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Old 06-17-2007
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Bottom Paint - how to identify what you have?

Hey everyone,

I just bought a Catalina 22 in great shape. What ever the bottom paint is on there is in fairly good shape. The previous owner did not know what was on there, now I don't either.

Is there a way to tell what it is? The bottom paint is reddish brown, and not particularly hard. I can rub it right off with acitone solvent with not too much trouble. Would this be an ablative coating??? Can I paint right over this? The hull itself is in fantastic shape. Very smooth and sound. No blisters from what I can tell. Boat is 1986, was moored some. but also sat in storage for a portion of it's life.

Thanks for any tips...

Jeff F.
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Old 06-17-2007
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Any paint can be removed with a solvent, that's what solvent does. So that's not a particularly good way to identify the type of paint you have. If the boat was trailered in the past, it likely has an ablative, as ablatives are able to withstand extended periods exposed to air, unlike other anti foulings.

Regardless, assuming it is not something exotic and assuming you don't intend to paint over it with something exotic, you can paint over it. Ablatives can go over ablatives or epoxies and conversely, epoxies can go over epoxies or ablatives. Generally just sand and paint. Here is the West Marine Paint Compatibility Chart for reference:

Bottom Paint Compatibility Chart
Old Paint to Remove
Modified ExpoxiesCopolymers & AblativesVinyl PaintsSloughing PaintThin Film PaintVivid &
Tri-Lux 33
Modified ExpoxiesSand & PaintSand & PaintSand WellSand WellRemoveSand & Paint
Copolymers/AblativesSand & PaintLight Sand
& Paint
Sand WellRemoveRemoveSand & Paint
Vinyl PaintsRemoveRemoveSand Well & PaintRemoveRemoveRemove
Sloughing PaintSand
& Paint
& Paint
Sand Well & PaintSand
& Paint
RemoveSand Well
& Paint
Thin Film PaintRemoveRemoveSand
& Paint
& Paint
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Old 06-17-2007
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Sounds like an ablative, and unless you can positively identify it, I would not paint over it.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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