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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-28-2011
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Vc-17

Hey All,

I am planning on re-painting the bottom this spring and have a couple questions about VC-17.
I am pretty sure thats what is on there now, it hasn't been painted in at least 3 yrs and was a dark greyish color. It was definitly an ablative paint and when I hit it with Scotch Bright it turned a goldish color. Does this sound like it was indeed VC-17.
Second question, should I thin it when I put it on or is it best applied as it comes.
I will be painting a 24' boat, from other things I've read on here I'm thinking a quart may do it.

thanks all

Joe
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Old 03-28-2011
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No need to thin VC17 its already the thinnest bottom paint on the market. If the old paint is VC17 scrub it with a 3M scrubbie and rinse well (and dry of course) then slap on another coat. This stuff goes on like water and is very easy to work with.

Ask around your yard and have someone who knows VC17 confirm that the existin paint is VC17. VC17 does not like other paints and it can be a messy problem if you put it on top of something else.
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Old 03-28-2011
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Yeah, that sounds like vc17...can't say for sure. I see you're from Ohio and vc17 is certainly popular there.

I've used it for years here on Lake Michigan. Don't thin it. Just open the can and mix in the powder from the packet in the lid. Not a bad idea to wear a face mask...I'll bet that powder's nasty.

You can just pour it into your roller tray and apply it with your foam roller. Work quickly. It's expensive and it evaporates likes a son-of-a. No point in pouring the entire can in the pan. Roller it on quickly and don't spend time re-rolling in a single spot if it doesn't seem to have gone on well. Re-rolling an area right away will tend to remove what you've already put on. It dries really fast. I always make sure I'm totally prepped, nuthin' in my way, ready to rock and roll (or at least roll) before I pour it in the tray. Then....MOVE. I like to put it on thin, and work fast. You can come back and put on another thin coat later, paying more attention to the areas that look like they may need it. That's what I do, anyway.

I paint my bottom every year. Because I keep my coats thin, I never get any buildup. At the end of the season when they haul my boat, I'll have some areas, like on the leading edge of the fin keel, where the coating is worn off. Probably from going through the weedy side of Muskegon Lake on the way to Lake Michigan. I've never had any Zebra Mussels or algae form.

Prep is easy. You can just go at it with a bucket of water and a scotch brite pad to clean and smooth the old finish. Or wet sand it with some 400 grit. I tend to use a combination of both. If I think there's an area with a little buildup, I switch to the 400 grit. Just wrap it around the Scotch pad. I probably don't spend more than 10 or 15 minutes prepping the hull. There's just nothing to it. If I see that I'm going through the vc17 just a little as I'm flying along....fine. Keeps the buildup away.

When I'm done rolling, I get the tricky parts, like around the prop and rudder, with a foam brush. Fast. The vc17 may have a tendency to eat up the foam brush, so have a couple-three of 'em handy.

I've heard that some folks like to mix up their vc17 and instead of pouring it in a tray, the fill a squeeze bottle like a ketchup bottle. They hold the roller in the tray and squirt some vc17 on it. Keeps the evaporation down. I just prefer to pour it in the tray and work fast.

My boat's 31 feet and doing the bottom with vc17 is not work. I find it to be less work than washing and waxing the topsides.

Again, don't sweat it if you've got some thin spots. I've found that as long as the bottom has some vc17 on it, it'll be just fine in fresh water.

As I said, I paint it every year...thin. If I totally miss a spot (unlikely but possible), there's still last year's coating to protect me. I only paint all the way up to the boot stripe every other year. That way I only have to tape it every other year to keep the coating fresh up there. On the off years, I just paint up to about an inch away from where I taped the previous year.

Not a bad idea to have some acetone with you in case you goof and need to wipe some vc17 off your topsides.

Bottom line....this stuff's easy to put on. Expensive, but easy.
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Yep, it's like water - no need to thin. It also dries extermely quickly.

I apply it with an airless sprayer I purchased at a bog box store. Fast, even, no overlapping. You would need to purchase a flexible extension tip though - the cup will leak around the threads if you tilt it too far.

Good luck!

Last edited by oomfh; 03-29-2011 at 07:39 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-28-2011
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Thanks all, I will get her prepped and the first nice, warm day we get I'll get her painted!
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Ok, I have used vc17 for 10 years on my Oday30. When you sand it, there tends not to be enough to leave any color after sanding, and the bronze color changes to a dark blue or red, and the natural darkens to nearly black. when sanded it stays that color. It is not ablative, it is a slippery surface with a copper (that is the powder) herbicide, growth can't stick to it well and is pulled off by movement through the water.
As it is expensive I thin by 30% with isopropyl alcohol the same stuff you buy at Wallgreens for a buck a bottle. I never have a problem with growth no matter how much I use the boat during the season, and almost always have a quart left over for next year. It is quite thin and evaporates quickly, so cover at all times and move quickly, it doesn't need to go on thick(it won't anyway) and one coat does it. The problem with vc17 is that when you apply it for the first time, you are stuck with it as unless you clean it off completely another type of paint won't stick. Any more questions feel free to ask.
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Old 03-29-2011
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If you paint while it's in the 50's you will find the VC 17 lasts much longer. Put the top back on the can after you've poured some into your paint tray and keep both of them out of direct sunlight. I've recovered the bottom on a 24'er with a single can doing it in the "less than hot" weather, and needed a can and a half to do the same bottom when it was in the 70's.
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Old 03-29-2011
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Another trick is to use two roller trays, one a bit larger. Pour some paint in the smaller tray, load up the roller, then cover with the small tray with the larger tray while you roll the paint.
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Old 03-29-2011
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Thanks all for the great advice, I'm hoping that I can get it done with 1 qt. No doubt it will not be all that warm when I put it on yet here in Ohio....
What type of rollers do you all use? I have read some talk about foam, any specific type I should look for?
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Old 03-29-2011
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That 'powdery stuff' is basically copper. If you value your health at all, you'll use a good particle respirator/mask. Prep per the manufacture's website:

WITH VC 17m: Clean with fresh water. Sand any loose or flaking paint with 320-grit sandpaper and wipe off sanding residue with VC17m THINNER V172.


This is NOT an ablative paint. It's a thin, hard coat. We get two coats on with just under 5 quarts on a 34' boat with a fairly low wetted surface area. Paint just before splashing in the spring. Don't paint in the fall when leaving the boat out of the water for the winter.

It will go on looking like copper, and will quickly oxidize to the color it as sold as: red, blue, black, if I remember correctly. There's no need to spray (most local yards locally won't let you spray anyway) as it rolls on very nicely. We use the 'candy stripe' brand rollers. If you're diving your boat, or having someone do it for you, go easy and use a very soft 'wash' mit with as little pressure as necessary. Anything more will take paint off.

Last edited by puddinlegs; 03-29-2011 at 10:58 PM.
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