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Bottom Paint Guide

January 28th, 2016 10:46 pm

This is the time of year where you are planning your next boating season and before you launch your boat, you more than likely will be repainting her bottom. So what to use? Today paint choices are abound, but the main choice is between; Hard antifouling and Ablative antifouling.

Biocides/toxins; When a bottom gets fouled the first sign is a slime covering the bottom called biofilm, which then leads to algae growth which in turn leads to barnacles and other creatures attaching to the bottom. To combat this Bottom paints contain biocides, cuprous oxide being the most popular, which are released at a controlled rate.

Level of Toxins Hard paints contain varying levels of biocides which are released slowly on contact with water. Ablative paints generally contain lower levels of toxins but they are released at a more steady rate as fresh paint is exposed. In addition to Cuprous Oxide many paints now include a slimicide to prevent growth of slime. Slimicides can be identified by the names; Irgarol, Biolux by Interlux, and SR Slime Resistance by Pettit.

Cost of bottom paints; You get what you pay for; Biocides and Slimicide, especially copper add to the cost of the paint and are expensive. Cheaper paints can be OK for colder water with fewer nutrients.

Hard Antifouling

Hard Antifouling dries to a hard smooth finish, but is actually full of very small pockets chock full of biocides. Over time these biocides leach out of the bottom paint killing off growth. After a while, the level of available biocides decreases; eventually offering little or no protection. Hard paints when the biocides have leached out look like swiss cheese.

Positives; Hard anti-fouling paints which work on contact with water are ideal for go-fast boats and racing sailboats, and for boats which have divers clean the bottom during the season.

Negatives; Hard paints lose their effectiveness if left out of the water, (copper oxidises) hence you need to launch soon after painting. Each year that you add hard antifouling the build-up increases and at some point you will need to strip the paint.

Types of Hard paints;

Modified epoxy paints; are one-part epoxies hard and durable which work well in various types of waters. It’s recommended that modified epoxy paint with a higher content of biocides is used in warm water and areas that are more susceptible to fouling.

Thin Film (Teflon) Paints; are very slick and organisms tend to have a hard time attaching themselves to it. To get a very smooth surface fewer biocides are used. They are generally used in fresh water due to the low levels of biocides.

Vinyl type paints are hard and durable. The coating can be polished smooth to help with speed, also have low levels of biocides but are more effective than thin film paints in salt water

Ablative bottom paints

Ablative paints are engineered to gradually wear away as the boat moves through the water. They work by layers of paint rubbing off exposing fresh biocides. One advantage of Ablatives is there is no paint build-up.

Positives; This is the best type of bottom paint for boats that spend time out of the water, because the paint does not lose effectiveness when dry.

Negatives; If you spend most of the time at the dock ablative paints will not work as they need water moving over their surface. Also if you have a fast boat too much paint will be removed leaving you with a bare bottom. Also do not dive on ablative antifouling as you will just scrub it off.

Using copolymers like Micron 66 on a displacement cruiser, there are examples of boats covering 10,000 miles on one full application.

Ablative paints include;

Ablative paints, self-polish when the vessel is underway, shedding layers which release new biocides.

Copolymer paints, binds the biocide to the pigment within an ablative binder. On contact with water a chemical reaction controls and sustains the release of biocides, before the paint wears off. Copolymers since they do not need water movement can work at the dock.

Hybrids are the latest in Ablative paints. They claim to have the qualities of hard paints and ablatives

Sloughing paints are the most inexpensive and lowest performing ablative paints. Sloughing paints are very soft. The paint is lost in visible flakes and are single season use only and utilize a soft rosin binder with low copper content.

Water-based ablatives have become available in recent years, with less odor and easier clean-up.

The future of Bottom paint
Copper free paint & other technology

The Netherlands, Sweden and some locations in Denmark have already banned the use of copper and it is coming to the US soon. Washington is the first State to ban copper starting in 2018, and so the search for good non copper paints is being waged by paint manufacturers.

Paint manufacturers believe that ECONEA™, a metal-free antifouling agent may be the future of antifouling paint. Econea, is a pharmaceutical product that has a very rapid half-life, and iit disappears quickly in the water. ECONEA-based paints like Interlux’s Pacifica Plus and Pettit’s Ultima ECO are now available.

Biocide-free foul release coatings are beginning to be available to recreational boaters, similar to products like PropSpeed used on propellers.

Apart from paints there are new technologies which are being investigated like; Ultrasonic vibration, which vibrates the water around the vessel so growth cannot attach and Shark Skin film have you seen a shark with barnacles?

Top Design & Art Schools

January 28th, 2016 10:45 pm

The top design schools are preparing creative and talented students for exciting careers in fields such as architecture, fashion, graphic art, interior design, web design and much more. There are many schools all over the nation offering a variety of art and design degrees. There are schools that are dedicated to art and design, and there are traditional community colleges and four-year universities that also offer a variety of art and design programs. These following institutions are considered to be among the top design schools in the nation for students looking to earn a practical degree and hit the ground running in a new career upon graduation:

Academy of Art University: This trusted institution, which was founded in 1929, is known as the largest private school in the country that is dedicated specifically to art and design.

The Art Institutes: This school is an excellent choice if you are looking to get a practical education in an artistic subject such as culinary arts, design, fashion, media arts and many others. Many creative professionals got their start here.

The Art Institute Online: Now the Art Institute also offers online programs to fit the needs of adult students who have jobs, families and other obligations that may keep them away from the campus. This is an especially good choice for students of web design and other subjects that require a great deal of time on the computer.

Harrington College of Design: This reputable college has been around for nearly 70 years. Known for interior design in particular, many of today’s professionals in this field got started here.

International Academy of Design & Technology: You may choose from a variety of degrees at the International Academy of Design & Technology, including computer arts, graphic design and visual communication.

Westwood College: If you want the practical skills and the academic knowledge to get started on a career in art or design, you are sure to find a good program here. This is one of the top design schools known for preparing students to begin their careers as soon as they graduate.