Northeast - Is bottom paint necessary in the NE?

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02-22-2010, 02:56 AM
Got a slip lined up for the summer. While most boats I see that are stored wet have bottom paint, not all do. There are a few in my neighborhood that clean up just fine with pressure washing twice a year or so. Water is cold in Mass. If I were not to paint my bottom, what would become of it? Bad idea? Stupid question?

02-22-2010, 03:48 AM
Not sure I've seen a boat that sits in the waters around here (North Shore Boston) NOT bottom painted. So, that may be the answer to your question...

That being said, I guess it's possible if you could pressure spray the bottom (maybe a few times during the season) then you'd be okay... Not sure. I'm sure you'd still get some drag/speed reduction, though...

02-22-2010, 04:25 AM
Definitely paint the bottom if the boat is going to stay in the water for any amount of time. I tied my boat up for four days and the stuff had already started to stick. The glue that the barnacles produce is extremely sticky and is a PITA to get off untreated surfaces. By painting the bottom it will make your fall clean up a lot easier.

02-22-2010, 05:01 AM
Growth on a boat hull's depends on many factors including water temperature, salinity, and the presence of current. Most people who have glass hulls and keep their boat in the water for extended periods do use bottom paint as barnacle growth can actually penetrate the gel coat.

Cobalt 25
02-22-2010, 05:02 AM
I've got a trailer boat with the unpainted hull and outdrive looking almost new. If I leave it in Nantucket Sound for a week it starts to show signs of growth that definitely need some cleaning when pulled out.


02-22-2010, 05:29 AM
...barnacle growth can actually penetrate the gel coat.

Yikes. :trout: All the more reason -- I was just thinking that it would drag your boat's performance down and create a mess that would be difficult to remove... Don't want to mess around with your hull's gelcoat. :nono:

02-22-2010, 05:39 AM
The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES, you need bottom paint. Don't even think of experimenting.

02-22-2010, 12:22 PM
The only boats I know off with no bottom paint are racing sailboats and they get dry stored out of the water.

I have a friend who decided not to dry store his sailboat and after one week in the water he was forced to hire a scuba diver to clean it on a weekly basis for the balence of the summer. That said he races the boat so maybe you could get away with every couple of weeks.

Plus, not sure where you plan on pressure washing it, but it's illegal in Ma to simply pressure wash your boat any where you want (this applies to boats with bottom paint too). The boat clubs in Marblehead have been forced to put in special water recycling pressure wash systems for all the dry stored sail boats. I know tons of people simply trailer their boat into a car wash and hose it down but it's not legal to do that. That's why the winter storage guys now charge you an environmental fee to power wash your boat.

02-22-2010, 01:43 PM
Depends what your season is? If it's Codfishing from December to March, not much need to paint. We did some experiments a few years ago, and below 35 deg F, slime no longer grows, and barnacles stop multiplying at about 40 degrees. Above that, paint will be needed unless you don't mind your boat being a science experiment.

02-22-2010, 02:48 PM
I guarantee you'll only try it once........huge mistake, you'll have bamboo growing on the bottom by the time its hauled at the end of the season

02-22-2010, 03:30 PM
I was on a guys boat last year for a canyon trip and we ended up having to have the boat hauled in montauk so we could scrape the barnacles off of the running gear. It was so bad he couldn't get on plane.

02-22-2010, 03:43 PM
OK, paint it is then. I was hesitant for resale, but it sounds like I need it to be done. As for the pressure washing, people just do it in their front yards up here...

Irish Jig 78
02-22-2010, 07:56 PM

I have a fiberglass boat that I keep in the Danvers River (MA). I usually put in around mid-March. Last year I was good till mid April and then saw early signs of growth.

I experimented w/ a teflon anti-fouling bottom wax at $80.00/quart imported from the Netherlands...needless to didn't work.

Helpful hint though, put the boat in w/ out bottom paint for a couple weeks, then haul out and pressure wash. You'll have a very nice defined "scum line" for your bottom paint. I measured up 1" from that line and got a great result. Important to note that the amount of fuel onboard will effect where the scum line is...keep it full.

Also, sand and do not use that paint "stripper of liquid sander"...sanding is the only way to go. Ablative paint is noce too since it wears off over the season and prevents build up.

Good Luck!

Recovery Room
02-23-2010, 05:27 AM
A few years back, I took my boat to Hyannis Marine for service. That boat was always trailered so I hadn't bottom painted it. It sat there for ONE WEEK while it was being serviced. When I hauled it, it not only had the green scum and a bit of sea grass, it actually had quite a few barnacles already adhering to the hull.

If you are keeping in the water for more than a few days, definitely bottom paint it.

02-23-2010, 05:39 AM
You might want to experiment with bottom paint designed for racing sail boats as it may be thinner and have a lessened drag effect as it is designed for moving under wind power

02-23-2010, 08:15 AM
Ever seen a boat come out that has been sitting in the water for a long time? Years ago as I was painting the bottom of my dads boat at Outermost Harbor, an old wooden hull fishing boat was pulled. Once it was on blocks the growth looked like dreadlocks hanging 4 feet and had to be scraped off instead of power washing. There were mussels 4-5 inches that were dangling from the bottom. Some people took some home to eat, later on that week I heard those same people got sick.

02-25-2010, 06:05 PM
In my experience you start to see growth in a week. Growth will slow you down way more than bottom paint. I don't think it hurts resale unless it's a go-fast boat. If I were going used, I'd prefer one that already has bottom paint, as it would save me the large upfront cost of doing it right the first time.

Jay A
02-25-2010, 11:36 PM
Paint the bottom!!!!! Barnicles can actually cause blistering and delamination of the fiberglass. Big bucks to fix and a pain in the arse! Sand the bottom with 80 grit,rinse and allow to dry. Then use an ablative paint, at least two coats. And very important....launch within 24 hors after painting. The ablative paint is a "soft" paint which scours away anything that attaches to it while under way. If it sits in the open air longer than that, it will over harden and loose effectivness. Then when you are ready to haul her out at the end of the season powerwash while it's still wet! Otherwise any slim will harden like concrete and you will have to sand all over again!
The following Spring a light sand with 100 grit and one coat of paint and you'll be set for another season. Tip.....use a brush, a roller uses up more than needed and you'll stretch the paint alot further.

Power boats go much faster and need a good ablative paint to stand up to the additional pressures!

03-01-2010, 02:51 AM
Ablative bottom paint,soft and wont build up over time,it washes off with perssure washer

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