owner’s boat

The bottom of your yacht, is it actually important to maintain it?

Whenever we go on board a yacht, we are always enthralled by the beauty of its exterior designs and interior features, but what about the bottom of your yacht?

Attention all yacht owners! Although you might not always see the bottom of your yacht, it’s definitely something you need to keep your mind on at all times. The salt and marine growth can really deteriorate the paint on a boat, and its important to have a clean hull at all times in order for your boat to be safe, fast, and efficient!

The bottom of your yacht

For people who aren’t well versed with boat paints, this task might seem a bit overwhelming. Especially since there are so many factors that go into bottom paints, such as soil and water pollution protection measures, application techniques, and environmental regulations.

Here are some information that we have obtained from GetMyBoat as a reference to help you familiarize yourself better regarding bottom paints.

A regular regiment of hull washing and inspection after every use is the short-cut way to avoid costly and tedious bottom painting efforts. Even with attentive maintenance, the hull will eventually need repainting. Keep an eye out for paint that is cracked, excessively faded, or peeling.

Sloughing or ablative bottom coatings contain biocides that kill marine organisms, like barnacles and algae and are formulated to “ablate,” or gradually wear off, exposing a fresh layer of biocide. Ablative anti-fouling paint will not lose its effectiveness even if the boat is stored out of the water.

A range of other biocide compounds and materials are available in modern bottom paints. Their application depends on the type of hull and whether the boat is used in salt, brackish or fresh water, how frequently the boat is underway, where it is stored, and to a certain extent, the region of the country where the boat is used.

To prepare for a bottom painting project, determining the type of paint on the hull may take some detective work, especially if the boat was bought used. If the hull paint is unknown but a new coat is needed, applying a tie-coat primer prepares the unknown surface and allows a new coat of any anti-fouling paint to be applied.

Especially if the hull is of fiberglass construction, you can prepare the hull for painting by blasting with environmentally-friendly materials like walnut shells, baking soda, glass beads,or corncobs.
You should always closely follow the manufacturers’ instructions and safety precautions when applying new paint and removing paint already on the boat.

Use plastic sheets under the boat to collect paint chips, sanding residue and drips and of course, don’t forget to dispose the waste material responsibly.

Optimal painting conditions are at temperatures between 50-80 degrees and when relative humidity is below 65%.

Safety, Tip & Tricks

  • Wear protective clothing, especially for the eyes and hands, and a mask to protect your lungs.
  • Painting with a zinc or a copper biocide is best for aluminum hulls or stern-drives.
  • Modified epoxy paint is the best for boats that are used infrequently because it contains good anti-fouling properties, especially when the boat is inactive.
  • For boats in the water year-round, a high copper-content modified epoxy paint that prevents growth by leaching biocides upon contact with water will be the best. This type of paint releases the biocide at a decreasing rate, leaving the hard coating of the original thickness.
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July 18, 2014