No. 43 - May 1981

 

ANTI-FOULING PAINT: WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS - READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!

John Charters

 

This is the time of year when it seems every second phone call is from a Tanzer owner asking for information on bottom paint: What to use, how to apply it and in particular what is the best treatment for rusty keels. Before discussing the subject in detail here is what we do at the factory. First the keel. When received from the foundry the new keel is cleaned and given a coat of red oxide primer. Some weeks later, when installed on a boat, it is given a coat of Viny-Lux made in International Paints. This is a vinyl based anti-fouling paint and is compatible with Inter­national's TBTF, Micron 25 and Fiberglass Bottomkote. This is, at any later date, any of the above mentioned paints can be applied over the original Viny-Lux. Not

all anti-fouling paints use a vinyl base. If you favour some other brand, check with the manufacturer before applying. We used to use Wolsley's Viny-Last which is quite compatible with what we use now. If you ordered your Tanzer 22 with factory installed anti-fouling, after cleaning the hull, we give it one coat of Interlux (International Paints) #200 Fiberglass Primer. Then a coat of Viny-Lux of whatever colour you have specified.

 

On a new fiberglass hull, it is sometimes difficult to get a good bond. There is often some residue of release wax left in the pores of the gelcoat surface and the final curing process is perhaps also a factor. When I anti-fouled for the first time, Red Baron V, I followed International's instructions using 11202 solvent wash, the #200 primer followed by a single coat of TBTF, and the paint stuck fine. Other owners feel that the hull should be sanded first and this does sound logical. I have heard, however, there is a danger of sanding the release wax further into the fiberglass. All I know for sure: Two owners can prepare their new boats exactly the same way; same primer, paints, etc. One will adhere beautifully, the other will peel off. Seems there is a certain amount of luck involved.

 

We were fortunate, the other day, to have a visit from two specialists from Inter­national Paints. They supply 50% of all the paint used worldwide by yachtsmen so have had a wealth of experience. For a really lasting finish for an iron keel, they suggest the following:

 

First, of course, is to get your keel as clean as possible. Sand blasting is not a practical solution for the average owner. The next best way is with a wire brush, either by hand or by using a wire brush wheel on your drill. Probably a combination of both is what you'll end up with. When you have the keel as free of rust as you feel possible, clean the keel with whatever thinner is recommended by the manufacturer of the primer you are going to use. International have suggested two different primers. Either Vitaline Aluminum #351 (for this use Viny-Lux Prime Wash #353/354) or Vitar (Intertuf JVA 003). Sorry, I do not know prime wash to use, check the can for their recommendation. With either one, three coats are required. Then apply your anti-fouling paint. A Tanzer 7.5 owner at our Yacht Club followed this last year, using the #351 and this spring his keel looks almost as good as new. But whatever you do, DO NOT apply anti-fouling paint directly to iron. Viny-Lux contains cuprous oxide, TBTF uses tributyl tin fluoride as the toxicant. Both of the toxicants will create a galvanic action with the iron, causing even more rust. You must create a barrier coat between the iron and the anti-fouling paint.

 

The big excitement this year, at International, is their new Micron 25. Not really new, has been sold in Europe and Australia for the past four years. But it is new to Canada. They feel they have achieved a real breakthrough in anti-fouling protection. It is beyond the scope of this discussion, but briefly here is how it works. As the season progresses the paint actually becomes smoother, as it gradually wears off. The toxicants continually reach the surface, fresh and eager to kill any growth. Depending on how many coats you apply, you can expect several years of protection. They suggest using different colours for each coat. When the paint wears down to the last colour, it is time to repaint. It is a little more expensive than TBTF or Viny-Lux, but if it is half as good as it is supposed to be, may very well turn out to be less expensive in the long run. One final advantage, Micron 25 does not lose its effectiveness over the winter as do other bottom paints. A light touch­up with wet and dry sand paper will restore its toxic action.

 

I have used TBTF for years with good success. This year, I'm trying Micron 25. I'll report back next year as to the results.

One final tip, before painting, spray your hull with water. If the water adheres in a thin film, you have got rid of all the release wax. If the water forms droplets, back to work!

 

ON MICRON 25

Bob Raven

 

There has been considerable discussion concerning Micron 25 in relation to our by-laws, which forbid the use of Polymer bottom coatings. After speaking with the representatives from International Paint, who are the manufacturers of Micron, we have discovered that Micron is indeed an anti-fouling paint of the highest quality.

 

The advantages to using Micron appear to be a smoother paint surface and longer lasting and more controlled anti-fouling properties. Although Micron is a Copolymer paint and therefore seems to contradict the by-law, I have discovered that almost all existing bottom paints, i.e. Viny-Lux, TBTF and Fiberglass Bottomkote are in fact Polymer Coatings. The difference between Micron and these other paints appears to be in the way in which the biocids are bonded in the paint. In Micron 25, they are in a solution. As the paint wears more biocids are constantly being exposed. The rate of release therefore is constant throughout the life of the paint. In other paints, the biocids are merely suspended in the paint,as a result the rate of release is much faster at the beginning of the paint's life and decreases rapidly with age. There­fore your bottom paint is better at the beginning of the season but loses its effectiveness toward the end.

 

At the moment, there are no specific tests on how much longer Micron 25 will last, but since it appears that this is truly an anti-fouling paint and not purely a go fast gimmick, we have decided to allow its use and propose change in the by-laws for the next annual meeting.

If anyone wants further information on the paint, I have copies of some technical articles which may be of interest.

 

IMPROVING YOUR ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

Ra1ph Krueger (#1274)

 

With Tanzer' s assistance in providing patterns, I constructed and installed a second battery box (reverse pattern) on the port side, directly opposite the standard battery. Due to the awkward location of the switch panel, and the possibility of accidentally operating switches, I mounted a two position battery cut-off switch on the forward side of the starboard bulkhead, allowing me to completely shut off power, or select either battery, as required. A small voltmeter is mounted on the rear of the star­board bulkhead to indicate the available battery voltage.

 

I am using a combination bow and deck light assembly (auxiliary switch for deck light) and have installed a mast head tri-color for night sailing. The bow light switch was replaced with a double pole, double throw switch, the regular running lights and mast­head tri-color wired to one side of it. The running light switch wires to the center of the running light side of the bow light switch. The position of the bow light switch then regulates the operation of the mast head tri-color for sailing, or the regular running lights when operating under power. The white sector of the masthead tri-color also illuminates the windex indicator. All instrument lights, compass, knot log, depth sounder, are wired to the running light switch. The red back light from the knot-log (VDO) provides a red glow in the cabin sufficient to see by. All this was done by replacing one switch - adding none.

 

I also used a Chrys1er sailor for auxiliary power. The motor would occasionally be swamped by heavy following seas on Lake Michigan. I raised the motor mount 2 additional inches, and had no further problems last year.

 

I also added ground cables to each chain plate, and the base of the VHF-FM radio, as additional protection from a possible lightning strike.

 

ON WINNING

Tom Birmingham

 

There is a theory why more people with sai1boats do not race them: People do not want to lose.

 

First-place finishes in sai1boat races, with few exceptions, require long, dirty toil in the ranks before accomplishments meet expectations, and (generalization) a sailor is a special type of person, usually a "winner" or at least a "mover and shaker" in his dry land ca11ing . . . a type hardly satisfied to come in ninth in a field of ten one-designs.

 

To win, the football coaches tell us, is everything; there is no second place. I have been through my Vince Lombardi phase of sailboat racing which, hopefully, is behind me. It may be a disappointment to come in less than first, but it does not automatically make one a loser, a second class citizen or a subject of scorn. Winning, like most words in the language, has indeed more than one meaning.

 

It is possible to "win" almost any race you enter whether you are a rookie or a rabbit. With credit for some thoughts to Joe Henderson writing in Runner's World I submit:

 

WINNING IS realizing you have won by getting involved in the sport, entering the race and using your best efforts. You have "beaten" those too lazy to come to the lake or too indifferent to enter the contest. LOSING IS not starting, sitting at the dock talking about what might have been, or what could have been if the race had been entered.

 

WINNING IS to get the best performance possible from your crew and equipment for the day's conditions.

 

LOSING IS blaming failure on the lack of proper sails, sloppy crew work or malice of the wind gods.

 

WINNING IS finishing a goal set for yourself. If your project for the day is to come in ahead of another boat of about your ability and experience, achieving this can be just as meaningful as any first place finish trophy.

LOSING IS dropping out because things are not going your way and it's easier to quit because of some minor inconvenience than accept a finish of less than first place.

 

WINNING IS measuring yourself against yourself. Winning is taking pride in and recognizing improvements in yourself and your crew.

LOSING IS matching yourself against everyone else entering. This is self-defeating. Like the old west, there always will be a faster gun around the next corner.

 

WINNING IS accepting results as they come, knowing an occasional bad race will happen to everyone. The few bad races are important as contrasts to help you more appreciate the good ones.

LOSING IS cutting someone else down so you can look taller. It is interfering in any way with another sailor's progress.

 

WINNING IS knowing you are only as good as your last race. The thrill of victory is perishable; so you must renew it all the time.

LOSING IS living in the past, it is trying to restore old glories to the condition they were during their short life.

 

Above all, "WINNING" is only available to those who compete, it can only be found on the course, never on the sidelines.


Comments