ablative or hard bottom paint? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-28-2008 Thread Starter
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ablative or hard bottom paint?

I just bought a boat and the previous owner does not know the type of bottom paint that is on it currently. Not having much experience with sailboats yet, I am wondering if there is an easy way to identify it?

I might end up removing it altogether, in that case, in your opinion, should I then use hard or ablative paint? I sail in Québec (no salt) and my boat is a 1975 Grampian 26.

"Gromit", 1975 Grampian 26
St-Lawrence river, Québec
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-28-2008
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We've been happily winning races with an ablative paint for the past 10 or so years. It's easy to prep for, easy to apply, and if you do an undercoat in a different color, easy to see how fast it's wearing. Hard paints seem to work well too, but would appear to need much more attentive surface prep. They seem to be effective, but a lot more work.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-28-2008
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Ablative paints wear off with the flow of the water. If you hose or powerwash the bottom, you'll see the ablative paint coming off. Hard paints only come off with sanding or blasting.

The ablative paints are great in terms of keeping layers of old paint off the bottom. This makes it easier to keep the bottom smooth, free of the "craters" that flaking old paint leave behind. A light sanding before recoating is all you need.

BTW, I've been using E paint ablative with great results.

Hope this helps.

Skywalker
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-28-2008
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I painted my C-27 with three coats of ablative (West Marine's primium) about a year ago. The paint is just about at the end of it's useful life. I do sail the boat every weekend here in Hawaii, but I'd hoped it would last longer. I'm not sure if this is the norn, but something to consider.

Mike Youngling
Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-28-2008
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I'd hoped it would last longer.
You were dreaming, my friend.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-29-2008
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Given the season in Hawaii is year round... that's about right... three coats of an ablative would probably last two seasons for many people up here in New England, where the season is Six-months long.
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I painted my C-27 with three coats of ablative (West Marine's primium) about a year ago. The paint is just about at the end of it's useful life. I do sail the boat every weekend here in Hawaii, but I'd hoped it would last longer. I'm not sure if this is the norn, but something to consider.

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post #7 of 12 Old 07-29-2008
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Only after having to re-paint early do people understand the value of the expensive bottom paints.

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post #8 of 12 Old 07-29-2008
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Unless you have the opportunity to hit fresh water all the time... I'd have to say hard is the way to go if you are the racing type - at least then you can hire a diver to scrape off the muck before ... soft ablatives are good as well, but scrubbing the bottom takes off that protective layer each time.

Now if you can go into fresh water at certain intervals, then you can balance the costs.. then again if you are just cruising versus racing that accounts for the decision as well. You'll still spend $$$ regardless - how much is determined by the area of water you are in and the ability to reach other areas of water (ie: fresh versus salt), and how hardcore a sailor you are in terms of performance...

Generally speaking for most, ablatives are cheaper overall unless you are about speed, then hard is the way to go.

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post #9 of 12 Old 07-29-2008
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One thing to watch out for is that if your Grampian has the OMC saildrive then the copper-based anti-fouling paints are not recommended because of the electrolysis. It does a number on the casing of the OMC saildrive which was notoriously bad.
I have the same issue - Nash 26 with a saildrive and need to remove the copper based antifouling that the previous owner used. I'll do that in the fall when the boat is hauled.
Tom
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-29-2008
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I used an ablative paint "Interlux Micron Extra" and have been very pleased, but if I were racing all the time, probably a hard finish.
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