Prior PS bottom paint testing focused on saltwater locations in Florida and Massachusetts. This time we’ve moved our testing racks to the brackish waters...
Boxed and stored as PS went through three office moves in a short time frame, the wood samples we varnished in late 2015 finally...
Once more, the bulk of the past year’s testing focused on maintenance products, safety essentials, and do-it-yourself substitutes for higher priced marine gear. Part...
As with cleaners (see One Bucket Cleaning Kit, May 2017) its easy to be over-specific with solvents. Pretty soon, we end up with a zillion cans in the paint locker. While we would probably pay extra for the magic vendor-specific blend for a topside paint job, wed not be so selective for every single small varnish, fiberglass, or similar job that comes up. For these everyday jobs, a few generics can do the trick.
Practical Sailor wades into the world of thinners and clean-up chemicals.
If you buy your paint in summer or fall, you can often save some money, but this means youll need to mix it well prior to painting. In fact most of the paint in the store has settled long enough to have separated, leaving a thin solvent-rich layer on the top and 2/3 of the paint as a sludge on the bottom. Intended for less stubborn house paint, ordinary mixers clog up with the goo, taking 15 minutes or more to properly rejuvenate a can. After a dozen layers of paint build up, they scarcely mix at all.
We werent too surprised to learn that Irgarol 1051, an antifouling paint additive that last year was awaiting U.S. Environmental Protection Administration certification, has received approval to re-enter the market. As we reported last spring (see Bottom Paint Update 2017, Practical Sailor April 2017), Irgarol 1051s manufacturer, BASF, had moved its manufacturing to Asia, and was waiting for its new foreign-sourced formula to be certified by the EPA. By 2016, nearly all of the major antifouling paint manufacturers in the U.S. had exhausted their reserves. Now Irgarol is back, which means there may be some confusion as to what secret sauce is boosting the performance of your top-shelf slime-resistant paint.
Modern anti-fouling paints promise a hull free of marine growth for one to several seasons. But in nutrient-rich water and as the paint becomes expended, barnacles and green stuff take hold, slowing us down, increasing fuel consumption under power, and degrading handling.
Before diving into a hull cleaning project, check first what the rules are in your marina. Marinas are regulated under the Clean Water Act and they often have their own policies regarding DIY hull-cleaning.
In response to your request regarding safety tether knowledge or suggestions (see Safety Tether Warning, Inside Practical Sailor) please test and include information about Glowfasts HLR Safety Line system.