Bottom Work

One of the key elements to safe and efficient boating is proper care of hulls and bottom treatments. Day sailors, off shore fishers, coastal cruisers, serious racing sailboats, trawlers, multihulls, and commercial boats of all sizes benefit from FIBʼs meticulous bottom work. Expect the best materials and correct procedures for your next project involving: Barrier Coating, Location and Repair of Blisters, Hull Prep and Application of Anti-Fouling Materials. Itʼs all done here and itʼs all done right!

‘Bottom Jobs’, done over existing painted surfaces below the waterline, are one of the easiest paint projects to perform. The surfaces are sanded then covered by rolling on a new coat of anti-fouling paint.

The most prevalent problems we see in our shop are ‘flaking’ and ‘blisters’.

Flaking is usually the result of multiple coats of anti-fouling, applied over the years, but occasionally flaking occurs due to the paint ‘drying out’ after being stored out of the water. The least expensive repair is to sand the flaking areas as smooth as possible, then roll on a new coat of bottom paint. The preferred method of dealing with flaking is to totally remove the paint, down to the original gelcoat, apply an epoxy ‘Barrier Coat’, then apply a new coat of anti-fouling paint. Barrier Coating, is optional…but for the minor cost and time required…is a suggested practice to eliminate flaking, and protect the hull from ‘blistering’.

Blistering, occurs on most boats left in the water for extended periods. There are different approaches to exposing and repairing blisters. The best method, calls for removing all bottom paint, locating and grinding out ‘all’ blistered areas, then filling back in with either Epoxy Putty or a mixture of Epoxy and Glass. The bottom is then sanded smooth, Barrier Coated and painted with a fresh coat of anti-fouling. To save money, some customers elect to repair only the blisters we sand through while prepping for new bottom paint. This ‘short-cut‘ saves money, but will only avoid the inevitable results of blisters for a while.

Note: Once a boat develops ‘blisters’…they are a permanent condition to be maintained.