R 22

Rhodes 22



I sail on fresh water lakes and have never had anti-fouling paint on either my Hunter or Rhodes. Never a problem.

Rich Rugen
"Friendship II"
07 Dec 2000

I keep Dynamic Equilibrium in the water in fresh water lakes all summer long in conditions which are not terribly bad for fouling. My biggest fouling problem is algae & slime growth at the waterline. I've had good luck over the years with Interlux VC-17m bottom paint. I like VC-17m because it is a low viscosity paint which applies by paint sprayer very well & never builds up to a heavy thickness. This makes bottom prep for each season's bottom paint minimal.

Roger Pihlaja
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium
07 Dec 2000

What "non" Ablative paint do you think would work well in salt/brine waters? I hate the paint that just rubs off on you when you swim by. Looks like we will need something for the new waters. We bought a gallon of the Rapahanak Paint from GB. That worked ok in the lake, but not sure about the saltwater??


Well it is bottom paint, and bottom paint is used to keep things from growing there. I like the Pettit line and kind of stay with it.

It is an ablative paint which means that it is designed to wash off. Good points:

  • 1) the paint builds up less.
  • 2) new copper is always on top.
  • 3) it gives a smoother hull, polishes like a bar of soap.
  • 4) can be used for many seasons.
  • 5) no paint vs launch time problems.
  • 6) less chance of "paint blister" looking like hull blister.
  • 7) mechanically much harder for things to stick.
  • 8) by changing colors you know when to repaint (you see a base color bleed through the top coat)

Bad points:

  • 1) it is a soft paint (the bunks can rip it up, trailering often is a problem)
  • 2) a "hull cleaner" scrubbing the hull will take it off fast.
  • 3) go fast power boats will take it off too fast (Micron works better there)
  • 4) about $150 a gallon (about 2 coats for a rhodes22)

IIRC you are fresh water, it is most likely "overkill" from what I know; you have a algae problem and maybe zebra mussels, Almost any of the paints should be able to deal with it; many fresh water boats never used bottom paint or had one season's paint last 5 years. Roger might be a better source here.


Just what is this stuff. I did not pay particular attention earlier on this subject because my boat was so new-ish. However, I have become totally obsessive about the condition of my boat. I spend hours out there caressing the damn thing. What should I buy it for Christmas?


Just had the last sail and pulled the boat, end of another season. The APC Ultima came out great, cleanest hull I have ever seen. There was a little green at the water line, but I do not think this is growth but a reaction with something in the water/ the copper and sunlight. Great stuff! Now that they are getting it right I hope the EPA does not get on copper's case.

12 Nov 2000

I am picking options on my R22 at General Boats which is expected to be completed and delivered next month. Stan asked if I wanted anti- fouling paint (and I note that there are single and double coat options).

My boat will be kept in fresh water at Lake Travis, near Austin, Texas. The shore is primarily limestone, and so it is not a green or brown lake, and the water is fairly clean.

Does anyone have any opinion on whether or not I should ask Stan to put anti-fouling paint on the boat?

David Keyes
7 Dec 2000

Yes, yes, YES! This assumes that you'll leave the boat in for more than a week at a time. The plant and animal crud grows fast. It you keep it on davits or a trsailer, don't waste your money. I just got the bill for two coats of Pettit anti fouling with the most copper content allowed by law. $183.00 a gallon. For scraping and sanding the old paint, priming the bottom and the rudder, and two coats, more than $700.00 paint included. This was necessitated by the yard the previous owner used. They applied the wrong primer, and all the expensive bottom paint peeled off in big chips / sheets.

CPT Richard F. Sheehan
Naples, FL
s/v Sea Prompt
07 Dec 2000

Bottom paint is definitely good if you are keeping hour boat in the water all season. If you plan to trailer-sail, it won't be an issue. I sail in fresh water and had the bottom done with Micron CSC. Looked good after first season and have only trailer-sailed since then.

The abalative paints are designed to rub off and would not be great for trailer sailing. VM-17 is what I plan to use the next time the bottom gets painted, but it will have to be stripped before that goes on. Other paints can be applied over previous layers, as long as the surface is good.

I like the idea of two coats, different colors--so you can tell when the top coat is getting thin.

Gary Sanford
s/v Raven
Syracuse, NY
07 Dec 2000

Thanks so much, Gary. It sounds like I need to talk with Stan (he's been out a lot, getting ready for a hernia operation)about all the coats of paint on the bottom, if some types only stick to certain undercoats or primers.

I plan to keep my boat in the water year-round, pulling it out only for maintenance. We have a 12-month sailing season, with the least desirable months being in the summer when it is hot, the winds are somewhat less, and the water is low and dangerous for hitting the boat bottom on underwater rocks. It sounds like I should ask Stan about VM-17.

Best regards,
7 Dec 2000

Thanks to all who have responded. It was a good idea that I should talk to the marina and boat owners at Lake Travis regarding the need for bottom paint. The use of a different color for each bottom coat sounds good, too.

If I could get away with no anti-fouling paint (cheaper plus a smoother bottom) that would be nice. But I read about the problems of trying to apply different types of paints later.

I plan to keep my boat in the water year-round, pulling it out only for maintenance. We have a 12-month sailing season, with the least desirable months being in the summer when it is hot, the winds are somewhat less, and the water is low (sometimes 50 or 60 feet or so lower) and dangerous for hitting the boat bottom on underwater rocks.

It sounds like I should ask Stan about VM-17 or VC-17m or whatever it is, since they are currently doing the painting.

7 Dec 2000

1. Is bottom paint really needed for boats in fresh water mooring situations?

Yes, though you won't get much in the way of hard marine growth like barnacles in fresh water, you will get a lot of algae and other slime attaching itself to your hull. Zebra mussels can be a problem in some areas too. The bottom paint also helps to some extent to protect against osmosis and blisters, though not as well as an epoxy barrier coat.

2. If yes, how often should it be applied?

Depends on type of paint. A good multi-season ablative with the new irgarol anti-slime agent should last at least one year per coat if the boat is in the water year round, with two to three coats recommended.

3. Is any particular brand or type recommended?

The most widely used paint at my marina is "Micron CSC Extra" ( the extra is the new version with irgarol anti-slime additive). Pettit ACP50+ is also highly rated. These are ablative co-polymer type multi-season paints that wear away at a controlled rate and do not leave any built up residue that requires removal before recoating. Some boats here are going as much as five years between bottom jobs, but most are repainted every three years with two coats. Holds up very well and can stand dry storage between seasons. You lightly pressure wash or scrub the hull before next season's launch to expose fresh paint.

4. Can I apply it myself or should I leave that to a professional?

Yes you can apply it yourself. It rolls on. The hard work is prepping the bottom: clean and dewax, sand thoroughly,primer or barrier coat, and roll on two coats at least of the bottom paint. A gallon will do the trick and costs about $170.00. All this stuff is toxic, so wearing protective clothing,organic vapor mask, and goggles is a must, especially when sanding. You need a means of capturing and removing the sanding residue to prevent soil contamination. After the first application, pressure washing and a solvent wipe down are all that is required before new paint is applied.

5. If done by a professional, about how much will I have to pay.

The initial cost estimate for my boat was about $450.00, $10.00/ft plus materials, but ended up at about $1400.00 because of problems hidden under the old paint. No blisters fortunately, but damaged areas from a hard grounding by the previous owner which had allowed water to saturate the keel. The repair included complete sandblasting, drying out the keel by drilling drain holes in the bottom and using compressed air to force the water out, patching with epoxy and fiberglass, epoxy barrier coat ( two coats) and bottom paint (two coats). Sandblasting is not recommended unless you do the barrier coat. It removes the surface layer of the gelcoat and will reveal any air pockets or pinholes underneath that could develop into blisters. These are filled with an epoxy filler or with the barrier coats if very small.

13 Aug 2001

GB uses Awlgrip bottom paint. It will require approximately 2 gallons for two coats. Cost from WM is around $600.00 in any color you want. I currently have a blue hull and have a few scratches, but no white showing through.

11 Jan 2002

Both the BoatUS and WestMarine catalogs and websites have "do-it-yourself" sections on bottom coating. The most extensive website with the most info is Interlux's website, yachtpaint.com. If you plan to trailer a lot don't worry too much about the paint you lose to the bunkboards; all the paints tested come off during repeated launchings. If you plan to re-bottom coat each year I wouldn't spend the money for the high end stuff. BoatUS sells an Interlux copper bottom coat under their own name for $50 a gallon. It goes up from there to about $200 a gallon. If you have an orbital sander you're in business. If you don't you can do it by hand but it's time consuming. I suggest buying yourself a belated or early "Christmas" present if you need a sander. Treat the existing paint just like you would your house, sand to a smooth surface but stay out of the wood, in this case gel coat. I bottom painted my ski-boat several times and had just about decided to pay someone to bottom coat the sailboat but then remembered it would cost about $400 to have some kid do what I could do myself. On second thought, I have kids, what am I thinking?

Brad Haslett
08 Jan 2003

web page developed by Logic Unlimited, Inc.