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Old 02-05-2017, 07:23 AM   #1
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Hard or Ablative Bottom Paint?

We spend 7 months in Florida and 5 months traveling up the east coast to the NE. Had two sailboats. One with ablative and one with Hard. The Hard lasted longer. 4 years.
Now we have a Tug.
What is the better bottom paint to use?
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:39 AM   #2
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What speed will you cruise at? Ablative worked poorly for me at 7 knots. Have much better esults with the same paint on my charter boat at 15 knots.

Ted
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Old 02-05-2017, 09:22 AM   #3
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There is no better, it is what works for you.

Unless you find a boat in very similar use, such as location and cruising speeds, it's a really a crap shoot what is best for you.

2 marinas just a couple hundred yards apart can have different fouling. Say one up a creel and the other on the ICW.

A knot can make a difference.

Manufacturers can make a difference.

I prefer Interlux ablative over Petit. I had 2 Petit ablative that didn't.

I had a friend 2 slips down using Seahawks ablative and never moved the boat and had similar results as my ablative that I only cruised 6 months. I am using Interlux Fiberglass Bottomkote NT. When I sat, I had similar results as him but the 6 months moving I was clean as a whistle. My sailing friends used hard paint and looked like mine when they hauled every year. Medium growth. So even then results are hard to interpret.

The only paint that I ever recommended above all others were the tin based ones...they REALLY worked till illegal for most of us in the US.
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Old 02-05-2017, 10:35 AM   #4
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Agree with the "crap shoot" when dealing with bottom paint. Travel speed, frequency of use, temperature and salinity of water, seasonal hauling, bottom prep, all will have an affect on bottom paint.

My NT32 came from the factory with a single coat of Micron CSC. Bottom was not prepped properly, and paint started flaking and chipping off after first season. Feathering chipped areas and application of light coat of CSC each season (boat hauled for Winters in New England). Moored in a brackish cove, CSC was marginally effective, mostly with slime. While CSC is considered ablative, being solvent based, it will build up over the years. For the past 6 seasons, I've been using Pettit's waterbased Hydrocoat. It's easier to apply in our cold Springs, doesn't build up as much (more ablative), cheaper and more effective against slime. With 11 seasons, at some point, I may have to sandblast the hull. We power wash the hull when hauled in the Fall. Right now, I annually orbital sand with 80 grit, feather and prime any bare spots, and roll on a light coat of Hydrocoat. This year will be different since my new slip is in a freshwater river.
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Old 02-05-2017, 12:22 PM   #5
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Most of our cruising is done at 7-8 knots.
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Old 02-05-2017, 12:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
What speed will you cruise at? Ablative worked poorly for me at 7 knots. Have much better esults with the same paint on my charter boat at 15 knots.

Ted


7-8 knots
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Old 02-05-2017, 01:38 PM   #7
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I am clueless on paints but... I like to use a diver to keep my bottom clean. Because of that, it is my understanding that hard paint will last longer. Also, in WA we can't scrub a boat with ablative paint.
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Old 02-05-2017, 02:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Most of our cruising is done at 7-8 knots.
I will be switching to hard paint in the spring. My boat gets scrubbed as needed by a diver and feel the hard will last significantly longer.

Ted
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Old 02-05-2017, 02:51 PM   #9
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This is not really a crap shoot. Practical Sailor does extensive and rigorous testing of bottom paints (and a lot more). A subscription is worthwhile even if one is not a "sailor" as better than half of the content is related to paints and varnishes, electronics and other stuff that goes on powerboats.
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Old 02-05-2017, 03:08 PM   #10
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In my experience (west coast of North America), ablative works best but hard lasts longer, particularly on fast (20+ knot) boats. I use ablative on my current boat and get 2 -3 years out of a paint job, though I rarely exceed 10 knots. In southern Cal / Mexico, a diver cleans the bottom every month.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
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This is not really a crap shoot. Practical Sailor does extensive and rigorous testing of bottom paints (and a lot more). A subscription is worthwhile even if one is not a "sailor" as better than half of the content is related to paints and varnishes, electronics and other stuff that goes on powerboats.
Do their tests involve 10 different boats in 10 different locations used 10 different ways and include all the available paints being scrubbed 10 different ways wirh 10 differerent intervals by divers?

Is so, I will give the a better benefit of the doubt.

And in my estimation.....it is still a crappreciate shoot.

I used to get the publication till I got more experience and was able to determine better sources of info...kinda like solely relying on consumer reports for stuff. Good when I was 20 to 30...not so much anymore, even without the internet.
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Old 02-05-2017, 09:47 PM   #12
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Did lots of tests years ago, where I liked the abaltive, the problem was swimming from the boat, people getting on board and had touched the bottom etc. So switched to hard. Here in the Caribbean I use trinadad pro 87% copper. Normaly works well except if I leave the boat in a warm shallow bay for a few months ( tThe lagoon in St Martin ) for instance, and then suffer with lots of mini barnacles. On the whole I like the paint and get a good couple of seasons out of it.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:08 AM   #13
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Hard paint will build up and after 12-15 years chips..
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:17 AM   #14
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The major paint manufacturers have paint selection guides on their websites. Answer a few questions and you get their recommendation. Of course you have to do this for each manufacturer.


Another resource is your diver. Divers see all the different paint types and can tell you what works best in your location.


As a general rule, most trawlers don't move fast enough and often enough to make an ablative paint effective.


On the other hand, some paints must stay wet so if you haul your boat for the winter (or summer), you have to rule these paints out.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin J View Post
Did lots of tests years ago, where I liked the abaltive, the problem was swimming from the boat, people getting on board and had touched the bottom etc. So switched to hard. Here in the Caribbean I use trinadad pro 87% copper. Normaly works well except if I leave the boat in a warm shallow bay for a few months ( tThe lagoon in St Martin ) for instance, and then suffer with lots of mini barnacles. On the whole I like the paint and get a good couple of seasons out of it.


I forgot that when we stayed at Fernandina Beach for three weeks I had a pot load of Barnacles on our newly painted hard paint. Maybe Ablative is the way to go.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:25 AM   #16
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We boat in freshwater only. Bottom paint is (almost) a mute point. No matter what you use, you're gonna get slimed. Only a scrubbing will keep you clean. Even the 40 plus kt boats grow a layer. I used to use Vc 17 hard Teflon. It was awesome to be able to coat a 37' sailboat hull in 30 minutes. But the cost for the stuff is more than I can take now. So with the trawler it will be the cheapest ablative I can find. We have to pull for the winter so I've found that the best way to go is to just touch up the spots that need it and hit the water. Ablatives keep the crud down till I can hop in and scrub once a month. Also on a sailboat, a slime coated bottom would drop boat speed by 1/2 a knot, sometimes even more. So there's quite a lot of drag with even just slime.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
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We spend 7 months in Florida and 5 months traveling up the east coast to the NE. Had two sailboats. One with ablative and one with Hard. The Hard lasted longer. 4 years.
Now we have a Tug.
What is the better bottom paint to use?
Where do you cruise to in the NE? Our old cruising grounds were Long Island Sound out to Martha's Vineyard, if it weren't for the long winters and relatively short summers, it would be ideal.

Wondering what you've found is the best brand of paint to use down here. I've tried ablative before, but reading your findings on hard paint, I'm intrigued. We plan on keeping our Albin for about the next 10 or 12 years and while I don't want to plan too far into the future, that would mean that I'd only really have to paint the bottom two or three times, and I REALLY like the idea of that.

Jim
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:58 PM   #18
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Where do you cruise to in the NE? Our old cruising grounds were Long Island Sound out to Martha's Vineyard, if it weren't for the long winters and relatively short summers, it would be ideal.



Wondering what you've found is the best brand of paint to use down here. I've tried ablative before, but reading your findings on hard paint, I'm intrigued. We plan on keeping our Albin for about the next 10 or 12 years and while I don't want to plan too far into the future, that would mean that I'd only really have to paint the bottom two or three times, and I REALLY like the idea of that.



Jim


We have been to MV and Newport. Maybe Maine this year.
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Old 02-06-2017, 11:07 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by SteveD View Post
This is not really a crap shoot. Practical Sailor does extensive and rigorous testing of bottom paints (and a lot more). A subscription is worthwhile even if one is not a "sailor" as better than half of the content is related to paints and varnishes, electronics and other stuff that goes on powerboats.
But aren't their tests of bottom paints on sailboats?
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Old 02-06-2017, 11:09 PM   #20
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We're in Fort Lauderdale and use hard. We're in a very high growth area and find that we get good results with a hard paint and with monthly bottom cleaning. We also use Prop Speed.
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