Readers ask the experts: • How do you moor in a box berth? • Can I antifoul on one tide? • Should I split VHF and AIS aerials?
QCan you recommend a method for applying antifouling between tides? We would like to antifoul our bilge-keeler on the beach, rather than lifting out.
We can scrub off on the previous tide to save time. The problem, after freshwater rinsing and drying, is having time for the paint to dry before the boat refloats. Paint manufacturers normally recommend impractical drying times but we don't want to waste paint by ruining it immediately. Vic Campbell
ATrevor Fielding, British Coatings Federation, replies: It is essential to antifoul in a suitable location that meets with the approval of the authorities, such as a hard-standing bunded area away from the general public, where washings and waste scrapings may be captured and treated accordingly. A beach does not comply with this requirement.
As regard to ‘impractical’ drying times, that I’m afraid is the nature of the chemistry of our antifouling coatings. Some may be slightly faster drying than others, but the drying times need to be respected to ensure the correct level of performance and longevity. Jane Swan, Project Manager at The
Green Blue, adds: Wherever you prep and apply antifoul, it’s important to catch pollutants and fragments in the run off from jet-washing or scrubbing, as well as dust and flakes when scraping. When you are painting, it’s also important to catch drips and spills. This is why we recommend lift-out and the use of a washdown area with interceptors, and then laying tarpaulins under the boat when dry prepping and applying.
Dick Durham replies: I've antifouled my boat between tides for years. Simply pick a morning and evening tide and put her against posts. As the tide ebbs, use a brush to scrub off, then leave to dry – it won't take more than an hour or two on a fine day – before whacking on your new coat. Also sand and rinse off if you have time. Antifoul dries very quickly and most paints now can be immersed straight away.
RIGHT: It is possible to antifoul between tides, but will you damage the paint or the environment by doing so?