Grease on Propeller for Anti Fouling? - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 45 Old 12-29-2013
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Re: Grease on Propeller for Anti Fouling?

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I like the understatement about it not being particularly cheap! I'm preparing my boat for splashing and cleaned the prop and strut and decided to try an antifouling and found Propspeed at the store. It consists of a little plastic baggie with 3 bottles of chemicals and instructions and the price tag was, without reading glasses, US$25.000 which looked rather strange, but with reading glasses that changed to US$250.00! Wow, that is indeed not particularly cheap.
The yard in New Zealand applied prop speed free for me to test in Fiji,Vanuatu and on to Australia. It worked OK for 6 months, maybe because we were sailing....once we slowed down it was the usual hard growth. I wouldn't pay for it.


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post #32 of 45 Old 12-30-2013
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Re: Grease on Propeller for Anti Fouling?

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Well, for a counterpoint I put nothing on my prop last year (I'm also in the PNW). The boat was used pretty often this year (once or twice a week most of the year, about 7 weeks of cruising this summer). I just had the prop changed (fixed to feathering) and the old prop had 2 small barnacles on it. My friend who dove and installed the prop said the shaft had another couple of small ones.

So that is about the same as what your prop.

How much use does your boat get? Could you still feel lanolin on the prop?

We had three weeks of cruising and used our boat approx every second weekend the other months, although it has now been two months since we left the dock...
I am only doing a visual inspection so have not touched the prop to feel if the lanolin is still there.
When we left our prop bare we had a fair bit of growth, perhaps 10 times what I am seeing now and when we used bottom paint on it we had 50 times more growth! So this is an improvement for us. I don't know why the differences, we have been in the same harbour.

I like the "use it" solution best though and am working towards that!

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post #33 of 45 Old 12-30-2013
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Re: Grease on Propeller for Anti Fouling?

I'm sure people have different experiences, because they are in different conditions. Even floating grasses or dissolved solids are going to be variable enough that one may abrade an oil/grease, when another location doesn't.

I did witness something interesting this past season. Most of us will thoroughly clean our props and shafts before splashing in the spring, even polish them a bit for a smoother finish that growth seems to have a slightly tougher time adhering to. While spring commissioning on the hard last year, a buddy a few boats down, decided to spray petit zinc paint. His prop was scrapped of growth in the previous Fall, but had that winter patina on the blades and was just spraying over it all. No prep. I thought that was a waste of time. He is back on the hard now and not only had virtually no growth, but most of the paint remains. My hypothesis is that the rougher oxidized surface allowed the paint to adhere better than a polished surface. It could have been something else, but as usual, his 5 min half-a$$ed job worked better than those that took all day to clean and polish their props first.
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post #34 of 45 Old 12-30-2013
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Re: Grease on Propeller for Anti Fouling?

Local conditions are definitely a big factor. When we had a boat on the north shore of MA, we did nothing to the prop and it did pretty good over a season. Peak water temps in the 60's. On the south side of Cape Cod in a small coastal bay the summer water temperature can exceed 80F. Doing nothing will result in a prop that is invisible behind the white coating of barnacles. We've had good luck with prop speed, not the cheap solution but it works here.
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post #35 of 45 Old 12-30-2013
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Re: Grease on Propeller for Anti Fouling?

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Local conditions are definitely a big factor. When we had a boat on the north shore of MA, we did nothing to the prop and it did pretty good over a season. Peak water temps in the 60's. On the south side of Cape Cod in a small coastal bay the summer water temperature can exceed 80F. Doing nothing will result in a prop that is invisible behind the white coating of barnacles. We've had good luck with prop speed, not the cheap solution but it works here.
My experience in the warm, brackish water of Barnegat Bay has been similar, Prop Speed is more effective than any other solution I've ever tried... It's popular along the Jersey coast among sportfishermen, who tend to use their boats routinely throughout the season. As others have mentioned, regular use is the key, and I suspect a slick treatment like Prop Speed will generally be a bit more effective over the course of a season for powerboaters than for sailors...

Certainly, Prop Speed is pricey, but a little bit of it can go a long way... I'll manage to get 3 treatments out of the smallest quantity they sell, and might have been able to squeeze out 4 if I hadn't mixed more than I needed during my initial application...

Of all the solutions I've ever tried that can be applied underwater, seems to me a surfboard wax such as Sex Wax has been the most effective, and adheres more tenaciously over time than some of the softer lanolins, such as Lanocote...

However, nothing works better than routinely diving on your prop. One of the downsides of a Prop Speed, you have to take care when cleaning, the use of something like a metal scraper can easily damage the coating. Of course, if the coating is intact, any growth should easily slough off with a Scotchbrite pad, or similar...

But, I've mentioned this before, and I'll do it again... Anytime a boat is gonna be sitting still for awhile, there is no better protection against growth than covering your running gear with a black plastic garbage bag...

Just don't forget the 'Reminder' tag clipped to your ignition key... :-)


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Re: Grease on Propeller for Anti Fouling?

Sex wax? Which one Jon? Cold water or tropics? Us warm water sailors wax up with the hard!


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Re: Grease on Propeller for Anti Fouling?

Jon, I'm going to try the garbage bag next summer. Good tip!
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Re: Grease on Propeller for Anti Fouling?

Jon ?what do you have on the strut?

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Re: Grease on Propeller for Anti Fouling?

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At one point there must have been 20 coats of various antifouling paint on my prop - none of which prevented the critters from attaching. One day, while on the hard, I completely cleaned every speck of paint from the prop, discovered it was bronze, then acting on a tip from a friend, I applied 3 coats of transducer paint, the same stuff that West Marine sells for about $26 for a spray can. The boat has been to the Florida Keys and back, it spent 3 months in Boot Key Harbor, where everything in the water is quickly covered with critters, and then back to the Chesapeake's upper reaches. The prop looks like I just painted it yesterday afternoon. It's clean as a whistle. It's the only thing in 60 years of boating that I found that actually works.
Would be interesting to know what the technology is in the products that actually work. Does anyone know if there have been any independent testing done on various DIY ideas?

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post #40 of 45 Old 12-30-2013
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Re: Grease on Propeller for Anti Fouling?

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Jon ?what do you have on the strut?
Not Jon, but looks like a zinc?

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