Antifoul - Antifouling Paint



Includes Bitumen for Narrowboats

Or how to look after your bottom

If you are a narrow boat owner in the UK, you are one with an easy choice. When it comes to blacking the bottom (or more accurately the side of your boat that is under water) of your boat the majority choice is International blacking. Some people skimp, but you really should use 4 coats. When we black a narrow boat for others we normally use the entire contents of a 25 litre drum of blacking on a boat in the 50 to 60 foot range. It is an important job that needs to be done every 2 to 3 years. We see narrow boats here that have not had this treatment, and the water line damage can be very scary.

Most of the none narrow boats on our waterways are glass fibre these days, but there are steel cruisers, and of course there is still a good proportion of wooden vessels like ours.

Antifouling on these vessels is more varied. There is actually no reason why blacking could not be used but the preference is for more scientifically based antifouls. The is partly due to these boats having more performance but also there are aesthetic reasons. Whatever the reasons for your choice, NOT antifouling is not an option if you want your boat to remain in good health.

An aside here, which I hope you will enjoy and perhaps make you think. At Christmas 2013 we will have been here on our home mooring for nine years. In that time we have seen the same narrow boat here on our yard, twice, stripping vinyl tiles off the side of his narrowboat, below the waterline that is. The metal underneath is like new! Makes you think.......

Back to antifouls. It has got very technical nowadays. We've got ablatives, none ablatives, sloughing, epoxies, vinyls and Copolymers. The Copolymers are looking very promising but relatively new.

My own advice. Make sure the antifoul you are thinking of using is suitable for your hull material and the water you will largely use, choose a well known name at the best price and more importantly make sure you redo the work at least every two years. A rule of thumb for good quality antifouling paints is one coat for each season (that the boat is going to be in the water) and one coat beside. I would suggest three coats of antifouling paint and removal from the water every two years. Don't forget to check your anodes.

The first Ebay link below is site sensitive, so if you are in the UK, USA, Canada or Australia it should link you to your own local EBAY.

First of all an Amazon link for our narrow-boating friends in the UK

UK Link to Narrowboat Bottom Blacking Bitumen From

Lastly, the UK Carousel link.