I need a hull shield 24/7 for my outdrives and hull
John Garcia asked:
I live in Sarasota Florida in a condo with a wet slip, where I will keep my 19 ft stingray inboard/outboard boat. The boat has no bottom paint (I really do not want to use it). This boat has a hull design that makes it very economical to drive, so I wanted to skip the bottom paint if practical.
What is the best way to protect my boat from barnacles and growth – since I am not allowed to put in a lift? And I want to keep the boat in the marina? I have no clue what really works and what is snake oil, I just do not want to ruin another boat hull.
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Most boaters would rather not use anti-fouling paint. It’s expensive, requires annual re-application, slows the boat down, increases fuel consumption, damages the environment and reduces the value of your boat. The success that you have with alternatives will depend on how you use and maintain your boat. There are many boat owners that use VS721as an alternative, even in tropical areas where marine growth is very prolific. It’s perfectly clear, has no biocides or toxins, seals the pores in the gelcoat so you don’t need to paint with a barrier coat and reduces friction on the hull to give you better performance and fuel economy.
The difficulty is that because it is biocide free, after a week or two bacteria in the water (slime) will start to attach. That’s food for higher life forms like barnacles so they will eventually attach. If you use your boat on a regular basis or if you can either haul the boat or dive it every couple of weeks to wipe off the slime, you won’t get much growth and it will be easy to clean up. If the boat will be unused and unattended for weeks or months at a time then painting with a barrier coat and antifouling will be the only alternative, unless you lift or haul it.
If you want to try VS721 and it doesn’t work out for you it can be stripped with Boat Scrub, which is also required to prep the hull for VS721, and you can resort to painting with anti-fouling. Once you paint however, it’s very difficult to reverse so you’re stuck with it.
Thanks for your question,