Hard Antifouling Paints and Haulouts

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Hard Antifouling Paints and Haulouts

Some of our best performing antifouling paints in our past tests have been hard, modified epoxy paints. One of the drawbacks of these paints is that they can lose their effectiveness after being hauled out and stored ashore for more than 30 days. Even newly painted hulls can lose their effectiveness if the launch is delayed too long. Fortunately, there are ways to reactivate a hard paint on a newly painted boat that has been stored ashore for less than a year.

The following instructions apply for Pettit Marine Paint Trinidad, Trinidad VOC, Unepoxy Plus, Unepoxy Standard, Unepoxy VOC, 1933 Copper Bronze, Trinidad SR, Super Premium Performance, Pettit Pro-Coatings Trinidad 75, Trinidad Pro, and Copper Guard. The advice is similar to that offered by other makers of hard, modified epoxy antifouling paints such as Interlux, Blue Water, and Sea Hawk Paints, although it would be advisable to check with your paints manufacturer to confirm the proper procedures.

  1. Launching of newly painted boats may be delayed up to 60 days after painting without sacrificing antifouling performance.
  2. Boats painted between two and 12 months prior to launch date must be scuff-sanded with 220-grit production paper or abrasive pad before launching.
  3. Boats painted more than 12 months prior to launch date must be lightly sanded with 100-grit production paper and recoated before launching.
  4. Boats in the water for less than 24 hours (e.g. for in-the-water water testing) should be pressure washed lightly to remove dirt, salt or other contaminants and allowed to dry. These boats should still be considered newly painted and may be launched up to 60 days after the date of painting.
  5. Boats in the water for more than 24 hours, but less than 30 days, should be pressure washed when hauled, then lightly sanded with 220-grit production paper immediately before re-launching. If necessary, launching may be delayed up to 60 days after the bottom has been sanded. Note: Boats re-launched within 72 hours of haulout do not need to be sanded before launching.
  6. Boats in water for more than 30 days should be pressure washed when hauled, lightly sanded with 100-grit production paper and recoated with antifouling paint, even when re-launching will take place within 72 hours.
Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on marine products for serious sailors for more than 45 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising or any form of compensation from manufacturers whose products we test. Testing is carried out by a team of experts from a wide range of fields including marine electronics, marine safety, marine surveying, sailboat rigging, sailmaking, engineering, ocean sailing, sailboat racing, and sailboat construction and design. This diversity of expertise allows us to carry out in-depth, objective evaluation of virtually every product available to serious sailors. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser with more than three decades of experience as a marine writer, photographer, boat captain, and product tester. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.

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