Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
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Water based anti-fouling in the Chesapeake
[I'm posting this in the Chesapeake sub-forum because selection of antifouling paint is specific to local waters.]
I've used Pettit solvent based antifouling paints with good results on my prior boat for the past 7 years (both Vivid and Ultima SR-40/PCA Gold). But that was in the "freshwater" Delaware River. Since moving my new boat to Rock Hall's brackish water last summer, I have higher salinity level and potential for hard growth, so paint selection will be much more important. The previous owner of my current boat had the Herrington Harbor slap some very low-end ablative on it just before I purchased, and it worked well for one season (except for barnacles on every spot that the paint didn't cover, like prop, shaft, and air conditioner strainer). The boat definitely needs fresh paint this year.
Paints have changed quite a bit since I last painted my prior boat. In 2015 BASF discontinued the Irgarol anti-slime additive (aka "NCN"), so paint compositions have changed a lot. Manufacturers are packing more copper in than they used to (Ultima SR-40 increased copper from 40% to 47.5%), and adding other ingredients like PTFE to enhance ablation in the absence of Irgarol.
Given that the paints I used to like have all changed, and I am in different waters than I used to be, I need to reconsider what paint I'm using. During the boat show, paint reps were pushing waterbased paints, saying that many Chesapeake boatyards are starting to switch to them. Of course, most of the market is powerboats, and what's best for powerboats may not be best for sailboats due to the need for different ablation rate.
So I'm interested in hearing recommendations from those who have purchased Irgarol-free paint in the past two years.
Just as a warning, any suggestion that starts with "I've been using this paint for x years" may get some push-back if x>2 years. Any paint bought before May of 2015 has likely been reformulated since you bought it.
Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
USCG Certified Captain, OUPV and 50 Ton Master
ASA Certified 101/103/104/105/106
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2001 Catalina 34MkII Tall Rig Wing Keel Breakin' Away, Universal Diesel M35B, Mantus 35 lb. anchor, sailing out of Rock Hall Landing Marina
Last edited by TakeFive; 02-06-2017 at 08:14 PM.