Bottom Paint

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Thin old bottom paint This thin layer of bottom paint didn't have a chance of stopping the aggressive Caribbean plants
[18°24'1.52"N 64°38'1.22"W ]
Thin old bottom paint
New bottom paint The new bottom job is looking very nice indeed
[18°24'1.52"N 64°38'1.22"W ]
New bottom paint

Although the raw gelcoat on the fiberglass hull looks very smooth and slippery to the naked eye, marine life has no such illusions and happily attaches itself to the underwater surfaces in a very short timespan. Thus all boats that are permanently in the water use some form of protection from marine flora and fauna and, unfortunately, the powerful stuff used by commercial and military vessels is not legal for use by private boats so we need to make do with other chemical concoctions. There are two general classes of bottom paint, “hard” and “soft” paints. Ablative paints peel off expended outer layers at a microscopic level and continually expose new layers of (poisonous) paint to any creatures unwise enough to attempt to hitch a ride. There are numerous paints on the market and I was warned that the ones used in the USA are not formulated for the Caribbean, and originally ordered Zanshin without any bottom paint with the intention of having that done in the Caribbean. But since the boat was to be in the water for almost 2 months prior to my picking her up at Annapolis I asked them to put on the bottom paint after all. This was a mistake, as they used an anaemic paint which I believe that hardy Caribbean sea life feasted upon and I would need to dive on the boat and scrape off barnacles and green fuzz every week or two in some anchorages. In addition, the bottom paint was put on so thinly that I could see the barrier coat underneath.
I had the boat yard at Nanny Cay in the BVI put on a couple of coats of Islands 66 bottom paint and this black paint is working very well indeed so far. I was at anchor in Grand Case for over 3 weeks without moving position and when I dove on the boat there wasn't a single animal or weed growing anywhere where the bottom paint had been applied. Unlike my dinghy, which has no bottom paint but always sports a veritable jungle of growth after 2 weeks in the water!

132 views since 2017-02-04, page last modified on 2017-02-19.