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How often should you paint the bottom. I've read different ideas like every year, every three years, and also never as long as you touch it up every year. This boat only sails in fresh water and probably never has been painted since its inception in 1970.
Thank you
 

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I bought my boat in July 07, the bottom had a year maybe more on it. My bottom cleaner has been telling me for the last 2 months that it's getting about that time.

So I guess I about 3 yrs
 

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Tartan 37
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In the middle bay area I'm doing it ever other year. My base layer is black so if I start to see signs of it I know its time. (the two top layers are blue)
 

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Don't know much about fresh water, but there certainly is life in rivers and lakes. How often to paint depends on how tenacious the environment is, and what sort of paint you've currently got on. I have an ablative-type paint on my boat in the PNW and I'm hoping to get three seasons out of my 2.5 coats.

When was the last time you had a look at your hull?
 

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bottom painting

i sail in lake superior's clear fresh water. i helped paint the bottom in 2001 & i bought the nimble 30 express from the owner i sailed with when he decided to sell it in 1993. i have not painted the bottom. only slight touch up in 8 years !:)
 

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"probably never has been painted since its inception in 1970. "
This is a daysailor that is hauled out after every sail & kept in your backyard?

Bottom paint is antifouling paint and needs to be reapplied to prevent marine growth. Once a year IS typical, once every two or three years is considered a long time for most folks. You paint when the old paint has worn off or stopped killing marine growth.

If you have a boat that has been in the water for more than ten years without new antifouling paint--call the EPA, there's something else incredibly toxic in your local water. I'd be outright afraid of it.
 

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Ablative Bottom Paint and the need to recoat

For the past 24 years my boat has been in the water of the Cheaspeake Bay full time with short haul outs of about a week or so to apply bottom paint At first I was hauling out on a yearly basis and then it went two years and finally over the past 12 years it's been every three years. I use multi season ablative paint and just scrub the bottom without any sanding and then apply a couple of coats. Since I'm getting a build up of paint, I may just scrub the bottom this time and re-launch without putting a fresh coat of paint. Any comments?
 

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With enough paint--you said a couple of coats--and the buildup of one ones not being totally worn off, there's no surprise you can get 3 years. "Water" is a very different environment from one place to another.
 

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Response to "Do you paint the bottom?"

I saill in Lake Michigan out of Chicago, from Monroe Harbor. We are moored on a can and go out at least twice a week during the sailing season. Since the boat is in fresh water, on a can and not a pier, and is used often - the boat never builds up more than a slight growth after 5 - 6 months. I have never painted the bottom since I have owned it - about six (6) seasons. If I ever got interested in racing I might swim around it and clean the bottom. On second thought probably not...
 

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I touch up/paint once a year, but

  1. I use Interlux Micron 66 Ablative Paint
  2. I sail in New England (MA) waters
  3. I use my boat EVERY weekend from May 1 to November 1
  4. My sails are long, usually 5 to 6 h averaging 25 to 30 nm/sail depending on the wind
  5. I go out about 40X a year on our boat
  6. We haul our boat at the end of the season
  7. My boat sits on a mooring when not in use

I repaint my boat every season. First I wet scotchbright the bottom, rinse off the loose film, allow to dry and then repaint. I add a second coat on the leading edge of the bow, fin keel, front of the skeg, the whole rudder, as well as 6 inches around the waterline.

When the boat is hauled in the fall, the leading edges and parts of the rudder are partially splotchy/bare (down to the barrier coat) and the and the rest of the hull has evidence of light/partial splotchiness. Except for the top inch of the waterline, the boat is pretty clean with no strongly adhered stringy growth. There is some sliminess to it, but it easily rinses off with a garden house or weak pressure washer.

DrB
 

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For sailing in Lake Superior, your fouling is minimal, compared to other waters, and you probably spend more time sitting on boat stands then you do in the water. With different technologies, there are different methods. You don't need a high dollar, high copper load for your boat. First, cruiser or performance is the first question. If you paint with a hard paint, you don't need the top of the line. Something with 40% copper oxide should cover all your needs for multiple years. Boats in Lake Superior are getting on average 3 years with value priced hard paints before having to recoat. On a hard paint, after winter storage, scrub the surface with a scotchbrite pad to open up the surface of the film. All boats that sit on stands for 6 months during winter, and paints that have copper OXIDE in them, seal up. So on a hard paint, you must scuff with scotchbrite pad. On a Ablative type paint, a hose with a stiff bristle brush should get you going. There is a great article from Powerboat reports, (I know) that tested all brands of antifouling paint in Lake Erie this past year. Even though it was powerboat reports, and not practical sailor, the test was performed with all brands of antifouling paint, and all types, from hard, ablative, performance, etc.

If you recoat every year, you are putting on too much paint. So, if you are painting every year, at least use an ablative. You can probably get minimum 2, possibly 3 years out of a recoat in your waters, for the short time the boat is in the water.

If the boat goes into saltwater during winter doldrums of the midwest, then you have a different scenario all together.

Do NOT use Micron 66 in fresh water. It seals up and becomes ineffective. Interlux sells a lot of Micron Extra, and Micron CSC for ablative in the great lakes. They sell a lot of Fiberglass Bottomkote for Hard. And of course VC17 Extra.

Pettit sells a lot of Vivid, for hybrid. For Hard we sell a lot of Unepoxy. For ablative, Hydrocoat, or Ultima SR. For performance, SR21.

Paint technologies are changing everyday, so always look at new effective, green, performance based coatings. Every water is different, every need is different.

Does that confuse it even more?
 
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