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Old 02-21-2003
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Bottom Paint Opinions

I have a Hunter 260 and want to bottom paint her. What proceedure would you recommend. Is there a primer? How much might I need? And finally, what is a good bottom paint? Thank You...BLUESKIES & HIGHTIDES...RB
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Old 02-21-2003
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Bottom Paint Opinions

If you''re doing the bottom for the very first time, you have some work to do before you should even start to think about antifouling paint. You must first remove the wax that was used as a releasing agent when your boat popped out of the mold. There are commercially available products for this step. Next, a minimum of three coats of barrier, VC Tar is good for this although other companies make barrier finishes. As you probably already know, fiberglass is porous so you MUST seal the surface to prevent water infiltration, which can later manifest itself as blisters. Burnish the surface and apply two coats of antifouling paint and you''re ready to go.
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Old 02-21-2003
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Bottom Paint Opinions

You may not need a barrier coat if the boat was manufactured in the last 8 or so years. Catalina for example uses vinylester, which is supposed to be as good as any barrier coat.
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Old 02-21-2003
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Bottom Paint Opinions

Just solvent wash the bottom and apply a non sanding primer...Put the bottom paint on top of that.

What bottom paint to use depends on where you live. If you are in a place where winter haul outs are required, use whatever everyone else is using...Dont buy the best because it will loose its effectivness over the winter and you will have to paint again in the spring.

If you live in an area where you can keep your boat in the water year round, I''d suggest Pettit Trinidad which has always served me well...I have typically been able to get 2-3 years out of a double coat of Trinidad and regular service by a bottom cleaner.
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Old 02-22-2003
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Bottom Paint Opinions

A lot of the Ablative paints don''t lose effectiveness over the winter (e.g. Interlux Micron CSC ). The other advantage of an ablative paint is that it doesn''t build up, like a modified hard epoxy. In 8-10 years you''ll wish you didn''t have to strip it all off. Also look for bottom paint with "biolux" or other slime blocker if thats bad in your area.

Like was suggested before see what others in your marina use and find effective. What might work well in LI Sound might not work as well where you are.

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Old 02-22-2003
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Bottom Paint Opinions


We need more information. Your question about needing primer suggests this is a new boat which has never been painted before. If that is the case, check with your Hunter dealer about the correct procedure for a brand new bottom. Chances are the gelcoat below the water line is already impervious to water, so no need to seal it. But you will need to use a solvent to wash off the mold wax, and then may need to use a chemical etcher (sold by all the paint manufacturers) to "rough" up the bottom so that the paint will adhere. You don''t want to sand the bottom because you will most likely void the warranty, and damage the gelcoat to let water in eventually.

If it''s an older boat that has been painted before, figure out whether it has a hard or soft (ablative) paint on it. You can dent the soft paints with a fingernail, but the hard paints are, well.........hard. Next, sand the old paint LIGHTLY, just enough to give it "tooth" for the new paint to grab onto. Be careful not to sand any bare gelcoat areas -- treat them with more chemical etching stuff. Then wipe the bottom down with solvent to remove dust, and apply new paint.

Generally you can put any kind of paint over a hard paint, but soft paints usually require the use of other soft paints. check on the specs for the brand you eventually buy for your situation.

I''m with tsenator on using ablatives with the slime blockers in them. I use Pettit Ultima SR here on the Chesapeake with good results. The ablatives wear away like a bar of soap, so no build-up of coats you will have to sand/scrape off one of these years.

Good luck.
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