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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,
I'm new to sailboat ownership. I have owned my boat for 1,5 year now (only 6 months actually on the boat) and it is time for a bottom paint.

I'm a little lost trying to find the best paint for me. Here are my requirements :

- I MUCH prefer diving under the boat every two weeks (or less) to scrub it clean as opposed to painting it every year or two. I dive around the boat all the time anyway. It gives me something to do. I HATE having to work under pressure in a boat yard and I don't want to pay someone to paint my boat. Ideally, I would paint it once and then scrub underwater regularly.

- South Florida and Bahamas.

- I haul the boat out for storage every year for 6 months or more.

- Not racing at all and a mix of moving and then anchoring for a while.

Is it a viable option to not have anti-foul at all, just a very hard paint or epoxy and then take care of growth by diving regularly?

Thank you in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also, I'm worried about this : "Left in the water, TrinidadSR will provide years of dependable service."
Does that means that it will loose it's effectiveness out of the water?
 

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Hi,
I'm new to sailboat ownership. I have owned my boat for a 1,5 year now (only 6 months actually on the boat) and it is time for a bottom paint.

I'm a little lost trying to find the best paint for me. Here are my requirements :

- I MUCH prefer diving under the boat every two weeks (or less) to scrub it clean as opposed to painting it every year or two. I dive around the boat all the time anyway. It gives me something to do. I HATE having to work under pressure in a boat yard and I don't want to pay someone to paint my boat. Ideally, I would paint it once and then scrub underwater regularly.

- South Florida and Bahamas.

- I haul the boat for storage every year for 6 months or more.

- Not racing at all and a mix of moving and then anchoring for a while.

Thank you in advance.
When hauling in St Lucia, I have made a serious study and red a lot of professional reviews, including with Practical Sailor magazine and consulted with local owners. Eventually ordered from the US a special delivery (with other supplies) of TuffStuff (epoxy primer/barrier) and Sharkskin anti fouling -especially as it is a super hard material with a relatively high level of copper. After almost a year (now back in the US) and hauling out, the paint is in a great condition. No need for a recoat. Over time I had very little soft growth that could easily been removed by diving.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Here is what Sharkskin says about their product : "Prolonged atmospheric exposure of this product may detract from performance. "

It appears it would not work for me.
That is consistant with what I read about hard anti-foul not being a great solution for those who haulout for prolonged periods of time.
 

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Diving is the best approach because paints are not very effective... So use cheap paint... and dive regularly.
 

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I haven't found an antifouling paint that actually antifouls, in a very long time. From $7.50 a gallon to over $350.00 a gallon, they all are just about the same to me.
The only bottom system that fits your criteria os Coppercoat, which is said to stay on the hull for 10 years or so. Its antifouling qualities vary from way too expensive for what you get, to it's fantastic, as long as you scrub it often.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
From the last two comments, I recon I would be better off not having any antifoul at all. Just dive under the boat often. Way cheaper...
 

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I'm in south Florida. Usually, I need to dive my bottom every two weeks or so. Occasionally, in the winter, I get away with leaving it for a month & a half or even two months between dives. Immediately after hurricane Irma hit, I had to dive it more than once a week. The barnacles were showing up in as little as two days in those nutrient-rich waters. ...that's with bottom paint.

As a general rule, the soft ablative bottom paints work after being exposed to the air while you are hauled out. The hard paints generally do not work so well after a haul out. Specific paints & specific waters may skew those statements a bit.

Scraping with bottom paint is generally far easier than scraping without bottom paint. If I plan to leave the boat in the water, I want bottom paint. In the case of a dinghy that lives on davits most of the time, I consider the bottom paint to be an unnecessary mess.
 

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If you haul for 6 months each year, you are pretty much limited to the better ablatives for retaining anti-fouling. They do stand up to routine cleaning while in the water. If you put on several coats you typically can get away for several years before needing to repaint. I like the Pettit products, Horizon or Ultima 40/60.
 

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From the last two comments, I recon I would be better off not having any antifoul at all. Just dive under the boat often. Way cheaper...
Not the case at all. Hard growth is very difficult to remove and grows quickly in the tropics. After you return from your first scrapping with bloody stumps for hands, you'd regret it. Ask me how I know.

In tropical water, there is nothing that will prevent soft growth, but your plan to dive frequently will work just fine, with about any paint. My concern would be that you over scrub and remove too much product. Softest media possible is part of the trick. Eventually, you'll get to the no antifoulant problem anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
To remove barnacles I use a windshield scaper. The kind we use to scrape ice from windshield here in Canada. Works great and saves your hands. 😁
 

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To remove barnacles I use a windshield scaper. The kind we use to scrape ice form windshield here in Canada. Works great and saves your hands.
Great suggestion. Called every store on Carriacou & Grenada, but no luck. Nobody carries them.:confused:
 

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A wide putty knife or drywall taping knife also works well. Stainless is my preference. Plastic does not hold up to barnacles, but red plastic does a little better than black plastic. Chromed ones rust easily after use in salt water. All 3 materials seem to have equal effect on the bottom paint.

I also strongly recommend gloves. Something with heavy material over the knuckles is best.
 

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Something like the COppercoat may the way for you, as it is supposedly quite hard, but does not work all so well, which may be the right formula if you plan to scrub it twice a month. If you scrum an ablative twice a month, in a few months you'll have no paint left.
 

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If you scrum an ablative twice a month, in a few months you'll have no paint left.
I don't know if a few months is the useful life, but this point is worth thinking about. Zero paint and growth gets very hard to manage, especially down south, no matter how reasonably often one cleans. With a good paint, if you take too long between cleaning, you need aggressive media, which takes off too much paint. Clean too often and you'll also take off to much paint. Need to find a balance. It probably takes trial and error to find this. I would jump in the water each week, with a very soft media and try it. If the soft growth yields to a stroke or two, I'd leave it and give it another week. Once getting difficult, that's the sweet spot.

Another thought is cheap paint and more coats.
 
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