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Bottom Painting/ Zinc Replacement

If you plan to leave your boat in the water for more than a few days at a time, you will need to have your bottom painted to keep growth from forming and the hull from being stained by enzymes that will not come off without harsh chemicals. Many colors are available to match the boat.

There are basically two types of bottom painting:

  1. Ablatives – These paints work like a bar of soap. They wear away slowly shedding and growth with it. Benefits include being able to pull the boat from the water without the paint “drying out,” and becoming ineffective. Also by applying multiple layers the paint will last multiple seasons. The down side of ablative paints is that the boat needs to be used on a regular basis to “polish” the bottom and shed off the paint and keep the bottom clean.
  2. Hard Epoxies – These paints have pores that release a biocide killing any growth that begins to form. These paints are great for boats that will be left in that water and not pulled out. The benefit of this type of paint is that the paint works even if the boat is not used. The drawback is that if the boat is hauled for maintenance or for the season the pores will dry up and the paint will need to be applied again. This paint will also build up over several seasons and need to be sanded or blasted down to prevent excess weight.

Painting the boat for the first time will be more costly as the bottom will have to be prepped, this includes removing any wax and sanding the surface so the paint adheres and applying a primer.  As long as the previous paint is in good condition, new layers can be applied over it. However a hard paint cannot be applied over an ablative paint without first removing the old ablative.

There are many different paints on the market today, and when choosing one the most important factor is the copper content, the higher the copper content, the better it will work and usually the more it will cost.

Gibbons Bottom Paint_Hull Wax pics 2

If you need assistance in transporting and finding a location to haul and block your boat, we can help you with the arrangements. Contact us if you have any questions.

Bottom paintingBottom painting of a 35′ Beneteau Sailboat

 Zincs Replacement– Zincs are “sacrificial anodes” designed to corrode away to protect the much more expensive components of your boat such as engines, outdrives, running gear, etc. They will need to be inspected and replaced at least annually. Sometimes stray current exists and will cause zincs to deteriorate much faster. Under these conditions it is critical that the zincs be inspected and replaced more frequently as even a couple months without protection can cause serious damage.

Inspection and replacement is usually done while the boat is hauled for bottom painting or winter storage. We also have divers that are qualified to inspect and replace zincs while the boat is in the water. Zincs come in a wide range of shapes and engine specific types, and prices can vary greatly.

Zinc replacement

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