 2015 has likely been reformulated since you bought it.

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
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post #2 of 68 Old 02-06-2017
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Re: Water based anti-fouling in the Chesapeake

Keep in mind that the salinity in the upper bay is not really very high, and if the barnacles in the lower Delaware River avoided the painted areas, I would think they would avoid the paint in Chesapeake Bay as well. Might be something you would want to do a patch test with - just a small strip of fiberglass painted with the paint you are using and place it in the water in the marina at Rock Hall. If nothing grows on it in a few months, you're home safe. Kinda like the test that Practical Sailor did with various bottom paints.

Good luck,

Gary
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post #3 of 68 Old 02-06-2017
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Re: Water based anti-fouling in the Chesapeake

I am not in the Chesapeake, but keep my boat and sail in Narragansett Bay. I had my hull soda blasted and barrier coated during the winter haulout 2011/2012. I also had the yard apply 3 coats (1 red, 2 blue) of Petit Hydrocoat. Since then I have scrubbed the bottom with a scouring pad and done a touch up before launch, or I have applied a new coat of Hydrocoat (every other spring - 2014 & 2016). During the season I scrub the hull with a brush in July or August.

I take pictures every year at haulout. I'd show you, but PhotoBucket seems to be having issues.

I would definitely go with Hydrocoat again. The prep for painting is to scrub with a scouring pad.
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post #4 of 68 Old 02-06-2017
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Re: Water based anti-fouling in the Chesapeake

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Originally Posted by travlin-easy View Post
Keep in mind that the salinity in the upper bay is not really very high, and if the barnacles in the lower Delaware River avoided the painted areas, I would think they would avoid the paint in Chesapeake Bay as well. ...
It depends.

In Rock Hall (considered the upper end of the middle bay) there have been a few years here and there since we came when the barnacles and growth were REALLY bad. Two years ago boats had to be hauled and cleaned a month after they were put in. We're around the area where heavy rain runoff from the Susquehanna makes a difference to the salinity line so every year can be different.

We choose our paint based on the list our marina provides and haven't had an issue.

Donna


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post #5 of 68 Old 02-06-2017
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Re: Water based anti-fouling in the Chesapeake

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We choose our paint based on the list our marina provides and haven't had an issue.
Care to share the list? (if it's not copyrighted or anything)
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post #6 of 68 Old 02-06-2017
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Re: Water based anti-fouling in the Chesapeake

I used Hydrocoat on our previous boat in Deltaville and was quite happy with it compared to marina mates using competing products. Since the creeks didn't freeze over down there we typically hauled every other year and would do a touch up coat every haul out. Basically we didn't get any hard growth, but even for cruise-y standards, the bottom needed a wipe down for slime at least once or twice per season. That is pretty much what I've seen with every paint we've used on our boat from Deltaville to Herrington Harbor.

I switched back to Hydrocoat on our current boat this year and had similar performance for the first season. I'll only do a scuff and touch up on a couple of places this year and see what kind of performance we get for the second season after haul out. Either way Hydrocoat is definitely the least onerous option if you are a DIYer.

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Re: Water based anti-fouling in the Chesapeake

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Care to share the list? (if it's not copyrighted or anything)
Not a secret I guess as anyone can get to it on their website:

Interlux Micron Extra/Biolux (Ablative)
Interlux Aqua (Water Based)
Petit Trinidad (Modified Hard)
Interlux Fiberglass Bottomkote ACT (Ablative)
Petit Hydrocoat SR (Water Based)

Donna


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Re: Water based anti-fouling in the Chesapeake

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Not a secret I guess as anyone can get to it on their website:

Interlux Micron Extra/Biolux (Ablative)
Interlux Aqua (Water Based)
Petit Trinidad (Modified Hard)
Interlux Fiberglass Bottomkote ACT (Ablative)
Petit Hydrocoat SR (Water Based)
Thanks a lot!
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Re: Water based anti-fouling in the Chesapeake

Thanks for the suggestions - keep them coming.

Just to make sure I was 100% clear, until last season all my long-term docking was in the Delaware River near Philadelphia, well above the freshwater salt line. Hard growth there was never a problem, except for late last summer (after my boat was gone) when Ulladh reported some hard growth due to salt line moving north during prolonged rain-free period. Rock Hall is in brackish water, so definitely more salt than I have experienced before, and I definitely saw hard growth on every surface that was not well protected by copper antifoul.

I'm not sure it's feasible or cost effective for me to buy paint to do my own Practical Sailor-style coupon test. Plus, I need to paint the boat before spring launch, before I could have any results back from such a test. My money might be better spent on renewing my Practical Sailor subscription, but I don't think the reformulated paints have been out long enough for them to report.

I used solvent based paints for all three of my prior DIY bottom jobs, but my new boat is about double the surface area (two gallons of paint instead of one), and for that large a job I think a water based paint would definitely provide easier cleanup, more open time, and less hazardous vapor exposure. So the recommendations for Hydrocoat are well appreciated. I am particularly interested in Hydrocoat SR, but very concerned whether it still has Irgarol. The Technical Bulletin #1847 on Pettit's website says that it does have it, but it's dated Sept 2012, prior to Irgarol being pulled off the market. The SR version seems to only be available in quart sizes, or in unpopular colors (i.e., not blue). This is a sign to me that retailers may be liquidating leftover paint from when Irgarol was still available. I'll try to remember to call their support line and ask.

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
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post #10 of 68 Old 02-07-2017
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Re: Water based anti-fouling in the Chesapeake

Hey Rick,
I've had great luck with Hydrocoat on Forked River which is brackish water. That said my bottom paint is ready to be redone after three seasons so I have the old formulation.

Pettit Paints always has a booth at the AC boat show and their guys are very knowledgeable. The show is coming up in a couple of weeks March 1st-5th and is a good excuse to wander around and look at boat stuff.

What I like about Hydrocoat is the fact that it's water based so it's easier to use and easier to clean up than Interlux solvent based paints. You'll want to know what the yard used last year when you bought the boat. Hydrocoat will go over most paints with a light sanding, but I think there are one or two paints it's not compatible with. Check with the Pettit guys, they have a chart of what it works with and what prep you need to do.

BTW, I'd be really surprised if you can do your 34 with two gallons. I used two gallons on my 30 (two coats, plus an extra coat along the water line and leading edge of the bow and keel.

Jim

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