Bottom Paint Maintenance

It has been 17 months and 12,000 or so miles since we last hauled out at Ventura Harbor Boat Yard. We were probably good for at least the trip to the UK before needing another coat of paint, but with some other maintenance projects to do we figured to get a jump on this chore (at half the cost of doing it in Europe). So we are back at our favorite haul-out site.

bottom paint performance

Wind Horse has basically been sitting since mid-September, with a couple of brief forays away from the dock. This has been in a canal, with lots of growth potential. The grass is on a spot which has been rubbed bare of anti-fouling. Most of the rest of what you see here would polish off if we went to sea for a few hundred miles. Being close to the waterline this area gets a lot of sun, which makes for more growth.

aluminum hull undercoat

Here is the cutwater after hydro-washing. You can see the bottom paint is gone, but the undercoat is still OK. This is a pleasant surprise as the bow has taken its share of abuse. Pushing through brash ice, and rolling over a number of logs are not usually conducive to maintaining the paint film!

propeller skeg bottom paint


At the other end of the hull, the bottom and prop skeg are out of the sun and almost clean, amazing when you consider the environment in which Wind Horse has been sitting.

propeller growth after six months

The props, on the other hand, were very dirty. A combination of scale, grass, and tube worms covered them. The last time we were underway our exhaust gas temperature was way up at cruising speed, an indication the engines were working much harder. Fouling like this can cut 20% off propeller efficiency. Note the propeller zinc. It was last changed four months ago. There are a couple of months more life left in it (but we’ll change it now).

stabilizer fin damage from logs


This is the bottom of the leading edge of the port stabilizer. The starboard fin shows similar damage. These are from hitting logs. We were surprised to not find more paint damage. The rest of the bottom including keel and prop skegs all had their undercoat in good shape. Given the number of logs we’ve seen pop up behind the hull this is amazing. We are also pleased to report that the propellers show no sign of encountering debris, so the combination of hull shape, keel, stabilizers and most important, prop skegs are doing their job at shunting debris away from the props.

Wind Horse repainted botton

Wind Horse now has two new coats of anti-fouling and is ready for two+ years of cruising.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 20, 2008)

2 Responses to “Bottom Paint Maintenance”

  1. Jean-Claude. Fontaine Says:

    I actually in the process to sand the hull bottom to bare alluminum to applys 4 coat of 2 part epoxy for protection for antifauling reaction with the alluminum my question wat its the brand of antifauling tho you use on Wind Horse.s.

  2. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Jean-Claude:
    We have been using an Ameron product. If you search the website for “paint system” you will find several references. Or check