Note sent to Glen-L about paint experience

Subject: TO: Barry Email for newsletter
      Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2000 10:19:13 -0500
      From: Ray Macke

      Dear Barry, 

      I thought I would pass along some information I have learned concerning paints
      for my Cabin Skiff project. My Skiff is not going to stay on the water and will live
      most of it’s life on the trailer stored indoors. But once or twice a year it may sit
      for five or 6 days in the water. 

      Because of this I was not interested in an Antifouling bottom paint. In fact, most
      suppliers I contacted advised against using an antifouling paint on a trailered
      boat. They stated that if the compounds in the paint was continually exposed to
      the air they would quickly oxidize and loose its effectiveness. Also, from what I
      have seen, they tend to chalk badly when stored out of the water. 

      Still I was in need of a paint that could withstand total submersion. All of the
      non-antifouling marine paints I was seeing in catalogs were billed as “topside”
      and not design for use below the waterline. My first thought was to use am
      industrial enamel. I went to the local Sherwin Williams store and explained my
      application and ask for their recommendation. They informed me that they had
      nothing that would work for my use. They stated that their enamels would
      weather just fine above the waterline but would fail very quickly when

      I then decided to give Interlux a call and ask what they had available. The first
      Paint Tech I spoke to recommended their “Brightside” topcoat paint. I questioned
      its use below the water line and was told although it really wasn't designed for
      that it would hold up if continuous water contact was limited to seven days. If it
      was there longer than that it would blister. Sounded good to me and I decided
      that was the way to go. I asked them to send me a color chart and spec sheet. 

      When I received the information I looked over it and had a few questions. I
      called back and got a different paint tech and asked the questions. In the
      process I decided to again ask about using Briteside below the waterline. This
      time I was told it would work OK if left in the water for a maximum of FIVE days.
      A few days later I had a few more questions. I called and got another paint tech.
      I decided to ask about the bottom use. This tech rep told me that THREE days
      was the max and it would blister in FOUR. Nowhere on their printed spec sheet
      did it list the total days it could withstand water contact. 

      Disgusted I decided to try a different brand. I called TopCoat that sells Pettit
      marine paints. I explained my application and asked about their “EasyPoxy”
      which is similar to Briteside. They immediately told me not to use it. The
      explained that it would not hold up and blister. What they did recommend was
      their PolyPoxy. It is a 2 part epoxy based paint. They explained that their spec
      sheet stated that the suggested submersion time was four days but said that
      was a conservative number and that 5 or even 6 days shouldn't be a problem. 

      The answer still wasn't what I was looking for but it looked like it was the best I
      was going to find. The faxed me a spec sheet and in reading it I noted that they
      stated that the paint would have a tendency to chalk if used to paint horizontal
      surfaces that would be exposed to sunlight. It added that chalking would be
      minimal on the vertical sides on the hull. 

      This wasn't the greatest news but it seemed I had little choice. I found that
      Interlux also has a epoxy based paint called VC Underwater that sounded similar.
      But the literature they sent me didn't even mention it and neither had their tech
      reps. It may be acceptable but after my experience with their “mixed” information
      I didn't even want to call them back. I decided to go with the PolyPoxy but am
      only going to use it up to about 2 inches above the waterline. Above that I am
      changing to a topside paint. This should eliminate the chalking problem but still
      provide the protection I need. 

      I purchased the paint and have applied it. I used the roll/brush method and it
      gave a decent finish although not as nice as spraying. But there was a lot less
      mess evolved. It did require a certain technique to get it on smoothly and I
      would suggest anyone using it start in an area that will be mostly hidden so they
      can get a feel for the process. 

      In the course of choosing a paint I have been very surprised by two things. First,
      I am amazed that there is not actually a bottom paint available other than
      antifouling that will handle longer submersion. I realize this is a somewhat
      limited market but I still would have thought that there would be something.
      Second, that a big company like Interlux that specialize in selling marine paint
      has no better tech support available. You would think that ALL the tech reps
      would at least be reading form the same book not just making it up as they go. 

      I plan to add this info and more detailed description of the application technique
      I found that worked for me on my web page at

      Ray Macke 

       Berry at Glen-L replied - 

      Comment: I have found that generally the paint company tech reps are very
      helpful and very knowledgeable, but not on this subject. I believe the problem
      lies with the manufacturers. Their paints are not designed for indefinite
      immersion, and their "official" recommendation is that they not be used below
      the waterline. The tech reps know that they can be submerged for short periods
      of time, but for lack of concrete data, they make their own conservative or not so
      conservative "guesstimates". I asked Glen what he used on the Sissy Do. It was
      kept constantly in the water for over 20 years. He used marine bottom paint. -