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Author Topic:   Bottom painting 170 Montuak
Rich M posted 12-28-2003 03:40 PM ET (US)   Profile for Rich M   Send Email to Rich M  
After keeping my 2003 170 Montauk on a lift last season, I may be slipping it this upcoming season. It's freshwater but I think I should still bottom paint the boat.

Now for my questions. Do they make a clear bottom paint? If not I'd probably go with white. What type (level of protection) of paint should I use for freshwater? I'm only battling algae not barnacles. How often would it require repainting? Do you have to remove old bottom paint before repainting with the same paint? How much will performance suffer with bottom paint? And finally the big question - how much should I expect to pay my dealer/marina to to the painting?

Obviously I have no expeirence with this what so ever and was hoping to gain from the experience of those that have done this.

One last question, what about not painting? How hard would the clean up be at the end of each season? What is involved?

Thanks in advance.

Rich M

jaccoserv posted 12-28-2003 04:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for jaccoserv  Send Email to jaccoserv     
My dealer charges $210 for the initial bottom painting of my Montauk last spring. That price included all the priming and sanding involved with introducing the boat to bottom paint for the first time. If it is done right, with good quality paint, it will only need to be touched up yearly.

I personally am glad that I painted my bottom, though being in saltwater makes it a necessity; be prepared for a lot of negative feedback regarding your decision from members of this forum.

ryanwhaler posted 12-28-2003 06:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for ryanwhaler  Send Email to ryanwhaler     
Bottom painting is like a tattoo, very hard to get off once you put it on. My boat has it, I wish it didn't.

If your going to keep the boat for a long time, I say go for it. I personaly would pull it out and clean the bottom every few weeks.

I don't think they have a clear bottom paint, but they make a white one.

I saw a 18-Dauntless up in Maine this summer with red bottom paint that was put on by the dealer,it actually looked great. It was nice and even and had a good texture to it.

I don't like bottom paint that comes off in my hand when I touch it, and the boats with dealer bottom paint dosen't.

Good luck.

boxers posted 12-28-2003 07:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for boxers  Send Email to boxers     
That is a very good deal($210.00 paint and labor?) as most dealers in our area charge $20.00 per foot including materials. Sometimes you can get a break if you supply the paint especially if you can find the paint on sale. Look through a West Marine catalog to brush up on your paint options. I think a clear bottom paint was listed last time I looked under Boat Armor. It is nice to keep the boat in the water if your going to be using it alot. The bottom paint usually extends a little above the waterline(3/4 to 1 1/2 inches) this can be quite variable depending on conditions around your slip. If you see marine growth developing above the paint line then just raise the paint line to be covered. Hopefully your motor will tilt up to clear the water completely. If not you may want to paint the portion of the lower unit which contacts the water-a different paint is recommended for metal surfaces. Good luck!
boxers posted 12-28-2003 07:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for boxers  Send Email to boxers     
One type of bottom paint is termed ABLATIVE. Once the paint is put on it slowely erodes away this is intentional so that in time you won't have a thick layer of paint to sand off. An ablative paint will rub off if your hand touches it. This has advantages and disadvantages and is NOT dealer dependent.

Ryanwhaler said:

"I don't like bottom paint that comes off in my hand when I touch it, and the boats with dealer bottom paint dosen't."

UNTRUE- Dealers can put on the type of paint you tell them to use be it ablative or not. A hard paint generally contains copper for antifowling. The copper leaches out and prevents marine growth but the paint builds up over time. It is a trade off as to the type of paint you use so researching your options is advisable.

Here is a link for more info on the subject:

[url] [/url]

jaccoserv posted 12-28-2003 11:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for jaccoserv  Send Email to jaccoserv     
As boxer stated, paint that "rubs off" when you touch it is a good thing. Just think of what happens when some grass starts growing on it, just by shaking the boat around, you can see much of the growth "rub off". Also, the texture has to do with how it is applied, I recently looked at a boat who's bottom paint was applied with a "stucco" type roller, now THAT could cost you a few knots. It was about as smooth as a pineapple. Actually, it looked and felt like the surface of a kitchen sponge.

Also as mentioned before, many ablative paints, Interlux Micron (my preference) are very thick, affecting the final texture.

You're not kidding $210 is a good deal, yes, labor and materials included. They applied a Pettit anti-fouling paint, thats all I know, it's still perfect after a touch ups necessary!!!

kamie posted 12-29-2003 12:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     
If you are dropping a boat in saltwater should you have it painted before you ever drop her in?

erik selis posted 12-29-2003 04:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Kamie, I think leaving the boat in saltwater more than a week is asking for trouble. I left my MT 170 in saltwater 2 weeks this summer and had a heck of a time getting rid of all the dirt and tiny barnacles on the bottom. Before putting the boat in the saltwater I polished the hull with Starbrite PTFE polish. It helped a bit but I was still surprised about the growth of the barnacles in such a short periode of time.

A few years ago I helped my buddy paint the bottom of his classic outrage for the first time. This is what we did:
We let the boat sit in the water for a week. By then there was a clearly visible waterline marked on the hull. The boat was lifted out of the water using the harbor's boatlift. We used masking tape to tape a rim about one inch above the waterline. We cleaned the bottom with a high pressure cleaner and soap, then let it dry. After that, we sanded the bottom with a medium-fine sanding paper to get the shine off of the gelcoat. After cleaning off the dust and greasy fingermarks using acetone we then applied 2 layers of clear epoxy primer with a very fine, small roller. The primer dries within minutes so once you've finished one coat you can almost immediately start on the second coat. There's no need to let the primer harden out completely before applying the bottom paint. Let it dry out for about an hour and start with the paint using the same type of roller. It also dries very quickly. We put on 3 coats but I think 2 coats would have been enough. It was the type of paint that doen't wipe off when you touch it. In this case we painted the hull dark blue. I'm almost certain that you can buy clear paint as well but I think it will turn into a greenish color before you know it.
The boat was back in the water the same day. It took us something like 6 hours to do the job. (including beer and food)
We give the boat a small touch-up with paint every year. One coat of paint after a good cleaning and light sanding.
Mind you that the boat is taken out of the water frequently to get a good bottom wash with a high pressure cleaner.
I think the total price we paid for the paint, primer, brushes and renting the boatlift was around $250.

Others may do it differently, but this is how we did it and it looks and works great.

jaccoserv posted 12-29-2003 12:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for jaccoserv  Send Email to jaccoserv     
An FYI, someone at my marina purchased a new 21 foot Sea Craft this summer and had the bottom painted white. The white turned a greenish color within weeks, especialy near the waterline.
Rich M posted 12-29-2003 12:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rich M  Send Email to Rich M     
Good information, especially the .pdf link, thanks. I would certainly rather not have to do this if I could manage to keep the bottom clean. I will have access to a lift and could haul it out using the trailer - but - just waxing the hull twice last year (once at the begining of the season, again near the end) while on the lift was enough of a pain. I'm not sure I'd want to have to do that sort of work weekly, but once a month I could handle.

I'd be interested to hear some freshwater boaters experience, like how often a non painted hull needs cleaning, how the cleaning is done etc. If it entails caustic chemicals I might as well just bottom paint it! While I like working on my boat, the less I have to do the better. Ease of interior maintenence was one of the reasons I chose the 170.

Rich M

ghefty posted 12-29-2003 12:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for ghefty  Send Email to ghefty     
Having owned larger boats in the past and have had them bottom painted, I'm familiar with bottom jobs. The green hue that develops is oxidation from the copper in the paint. As mentioned earlier it's the copper that prevents growth. That's why most boats that live in the water have darker bottoms. I'd love to see how the red bottom paint look after a while, maybe they used a paint containing a different chemical.

The best way to keep growth off the bottom is to use the boat. But even that won't prevent it from discoloring from a lengthy stay in the water.

BarryGreen posted 12-29-2003 01:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for BarryGreen  Send Email to BarryGreen     
For what it's worth, I've had Whalers in both salt and fresh water, and I agree completely with the folks that note that bottom paint is mandatory in salt. No question.

However, I've had my present 20 ft Outrage in fresh water, at a slip, for 4 years now with no bottom paint, and I wouldn't do it any other way in decent fresh water. If you use the boat periodically the bottom should stay pretty darn clean. Every once in a while, while swimming off the boat at anchor, I'll take a sponge to the waterline and bottom, and it cleans right up.

No costly yearly painting, a better look (IMHO), better speed, and better fuel efficiency. In addition, if you trailer your boat on vacation, etc., I've come across lakes (lake George in upstate NY, for one) that won't allow you to launch a boat that has been bottom-painted.

Rich M posted 12-29-2003 01:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rich M  Send Email to Rich M     
Thanks for the heads up on the white paint, if I do paint I'll use a color. I see a lot of the big sailboats around here using red. It seems to age into more of a rust color or maroon. I saw a Whaler that was done with black and I thought it looked very good.

I use the boat a fair amount - probably 3 to 4 times a week. The slip is only a mile from the house so I may actually use it more if it's there. I guess hull discoloration is just part of having a wet boat. I just didn't want my new boat to have that green/brown stain that the boats around here get when they are kept wet without bottom paint.

Rich M

Rich M posted 12-29-2003 01:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rich M  Send Email to Rich M     
Sounds good Barry. So has your hull discolored at all? In retrospect, the boats around here that I refered to aren't getting regular use and are definitely not getting regular cleanings. And while the chain of lakes I boat on are pristine and gin clear, the marina is still a marina - stagnant, nutrient rich water with a fair amount of oil etc.

Rich M

BarryGreen posted 12-29-2003 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for BarryGreen  Send Email to BarryGreen     
My hull hasn't discolored at all, and looking at it on the trailer you cannot tell where the waterline is.

Having said that, I keep the boat on a clean NH lake, and there are only four other boats at the docks I'm at. I probably don't get some of the stuff spilled in the water that you might see when docked at a commercial marina. Also, I use the boat at least every Sat and Sun every weekend during the season.

One thing I've done once or twice is use a little Starbrite hull cleaner after haulout in the fall, but just on the area right along the waterline. As you know, the surfaces that alternately get wet and then dry out are the toughest, but that slight discoloration comes right off.

I know that a big selling point around here is "fresh water use only" when it comes time to sell or trade up, and not having the bottom painted substantiates that claim. However, if your conditions are different you might not be able to get away without painting; I'd just suggest you try going "paintless" for one season before you take the

kamie posted 12-29-2003 04:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     

Thanks for the info. One more thing to add to my list of todo's for the new boat

Rich M posted 12-29-2003 09:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rich M  Send Email to Rich M     
I agree. I think I'll go sans bottom paint for a season and see how well she fares. If it does end up badly stained I can always sand and paint then. Thanks for the help.

Rich M

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