Antifouling Paint for the Great Lakes - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-16-2015 Thread Starter
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Antifouling Paint for the Great Lakes

I have seen a lot of discussion about bottom paint but could not find much on what is the consensus for an efficient ablative multi season paint for cold fresh water.
I know this will generate a lot of different views and opinions, which are welcome, but I am particularly looking for recommendations on an ablative paint for the Great Lakes, keeping in mind that a future change to a different but compatible paint for warm/tropical ocean waters is imminent.
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-16-2015
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Re: Antifouling Paint for the Great Lakes

I have been researching exactly the same question. My impression is there is not a whole lot of difference in fresh water unless you are racing. My boat came with Micron CSC and when it is hauled in October the bottom is similar to VC17 boats. Last year I touched up flaking/bare areas with two coats of Micron and after one season they were almost completely ablated...so I guess even "multiseason" paint would need some attention every year. Also my understanding is Micron is good for fresh or salt water, and compatible with many other paints, and VC17 is not.

I am planning to sodablast and repaint either this year or next. One of the things I need to figure out is how to apply Interprotect and paint to the areas under cradle pads and the foot of the keel.
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post #3 of 22 Old 01-16-2015
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Re: Antifouling Paint for the Great Lakes

SV finally getting that beautiful Luders ready for the water next season? We've used Interlux's Fiberglass BottomKote with good success. We put it on top of some older bottom paint just by scuffing all over and scrapping anywhere it was flaking. It's lasted us 4 years and still looks good to go. I'll give it a little touch up in the spring and she'll be good to go. We are in Muskegon MI as you know but still cooler freshwater shouldn't be too different where you're at. The boat gets a quick power wash on the bottom when hauled every year, seems to be holding up great.

If I were to keep the boat we have for another few years I'd probably do a full bottom job and make the switch to a VC17 or similar. The extra 1/2knt or so from smoothing out the hull and the layers of old paint would be nice. But if like me you've already got ablative and don't want to put all the work into a bottom scrap or blasting go for it. BottomKote goes for around $88USD a gallon. It took 1-1/2 gal to do two coats on my 29ft, so I'd guess maybe 2 gals for 2 coats on your Luders. I could be off though. Just buy 3 gal and use the left over for your yearly touch ups.
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-16-2015
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Re: Antifouling Paint for the Great Lakes

Also it's funny to watch most people putting a new coat of bottom paint on every year in my yard in the spring. I just wonder WHY? At the end of the season my boats no different than theirs so why bother spending all the money EVERY year? The paints are recommend for several years of use before reapplying, and it isn't like the Great Lakes are a high fouling area either.

Interesting to hear about Micron, do you think you are having bonding issues from a few badly prepped spots? Is Micron supposed to be like VC17, or is it ablative? VC seems to be the way to go if you're starting with a bare hull or already have it on. Quick and easy to apply.
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-16-2015
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Re: Antifouling Paint for the Great Lakes

On our previous boat we used BottomKote, which if I recall is specifically formulated for fresh water. The last few years we switched to CSC b/c it will apparently work in both fresh and salt. Most people in our club use VC17, but most of them are racers.

Up until last season virtually all our cruising was done on Lake Superior. Quite frankly, I don't think any bottom paint is needed up here. In fact, I went from painting every year, to just touching up, to not bothering for a few years. Never generated more than a light scum.

This past season we sailed down to Lake Ontario with a fresh application of CSC (three layers I think). It did fine in the lower lakes. I just hope it will perform as well once we hit salt water.

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post #6 of 22 Old 01-16-2015
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Re: Antifouling Paint for the Great Lakes

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Interesting to hear about Micron, do you think you are having bonding issues from a few badly prepped spots? Is Micron supposed to be like VC17, or is it ablative? VC seems to be the way to go if you're starting with a bare hull or already have it on. Quick and easy to apply.
Micron is ablative, and it is just wearing down like it is supposed to.
VC17 is what most people use around here and I may go that route as well if starting over. However I don't think is it compatible with anything that would work in warm salt water. I may be wrong.
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-16-2015
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Re: Antifouling Paint for the Great Lakes

Myself and a buddy put VC Offshore over well sanded VC17 and went to salt water. It worked exceptionally well although the mfg. does not recommend it. Upon returning to fresh water I applied VC17 over the VC Offshore, it worked well and looked as smooth as the original VC17. I have done this for two trips south and intend to do it again.
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Re: Antifouling Paint for the Great Lakes

I kept several boats in the Great Lakes. For ease (not expense) VC-17 was the way to go. It is self polishing and hard. After a season (that included both two long distance races (Chicago Mac and Bayview Mac,) family sailing, and a bunch of around the buoys stuff I would "touch up" the high wear points with one can of VC-17. Actually after the initial paint job it wasn't even expensive, a pint a year. I was sailing about 1,500 NM per year.

BTW you do have to start with a clean hull. And if you decide to go cruising (as I did) you have to get it all off. Nothing sticks to VC-17!

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Re: Antifouling Paint for the Great Lakes

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Originally Posted by skalashn View Post
...I am planning to sodablast and repaint either this year or next. One of the things I need to figure out is how to apply Interprotect and paint to the areas under cradle pads and the foot of the keel.
Exactly my plan and doubt, however, I decided to sand the bottom instead of soda blast (funding issues), and I did that last fall. Now with a spanking clean bottom, I will barrier coat (Interprotect) and then hot coat the antifouling. I definitely don't want to repeat this project, so I am hoping to find a good paint for here, that I don't have to remove for the paint to go there...
BTW if you don't yet have the soda blaster I could point you to a good one in our area.

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SV finally getting that beautiful Luders ready for the water next season? ...
Well, this is the plan, but I'll believe it when I see the keel getting wet...
Seems like I am fixing this boat for last 167 years...
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Re: Antifouling Paint for the Great Lakes

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Nothing sticks to VC-17!

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See post #7

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