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  #1  
Old 10-19-2001
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Bottom Paint

Can anyone help in quantifying the speed gains to be gotten by using VC offshore ? Have purchased a relatively high performance boat but have not been able to sail her to her rating. Skill levels aside the boat has new sails and Micron CSC on the bottom but contemplating VC offshore, and wonder if it is worth the hassle. Anyone have any experience ? Thanks
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Old 10-20-2001
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Bottom Paint

Am in same situation, using Micron CSC and contemplating switch to VC offshore. Article in Sailing World (this summer?) reviewed racing fleets at different regattas, showing a good percentage in both those camps, but didn''t really have any hard info on the differences. Price seems to be about the same. Interlux may be the best place to ask. Another consideration is how well each works in your specific anchorage to prevent bottom growth. If there''s a difference, you want the most effective anti-fouling, regardless of which has the smoother finish. (Plain gelcoat is plenty smooth, but not anti-foulng. If you can dry sail your boat, wetsanded gelcoat is a lot smoother than any paint. Over a few thousand pounds, this gets hasselous.) According to the literature I have, VC would require removing (sanding) all the CSC off, so I''m thinking of waiting for the CSC to wear off (we''ve got about three or four coats on there now) and see what happens.
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Old 10-20-2001
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Bottom Paint

I made this switch several years ago, and fwiw I''m not so sure I would do it again. Removing the ablative paint is labor intensive, and took the better part of two weeks on my 33 ft boat, despite the fact that the paint is relatively "soft". There is also the matter of disposing of the of the clean-up. The truth is I sprayed the rudder with a new Petit ablative this year, and if it is OK when I haul the boat, I may go back to ablative paint next season. VC Offshore provides a slick finish when sprayed , and burnished(for hours), however it also requires cleaning the bottom each week or so, at least in my area, to remain sharp. There is the matter of paint build up with non- ablative paints as the paint remains on the hull after the toxic agents are gone. The bottom of our boat is so sharp as to shine and provide a reflection, very impressive but probably no faster than any well applied ablative paint in above drifting conditions. The ablatives imho provide better antifouling, and in general are much easier all around.If the hull is fair, and the paint is properly applied I dont think the switch is worth the drawbacks. Lots of winning boats use ablative paints.
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Old 10-21-2001
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Bottom Paint

Yeah, I''ve considered all those options, unfortunately I''m running out of possibilities as to what my problem might be, the boat that beats us all the time has CSC and I''m very fond of the maintenance aspects, just need more speed. Thanks.
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Old 10-27-2001
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Bottom Paint

I''m no expert on the subject, I only have my own experience to draw from. I have an Impulse 21, I put an ablative paint on it for growth reasons, to protect the bottom and durability. I race in week-end and week night PHRF club, I wasn''t very competative in lower winds. But when wind blew, we went. We would crush our fleet and very often we would pass the fleet that started in front of us, with a 5 minute start. I don''t think I say a real problem with it. I too, was thinking about spending the lagre amount of time and switching to VC-17. I think I would be doing it more for my anal tendancies and not "real" performance. ????
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Old 10-27-2001
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Bottom Paint

No expert either but I have found that there is no paint that works well for me if I don''t clean the bottom just before the race. I use a dry diver and it only takes a few minutes to have a CLEAN and FAST hull.I was not doing well for a few races this fall and remembered the keel.I had not cleaned it for about four weeks. After the keel was clean the boat started moving well again and than it was just my poor tactics that got us beat, not boat speed. I took the VC17 off my boat and also removed the vc tar, got to gell coat and put on Copper Poxy.This paint is a two part deal, about 60% copper, a little hard to work with, but I ended up with a slick bottom and the great news is it lasts about 10 years.I am on year four and it looks the same now as when it was put on.They are on the web I sugest you check them out. Good luck!
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Old 10-28-2001
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Bottom Paint

I have a 30'' ULDB designed by Carl Schumacher. This boat has an outboard rudder; very visible while underway. During a club race this summer, the lower pintle on the rudder broke, causing obvious panic and fast action with the sails. In repairing it, I removed the rudder and nicked it in the process. Found Regatta Baltoplate bottom paint(metallic gray appearance) beneath the black hard epoxy. The modified epoxy was rough, but was easy to remove from the burnished smooth Baltoplate. I wet sanded it to 600 grit, replaced the bent gudgeon, and reinstalled. The difference was noticeable in the water, with what appeared to be less turbulence along the rudder surface. I mean, we actually thought we could see and even feel a difference. Now, for the rest of the hull, I will have to wait for haul-out. The top paint had been applied with brush and roller in haste to let the boat sit at a brokerage...what a shame. As I understand Regatta Baltoplate contains molybdenum as slicking agent to facilitate burnishing. Interlux stills lists this paint with the VC''s containing Teflon.
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Old 10-28-2001
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Bottom Paint

It''s my understnading that there is little, if any difference between VC Offshore and Baltoplate, except for color choices. This could be misinformation, but I heard it from several reliable sources (none of whom was Interlux, however).

Last spring we stripped 17 years worth of ablative paint off of my C&C 37, then sanded and painted with Baltoplate over blue VC (to get a "tell" layer when we sanded). Unfortunately the yard had to machine wet sand it with about 400 grit for us since they were SO late getting the job done, and we did not have the chance to hand sand before the season.

However, between adding new sails (Pentex 150, Dacron Main) and a new bottom, it was like sailing a different boat. My crew was utterly novice this year and last, and we went from finishing 15-20 minutes behind the fleet to generally finishing with the fleet (except light wind nights - but that''s another issue), even beating out a few boats every now and then. It doesn''t SOUND like much, but you can tell the difference between last by :30 and last by 27:30.

Also - one thing I noticed with the new bottom - the boat coasted considerably farther in neutral. Almost proof positive that she''s moving through the water better from what I can tell. We probably coasted at least twice as far this season when we dropped out of gear.

Note - I had a diver come every week. Baltoplate/VC, where we are in the Northeast buys you less than two weeks before the slime starts to accumulate. A diver is needed at a minumum bi-weekly to keep the crud off. So if you don''t want to have someone dive or do it yourself, it''s not great. If you are planning to wet sand it and then keep it clean it would seem to make a difference.
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Old 10-28-2001
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Bottom Paint

In re: quantified performance - very tough to do unless you only change one thing at a time.

However, in all of the reading I did last year prior to refinishing our bottom, the general sense I got was that a speed gain of "up to 10%" was generally what was being discussed.
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Old 10-29-2001
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Bottom Paint

One minor point about BPorter''s post. Around here it is generally thought that there is little or no performance difference between Baltiplate and VC but there are differences in formulation.

Jeff
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