oops - my depth transducer got painted with two coats of bottom paint - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 06-05-2010
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oops - my depth transducer got painted with two coats of bottom paint

I hired a kid to paint my bottom and shame on me for not supervising carefully, but my depth sounder got painted with two coats of WM Bottomshield (their hard paint). It's a nylon thru-hull transducer connected to a Raymarine ST60 Tridata.

I've always heard that one shouldn't paint transducers, but I don't know what the real consequences are. Also, what is the best way to remove it? scrape or is their some kind of solvent that won't hurt the 'ducer?
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Old 06-05-2010
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try using a scrub sponge (rough one side and soft on the other-commonly found in the kitchen) and a water and acetone solution at 1:1. gently/lightly wash and scrub the area.

You might get some false readings if you leave the bottom paint on. Anything listed in the manufacture spec. about caring for the nylon transducer?
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Old 06-05-2010
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The yard painted ours as well (they don't allow owners to paint their own hulls). Transducer still works fine, no problems.
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Old 06-05-2010
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I just put in a new ST60 depth instrument and Raymarine wants you to paint it. It seemed weird to me so I didn't, but I don't think it will effect your readings.
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Old 06-05-2010
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Should be no problem - transducers can be mounted to shoot through the hull skin in certain applications, so a few mils of paint won't matter.
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Old 06-05-2010
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You are better off with a mil of bottom paint than you would be with several barnacles etc.
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Old 06-05-2010
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The concern really isn't the thickness of the coating but the composition of the coating. Clean it off with a paper towel soaked in laquer thinner. 30 seconds and done. In fact you likely won't have to (and shouldn't) scrub very hard, as the paint should still be soft. After all, it wasn't painted very long ago, right? For best results you should be hull wet less than 72 hrs after bottom painting.
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Old 06-06-2010
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You should probably remove that pait as others have said. For those who want anti-fouling paint for a transducer, you can buy water based paint for just that purpose. The manual for mine recomended that a water based anti-fouling paint be used on it.
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Old 06-07-2010
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My understanding is that the copper in most bottom paints can lead to a significant amount of signal interference. I had the same issue a couple years ago and opted to dive under the boat with a purple 3M scrub pad. Just be gentle, because apparently you can damage the diaphragm if you scrub too hard.

-- Just another 2 cents of nautical hearsay.
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Old 06-07-2010
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Most modern transducers suggest 1 or two coats of bottom paint to prevent fouling. Even the biggest particles of copper in bottom paint are between 20 and 40 um (microns) in size. Your ultrasonic frequency is either 50 kHz or 200 kHz, or sometimes both (for depth sounders that work at depths >400 ft.)

Because these frequencies translate to wavelengths of 68.6 mm and 171.5 mm, respectively, and because both wavelengths are much larger than the copper particles (which are between 0.020mm and 0.040 mm), even the copper-laden bottom paint is perfectly transparent to your transducer.

This is the same reason that light can pass through glass (different frequency, though).

Anyhow, don't yell at the kid, he was doing the right thing, whether he knew it or not

Best Regards,


e

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