On the bottom of your boat, an older “dock rat” once informed me that inexpensive latex home paint job just as well as pricey marine antifouling paint: You apply the latex, and it becomes thoroughly fouled with algae, grass, and barnacles a month or two later, much like pricey maritime antifouling Sydney. Of course, the remark is ludicrous. It does, however, bring to light an essential reality. Unless you carefully go to website and select a marine antifouling paint and ensure that it is done correctly, you may save a lot of money by using regular home paint.
Making a yacht bottom coating that prevents marine fouling while also being easy to apply, durable, and affordable is a difficult task. Paint and chemical businesses like Interlux, Pettit, and Z-Spar have dedicated large research and development expenditures to the problem, resulting in a broad range of antifouling bottom coatings to select from today. Unfortunately, as the number of alternatives available has increased, so has customer confusion and concern. Many boaters and yachtsmen are now quivering with hesitation as they approach the marine paint counter, horrifying thoughts of creeping marine filth dancing in their brains.
Whoa! Relax. Whether you own a Hatteras motor yacht, a Grand Banks trawler, or a Bertram convertible sportfishing boat, understanding what antifouling coatings are, how they’re formulated, how they work (and fail to work), why they cost as much as they do, and how to choose one best suited to your needs can alleviate your bottom paint worries.
Antifouling coatings for yachts are specific formulas with the primary goal of preventing fouling.
The growth of marine organisms and plants on a vessel’s undersea deck is slowed or stopped.
- Biocides are included in the pigment of hard antifouling paints, which leach out of the coating when it is submerged in water. These antifouling coatings start off powerful, but when the biocides are leached out of the paint layer, they gradually lose strength until the amount of biocide release is so low that the antifouling coating is rendered worthless. Because the paint layer of hard paints remains relatively intact even after the biocides contained within it are depleted, year after year re-coatings eventually results in an extremely thick antifouling paint coating that cracks and peels and becomes a nuisance.
- Ablative antifouling coatings are more effective in delivering biocide to the water interface layer around a yacht’s submerged hull than hard antifouling coatings. When water runs across ablative paint films, they wear away (erode). An ablative coating, on the other hand, can wear away in a variety of ways.
Finally, a word about brands and formulas. The effectiveness of any antifouling coating is determined by the ambient water conditions in which the boat spends the majority of its time. So don’t take your pleasant boatyard manager’s advice at face value, because he or she may not be considering your individual needs and may simply want to sell you whatever antifouling is on hand in the stockroom. Instead, ask your dock neighbors at your yacht club, marina, or canal what works best for them. Then, bearing in mind how antifouling coatings function as well as how you use your boat or yacht, choose the best option for your unique needs.