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I am about to become the owner of my first sailboat; a 1980's Contest 31 that has been in the water for the last two years, north of Annapolis.

After pulling the boat out of the water and power washing; do I apply bottom paint and stick it back in the water over winter or leave it on the hard till next season?

If I leave it in the water; do I pull it now and apply bottom paint or wait till next season to paint it?

Will leaving a boat in the water over winter increase the chances of blisters or boat pox?

Thanks
george
 

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I am not a bottom coat expert by any means but I have always heard that you need to leave it out over the winter to see if any blisters develop during the drying out process. If no blisters develop paint it in the spring and then put it back in the water.
 

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October Moon B43
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If you paint it when you haul it then you'll save yourself a haulout in the spring. If you plan on hauling again in the spring then wait to paint it then. If you use a multi year ablative paint such as Micron CSC or Ultra you should be able to get two years, maybe three tops, out of it. Remember even if you paint it now there will be a certain amount of build up that occurs over the winter. It will be less than normal due to the cold water but still some just the same. You need to move the boat to get the paint to wear away thereby removing the growth. It's like a bar of soap. It needs water and movement to work properly. Good luck.
 

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In Southern California, we have dive services that will scrape the boat clean monthly for $28 (I have a Cal 2-27). What kind of paint should I put on my boat and will I need the service. The boat has been in the water at least 6 years and all the paint is gone. No blisters, so the diver says..
 
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