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Help me find a bottom paint - please!

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Help me find a bottom paint - please!

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Old 03-15-2019, 07:19 AM
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Default Help me find a bottom paint - please!

I know these threads are all too common, but with so many choices out there and so many variables, none of the other posts seemed to really match my situation.

My boat:
2008 Formula 350 Sunsport, dual 496HO on Bravo 3 drives.
Some basics if you aren't familiar with the boat:
  • Hull: Stepped fiberglass
  • LOA: 35ft
  • Beam: 10ft 9in
  • Weight: 13500lbs
  • Draft: 39in
  • Deadrise: 21
  • Cruise: 35 knots
  • Top speed: 50 knots (on a very good day)
Conditions:
  • Bought the boat in late 2017
  • Boat had bottom paint (unknown type) when purchased, survey listed the bottom paint at the time as marginal
  • Boat is used Exclusively in Fresh water (Potomac river well north of where water turns brackish)
  • Kept in water all year (I don't have a trailer or a truck that could safely pull it) at a marina surrounded with sea walls
  • I have the ability to give it a decent cleaning in the water during the summer
Goals of bottom paint:
  • Reduce drag as much as possible, both for speed and fuel economy
  • Since I don't have a trailer I would like it to last 3 years between repainting
  • I'm fairly sure I want a hard paint, I just don't know which one
Things I'm not terribly worried about:
  • Color - unless it's an exceptionally ugly color, lol
  • Price - I know this stuff is expensive, I would rather do it right than do it annually or end up killing fuel economy. That said there are some sanity limits on price.
  • Compatibility - I expect to need to have the current bottom paint stripped, especially since I have no information about it.
Thanks!
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:45 AM
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After lots of reading, I'm leaning toward Interlux Baltoplate, but WOW is it expensive! If anyone knows a reason I should avoid it, please help me avoid an expensive mistake!
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:07 PM
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If you are saying it stays in the water all the time,and has outdrives, you have a lot more to worry about than bottom paint. Even in fresh water, its a matter of time till water gets in the drives. Keep it at a marina with a lift or buy a lift and re-gel the bottom of the boat.
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Old 03-16-2019, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by DracoDan View Post
After lots of reading, I'm leaning toward Interlux Baltoplate, but WOW is it expensive! If anyone knows a reason I should avoid it, please help me avoid an expensive mistake!
Check this out instead of bottom paint..........

www.fabdock.com

.........WAY better option for a boat like yours than bottom paint. More $ up front but will also keep the drives dry so it'll pay for itself within a few years.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:34 AM
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I'm in fresh water and use to paint mine with Mercon CSC, It's ablative and keeps the hull fairly smooth with use.

Since it stays in the water do check the Mercathode periodically for proper output, and remove props yearly to check for corrosion. I put mine on a lift a couple seasons ago and is cheaper in the long run then paint
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:59 AM
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If you're going to strip what's there off and start again then make sure you barrier coat properly first . It's going to be a big job no matter what way you look at it. I've tried every major brand since tin was taken out of the paints and the best I've seen so far is the Petit Vivid range . It's a semi-hard ablative that wears slowly and if applied with care (not rolled on) you can get a reasonably nice surface that'll do it's best to not mess up your top speed too much .
Also the comments on the electrolysis protection are critically important . Make sure your merccathodes are operating properly and all 'zincs' are well grounded. Actually I believe that the ones you need will be magnesium .
Here's a useful link that I found here a while back on the same subject
https://www.bottompaintstore.com/
If it were me and I was going to be doing this from a re-finishing from scratch POV I'd take photos from start to finish. Later on down the road if you ever wanted to sell , and remember , a painted bottom boat in your part of the world is a tough sell , you can always show a prospective buyer that it was done correctly .
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post


Check this out instead of bottom paint..........

www.fabdock.com

.........WAY better option for a boat like yours than bottom paint. More $ up front but will also keep the drives dry so it'll pay for itself within a few years.
I've had boats in wet berths and boats on dry land. Sometimes there is absolutely no choice but if your marina allows a fabdock (or similar) you'll have a better boat in the long term and it will save you money too.
There's a Sea Ray 425 Sundancer in my local marina that is kept in a similar dry dock, it's lightly used and always looks pristine. Been there for about 7 years.

RR

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Old 03-18-2019, 07:26 AM
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Just realized I'm not getting notifications for replies here, sorry about the delayed response...

Love the idea of the fabdock, I'm going to look into it. My first thought though is that the boat already has bottom paint, my understanding is once the boat has bottom paint it's nearly impossible to restore it to the condition before bottom paint was put on. Second, we use the boat almost every weekend during the summer, often on both Saturday and Sunday. We love the ability to hop in the boat and go, it seems like this would add a lot of time before and after a day on the water, can it even be used without someone needing to get in the water? We have floating docks at the marina so boats are tied really close to them, I would be a little worried about the float part getting punctured on the dock. I'm also not sure the marina allows this, I've never seen anyone else use them there.

The mercathode system is checked regularly, I know I currently have a bad puck (1 of 4) and it will be getting that repaired along with all new zincs when it comes out for bottom paint in the coming weeks.

Regarding bottom paint choices, You people that chose an ablative bottom paint, what is the speed of your boat? MY concern with that type of paint is accelerated wear due to the speed of the boat. The pint will be done by professionals and they know to do a barrier coat and apply it properly, so that part isn't a concern. I would really like to hear from someone that is using a hard paint, especially in a faster cruiser boat.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:13 AM
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Before ablative technology came along all bottom paints were hard , to a degree. And the problem with that was that once the paint was 'dead' you had the task of removing it before repainting or just putting more paint on top of the old. Ever heard the terms 'mudcracking' or 'alligator skin' ? The thing is , not all ablative paints ablate the same way . As some wear down they get rougher . That's what the really softer ones do . The semi hard ablatives like the Petit Vivids do not ablate as much and stay smooth as they very slowly wear. Interestingly , in my experience , I've never seen spots on the bottom running surfaces go bald and completely wear through. The areas affected the most are on the waterline near and around the bow and where the water laps around the chine areas where the hull bottom rolls under the boat .
Also , some ablatives , when power washed on a freshly hauled boat will significantly blast away . Others , not so much . Still if you're going to be fussy all of them will need some sort of scrubbing/sanding to remove all the dead stuff to prevent accelerated buildup. But a softer fast ablating paint will be slower than a hard/semi hard one .
As for speed examples , I know of someone who had a 28ZXO which should have been a 72mph boat. The bottom was sprayed with a semi hard paint and he only ever saw a 68mph max.
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DracoDan View Post
Just realized I'm not getting notifications for replies here, sorry about the delayed response...

Love the idea of the fabdock, I'm going to look into it. My first thought though is that the boat already has bottom paint, my understanding is once the boat has bottom paint it's nearly impossible to restore it to the condition before bottom paint was put on. Second, we use the boat almost every weekend during the summer, often on both Saturday and Sunday. We love the ability to hop in the boat and go, it seems like this would add a lot of time before and after a day on the water, can it even be used without someone needing to get in the water? We have floating docks at the marina so boats are tied really close to them, I would be a little worried about the float part getting punctured on the dock. I'm also not sure the marina allows this, I've never seen anyone else use them there.

The mercathode system is checked regularly, I know I currently have a bad puck (1 of 4) and it will be getting that repaired along with all new zincs when it comes out for bottom paint in the coming weeks.

Regarding bottom paint choices, You people that chose an ablative bottom paint, what is the speed of your boat? MY concern with that type of paint is accelerated wear due to the speed of the boat. The pint will be done by professionals and they know to do a barrier coat and apply it properly, so that part isn't a concern. I would really like to hear from someone that is using a hard paint, especially in a faster cruiser boat.
Dan,
Regarding the FAB Dock...........
1) It takes 5-7 minutes for the rear gate to fully drop once you open the air valve. Because the boat is at water level tied up next to the dock like normal you just open the air valve when you first get to the boat and the gate is under water and you're ready to go by the time you've gotten all your stuff loaded and done your normal pre-departure routine
2) Same amount if time to refill the rear gate with air once you return to the dock. Drive into the FAB Dock, tie the boat up like you normally would, plug the portable electric air pump into the valve, and go about your normal return routine. Air pump shuts off automatically once the tubes are filled to the correct pressure. Unplug the air pump, plug in the water pump power cord, and the water pumps are all automatic from there until next time to come to the boat. Once you connect the water pump cord you are free to leave. The water pumps will shut off when the FAB Dock is empty and automatically turn on as needed if you get rain water in the FAB Dock
3) Nobody ever gets in the water or anything like that to operate a FAB Dock. It's all done from inside the boat or on the dock
4) FAB Dock material is a polyurethane alloy blend. Very durable and abrasion resistant. Material manufacturer supplies the same stuff for the tubes on military RIB 's so very tough stuff, not a cheap PVC like a rubber raft. Material has a 3 year warranty and was designed to be tied up against a floating dock. Product was designed and developed in Queensland Australia where floating docks are what they use. FAB Docks have been in use over there for more than 9 years
5) In most situations a FAB Dock is allowed in marinas and by HOA's that don't otherwise allow lifts. The FAB Dock only sticks above the water 12" and doesn't not lift the boat in anyway. From the land or dock it basically looks like a fancy 360 fender. It ties to the dock with ropes just like the boat, doesn't take up any more space than if you had a set of 12" diameter fenders hanging off each side of the boat, and is all 12 volt powered from the boat so no extra mechanical boxes or devices mounted to the dock.

Happy to get you some more info if you need any. Don't want to over step the providing info vs doing free advertising boundaries on here. FAB Dock will be advertising here on OSO soon as we get things set up here in North America. In the mean time feel free to email me anytime.

Thanks, Pat
[email protected]
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