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 Catalina/Capri 25/250 Sailor's Forums
 General Sailing Forum
 Bottom paint chipping
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4372 Posts

Initially Posted - 04/18/2019 :  12:08:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use WestMarine’s CPP ablative bottom paint and have used it ever since I applied barrier coat over the gelcoat. While I get a few chips all over the bottom I get a definite zone just below the waterline, about 2” below the top of the edge.

It seems that when I haul Passage in the fall there is a wee bit of green slime that the yard crew power washes off, then over the course of the winter, the paint in that area just cracks and drops off. If I tap it with a rubber mallet, I can get most of it to chip off.

So that’s got me wondering, is this only due to the force or the pressure wash? Or does the paint absorb moisture then repeated freeze thaw cycles cause literal potholes? It also makes me wonder whether there may be some wax or soap scum on top of the barrier coat underneath the paint that prevents it from getting a firm grip.

After I remove the cracked paint I rough the bottom up with a wire brush and paint over these areas. Sometimes I spread a thinned coat overtop of these areas.

And once every 2-3 years do I repaint the entire bottom. I do this to prevent the “lunar landscape” effect that ablative paint can get over 5-10 years of overpainting.

Does anybody else get this edge effect with their bottom paint? I’m wondering whether I should try some kind of primer first to prevent it happening next year.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT

islander
Master Marine Consultant

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3633 Posts

Response Posted - 04/18/2019 :  12:50:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I know what your talking about and I get that flaking in areas also. Could be many factors that cause it but it doesn't appear in the first half of winter storage instead seems to show up later. Maybe areas of poor adhesion, thin paint, or just the paint thoroughly drying out and loosing its polymers. Could also be just the effects of UV hitting the paint. Don't know.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound



Edited by - islander on 04/18/2019 12:52:32
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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5320 Posts

Response Posted - 04/18/2019 :  14:50:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ablative paint seems to ablate at the waterline more slowly than elsewhere, because it isn't fully submerged all the time, so it grows in thickness, and paint peels when it becomes too thick. I only put on one thin coat per year, and every 2-3 years I sand about 2 coats of paint off from the waterline down to about 6-8" below the waterline, to prevent it from accumulating. It has been ten years since I stripped off all the old bottom paint, and there's still no chipping or peeling anywhere. Try sanding the waterline and see if it helps.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore

Edited by - Steve Milby on 04/18/2019 14:52:03
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Voyager
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4372 Posts

Response Posted - 04/18/2019 :  18:53:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Steve you might be right about that. It looks a little thicker in that area. Next year for sure!!

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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dalelargent
Navigator

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USA
169 Posts

Response Posted - 04/19/2019 :  09:47:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What suggestions are there for the sanding? What grit and style of paper? Random orbit sander? Square pad style sander?

Dale

1989 c25 WK/TR #5838
1983 Vagabond 14
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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5320 Posts

Response Posted - 04/19/2019 :  10:26:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I generally prefer wet sanding of an ablative paint. Ablatives are soft and easy to sand. With wet sanding, there's no dust, and unlike electric sanders, the sandpaper doesn't load up. The water washes the dust out of the sandpaper so that the paper keeps cutting. You don't become arm weary as fast, because you aren't lifting the weight of the electric sander. I use round green 60 grit sanding discs that cost about $5-6 at Westmarine, but they last a very long time. If you fold them in half, they fit your hand nicely. Ordinary sandpaper tears. The green discs don't.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore

Edited by - Steve Milby on 04/19/2019 10:27:15
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bigelowp
Master Marine Consultant

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1434 Posts

Response Posted - 04/19/2019 :  17:51:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bruce -- FWIW -- my boot-stripe is ablative bottom paint is black(strike coat) and bottom is blue. The boot-stripe is repainted every five or six seasons and bottom gets refreshed every other season The strike (signal) coat lets me know when the next coat is needed. I have found that less is more when it comes to bottom paint.

Peter Bigelow
C-25 TR/FK #2092 Limerick
Rowayton, Ct
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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4372 Posts

Response Posted - 04/29/2019 :  14:46:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well the good news is that I was able to thin out the bottom paint I had leftover from last year and touched up each and every chip on the bottom. I put on my particle mask and goggles and took a wire-brush to the chips and placed a tarp underneath and flaked off the edges and smoothed the perimeters of the chips. The paint filled in very completely with enough thickness to even out the surface.
On Saturday morning I was able to launch and when we got to mid-tide rising, I left the winter storage facility down the Housatonic River toward Lond Island Sound. My bridge opening was for 1500 hours and long about 1730 they rounded up enough track operators to raise a 100 plus year-old bridge.
Afterwards, due to locally deteriorating weather conditions, the winds built out of NW to sustained 25 kts with gusts to 40 kts. While in the River I was protected but I knew my goose would be cooked if I ventured out into Long Island Sound.
So I thought better of it and asked a friend who hadn’t yet launched whether I could stay over in his slip for the evening. No problemo! said my buddy, so I hunkered Passage down.
Next morning I was up and out early for smooth-as-glass seas and I missed the rain that came in around noontime.
Passage is now in her Summertime quarters a few days before the spring cross-quarter day Beltane, my usual launch date.
Hail thee sunshine!!

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3633 Posts

Response Posted - 04/30/2019 :  10:40:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
40+,You got that right. I looked out of the harbor into the sound. It was ugly to say the least. Working on the boat in the marina was deafening with all the clanking halyards.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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Chief RA
Chief Technical Advisor

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USA
190 Posts

Response Posted - 05/05/2019 :  06:17:19  Show Profile  Send Chief RA a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
After reading all comments I will add my bit. First, I think pressure washing ablative paint surfaces is a mistake. Your ablative is too soft for pressure washing. My ablative paint is 6 yrs old and have never had any problems. Cleaning off the slime is also a mistake as you clean off paint with it. I pull off the small amount of long grass with my hands and then just let it dry. The dried slime keeps your paint from peeling! Chief

COMPASS ROSE C250WK
Tall Mast, Wing keel
PORT CHIEF, Bodega Bay Ca.
IE,EE,FCC lic #1890

Edited by - Chief RA on 05/05/2019 06:18:19
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4372 Posts

Response Posted - 05/05/2019 :  10:12:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chief, you're right about that, as I've told the yard crewe a few times NOT to powerwash my bottom in the fall, but that's part of the yard's regular force of habit I reckon. And if I were there at the time, I'd let them know.
Since my original writing on this article, I repainted the cracks and thin spots with thinned bottom paint and Passage is back in the slip. I'm going to keep an eye on her over the season to see whether I get any grass or barnacles in those areas, since they were mostly up near waterline.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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