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Old 02-09-2003, 07:11 AM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

I watched Ship Shape TV yesterday and they stressed how important it is to put a barrier coat on your boat hull. My boat is a 1990 and has never been kept in the water until last year (kept on a lift since new and never bottom painted). Since I'm in a low fouling area (Lake Erie) I simply pull the boat out every six weeks and power wash the gunk off the bottom.
Should I be concerned about water getting into the gelcoat and causing blisters? This is the only boat I've owned that I didn't bottome paint and I doubt if any of the others had a barrier coat. I simply prefer no bottom paint and am concerned that it will slow the boat down by creating more drag in the water.

Anyone ever get blisters because they didn't put on a barrier coat?
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Old 02-09-2003, 12:13 PM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

If you are going to keep your boat in the water, fresh or salt, sooner or later (usually towards the end of the 1st year) it will blister. Contrary to public belief, gel coat alone will not prevent water intrusion, and also contrary, fiberglass will absorb water. There are anti-fouling paints that can be wet sanded so you don't sacrifice speed. Personal experience is you'll lose ~5mph with a rolled finish, which is less than when the bottom is fouled. The first year of in-water use I did the same as you, ended up with 3 small blisters. Bottom painted the second year -no blisters, no maintenance, you won't regret doing it. Make sure the bottom paint does NOT contact your motor or outdrive bracket - you'll enhance corrosion. Good luck, it's a nasty job.
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Old 02-09-2003, 12:13 PM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

RussH,
I use to pull my Wellcraft out every weekend for the first 2 years and leave it on the trailer during the week. That got to be old real quick. Since I boat new, Wellcraft's warranty expressly stated that gelcoat blisters were not covered and that a barrier coat should be applied to MINIMIZE (not completely eliminate, nothing is 100% effective) any formation of blisters.
Not sure why our water is different then yours (lake Huron) but if left in over 2 weeks, you get lots of stains. So, I decided to have the bottom painted with a barrier coat and paint. I Lost 3mph on the top end. To me that is worth the scrubbing and sweating trying to keep a white hull white. This is the 3rd year for the paint and it still looks great. Only need to touch up a couple spots. The dealer who put it on says it should last 3-5 years.
I asked around for a long time, especially down in Lake St. Claire area about paiting mine and most of the responses I got were: If boat is kept in the water, do it.
Todd

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Old 02-09-2003, 02:10 PM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

Hey Russ,
What did you do about the faded gelcoat? chip.
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Old 02-09-2003, 03:44 PM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

Say you had a 29-32 ft boat you kept in the water. What are talking about price wise what this would cost. or if I did it myself what is involved with applying a barrier coat?
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Old 02-09-2003, 04:55 PM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

Doing it your self, a couple of hundred dollars worth of material. Gamble and lose and your fiberglass guy will make this seems like peanuts. Its not a bad job, but pay close attention to temp and recoat times. It will kill a whole weekend.
Jim
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Old 02-09-2003, 08:19 PM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

I did a 24' (8'6" beam) a few years ago. Using a roller to apply, it took a gallon for a good heavy coat. If your boat is new, it may still have residual mold wax, and some mfgrs. have wax in the gel. Tape off your waterline, hull fittings, and 1' around your motor or outdrive. Clean with lacquer thinner, then rough up with a jitterbug sander and 200 grit paper. Apply the best stuff you can find, expect to pay $120 a gallon. I look for copper content. You want to do this just prior to launch for the season. If you paint and let it sit out of the water, the paint will lose it's effectiveness. Previous post is right, it'll kill a weekend - but you'll love it.
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Old 02-10-2003, 05:14 AM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

Chip,
Boat is covered for the winter but I've decided to use a palm sander with 600G wet sand paper on the hull this spring. Hope it works.

Great responses to my questions but I think there is some confusion between bottom paint and barrier coats. I've always thought they were two different products, barrier coat doesn't prevent fouling and bottom anti-fouling paint doesn't protect the hull from water intrusion...right?

Is there a product that does both? I looked in the new Boat U.S. catalog and they have barrier coat products but they don't offer anti-fouling properties.

Russ
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Old 02-10-2003, 09:15 AM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

Bottom paint and barrier coat - two completely differnet animals, and there is no combination that I know of, nor could I see a good reason to have eon. The barrier coat goes on first. It's a hard epoxy paint whose sole purpose is to keep water out.
Bottom paint contains a biocide (generally copper based) which is slowly released over time to keep things from growing on your bottom. (The boat's bottom, not yours.)
While some people would have you believe that putting a boat in the water will definitely give you blisters, this simply isn't true. The problem is, you don't know which boats will blister and which ones won't. In this day and age, it seems silly to say that you cannot leave a boat in the water as it was sent from the factory - isn't that what boats are for? Does it surprise them that one could conceivably leave a boat in the water?
I lost aobut 2 mph with bottom paint, but lost more when I had growth. I have never used a barrier coat, nor does my brother. I have never had blisters, and we keep out boats in the water all summer. The current boats (both Trophies) are both 3 years old now. I'm not sure why some boats blister. It has nothing to do with the pirce of the boat either.
Say what you want about Bayliners, but neither of us have ever had a barrier coat or any blisters.
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Old 02-10-2003, 09:34 AM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

My boat was barrier coated at the factory. No blisters in 26 years. Four years ago had the bottom scrapped, sanded and reapplied a new barrier. It is worth the investment. See four or five boats annually at the marina being sand blasted for blister repair lot more expensive then a barrier coat.

Tom
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Old 02-10-2003, 09:54 AM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

I have one of the least expensive hulls you can buy. 5 years ago I bought it new and have keep it in the water 8 months of every season. Its never had a barrier coat and before each season I pay the yard to put on another coat of a basic brand of bottom paint. No blisters yet.
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Old 02-10-2003, 11:49 AM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

Barrier coat is a two part epoxy. Use either West System or Interlux. I have used Interlux system. Read the directions on the can. You have to follow the direction like you have just found a new religion. I am not sure if you need barrier coat and even barrier coat will not stop blisters. Why? I don't know; but I the know the inside of the hull has got lots of water in the bilge. The science and chemistry of blisters has been debaited for years. I don't think anyone can say for sure what causes all blisters. Having said that, you will need a top quality respirator with carbon filters. The fumes will f you up. Sand the hull with 60-80 grit sand paper. Not that wimppy 200 grit stuff as some have suggested. Than roll on 5 coats of barrier. My 28 Bertram took one gallon per coat. For your application I would put two coats of Micron bottom paint. Make the first coat a different color than the last coat; like black than blue. When you see the black it is time for another coat of blue. Like I said I don't know if your boat even needs it. The big boats sit in the water for a whole season;and may derive some benefit.
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Old 02-10-2003, 06:24 PM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

Seems as if we have opinions on both sides of this subject. I would agree that a barrier coat would provide cheaper protection than if I had to deal with blisters, but I agree with Jobowker that simply putting a boat in the water shouldn't cause blisters. I've never had blisters on any of my five previous boats and none of them had barrier coats, just anti-fouling paint.

Call me picky but I just don't like the look of bottom paint on a boat and much prefer the look of an unpainted bottom. I was considering trying the Dolphinite clear bottom paint this year but that won't give me any protection from blistering.

Lets hear from someone that has dealt with hull blisters and see if they had bottom paint and barrier coat, bottom paint only, or nothing on the hull.
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Old 02-10-2003, 08:20 PM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

From my limited experience....

The stuff has enough Voc,s (volatile organic compounds)to sedate an elephant...In a confined space (your garage) without a charcoal respirator...you will be permanently altered.

Key points in using:
Surface must be well abbrated and squeaky clean.
IN most cases this means stripping down to original surface...through paint to gel coat...through gel coat(blisters) to glass.
If you wait to long between coats you must re sand toxic, mind altering substance.

Major key point in using:
Follow the uking instructions to a tee...It's not rocket science...your average over anal wack job boat owner can pull it off.

Interesting acquired knowledge:
Big boats seem to blister much more than little boats.(have seen this first hand)
Fresh water boats blister more than saltwater boats.(have not seen this)

Good point:
A barrier coat is not going to stop water intrusion through the inside of your boat.

The bilge in most boats holds more water(usually fresh water)then you think..


IMHO...If a boat is glassed properly it should not blister...espescially for a smaller boat..(instintual answer based on real but subconscience data) that means I can't remember why...



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Old 02-11-2003, 03:07 AM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

I didn't catch the show "Ship Shape". When is it on?
This post is about leaving the boat in the water. If you put it on a rack in the marina, you don't need either bottom paint or barrier coat, right?
Thanks
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Old 02-11-2003, 07:37 AM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

If it's on a rack, you can read with thread with nothing more than academic interest on things like corrosion, bottom paint, barrier coats, sanding the bottom, etc.
The only thing you have to worry about with rack storage is the yard dropping your boat or the boat above you leaking oil.
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Old 02-11-2003, 09:00 AM
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Default Barrier coat or not?

i havn't used bottom or barier coats before, but i have read a bit about them. i have hear-read that there is a specified maximum time to launch a boat after applying a bottom/antifouling coat. for example for some paints you must launch your boat within 48hrs after applying the coat. otherwise the biocide looses effectiveness. others are muchh longer. just some things to consider.

chris l.
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