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Old 06-05-2014, 04:45 PM   #1
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A bet on a bottom job

A friend and I have a bet, and have agreed to let the accumulated wisdom of the TF members settle it, should I get enough replies from knowledgeable people to this thread.

He keeps his boat in salt water, and I keep mine in fresh water. He says that he needs a bottom job at least every two years, which I agree with, having kept a previous boat in salt water. The barnacles in this area are fierce.

However, he maintains that I should get a bottom job every two years also, with which I disagree. I do not get barnacles in fresh water, and just a scrub with a brush every now and then gets rid of the crud on the bottom easily.

He thinks there other reasons than just barnacles, though. That the boat will be harmed. I will concede that it might be good for cosmetic reasons (new paint at the waterline), but do not think the boat is in any way harmed.

So is he right? Or an I right? Large bet (seafood dinner) riding on it! :-)
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:55 PM   #2
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paint usually does little to nothing to prevent bottom damage from hydrolysis or osmotic blisters...

....that said..I'm not completely familiar with every bottom paint...possibly some formulations may slow the above processes...though I have never heard just paint as protection.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:41 PM   #3
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I can't see the need for pulling a doing a bottom job every two unless the growth on the bottom justifies it. While I have never been a fresh water boater, I thought that many freshwater boaters did not even use any anti-fouling on their hull bottoms. If what grows can be easily washed off, why pull and paint? Other than the possibility of osmosis, I cannot think of any other potential damage that might occur or might be mitigated by pulling every two years.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:49 PM   #4
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there are freshwater places where growth can be bad...just like some salty places have minimal growth...do what's necessary...not what someone "thinks".
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:59 PM   #5
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If he keeps his in salt water I'd be willing to bet that after 2 years his bottom is nasty. Growth and barnacles really slow a boat and that's why most will at least clean the bottom every 6 months.Larry
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:20 PM   #6
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I'm in freshwater and the prevailing local logic is bottom painting every 4 years is far more than sufficient. More often is considered a waste of money. Just scrubbed my bottom 2 hours ago for the first time in almost 8 months and it really didn't need it.

I'm sure areas vary.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:22 PM   #7
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If you don't get a lot of growth I would not be inclined to pull it and repainting it any earlier then necessary. But I would keep an eye out for the start of blisters. Because freshwater can cause them to form as fast as salt if not even faster.

That said, some brands of boats rarely if ever get blisters. Yours might be one of those. Ask around.

And then, the "damage" blisters do to a solid fiberglass hulled boat is really over blown. As the old saying goes, "blister are a deal breaker, not a boat sinker".

But if it concerns you based on resale as to whether you have to worry about ever getting blisters, then keep scrubbing down your bottom paint till it's almost gone. Then haul the boat and remove what little paint is left, epoxy barrier coat the hull and apply new bottom paint at that time.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:33 PM   #8
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I have boated in fresh water all my life and repaint the bottom only when it needs it which is certainly not every 2 years. I give it a good power wash each fall on haul out and touch up any spots in the spring before splash. Most boats in the great lakes get little growth if they are used. The dock queens are another story.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:41 PM   #9
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I'm on the Great Lakes. I'm re- doing the bottom paint now. The first time in 10 years. I just haul in the fall, pressure wash , in the spring touch up if required.

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Old 06-05-2014, 09:45 PM   #10
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It depends ...........
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:01 PM   #11
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Haul out every year to clean the bottom, inspect/replace zincs, treat the propeller (favorite spot for barnacles), engine service, and steel-rust/paint maintenance. Every second year bottom-treat/paint.

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Old 06-05-2014, 10:25 PM   #12
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Don't fix it it if it ain't broke! Me thinks your buddy owes you a big Din Din!

Until 5 years ago... when I began docking in SF Delta's fresh water... every previous year of boating I was in salt water. Never hauled and painted till need be - two years was usually max in warm waters. Every year in New England waters due to winter conditions.

I never before new how gentle fresh water was to many items on a boat. Just this past holiday the bottom of our Tolly had barely a film on her paint; after 5 plus months since swimming.

Keep da Faith by Keeping da Bottom Paint as is - Till Needed!
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art View Post

I never before new how gentle fresh water was to many items on a boat. Just this past holiday the bottom of our Tolly had barely a film on her paint; after 5 plus months since swimming.
It's amazing what happens to the boat's bottom after moving from salt to fresh waters for a couple of days.
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:43 PM   #14
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Mark,
Old sailing vessels used to go into Lake Union in Seattle to drop their barnacles.

I wonder how much good it would do me?
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:05 AM   #15
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Eric,
Don't forget to take a snorkel!
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Old 06-06-2014, 03:25 AM   #16
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I boated on a fresh water lake for 28 years starting when I was 13. Over that time I had 5 boats lasting 26 years, the sixth boat just being 2 years old when we moved. So average of over 5 years, longest 8 years. I never had nor needed a bottom painted. Got the bottoms washed an average of 3 times a year.
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:11 AM   #17
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IF there is no growth , there is no need tom EVER haul.

Fresh water does require different underwater metal protection , magnesium , not zinc .
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:12 AM   #18
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I don't think this is a one size fits all answer. If there is crap growing on the bottom of your boat it needs removed and treated to prevent. Some freshwater boats go a life time with nothing more than cosmetic cleanings other waters may require protection. To arbitrarily say that its been X years, i need to reapply paint is a waste.

as for it being 'bad' for the hull, NO its not. The water (salt or fresh) won't melt a fiberglass hull.

Enjoy your seafood dinner. you are correct!
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Old 06-06-2014, 09:10 AM   #19
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My last bottom job was 2007. I'm in the Pacific NW and have the bottom cleaned 3-4 times per year. The diver tells me that he'll let me know when it needs to be done. As of now, only slime grows on the hull, nothing else. I may pull it and re-paint this summer, because my sideshift stern thruster needs a re-coat. If it wasn't for that, I'd wait until my diver gave me the go ahead.
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Old 06-06-2014, 09:18 AM   #20
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UPDATE: My friend also is a TF member, and can read the replies as well as I can. So he called me a few minutes ago and conceded. So he will buy me Saturday night seafood at Apalachicola! Yum!

Thanks, guys.
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