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Monthly Archives: February 2015

  • Top Tips To Start Your Sailing Season - Pre-season Preparation, Maintenance and Checks

    A series of guides that aim to provide you with helpful, step by step advice on pre-season preparation, maintenance and checks to get your sailing season off to the best start. Sign up to our E-Newsletter today and never miss a Top Tip 

    1. Antifouling -  View Online | View Printable PDF

    2. Topsides & Brightwork -  View Online | View Printable PDF

    3. Deck Fittings & Running Gear -  View Online | View Printable PDF

    4. Spars & Rigging -  View Online | View Printable PDF

    5. Below Deck -  View Online | View Printable PDF

    6. Electrical & Electronic -  View Online | View Printable PDF

  • 52. Top Tips Tuesday - Preparing Spars And Rigging - A Step By Step Guide By PBO Columnist Mike Coates

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    So you antifouled her three weeks ago, polished the topsides the week after and during half term week got your brownie points back up (or some of us did) by leaving the boat well alone and not checking your deck gear out. The next stage in our pre-season  preparations is inspection of the spars and the rigging and assuming your mast is down (easier than dangling from a bosun's chair, more about that later) we start with the masthead light. Check it's secure and the lens isn't suffering from UV damage, check cables for chafe where they exit the light and enter the mast. Remove the lens, then bulb(s) and make sure all the contacts are clean by using the excellent specialist fast drying contact cleaner, if they are the filament type bulb our recommendation is to replace regardless (keep old as a spare) or consider going for replacement LED bulbs, a lot less current drain and almost bullet proof in a heavy beat to windward!  However, remember you shouldn't put a white LED behind a coloured lens, only use a coloured LED bulb. After replacing the bulbs, spray electrical connections with Boeshield and then clean the lens both inside and out. Before replacing the now clean lens, you must of course check the lights are working (our Top Tip is to use a small 9 volt alarm battery and connect to the wires where they exit  at the bottom  of the mast, it's much easier that lugging round a big heavy 110 amp hour beast) satisfied, then reassemble.

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    Check the condition and security of the mast head VHF aerial or combined VHF wind indicator (if the Windex is becoming brittle through UV damage consider replacing) Examine carefully any other antennas like the AIS or Active band transmitter/receiver and of course don't forget the condition of any cables. Assuming mast head wind speed and direction is stored below deck whilst the mast is down, check manufacture's handbook for information on lubrication and maintenance, clean contacts as above and once again spray with Boeshield after refitting. As for me I prefer to leave the transducer off when the mast is being refitted as the 'small print' of a boatyard's terms and conditions often does not cover you for accidental damage, yes its a mast climb however replacement transducers can set you back £400-00! Satisfied with your mast head gear? Now turn your attention to the mast head and check all masthead sheaves for damage and wear. On some masts especially older Selden (Kemp) it's impossible to replace the sheave without taking the masthead fitting out of the spar. Clean and then lubricate with a ‘dry’ lubricant don’t use a grease or oil as it attracts grit and can damage sheaves made from  Tufnol (recognised by it’s brown colour/fabric weave) Next check the condition  of the forestay and backstay attachments, draw the clevis pins out, examine them for wear and at the same time check that the 'hole' that they pass through has not elongated. If satisfied, replace and secure with new split pins.

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    If you have been unfortunate enough to have suffered a halyard wrap(s) last season, pay particular attention to where the wire strands exit the swaged terminal/talurit splice, flex the wire gently for any sign of broken strands, even  if it's only one broken strand replace. If the forestay shows signs of birdcaging (wire opening up) you should also replace the forestay without question. Your spinnaker/asymmetric halyard block can take a hammering, out of sight out of mind, so check condition of the side plates, swivel and the shackle. Working your way down the mast, if an older rig and stainless tangs are used for the attaching of standing rigging, examine carefully behind the fitting for signs of corrosion. Consider drilling out the old rivets and replacing with new monel ones after you have used a barrier between the two disimilar metals. If a fractional or similar rig, remove the combined genoa and spinnaker halyard  box, check for stress cracks, worn sheaves and then clean and lubricate as above. Then check the security of the spreader brackets, paying particular attention to rivets and any signs of corrosion underneath a stainless bracket. Turning to the spreader tips, if the rigging is still attached to the spreaders check for a broken strand(s) possibly hidden in the spreader end clamp. Slacken the clamp, move the tip up or down and flex the wire gently. Consider fitting a pair of leather spreader boots once you have satisfied yourself that everything is ok. Steaming and deck flood lights are often neglected, check and service as per your mast head lights.

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    Check the gooseneck and base of mast kicker bracket for wear, replace if badly worn, replace worn nylon spacer washers. Check for any cracks around halyard exit slots, this is especially important on fractional rigs set up with high amounts of pre-bend, consult your rigger if any are found. Keel stepped spars should have their deck coats/seals checked as it’s impossible to replace them without lifting the mast out again. At this stage don't forget to run  your eye over the rest of the rigging, examine all rigging screws for damage, if the threaded lower stud is bent replace and pay particular attention to any rigging screw that is not toggled as they do not articulate and are liable to more stress.

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    Wash out and lubricate (as per manufacturer's instructions) halyard swivels and drum bearings on headsail reefing gear – Furlex has a specialist grease. Pay particular attention to the joints in the headsail foil, if slight movement there is a danger of mis-alignement. Consequences; the sail jamming whilst hoisting and you may run the risk of tearing the luff tape. You may also end up with some rather nasty stains on the sail opposite the suspect joints caused by fretting of the alloy. If you have movement it may be a loose rivet or fastening that's missing or a worn jointing piece. Consult the manufacturer's manual for details on how to remove and replace. Foils may be cleaned by washing with soap and water. A scrap of luff tape may be run up foil to scrub inside grooves. If lubrication is required, spray a thin coat of McLube SailKote on sail luff tapes away from boat deck. Check the end stop at the top of the foil is secure and that the bearing just inside the top of the foil is still round, if its oval replace!

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    If you haven’t already removed and washed your halyards do so. Do not wash at a high temperature or use a biological washing powder as it can damage some polyester ropes, preferably leave to soak in water for a couple of days prior to washing. Don’t tumble dry as the heat will damage most synthetic ropes, instead hang out to dry then leave in the airing cupboard for a few days. If using a washing machine place any shackles inside a pair of socks to prevent damage to the drum on the machine and keep the other half happy! Check all eye splices, worn or damaged halyards should be replaced. Wire halyards that are found to have spikes are fatigued and should be replaced as they are on the point of failure, consider replacing with Dyneema, Spectra or similar ultra low stretch materials as it is cost effective and usually has a longer life span.
    When re-stepping your mast replace all split pins that secure clevis pins or lock turnbuckles, mouse shackles with Monel seizing wire, lightly grease all turnbuckle threads with Lanocote or Loctite 8065 prior to re-assembly. Consider fitting turnbuckle covers adding shroud or guard rail rollers or at the very least tape over turnbuckles with self amalgamating tape after setting up your rig which all help to reduce chafe on sails and prevent damage to crews clothing and boots which can easily be damaged by sharp split pins etc.

    Mast still up? Read and inwardly digest Spinlocks excellent article on 'Going Aloft'. Spar and rigging inspection with the mast still up, will take a lot longer as it has to be carried out from a bosuns chair but it shouldn’t be neglected, if for whatever reason you have not removed the rig this year, inspect whilst swinging from halyard(s) and if necessary, budget for its removal next year. If I am climbing and I still do so on a regular basis, even at my advanced age, their Mast Pro harness isn’t the most comfortable but without a doubt the one that I feel most secure in! Incidentally, if I ever have to go aloft alone, then I always use the Topclimber mast climbing kit. All the above still applies however it will take a lot longer and obviously it's more weather dependant!

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    Check the inboard end of the boom casting for wear, check rivets are sound and if any jammers/pulleys are part of the assembly, that any sheaves are free running and not chipped and when the cam lever is rotated they will hold the load from reef and outhaul lines! Check the kicking strap slide (if alloy) for wear from the stainless shackle/attachment point on the strut/strap assembly, make sure any fastenings are man enough for the job and that the slide is not creeping towards the mast. Examine the boom in this area for any stress cracks and corrosion from stainless fastenings if used to secure. Next check the reefing lines take off attachment eyes are secure and then pull through the lines for signs of chafe. Make sure that when you come to fit the main back on the boom, you reeve the reef line under the boom first to ease the load on the fitting! If the main sheet pulley blocks are secured mid boom as against attached to the end casting examine as per kicking strap slide. Next the outboard boom casting, check the condition of the pulleys then check (if end boom sheeting) that the shackle securing the mainsheet block still has plenty of alloy left on the attachment casting. If you still have a wire outhaul check for spiking in the lay of the wire and if any are found replace. Reef lines, especially in single line systems, can be a source of friction. If fluffed up, consider changing as the difference when putting a reef in can be chalk and cheese.

    Finally if you haven’t already done so, now is the time to give the mast and boom a wipe over with Hempel’s Alu-protect, it’s a silicone free oil for cleaning and protecting alloy spars!

  • 51. Top Tips Tuesday - Preparing Deck & Running Gear - Your Step By Step Guide By PBO Columnist Mike Coates

     

    GUARD RAILS & STANCHIONS

    Even though they are ‘staring us in the face’ throughout the season, stanchions and guard rail wires are often items that are overlooked during pre season checks. Stanchions should be checked for security; make sure the base is fastened securely to the deck and/or toe rail, there is no movement and ALL fastenings are in place. An unstable base is not only dangerous - it could possibly lead to a man overboard situation and the mechanical fastening(s) could be the source of a leak into the interior. If the base is found to be loose, remove, clean and re-fit using the appropriate sealant, my recommendation is to go for a polysulphide as against a silicon sealant. Before refastening a stanchion or any other deck fitting make sure you remove any old sealant using Debond Marine Formula, degrease the fitting and deck using acetone or similar and if the hole is not countersunk to accept the sealant do so. Finally, mask both the deck and the base so any excess sealant that is squeezed out as you tighten down can easily be cleaned up. However when bolting down make sure that you don’t squeeze ALL the sealant out, tighten, allow the sealant to set then go for a final turn on the spanner. Check stainless tubular type stanchions where they are drilled (for mid height guard wire to pass through) for signs of stress cracks round the hole. Make sure the stanchion is well secured into its base either by lock nut and bolt or by split pin, however if an alloy stanchion is being secured  with a stainless fastening you must use a barrier to prevent an electrolytic reaction, same if you are using stainless stanchions in aluminium bases isolate between the 2 dissimilar metals. Split pins can be very sharp, likewise the end of a stainless bolt, they should be covered in self amalgamating tape or a blob of clear sealant applied to prevent snagging on footwear, foulies and of course skin!

     

     

    Guard rail wires should be carefully examined for broken strands especially where the wire exits the swage or Talurit termination and where they pass through stanchions. You will have to slacken each wire and draw it through the stanchion to fully inspect. Flex the wire gently at the start of a termination or where the wire has passed thru a stanchion, If any broken or worn strands are found they MUST be replaced, it’s certainly not recommended & highly dangerous to just tape over them! PVC covered stainless steel guard rail wires (banned some years ago for use on offshore race boats) can hide broken or corroded strands especially where the PVC cover butts up against swage or Talurit terminations. Moisture and a lack of oxygen provide the ideal scenario for crevice corrosion to go unnoticed, any signs of rust in these areas can be a pointer to wire failure thru weakening of the internal wire strands – if rust stains are in evidence  replace without question, preferably with uncovered 1 x 19 strand stainless wire. Ensure all pelican hooks in gates assemblies are free to operate preferably single handed, and that the piston fully engages when closed, lubricate same with a dry film spray or similar. If your method of tensioning the guard rail(s) is a cord lashing by the pushpit we would suggest that this is replaced on a regular basis. Check that all the clevis pinsrings or split pins in the assembly are secure and either tape over to avoid snagging or cover with those rather nice chrome leather boots. If small people or dogs etc are going to be found on board this season and netting is already fitted, examine for signs of degrading through UV exposure and check its secured to both guard rail wires and toe rail, there’s no point in fitting it if your precious cargo can roll under the lower edge!

    Once you have finished your inspection of guardrails and stanchions check the security of your bolt on accessories such as the liferaft cradlehorseshoe bracket and while you are in that area, are any electrical cables passing through the pushpit showing signs of chafe.

    JACKSTAYS

    Whether wire or webbing they should be inspected. Check wire termination, especially PVC covered as per guard rail wires, for corrosion. Webbing jackstays should have their stitching checked for integrity, if any nicks or cuts are found in the webbing or if more than 3-4 years old they should be replaced owing to UV degrading of the material. If replacing wire jackstays consider changing to webbing as an alternative, it is kinder to decks and doesn’t roll under foot!

     

     

    Deck fittings

    Mooring cleats, Fairleads, bollardseye bolts or u-bolts, like stanchions, should be checked thoroughly for movement. Should you suspect a deck fitting as a source of a leak, the application of a bead of mastic round the edge is only a short term solution! Any shackles securing a block or similar should all be checked for wear and moused with either monel seizing wire or cable ties for added security. However, if using ties and they have been snipped, watch out for razor sharp edges, use a drop of sealant to cover.

    Blocks, Track and Cars

    Blocks, especially ball or roller types, should be given a good rinse with fresh water from a hose to remove all traces of grit.  Lubricate ball bearing blocks using Harken's OneDrop Ball Bearing Conditioner or if plain bearing McLube. Don’t use grease as it will attract and hold grit which makes a very effective cutting compound causing wear. DO NOT oil or grease any Tufnol based block or fitting as it causes the material to swell and will seize sheaves onto pins. Any sheaves that are found to have wear between axle and the sheave (either sideways or vertical play) or nicks in the edges of sheaves which will cause damage to sheets or halyards should be replaced. Check all cam jammers on mainsheet block systems if the teeth are worn or the springs have lost their power replace.

    Rinse all mainsheet and headsail cars especially those using ball systems with a hose, inspect for wear and lubricate as per blocks. If fitted with plunger stops ensure these are free, lubricate with WD40 or light oil and make sure they locate correctly in the track system. Check all track fastenings for integrity and make sure all track end stops are securely fastened, any rubber pads within the stops should be replaced if worn.

    Winches (Halyards & Sheets)

    Winches should be stripped and cleaned of all grease, if the grease is hardened it may be necessary to use paraffin and a de-greasing agent. Inspect for wear especially pawls (rounding of the edges and cracking), check for play in all bearings and especially those bearings between drum and the gearbox, if drum can be rocked excessively the caged roller (or plain) bearing is most likely worn. Re assemble using winch grease, don’t use the white stern tube grease as it isn’t suitable for the purpose, and don’t smother parts heavily, a light coating will suffice. Keep grease away from pawls as it will make them stick, only apply a light pawl oil. Replace all pawl springs as a matter of course, a pawl that doesn’t engage through a broken or worn spring subjects the other pawls to overloading which can lead to damage. On self tailing winches check the rope gripper on the top of the winch for signs of wear, if worn replace. A manufacturer’s service kit is recommended as it usually contains most parts that are required for a full service together with an exploded diagram and instructions for stripping and rebuilding the winch. Rope clutches, often neglected, should be washed thoroughly & checked for holding power, service kitsare certainly available for Spinlock, Easy Marine & Barton, other makes no doubt also please check with our staff.

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    Headsail furling/reefing systems

    A good hosing out of both the upper swivel and the lower drum unit will remove grit and salt deposits, check both items revolve freely on their bearings, if not rinse again, DO NOT attempt  to strip swivels or drum units especially older Furlex units as you will almost certainly lose some of the bearings and possibly damage the retaining circlip(s) during stripping, you may also find it impossible to re assemble the unit without the use of a special press, seek advice regarding this. Only grease systems according to the manufacturers recommendations, some systems use grease others recommend a dry type lubricant. Check the integrity of the furling line especially the knot that secures it to the drum and most importantly are the stanchion leads, if of the sheave type, running freely!

    Windlass

    Last but not least don’t forget the windlass, out of sight out of mind and you certainly don’t want it to fail if you have to up anchor in a hurry! Despite having a great bunch of guys with a shed load of expert knowledge windlass servicing is not our forte so I make no apologies for reproducing the following maintenance schedule courtesy of Lofrans.

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    A. Clean all external surfaces and hidden points with fresh water and remove all salt layers. B. Grease the rotating parts, particularly, the main shaft threads and clutch cones. Check for evidence of corrosion and mechanical stresses. A coat of Boeshield T9 is recommended. C. Remove and clean the terminals of the electric motor. Coat terminals with Vaseline before re-assembly, then when everything is back in place, spray with Boeshield T9. Test the voltage drop at the terminals. D. Replace all gaskets. E. Remove the anchor windlass from the deck with a little help from Debond, clean all salt deposits and the like from under the base and seal again.

  • 50. Top Tips Tuesday - A Definitive Guide To Topsides & Brightwork - From Prep To Polishing by PBO Columnist Mike Coates

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    Wash:

    Its a well known fact that all GRP gelcoat surfaces will benefit from at least a coat of a good quality waxwhich not only seals the surface from ingress of dirt but also protects against UV degradation. To get the best result and protect your investment, we recommend that you first wash the surface down to remove any surface contaminants. If, after carrying out that task, you then discover you have some minor gelcoat damage that requires attention, now is the time to tackle this.

    Gelcoat Repairs:

    For those annoying unsightly hairline cracks (often found round stanchion bases) MagicEzy hairline fix is the business! Its great for stress cracks, crazing and scratches. Use MagicEzy 9 second Chip Fix for ‘sorting’ nicks, chips and gouges. This excellent product is available in 11 colours (inc five shades of white). For larger dings that you may want to tackle, we suggest you clean the immediate area with 1200 wet/dry paper, this will remove any oxidised gelcoat still remaining, without doing this your repair will end up having a miscoloured ring round it. Getting the correct coloured gelcoat can be a pain, however we always recommend in the first instance you contact the original boatbuilder or importer of the boat whilst armed with the hull build number to see if they can supply. Once you have ascertained the correct match and prepared the surface to accept 'catalysed' gelcoat, apply with a soft brush leaving the material slightly proud. Carefully apply a piece of clear Sellotape or cling film over the gelcoat, this will prevent the gelcoat drying sticky. When set remove the tape and carefully sand to shape using a sanding block with 400 then 600 and finally 1200 wet/dry paper and plenty of water, do this carefully so as not to damage or rub through the surrounding gelcoat. The repair can then be polished to a mirror finish using Farecla or a similar compound.

    Polishing:

    After the wash down we recommend that you use a mild cleaner which will safely remove light oxidation and most stains from the gelcoat either by hand or machine. By using a machine to do the hard work the task will be completed quicker than buffing by hand using a 100% cotton polishing cloth. If using a machine we recommend a variable speed machine like the Shurhold Dual Action polisher with either a microfibre or foam polishing bonnet, keep the speed slow and don’t stay in one area as it is all too easy to overheat and damage gelcoat. Don’t be tempted to use an electric drill with a polishing bonnet, they are usually too high a speed and can result in burn damage to the gelcoat. An oxidation remover will bring life back into a hull, however, if the topsides are very chalky and dull (dark green & blue gelcoat are particularly susceptible) you can start with a course paper 200-300 working up to 800 or 1000 grade, or after using the more aggressive grades spread compound evenly onto the hull in areas of about a square metre so it doesn’t dry. Work with the polisher in lines. While working, don’t place your polishing mop on the ground or on the plank you are working on; one speck of grit on its surface can have disastrous results on your topsides! When applying cleaner or oxidation remover always work on a cool surface in the shade.

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    Don’t try to polish or wet/dry rust or black berry bird droppings marks from your decks or hull, the stains can be deep into the gelcoat. Instead try using a stain remover based around oxalic acid such as Y10 or Davis FSR either should bleach out the stain. After thoroughly cleaning with either the mild cleaner or the oxidation remover the surface must then be sealed using a good quality uv resistant wax, for best results apply at least 2 coats with a day between each coat to allow the wax to harden, applying the second coat too soon will only remove the first!For GRP cabin sides and other smooth gelcoat surfaces the technique is the same, however for cleaning and removing oxidation on moulded in nonslip I always use Vistal Hard Surface Cleaner. Vistal can also be used to help bring a sparkle back to dull painted or varnished surfaces; its also great for brightening your stainless pull/pushpit, alloy stanchions and other metal surfaces. Teak Decks:Teak decks can suffer badly in our damp climate growing algae and moss during the winter months and I have no doubt that boats in other locations suffer similarly. Whatever you do don’t be tempted to clean them with a pressure washer, they will certainly be clean but the pressure of the water jet will tear out the soft grain leaving them like a ploughed field. It is best to clean them with one of the proprietary teak cleaners my choice being Teak Wonder cleaner, however we all tend to have our favourites, anyway following their instructions, use Starbrite Magic Scrub and, for the awkward corners, their stainless bristled Detailing Brush or a Scotchbrite pad and ONLY scrub across the grain. After cleaning, the decks should be given a wash with Teak Wonder brightener, this will restore their colour. When dry, spray with ‘Wet and Forget’ which will stop any moss or algae growth.

    Last But Not Least:

    Should you have halyards, webbing lifelines and other items that are resting on the deck and have ‘turned’ green over the winter months don’t despair. Don’t get the pressure washer out (destroys stitching/fabrics etc) but spray Wet & Forget on these items and leave, the diluted solution will do all the hard work and prevent re-growth. If any covers, dodgers or spray hoods are also looking ‘green’ they will also benefit from a spray.

  • 49. Top Tips Tuesday - A Definitive Guide To Antifouling - From Prep To Painting by PBO Columnist Mike Coates

    Removing old antifoam

    Cleaning:

    Make sure your hull is clean and ALL traces of grease and marine growth have been removed, if necessary wash the hull with a detergent or a degreaser so as to remove any contaminants. If you have any stubborn remnants of barnacles – or the white calcium deposit left after pressure washing they can be easily removed using Boat Bottom Cleaner however make sure you wear gloves and eye protection when using this product as it is quite aggressive.

    Preparation:

    Lightly abrade the old antifouling with 120 grit paper preferably used wet, make sure you wear a maskgloves and eye protectionantifouling not only kills marine growth, any dust produced can create severe respiratory problems and irritation to humans. After rubbing down make sure all the slurry is washed off with fresh water.

    If you are changing to a different make/type of antifouling make sure it is compatible with the one you are covering, if not, or if you’re unsure of the existing antifouling, apply an appropriate barrier coat such as International Primocon or one recommended by your chosen antifouling manufacturer. All loose antifouling must be removed, if it is just small patches you should be able to feather the edges of the patches using your 120 grit so the area will not show through the new coating, patch coat these areas with the barrier coat followed by antifouling before giving the full hull a coating. If you have a build up of a number of seasons applications of antifouling you should perhaps consider removing these. Not a pleasant job but worthwhile as it will save you future problems! This can be done by just using a scraper, although it is often easier to use one of the gelcoat friendly antifouling removers – don’t be tempted to use standard paint removers as this may adversely affect your hulls gelcoat. Be careful not to damage any underlying epoxy coatings, when you have removed the old antifouling if your hull hasn’t had a protective coating of epoxy it may well be worthwhile coating with Hempel SFE 200 solvent free epoxy or International Gelshield 200 to give protection against osmosis, however you must abide by the manufacturer’s instructions regarding temperature, mixing, application and over-coating materials.

    Steel Keels:

    Steel keels should be rust free, in an ideal world shot blasting and coating with several coats of Interprotect or the likes will give long lasting protection, if you have a Westerly with rusted keels (bilge or fin) it would be advisable to shot blast clean then leave as long as possible before sweep blasting again removing the surface rust before priming – Westerly keels are notorious for being porous and retaining water, shot blasting and immediately painting usually results in failure of the paint system owing to moisture retention in the steel under the old coating. If you are unable to shot blast, grinding clean and coating with 4-5 coats International Primocon (first coat thinned) or similar will give good protection, observe the recommended over coating times for various antifouling types.

    Preparing Steel Keels

    Alloy Hulls, Outdrives etc:

    If you have just purchased an alloy boat please note you must NOT use an antifouling containing copper, likewise alloy outdrives and outboard legs. Use something like International’s Trilux or the like and remember if antifouling a GRP hull fitted with outdrive(s) or outboards and it’s a copper based product that you are going to apply, it is recommended that you leave at least a 25mm gap around the unit.
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    Filling:

    If you have to fill any underwater surfaces as a result of hitting an underwater object or over enthusiastic use of a scraper, do not under any circumstances use a polyester filler, use only an epoxy based one such as International Watertite.

    Masking Up:

    When masking water lines make sure you use the ‘Blue’ 14 day tape product which not only gives a good crisp line but can also be easily removed on completion of the paint job. If you use standard paper masking tape ensure you remove it immediately you have finished painting; However if you have had the misfortune to leave this style of tape in place and find it impossible to remove, 3M Citrus Cleaner is an excellent product to assist, WD40 is also worth a try.

    Protection:

    Wear disposable gloves and eye protection when applying antifouling as splashes on hands and face irritate the skin and using thinners to remove them can make it worse by driving the material into the pores making it difficult if not impossible to remove.

    Application:

    Apply the correct number of coats of antifouling as recommended by the manufacturer – usually a minimum of two, on high pressure areas on your hull (leading edge of keel, rudder etc) they can benefit with the addition of a patch coat before painting the whole hull. Do not be tempted to thin the antifouling, you are diluting the active ingredient! Use a roller as it will give a better coverage and finish than using a brush, if using a plastic paint tray place it / cover it in a plastic carrier bag before use, not only will you be able to use it again, many solvents in antifouling melt plastic paint trays leaving you with a sticky mess to roll onto your hull!

    Do not paint over your transducer with conventional antifouling, use a water based antifouling such as Echo, it is water as against solvent based so will not damage the transducer surface nor weaken the signal!

    Specific Boot topping paints such as International ‘Trilux’ or Hempel Waterline Boot Top perform better than standard antifouling as they tend to be of the ‘hard’ type, are stronger and will stand up to the occasional scrub during the season.

    Propellers should be cleaned and polished with fine emery cloth or wet and dry. If you are in a heavy fouling area coat with Sea Jet Peller Clean or International ‘Prop-o-Drev’ this will help keep the prop clean whilst a coating of Propshield will be of benefit in lesser fouling areas. Dispose of masking tape, rollers and safety wear responsibly when you’ve finished.

    Anodes, remove if possible before antifouling, if there is still 2/3rds left and you’re leaving them in situ, either mask off or coat with soap before you start work, antifouling on the anode surface will prevent it working!

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