Bottom Painting Question

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Well-known member
Supporting Member
Feb 22, 2006
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Media, PA and Brigantine. NJ
Good morning fellas,

I have a 1999, 2520 which I've owned since new so I know what kind of paint is on the bottom. I put a coat of Pettit Unepoxy on it every year (black). The first few years were fine, but over the past 2-3 years, every fall when it gets pulled more and more of it is peeling. There are spots here and there but the MAJORITY of the peeling is occurring right down the center line of the bottom. Judging by the "look" of the bare fiberglass, I think it is a safe bet some of the peeling is occurring while it is still in the water. If it is left over release wax, why wasn't it peeling during the first year or two? I've asked around the marina and the concensus (and this is the way I am leaning) is to get all the loose chips off by hand first. Then clean the bare areas with acetone rubbing in one direction and using a clean rag almost with every wipe. Touch up with the unepoxy which is left (which is probably less than 1/2 quart but enough to hit the bare spots with). A light sanding all over and then a coat of Interlux Micron Extra (An ablative paint that can go over a hard unepoxy type paint that is on there now). Any thoughts?
Tim :?:
TimC2520":22d7d65b said:
If it is left over release wax, why wasn't it peeling during the first year or two?
Tim: All I can think of is that "if" you didn't remove the mold release wax, then the first few coats were enough of a uniform "skin" to hold together. Now that a few coats have built up and degraded differently over time ... it sounds like the new coat of paint can't hold itself together over the "thicker" built-up base.

I haven't seen hulls as bad as you state, but can state that I've never seen this happen on a properly prepped bottom using a good ablative paint. I will never use a modified or hard epoxy paint again. Or at least until it stops all growth, is safe to sand the next season without a respirator, and only costs < $50/gallon ;) !

I agree with the others, get off all of the chips you can and even agressively sand (60 grit) the rest down or consider getting the hull soda blasted.

Best I can do without seeing it ...

I ran into a similar but not identical problem to yours. When I bought my 2002, I did not have any experience with the ablative technology only the modified epoxies (hard paints) that my father, grandfather used on their boats. I decided to go with a coat of "sandless primer" followed by two coats of West Marine modified epoxy (bottomkote?) black paint. Here's what I ran into - when I pulled my boat in the fall I noticed that the bottom paint was peeling in spots mostly in the stern section but the sandless primer was still adhered to the fiberglass! I had no bare sections of fiberglass. The next two seasons the peeling continued. My father and I ended up sanding off everything down to bare fiberglass last summer (worst job ever) and applying 5 coats of Interprotect 2000 barrier coat followed by Interlux Micron Extra. When I pulled last December, I had no spots that peeled. In fact, I don't think I'll have to paint this year at all. Have you considered having it soda blasted and starting out fresh?
I have considered the soda blasting. But the people I know who have had it done I'm not convinced that's the route I want to take. I know a guy who had it done last year, spent $750, then had to paint 5 coats of barrier coat and one coat of ablative. I see that as doing 6 years worth of paint in one year, and spending $750 on top of that. He brags he gets 2 more knots of speed, to me, if I want 2 more knots of speed, I'll lean on the throttle!
The boat has 7 years on it now and Im concerned with paint build up, though my old boat was 26 years old and was never stripped. I have decided to go with an ablative paint this year, probably Micron Extra. I just can't decide how to prep the bare spots (which isnt very much, but bare none the less). I will probably end up going with a sandless primer on the bare spots, lightly sand the unepoxy that's on there now and apply and coat of the abaltive. Do you guys thin the ablative at all or go 100% ?
Just my personal opinion, but with a well made boat like a Parker, I wouldn't personally waste the money for a barrier coat. Plus ... if you don't coat the bilge from the inside ... it could happen from in there too.
Barrier coat really isnt that much more considering you have to use primer on the bottom when initially doing the bottom. It was just added protection considering the bottom had been soda blasted and wanted to ensure any unseen void in the glass was protected.
danielb":1w3ds7d8 said:
I have been using copolymer ablative paint for 14 years, the Micron and have been very happy with he results. This year i switched tot he West Marine brand, which got a good write up in Powerboats- Micron $140/gallon and West $60/gallon-will let you know the results soon.
Dan, which one specifically?

I have that PB Reports mag and they liked the West PCA anti-fouling, with ingriol (sp?) slime agent, for best performance next to the most expensive stuff, but even in their current sale ... its still $110/gallon.

I just bought their CCP ablative, must be similar but without slime agent, and that was $70/gallon "on sale". Was thinking of returning this and getting the one with the slime agent ...
I was checking Interlux's website for the Micron paint and most of their ablative paint says (on the can) minimum 2, sometimes 3 coats required...
How many coats of the ablative are you guys putting on? Or is this just to sell more paint?
I've been using ablative for about 5 years now.

I do it every season for a boat on a mooring or slip. They can be multiseason.

I put on a coat and two at the water line and transom in the spring.