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The Right Way to Paint - Page 3

Part 3: Purtell says that under ideal conditions, this paint system’s lifespan can be “almost indefinite.”

Photo: Jerry Wyszatycki

Our final step was the application of Trilux 33, an antifouling paint that Purtell explained is replacing Interlux Trilux and Micron 33. It contains Biolux, a proprietary slime-blocking additive that Purtell refers to as a “boosting biocide.” Although it’s ablative (it wears away with age), it uses a slow-polishing system that reduces the loss of paint film. Trilux 33 is also tin-free, as are all EPA-approved paints. You should apply at least two coats; a 3⁄8-inch foam roller works best.

The spec sheet for Trilux 33 specifies quite a range in the recommended times between coats, and the reason is temperature. I’ve worked on boats at both ends of the East Coast, and in Maine I often applied bottom paint with temperatures in the 40’s, while in South Florida it might be 95 degrees. In the first case, you’re looking at around 20 hours before applying a second coat, while in the second, four hours is all that is required. Needless to say, reading the spec sheet on recoat times is highly recommended.

A final note about painting props: Many yards don’t paint props because they believe the paint won’t stick. Purtell says that if this application regimen is scrupulously followed, the paint will stick. And, he says, even though the paint does wear off the blades, it sticks to the hubs, which is important. However, he cautions that too much paint can throw off balanced blades and result in vibration.

Is all this worth it? Purtell says that under ideal conditions, this paint system’s lifespan can be “almost indefinite.” In fact, he says Interlux uses these products on steel and aluminum megayachts and routinely gets ten years of life out of them. So ignore the advice of Billy Rose—here’s one place where it’s definitely worth investing your money on paint.

Interlux Phone: (800) 468-7589. www.yachtpaint.com.

Craig Anderson is a freelance writer in Florida.