Prompted by several reader queries and our own curiosity, Practical Sailor recently launched a test of an electronic alternative to metal-based bottom paints: the M20, an ultrasonic antifouling device from the Canada-based SmartAntifouling. Electronic antifouling uses ultrasound waves to prevent algae and other organisms from attaching to a boat’s hull. A transducer, which is mounted on the hull skin inside the boat, emits a high-frequency vibration that creates a micro-thin layer of rapidly moving water blanketing the hull and making it difficult for barnacles and algae to take up residence there. PS installed an M20 on a Florida-based test boat and will be monitoring its performance this season.
As all boatowners know, spills and stains are inevitable, particularly when you count children among your crew. Our heavily trafficked teak cabin soles and fabric-covered settees have seen their fair share of misfortune, so we keep our ears open for any recommended stain removers. A recent hunt for a product to clean stains from teak led us to K2r SpotLifter, which came highly recommended by Teak Decking Systems Jeff Scott.
Sticking to a regular boat bath regimen not only keeps a boat looking good, but it also helps protect it from unnecessary, accelerated wear and tear. Practical Sailor tested a cross-section of 13 products-aerosol sprays, gels, powders, and liquids-advertised as either boat soaps or wash-n-waxes to find out which one was the best grime buster and which one left topside wax intact. The test lineup included products from well-known marine maintenance manufacturers-Star brite, Interlux, Woody Wax, Nautical Ease, 3M, Sudbury, and Marykate-as well as some familiar in the automotive and home cleaning industries-Mothers, Ecover, Eagle One, and K2r.
Our July 2009 issue compared 26 bottled waxes and gave an update on our test of 10 traditional paste waxes. This month, we offer a one-year checkup on acrylic coatings. Acrylic coatings differ from paste waxes in their chemistry and how they are applied. Acrylic finishes penetrate pores and chemically bond to the boats surface. We tracked down seven products, applied them to our blue-hulled test boat, and rated them at the one-year mark. Products tested were Vertglas from Lovett Marine, Poli Glow, NewGlass2, Star brite Glass Cote, Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze, Higley FiberGloss Restorer, and Presto Gelcoat Rejuvenator.
Early this month, irate boat owners from Marina del Rey, Calif., packed the regional water-quality board meeting, protesting a rule that would require them to switch to a copper-free antifouling paint by the year 2024. The board unanimously voted in favor of the rule, moving it another step forward in the legislative process-a bureaucratic cricket match that will drag on for several years.
There was a time when laid decks — teak, yellow pine, or fir — were the hallmark of a true yacht. The bare wood gave secure footing, easy maintenance, and reasonable protection from leaks. Since the advent of fiberglass, those same laid decks, almost universally of teak, have continued to represent that hallmark. However, they have become at least as much a cosmetic feature as a functional one. Teak decks, cockpit seats, cockpit sole, hatchtops, and cabin sole all lend themselves to being planked (or sheathed) in a traditional manner Almost no project can do more to "dress up" a boat than some laid decking, and it is a job the average boatowner can do himself. This article describes a simple method for laying decking, one we have used ourselves.
I was wondering whether you might have any comments on using bottom paint on the boats interior to help fight mold and mildew. Many bottom paints are ineffective out of the water, but I was wondering whether some of the new eco-friendly paints might prove to be a new weapon in the fight to work less and play more.
Bright, shiny and new looking. That was what we wanted when were shopping for our dream boat, and that is the impression our new-used PDQ catamaran gave. What was behind that spit-shine on a used boat? Besides the obvious hours of labor by the previous owner, it took two baskets of cleaning products, all stuffed in the stern lockers.
For the boat owner customizing his boat, the choice of wood to use in a project can be as interesting as the design or execution of the job. Because of the overwhelming use of teak and mahogany in boatbuilding today, this opportunity to select a different wood is often overlooked.