We hadn’t necessarily planned on hauling out after our Atlantic crossing before doing whatever came next. But Hannah had a small fight with a mooring buoy in early 2023 which had taken many layers of anti-foul paint off in 1 location of the keel, and we wanted to get it re-applied and overall we could tell it was wearing in places.
So out she came in Guadeloupe Marina, at the time one of the cheapest places to get hauled out and to stay on land. Thanks, Danae for doing the research on that one. But also note that they put the prices up severely days after we were hauled out (luckily we kept the cheaper price after a lot of negotiation).
We already power-washed Hannah’s hull below the waterline immediately after getting hauled out and collected many of the paints that we needed for the painting from previous chandlery shops. We primarily need a couple of colors with a focus on grey hard anti-fouling for beneath the waterline, as well as some white for the waterline stripe itself.
First, we rented an electric random orbital sander with dust collection from the same tool place that we had rented the power washer and got to sanding, which we spent a full day on.
Sanding is important to ensure that the new anti-foul adheres properly. It helps to remove any loose old antifouling paint, contaminants, and debris that may have accumulated on the hull. Sanding also creates a rough surface on the hull, which allows the new antifouling paint to adhere better.
We didn’t sand off all of the old antifoul but made sure to rough it all up, and where there were imperfections in the antifoul we sanded slightly more to come to a smoother surface.
As we were using a slightly different base antifoul we applied a primer first, Hempels underwater Primer (light grey). This first involved masking off the top coat to avoid any accidents before covering the whole hull in primer.
Primers are important before painting new antifoul on a boat because they act as a bonding agent, prevent blistering and corrosion, smooth out imperfections, and provide added protection against the elements. They improve the overall performance and longevity of the antifoul coating.
We managed to paint the first coat in 2-3 hours, but don’t worry there are many more coats to come!
Overcoating times are important because they ensure that the previous coat of antifoul paint has cured properly before applying a new coat. Applying a new coat too soon can cause the antifoul paint to lift, crack, or not adhere properly, resulting in poor performance and premature failure of the coating. Following the manufacturer’s recommended overcoating times ensures optimal adhesion and performance of the antifoul paint, and helps to extend the life of the coating.
Painting in the Caribbean heat certainly means you can paint more coats a day than in cooler Europe, but you also end up sweating a bunch more!
We wanted to vary all of our under-the-waterline paint colors so that we would know how much has been worn through or scrubbed off when we clean the hull so next up is a blue antifoul coat.
Next, we mixed some of the last coat of blue with a future coat of grey to create a darker blue.
And on top of that, we painted with just the grey tin giving us a grey coat all over.
Last but not least we finished with a coat of the same antifoul that we had on before so the hull would remain the same darker grey.
Next, we had to mask the bottom edge of the white stripe for painting with hard antifoul.
We had measured the thickness of the line in various places (you can see the bits of tape with measurements written on stuck on the top coat) however even with the new coats of anti foul we could still just see the ridge of the previous line which we had tried to avoid sanding away, so taping was easy.
The painting began, and as you can see, lots of coats are needed for white on darker colors.
After 4 coats, we had a perfectly repainted boat with crisp edges.
Peeling off the masking tape at the end brings the same satisfaction as peeling off a brand new screen protector.
You may notice that the boat is obviously still held in place by stands. It’s expensive and time-consuming to keep moving these while painting the main coats, so we would only be applying a couple of quick coats of antifoul on the day we get hauled back into the water while the boat is in the crane slings.
We made sure to cushion the strops for the crane when being lifted in to avoid it rubbing or scratching any paint off, particularly our lovely white stripe.
You can see the ugly unpainted patch, now that the stand has been moved that needs a few coats of paint.
After a little sanding, cleaning, and a couple of coats of paint, it’s almost impossible to tell.
Getting back in the water we can leave for a future post!