Bottom Paint ??? What are you using???

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Challenge
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Bottom Paint ??? What are you using???

#1

Post by Challenge » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:05 pm

Hi Folks

I did a search and I haven't found any current information... I need to repaint one my boats bottoms, I still have a little Pettit Ultima eco from a couple years ago. It has been to be a good two season solution for me in the north east, but my preferred supplier is not selling it anymore. Should I use it with another paint?

Also I have tried Epaints and I was not impressed.

What are people (Chaps?) using? Micron CF? Flexdel Copper free? Others? I'm really on the wrong coast!

Being not positive of the quality of my barrier coat (previous owner), I would like to stay away from Vivid.

Thanks in Advance, The Defender sale is coming up soon and I would like to paint mid April!

Cheers

Rick

JonH
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Re: Bottom Paint ??? What are you using???

#2

Post by JonH » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:50 am

I'm sure Chaps will chime in soon, he used Flexdel Armor for my boat last spring.

Chaps
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Re: Bottom Paint ??? What are you using???

#3

Post by Chaps » Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:41 am

Which aluminum compatible antifouling paint is the best? That's a question I've been working to find the answer to for many years since I bottom paint boats as an occupation and I want to use the most effective products I can get my hands on. Glass boats are easy since there are several excellent products that contain lots of cuprous oxide (copper) as a biocide and their paint resin packages work well in delivering that copper to the surface of the paint.

Recreational aluminum boats, however, are not typically coated with cuprous oxide antifoul paints because of the possibility of the copper in the paint coming into contact with the hull which will set up a very active galvanic corrosion cell that can/will result in some serious damage to the boat under the right circumstances. That said, many commercial and yacht type aluminum boats have been painted in copper over the years by using epoxy primers applied in a thick enough film to effectively isolate the hull from the paint. When I'm asked to do that by a knowledgeable customer I oblige and the applications have been successful with no ill effects.

As a general rule, though, I'm applying copper-free paints to the aluminum boats that come into my shop because it's the safe thing to do (for the boat) and surprisingly, I'm finding that several of the metal free paints are performing pretty well. Well enough in fact that I'm oftentimes using copper-free coatings on lots of glass boats too. The fact that my shop is located in a state that has passed a ban on all copper bottom paints, a law that goes into effect in 2020, provides further incentive for me to figure out what works decently and what doesn't.

The problem with determining which paints are really good is that it takes quite a while before you can know if a product you put on a boat has performed well. And since how and where a boat gets used can have a strong influence on how effective a paint is it's tough to figure out which product should get the winner's trophy.

There are different agencies and marine advocacy groups that have conducted comparison tests to determine which paints work well and a couple of their recent efforts have focused on testing non-copper paints since the legislative trend in many states favor these types now. These tests have primarily been conducted in ocean waters very different from where I live and work and since the marine organisms prevalent in Pacific NW waters as well as water quality, temperature, amount of sunlight, salinity, etc. around here are significantly different compared to California and Florida I've recently decided to conduct my own test to finally answer that original question, which paint is best? (at least for Puget Sound and northwest waters in general).

All of these tests I've seen done consisted of applying various brands of anti-foul paint on small panels suspended under floating rafts. I wanted to create a more real world situation by applying several different paints to my boat so that the paint would get some exposure to moving through the water which would encourage the ablation that the paint engineers designed into their resins. If an otherwise excellent ablative paint never has a chance to wear away slowly and expose fresh biocide at its surface then it will perform poorly in a static test my opinion.

So here is my paint test bed, my old LaConner. I've applied twenty different antifoul paints to the boat in panels on both sides and in short stripes under the boat. The marine growth in our local waters tend to be concentrated near the waterline on the sides and along the underside of the chines. I've put it in the water in early January of this year and since things have been cold and dark around here not much is growing so far but with quickly increasing sunlight I expect to see some activity and get some first impressions soon.

The paints I've applied shall remain nameless for the moment though I've used about half of them in my shop before and the others are new to me. I've got a couple of ringers in there as well for curiosity sake as well as a couple of copper paints just to see how the metal free paints do relative to the industry standards.

So Rick, yes Flexdel Armor has been very good out here though I got burned a bit due to receiving some incorrectly manufactured paint that was in the distribution system for a while last year but it looks like the company has flushed the bad stuff out now and it seems to be back to where it was. It is on one of the test panels so we'll see how it does up against some other good products.
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Last edited by Chaps on Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
1987 24' LaConner pilothouse workboat, 225 Suzuki
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Re: Bottom Paint ??? What are you using???

#4

Post by Challenge » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:18 am

WOW! Thanks Chaps :thumbsup: for going to all the trouble of running the test. I wish powerboat reports was still published, you could be one of their testers. I'm looking forward to hearing your findings!

I will try the Flexdel Armor and it is actually a lot more affordable than the Petit Ultima Eco that I previously used.

I still have some of the Petit do you think that it would be ok to use both of them. Or should I just use the extra Petit to touch up my waterline/apply another coat on my smaller boat?

How many coats of Flexdel do you usually apply?

Thanks so much for your contributions to this site and I wish we were on the same coast!

Cheers

Rick

Chaps
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Re: Bottom Paint ??? What are you using???

#5

Post by Chaps » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:44 pm

If you are going to apply Armor over Ultima suggest you clean and sand the bottom then roll on one coat of Seahawk 1277 primer then two coats of Armor over that. Not sure what you mean by putting both on the same boat but you would be running a comparison test between the two ;-) just don't mix them up together in the same pail . . .
1987 24' LaConner pilothouse workboat, 225 Suzuki
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