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What's everyones favorite bottom paint?

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Capt J, Sep 28, 2011.

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  1. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I figured we needed a new thread on the board and was wondering what everyone's preferences were for bottom paint. Let's keep it to bottom paint on fiberglass boats in saltwater (or brackish).

    Down here in South Florida, I've found the hard paints to be substantially more effective over ablative and superior in all regards and especially in staying effective for up to 2 years. For hard paint I like the Interlux brand. When it comes to ablative though, I've found the Micron and Micron CSC to be not very effective at all and have seen it start to grow barnacles with a month or so on a fresh bottom job. Pettit Trinidad seems to be pretty good (not great). So far I've had 3 boats painted with the Seahawk CuKote and have been having very good results with it.

    So what are you guys using and very happy with?
  2. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Pettit Trinidad

    Pettit Trinidad Pro seems to be holding up very well on our old Bert. Two years next month and holding on the hull strong. A few thin spots where the straps rubbed at splashing. few more thin spots around the wheels. Of course, NOTHING sticks to shafts and wheels. That Prop Speed stuff and others like can start another heated thread.
    Were convinced diving the hull and wiping the slime and silt off has kept our bottom at it's best. Once the silt covers any paint, all bets are off and barnacles and grass will form and attach.
    We were planning on the same paint this fall unless something here develops better. :)

    Seems to be a new kind of grass growing on boats here in the Ortega river area. Like a bad spaghetti dream, it's clogging up sea cocks and inlet hoses. Any bio-techs out there on this? (maybe another thread)

    ,Ralph
  3. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Trinidad Blue PRO.

    3 years + and going strong.
    getting some slime in the Fort Lauderdale canal but few if any barnacles.
    Sending a diver down twice a year to soft scrub and sending myself down if in the Bahamas if a cold beer is waiting on the poop deck.

    Need a bottom job in the next 6 months, not sure I want to push 4 years on the same paint, but so far holding up good.

    (Second time I get 3 years on the Trinidad PRO product, highly recommended)
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I wouldn't push over 2 years on a bottom job because there's a lot of other issues that could be brewing underneath the waterline that you cannot see or tell from diving on it.

    I've had good luck with propspeed and use it on hulls that cruise over 20 knots. Slower hulls, I like Interlux Trilux white on the running gear.
  5. tirekicker11

    tirekicker11 Senior Member

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    When we had new boats arriving build in poly-ester we would sand the bottom gelcoat back and apply 2 coats of epoxy. (Don't remember the brand, it was a Japanese make) On top of the epoxy we'd roll coppercoat. This is in my opinion the best option for a GRP yacht in a warm, salt water environment.

    When the outer layer of GRP was in vinyl-ester we would only apply coppercoat without barrier coat.

    Some customers on the cheap got 2 coats Interprotect with Hempel antifoul.

    IMO prop guard works best for stern gear.
  6. Swamp fox

    Swamp fox Member

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    I run a Marlow over here on the west coast of FL that has had SeaHawk Cukote on it for 2 years. Very pleased with the results. Sticks to the hull, doesn't come off in huge sheets...Waterline still looks good after divers rubbing on it monthly. Having the paint stick to the wheels are a different story though.
  7. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    Whatever Beneteau uses, I like better than what Grand Banks uses. How's that for 'tech talk'.
  8. Bill106

    Bill106 Senior Member

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    The biggest deciding factor for us is speed. Over 20 knots the ablatives just don't stay on too well even with letter perfect prep and application. On the faster boats Interlux suggested we go to their hard paint (Ultra) and we've had excellent results since. It holds up over 18 months on boats in Florida, NC or up north. We alternate painting the whole bottom and just from the chine up every other haulout. It's just an opinion but I think it holds up better if you have a diver scrub every so often.

    On slower boats we use Micron 66 with excellent results as well. We have also been trying the Sea Hawk poducts with good luck but none have been over a year yet so the jury's still out.
  9. BMcF

    BMcF Senior Member

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    That's good to hear; this is the first year I've given it a try and have not pulled her since it was applied to see the results. As proud of the product as they are..I sure hope it does work well.:rolleyes:
  10. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    PropSpeed on the hull or gear? Never thought about it on the hull before.

    My son still thinks we should dip our hull in Teflon. Told him to find a dipping pot large enough,,, He's still looking. Young energy...
  11. Bill106

    Bill106 Senior Member

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    The teflon coatings are designed for boats that move a lot, several times a week or more. Since they have no antifouling properties at all, they rely on water movement to slough off critters. If the boats sit for any length of time, barnacles, tube worms, and weeds will bore into the coating and gain a foothold and then you will have to call a diver. Water movement also doesn't do much good above the chine or on the transom and these most visible areas will look terrible.

    Teflon or silicone coatings work really well on go fast and trailerable boats and I've heard of increases in performance but on in the water boats, not so much.
  12. T.K.

    T.K. Senior Member

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    I have been using Trilux 33 for years and it's great.
  13. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    On fast boats with a white bottom, I like Hempel's Hard Racing.

    The white stays white, not going to that nasty blue/grey/green colour the other ones do. It works well.

    Antifoulings
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    On the running gear.

    Interlux ultra is very good hard paint from my experience. I would prefer hard paint over ablative on every boat I manage. However, if it already has ablative, it's too costly to take it off and go to hard paint, so I stay with ablative.

    I've never heard of ablative issues on fast hulls. Cabo uses Trinidad ablative and never has issues with it "coming off" Also we had it on a Jim smith that cruised at 35 knots and never had an issue with ablative.
  15. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    I'm in a yard that regrets putting PropSpeed on one customers boat. Put on a 58' SR. Runs once a week near 25 knots. The treatment comes off the props blades like a bad sunburn. Diver comes up laughing. @ $2000 a try, that's years of dive service flushed down somewhere.

    On boats that don't move (dock queens) it seems to be a good deal.

    We have an old 58 Bert MY. Once in a while we put her in the corners when we come in a rough inlet. Can't afford twin 650hp much these days so that's about most of our excitement.
    Even with just a few burst of speed now and then, there is no paint that sticks to our 2.5 inch shafts and 32 inch wheels. Rest of hull clean running slow and int dive service (almost two years now) With black Pettit Pro.

    Ive said before, never seen prop / shaft treatment that sticks. There is just to much abuse there. If you run the boat often, I can see the use keeping the fowling away, not the paint.

    ,Ralph
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I've had propspeed stay on several boats running gear for a year to 2 years and still have a good coating on everything. Prep is crucial. I'm talking about yachts that see 30 knots. If you have electrolysis, it will burn any coating you have on the underwater metal off in a heartbeat, which is probably what's going on, on that 58' Searay. Make sure your bonding system is all intact, and install a Galvanic Isolator and I guarantee the paint will stay on the running gear if prepped properly, primered properly, applied properly.
  17. Bill106

    Bill106 Senior Member

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    It suprised us too when it started to happen, this boat was a little faster than the Smith but not by much. Everything was applied by the book, barrier coat to CSC (ten years ago). Interlux rep took samples and lab analysis confirmed it was done right. They suggested going to Ultra which was almost unheard of around here on big boats.

    Owner wanted to try really slicking the bottom to see if it would get more speed while we were at it so we blasted and faired her down to 320 and sprayed on the barrier/Ultra thinned and smooth. To everyones complete amazement it made no difference whatsoever, not even a tenth of a knot!
  18. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    It's my understanding that a bottom can be to smooth. It's a laminar flow thing I guess.

    As to which bottom paints, I like Trinidad SR as a hard finish and Seahawk Biocop with Bio Boost added as an ablative.

    I have always had good luck with PropSpeed and found it well worth the money. In most cases I apply it myself. If it is coming off in the fashion mentioned I agree with J that it is most likely an electrolysis issue and not an issue with the PropSpeed.
  19. tirekicker11

    tirekicker11 Senior Member

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    Anyone here knows whether there's a product that can be applied to underwater lights and camera's to prevent the lenses from fouling?
  20. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Well they do make clear spray on bottom paint. But I think it would not go on optically clear. So it might work on lights but I doubt it would work well on a camera lens.

    We just installed underwater lights by OceanLED that supposedly have a coating on the lens that sounds like it works a lot like PropSpeed. In that they claim you can easily wipe off any growth that builds up on the lens. Since the lights were just installed a week ago it's to early to tell if that is true or not.