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Sea Slacker
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Discussion Starter #1
As the subject says - I am looking for companies or yards that do barrier coats in Annapolis area. While I am sure anyone with a sander can do it in principle, I am interested in your personal experience - who did it, and who did it well?
 

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Telstar 28
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Why not do it yourself. If you sodablast the hull, to get it down to the gelcoat, barrier coating doesn't take very long to do.
 

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Brak...

I'm sure there are many. The problem is how many are willing to do it right? You need to be asking some very specific questions and have the process written into the contract. In order for a barrier coat job to be done correctly there are a few very important things to consider and applies to epoxy based barrier coats.

1) ALL the paint must be removed. This means absolutely ZERO paint left on the bottom.

2) The hull, even though old and sanded/scraped, should then be thoroughly de-waxed using the proper de-waxing products.

3) The hull should be dry. This means no appreciable moisture. A barrier coat will seal in any moisture so you want it as dry as possible and this can take sometimes take months if your boat has lived in the water year round.

4) This job should ultimately be done INDOORS in a temp controlled environment.

5) The three plus coats of barrier coat and the first coat of bottom paint MUST be hot coated! Hot coating is the application of the next coat within a specified time window before the previous coat has fully kicked off but has achieved a specified level of cure before the next coat.

Hot coating ensures an actual chemical cross-linking between the coats of epoxy and the first coat of paint. This part of the job should be written into any contract and you should be on site to monitor this to make sure it happens. This prevents peeling and the need to wash amine blush off, and sand between coats!!! Even if you do wash and sand between coats you will NEVER get the bond you get with hot coating.

6) If your boat is a bolt on keel it should be properly stripped, primed and preped for the barrier coat. It should also be examined for any signs of leakage. If there are any signs of leaks the keel should be re-set at this point. If no leaks you should consider having the keel torqued and then the joint wrapped with glass & faired. This will prevent any future visible seams and will permanently seal the joint from the exterior.




I would advise your first coat of paint being a high quality copolymer ablative, of the same brand paint as the barrier coat used, Micron Extra or Micron 66 are great choices if using Interprotect 2000E, as many yards do. This first coat of paint can also be of a differing color than your final coat so you know when you need to re-paint. If this is all done properly you will most likely never see chunks of bottom paint flaking off your hull again..

Done right this is an EXPENSIVE undertaking to pay to have done. My boat is in the shop, as I type, for this very same thing. I have done four bottom jobs on my own boats, as described above, and have sworn it off for good. I now pay for it. The bottom job for our 36 footer will run about 5k.

This is what can happen when you don't apply a barrier coat correctly:



This is the moisture content of my hull as measured last week after sanding. It is about .25% - .50% moisture and this is considered well within the dry range for applying a barrier coat. Readings using an ElecroPhysics meter should be below 10 before barrier coating.
 

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Sea Slacker
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Discussion Starter #5
maine sail, thanks for the post!

The hull of my boat is dry (as evidenced by both moisture meter readings and inspection of laminate, as I had a chance to drill a few holes :) ). That said, something happened today that underscored for me the importance of barrier coats (and, let me post here something that suggests, to me anyway, that even a really bad barrier coat is better than none - see the end of this message).

I am somewhat torn on whether to hire someone or do it myself. The cost is not an issue. I am well aware what this would cost, and would not mind paying for a quality job. That said, I know that other than myself, no one else would care enough to do it as well (I've dealt with a few contractors before, as I mentioned ;) ). It is a tough job though, and I am wondering if letting someone do it "good enough" is an easier way out.

I also do know that preparation (sanding/stripping or whatever method of paint removal that'd be chosen) is the hard part. I can roll barrier coat epoxy and time it like anyone else ;)

My boat is currently on land and been there for over 6 months, so this is probably as good a time as any to do it. If I launch now, I do not plan to be out of the water for a long period of time and doing barrier coat during a relatively short haul out is probably not optimal.

Now, here is the interesting point.
I had in the past sanded and inspected a number of areas of my boat's bottom. There is no barrier coat now - only multiple layers of paint. Under it I found a gelcoat in reasonable condition - a few cracks here and there, a bit of osmotic pinhole occasionally, but no blisters, generally high quality laminate underneath and overall everything looked good enough that I did not consider barrier coat to be necessary until now.

Today I removed the old ground plate, planning to replace it. Unlike other hull fittings, ground plates are not supposed to be sealed (according to installation manual) and this one was not. It was applied to bare hull and bolted, so water could (and did) enter behind it. Here is what I found there:

Larger image is here: http://images49.fotki.com/v1460/fileeoo3/15572/4/49507/6251129/bottom_plate.jpg

I am sure it is evident even from this cell phone photo that this is NOT a gelcoat in good condition. In fact, the entire area under the ground plate is completely cracked. Worse yet, there are a few holes in fiberglass surface where resin was completely washed out and all that remains are dry glass fibers. This area is in stark contrast to anywhere else on the bottom, including area directly adjacent to it (you can see white decent gelcoat just outside the edge of the ground plate). Some of this can be explained by water entering through bolt holes (which were also not sealed) and penetrating laminate sideways through the fibers. But this does not explain the entire area condition and the fact that the damage is specifically limited exactly to the shape of the ground plate.

Unless there is some electric weirdness going on (which I doubt) the only real difference here that I can see, is that this area of gelcoat was not covered by bottom paint. So - even ablative bottom paint provides a measure of protection to gelcoat, that is not available otherwise. While this may not be entirely scientific, I think barrier coat should work at least as well as ablative paint :)
 

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Sea Slacker
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Discussion Starter #6
Why not do it yourself. If you sodablast the hull, to get it down to the gelcoat, barrier coating doesn't take very long to do.
I am considering that too :) I'll take a recommendation for soda-blasting company if anyone knows one.
 

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Tartan 37C
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Osprey has done some work for me as well as my brother, and I've heard mostly good things about them around the marina. The only complant I've heard is that they aren't the cheapest in town, but looking at their work, it's seems to be top notch.

My work with them was Awlgrip related, as well as my brother plus he just had them sodablast his bottom (he's doing the interprotect himself). Also today I meet with another T-37 owner who's boat was just Awlgriped by them, it looks to be an excellent job and the price wasn't outrageous.

Another option is to go down to Deltaville, VA, as I've heard nothing but praise about the quality of work as well as the pricing.
 

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Sea Slacker
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Discussion Starter #8
If I decided to go to one of those yards, I'd have to get the boat launched and be in the water for at least a day. I wonder if this would negate the drying time of 6 months? I guess I should call Osprey and ask them.
 

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Telstar 28
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Brak—

The only two I've dealt with are both up here in Massachusetts, so likely not useful for you. It would help if you said what geographic area your boat is in. :)
I am considering that too :) I'll take a recommendation for soda-blasting company if anyone knows one.
 

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Sea Slacker
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Discussion Starter #10
:) Subj says it, actually :)

I have been thinking about the issue all night, though (yes, I've got nothing better to do). It seems amazing to me that bare gelcoat would be so succeptible to water damage. Someone should have noticed? Or is it that no one out there has boats sitting unpainted in the water for extended periods?

For clean experiment (and to help me decide what to do), I will remove all paint from the same area on the other side and compare gelcoat condition. I'll post pictures here if anyone is interested.

Brak—

The only two I've dealt with are both up here in Massachusetts, so likely not useful for you. It would help if you said what geographic area your boat is in. :)
 

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Telstar 28
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LOL... missed that... :) I'd be interested in seeing photos. :) Sodablasting is definitely the way to go if you're going to do this yourself. I wrote a good post on applying Interprotect 2000E previously:

Alternating the colors helps a lot with determining where you've painted, but it is also very useful for helping you coat the areas around the boat stands. For instance:

The first layer is gray, since the gelcoat is white, and you can paint right up to the boat stand pads. Then you paint a layer of white, and leave about a two-inch margin of gray paint around the pads... then paint a layer a gray and leave a four-inch margin around the pads or about two-inches of white and two inches of gray showing...and then finish with a layer of white—with a six-inch margin around the pads—with two inches of gray, two inches of white and two inches of gray.

Then when you move the boat stands, you can fill in the pads and layer the paint accordingly... adding gray to cover the white square left by the pad.. then white to cover the gray square, and so on.

Also, by alternating colors, you can see if someone has sanded through the barrier coat when you're prepping the boat for re-painting. If there's an area that is gray or grayish, they've sanded through at least the outermost layer of barrier coat. If you had all white, you wouldn't be able to tell if they had sanded down through the barrier coat as easily—if you had all gray, you could tell they sanded through the barrier coat...but not if they've sanded into it...

I hope this helps clear things up a bit.
 

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Tartan 37
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Brak,

I have heard good things about Osprey, you may also try Osmotec in Annapolis and Steve's Yacht repair, also in Annapolis. I researched this topic extensively a few years ago, and decided to try my hand at it first before I dropped $12,000 ;) So far so good.
 

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Sea Slacker
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks guys!

I am leaning towards hiring soda-blasting company to clean up the bottom, and then doing the actual painting myself. That way I would get the hard stuff outsourced to someone with proper tools, and get to paint the bottom the way I like (and, presumably, save a bit of cash too). Of course that means I am not getting to sail for a while longer, thats ok for a good cause though.
 

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Telstar 28
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Not if it is done properly. When I had the three hulls on my boat sodablasted, I had about 95%+ of the actually bottom paint removed down to the gelcoat. :)
Keep in mind that you will be doing A LOT of sanding after the soda blasting...A LOT.
 

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Sea Slacker
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Discussion Starter #17
Keep in mind that you will be doing A LOT of sanding after the soda blasting...A LOT.
They promised to get pretty much all the paint except for "narrow strip under bootstripe".

I am sure it will be a lot more sanding or scraping if I don't get those guys to do it :) I'll just hope for the best and keep my can of Interstrip 299 handy.
 

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Telstar 28
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I don't have photos of it, but the majority of that <5% was the area around the waterline... and I do have three waterlines to deal with... :) If it were a monohull, it would have been significantly less to deal with, since there'd be far less water line to deal with.

Um...that leaves about 5%, of which there should be 0% :) Do you have some pictures of that Dog?
 

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6)

I would advise your first coat of paint being a high quality copolymer ablative, of the same brand paint as the barrier coat used, Micron Extra or Micron 66 are great choices if using Interprotect 2000E, as many yards do. This first coat of paint can also be of a differing color than your final coat so you know when you need to re-paint. If this is all done properly you will most likely never see chunks of bottom paint flaking off your hull again..
Main Sail
I'm curious why you advise using an ablative first???
I am getting ready to apply the Interprotect 2000E. I just ordered a gallon of the Interlux bottomkote epoxy in black for my first coat - of course, it is a hard paint. My plan was to next apply two more coats of the Micron Extra (ablative).
 

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I'm curious too. On mine, the barrier coat is followed by a coat of hard paint that's black. The following ablative coats are red. When I see black showing through, I know it's time to re-paint. Sometimes, I just touch up the spots where it's worn through to the black paint.
 
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