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Antifoul Boat Guide

One of the most important practices in the annual maintenance of your vessel

Antifouling of your boat/yacht is the one of the most important practices in the annual maintenance of your vessel.

Fouling is a growth on submerged hulls and structures of marine plants and animals. Fouling conditions can change dramatically depending on the specific marine environment, water temperature, salinity and light. Sea fouling conditions is also a seasonal phenomenon.

If fouling is allowed to grow on your hull it will alter your vessels performance and ability to manoeuvre while slowing your boats speed through the water leaving your boat less efficient weather it is be propelled by sail or power.

If you launch and recover your boat every time you use it and do not moor your boat on the water on a regular basis we would not recommend antifouling as the original gel coat is generally a much smoother surface to pass through the water. Antifouling is only required when you are mooring your boat for weeks and months at a time.

Antifouling a boat that has never been antifouled before will need to be well prepared to help it key properly to the substrate. The water line will have to be estsblished for your hull, this can be done by launching the boat in a harbour where the water is calm, once the boat is launched you can mark the waterline at the bow and stern with a marker.

Once the waterline has been established we would recommend antifouling at least 1” – 1,1/2” above the waterline. We find that the masking line can be marked using a small DIY laser level from your local DIY store, apply the masking tape along the laser line. The hull will then need lightly sanded and cleaned before applying antifoul primer and paint.

If you are applying an annual coat of antifoul it is best to clean the hull in preparation for antifouling just as the boat is recovered from the water. Power washing is generally the preferred method of cleaning as well as scraper and sand paper. Once the hull has been cleaned it is best to visually inspect the hull and repair any surface imperfections before masking off to the original waterline.

We find that the best application of most antifoul paint is by simulated mohair roller which is solvent free.

When choosing your antifoul paint you will have to factor the water type, conditions, hull material and vessel speed. If you are having trouble choosing an antifoul for your boat please give us a call to discuss your requirements.

When you are cleaning and sanding your vessels hull you will need to wear protective clothing including dust masks and eye protection.