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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen a lot of discussion about bottom paint but could not find much on what is the consensus for an efficient ablative multi season paint for cold fresh water.
I know this will generate a lot of different views and opinions, which are welcome, but I am particularly looking for recommendations on an ablative paint for the Great Lakes, keeping in mind that a future change to a different but compatible paint for warm/tropical ocean waters is imminent.
 

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Beneteau 361
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I have been researching exactly the same question. My impression is there is not a whole lot of difference in fresh water unless you are racing. My boat came with Micron CSC and when it is hauled in October the bottom is similar to VC17 boats. Last year I touched up flaking/bare areas with two coats of Micron and after one season they were almost completely ablated...so I guess even "multiseason" paint would need some attention every year. Also my understanding is Micron is good for fresh or salt water, and compatible with many other paints, and VC17 is not.

I am planning to sodablast and repaint either this year or next. One of the things I need to figure out is how to apply Interprotect and paint to the areas under cradle pads and the foot of the keel.
 

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SV finally getting that beautiful Luders ready for the water next season? We've used Interlux's Fiberglass BottomKote with good success. We put it on top of some older bottom paint just by scuffing all over and scrapping anywhere it was flaking. It's lasted us 4 years and still looks good to go. I'll give it a little touch up in the spring and she'll be good to go. We are in Muskegon MI as you know but still cooler freshwater shouldn't be too different where you're at. The boat gets a quick power wash on the bottom when hauled every year, seems to be holding up great.

If I were to keep the boat we have for another few years I'd probably do a full bottom job and make the switch to a VC17 or similar. The extra 1/2knt or so from smoothing out the hull and the layers of old paint would be nice. But if like me you've already got ablative and don't want to put all the work into a bottom scrap or blasting go for it. BottomKote goes for around $88USD a gallon. It took 1-1/2 gal to do two coats on my 29ft, so I'd guess maybe 2 gals for 2 coats on your Luders. I could be off though. Just buy 3 gal and use the left over for your yearly touch ups.
 

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Also it's funny to watch most people putting a new coat of bottom paint on every year in my yard in the spring. I just wonder WHY? At the end of the season my boats no different than theirs so why bother spending all the money EVERY year? The paints are recommend for several years of use before reapplying, and it isn't like the Great Lakes are a high fouling area either.

Interesting to hear about Micron, do you think you are having bonding issues from a few badly prepped spots? Is Micron supposed to be like VC17, or is it ablative? VC seems to be the way to go if you're starting with a bare hull or already have it on. Quick and easy to apply.
 

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Old soul
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On our previous boat we used BottomKote, which if I recall is specifically formulated for fresh water. The last few years we switched to CSC b/c it will apparently work in both fresh and salt. Most people in our club use VC17, but most of them are racers.

Up until last season virtually all our cruising was done on Lake Superior. Quite frankly, I don't think any bottom paint is needed up here. In fact, I went from painting every year, to just touching up, to not bothering for a few years. Never generated more than a light scum.

This past season we sailed down to Lake Ontario with a fresh application of CSC (three layers I think). It did fine in the lower lakes. I just hope it will perform as well once we hit salt water.
 

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Beneteau 361
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Interesting to hear about Micron, do you think you are having bonding issues from a few badly prepped spots? Is Micron supposed to be like VC17, or is it ablative? VC seems to be the way to go if you're starting with a bare hull or already have it on. Quick and easy to apply.
Micron is ablative, and it is just wearing down like it is supposed to.
VC17 is what most people use around here and I may go that route as well if starting over. However I don't think is it compatible with anything that would work in warm salt water. I may be wrong.
 

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Dirt Free
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Myself and a buddy put VC Offshore over well sanded VC17 and went to salt water. It worked exceptionally well although the mfg. does not recommend it. Upon returning to fresh water I applied VC17 over the VC Offshore, it worked well and looked as smooth as the original VC17. I have done this for two trips south and intend to do it again.
 

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Sailboat Reboot
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I kept several boats in the Great Lakes. For ease (not expense) VC-17 was the way to go. It is self polishing and hard. After a season (that included both two long distance races (Chicago Mac and Bayview Mac,) family sailing, and a bunch of around the buoys stuff I would "touch up" the high wear points with one can of VC-17. Actually after the initial paint job it wasn't even expensive, a pint a year. I was sailing about 1,500 NM per year.

BTW you do have to start with a clean hull. And if you decide to go cruising (as I did) you have to get it all off. Nothing sticks to VC-17!

Fair winds and following seas :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
...I am planning to sodablast and repaint either this year or next. One of the things I need to figure out is how to apply Interprotect and paint to the areas under cradle pads and the foot of the keel.
Exactly my plan and doubt, however, I decided to sand the bottom instead of soda blast (funding issues), and I did that last fall. Now with a spanking clean bottom, I will barrier coat (Interprotect) and then hot coat the antifouling. I definitely don't want to repeat this project, so I am hoping to find a good paint for here, that I don't have to remove for the paint to go there...
BTW if you don't yet have the soda blaster I could point you to a good one in our area.

SV finally getting that beautiful Luders ready for the water next season? ...
Well, this is the plan, but I'll believe it when I see the keel getting wet...
Seems like I am fixing this boat for last 167 years...
 

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Congrats SV I'm rooting for you. After chasing after a few similar boats and hounding the owner of one in my yard that hasn't seen the water for over 10 years...GRR (letting a great boat go to rot is an unforgivable sin). I've given up trying to get one.

Also since we are expecting a little addition to the sailing crew this May I'm looking at bigger boats. I've found one that looks like it might work but it needs some bulkheads replaced... anywho

Congrats on all your hard work, your almost there. If I were you I think I'd go the VC17 route if you've already got a nice clean bottom. I can't see any reason to go ablative. Sure it's a little cheaper but not nearly as nice as the VC. It's nice not to get bottom paint all over your feet while climbing aboard. Does VC offshore work for fresh water? I might check into that if you do plan on cruising then wouldn't have to worry about switching.
 

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Beneteau 361
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Myself and a buddy put VC Offshore over well sanded VC17 and went to salt water. It worked exceptionally well although the mfg. does not recommend it. Upon returning to fresh water I applied VC17 over the VC Offshore, it worked well and looked as smooth as the original VC17. I have done this for two trips south and intend to do it again.
Interesting, thanks. It appears VC offshore is suitable for fresh water as well. Is there any downside to using VC offshore instead of VC17 for Lake Ontario? Also, how long was your trip south? Wondering how long VC offshore would last there before any major work is needed.
 

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My boat came with VC-17 so I just continued with it. I do a quick light recoat (one can) every spring or so and it seems to work fine. The big water doesn't require it but the marina water scums up the hull so the 17 makes Fall cleaning a lot easier.
 

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Sailboat Reboot
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See post #7
Well, yes, offshore will stick. I think Baltoplate would probably stick too. For me, I did not think from the specs that Offshore would work in high fouling zones like the Caribbean
 

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Dirt Free
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Well, yes, offshore will stick. I think Baltoplate would probably stick too. For me, I did not think from the specs that Offshore would work in high fouling zones like the Caribbean
My boat only spends about 10 months no further south than the Bahamas every few years and it's worked great. My buddy has had his boat in BVI now for about 8 years and is still very happy with the VC Offshore.
 

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My boat only spends about 10 months no further south than the Bahamas every few years and it's worked great. My buddy has had his boat in BVI now for about 8 years and is still very happy with the VC Offshore.
Interesting. Interlux scared me off. My boat has been deep in the Caribbean (down to Granada) and Central America. No matter what I put on I am still diving on it once a month to scrub it up.
 

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ancient mariner
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i use petit hard racing copper bronze in lake superior. i only do a touch up after a year & do not have to paint the bottom for more than 5 years.
 

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Rustoleum Marine bottom paint..

Three years no growth just a little slime at the end of the season
 

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Hi all. To expand on this thread a bit, what about an aluminum hull in fresh water? VC-17m contains copper flakes, and I'm afraid the copper won't play well with the aluminum hull, although it will be in fresh water, so I'm unsure of issues there. Any thoughts?

eric
 
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