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What are my options for anti-fouling

  Skipper

Mark Newby asked:

Which of your products is best for the hull of my 18′ fiberglass boat to remove remaining barnacle adhesions after scraping? After cleaning which anti fouling product.

Answer:

For your convenience, I’ve highlighted the hyperlinks. Click on the hyperlink to get more information about the selected product.

Use Algae Strip to soften up the rings so you can scrape them off.

To protect your hull against fouling damage, you have two popular choices for your boat:

1. After cleaning with Algae Strip, scrub the bottom with Boat Scrub and apply 2 coats of VS721 (one bottle will be enough for your boat). It will seal the pores in the gelcoat to prevent water migration and osmosis blisters and provide a clear, super slick fouling release coating that makes it difficult for marine life to attach and much easier to keep clean. The important thing to remember when using a fouling release coating is that since it does not contain toxic heavy metal neurotoxins, it doesn’t poison or kill anything. When slime begins to form you need to wipe it off in order to prevent growth. Slime is food for algae and barnacles.

This is a good option if you use your boat on a regular basis or have access to a trailer or lift to haul and wipe your boat periodically. Some boat owners take their boat to a shallows and jump into the water and give the bottom a wipe with a sponge or Marine Power Mitt. It will also maintain a higher resale value for your boat. Clean, factory new bottoms always command a higher price. VS721 reduces friction and hull drag to give you better speed, performance and fuel economy as well.

2. If your boat will remain stationary for longer periods of time and you can’t wipe the bottom free of slime, then you need to sand the bottom, apply an epoxy barrier coat to protect against water migration and blistering and then apply several coats of toxic bottom paint. Even with bottom paint, you can still get growth, unless you scrub the bottom with a brush from time to time.

Be careful when working with poisonous bottom paints. The neurotoxins can penetrate human skin and attack your nervous system so protect yourself. Do not get it in your eyes or inhale dust from sanding. Even after the paint is dry, do not touch it with your hands or brush up against it when swimming or handling the boat.

There are other systems available: ion exchange, ultra sonic, in-water bladders and bags, lifts, etc., but they are made for bigger boats, are expensive to buy and operate and require higher maintenance. They are really not an option for you.

Thanks for your question,

Captain Aurora
Richard Kittar

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