Antifoul Removal

Bill Selsey looks at this long overdue and much dreaded activity!

The hull is starting to look like the surface of the moon due to the vast number of dry paint flakes that have been detaching over the recent years as you have applied fresh new antifouling. It has been several years since the boat was last stripped of all antifouling, but the long overdue job has been delayed due to the limited and somewhat daunting, to say the least, removal options available.

Decision time, do you: (a) accept it is going to cost an arm and a leg and arrange to have the boat lifted in a yard with blasting facilities and run the risk of unknowingly opening of osmotic blisters (b) don all the personal protective equipment you can lay your hands on and attack the job with conventional paint strippers (c) retrieve your trusty old paint scraper from the bottom of the toolbox and settle in for many days/weeks of hard manual labour, working carefully to ensure you do not gouge the hull with the sharp edge of the scraper or do you (d) look to the latest new technology available?

Tester pots of Peelaway Marine enabling you to test and perfect dwell time before investing in a 4kg or 10kg tub. Guide to coverage – 10kg tub will strip antifoul from a 30 foot yacht

Peelaway Marine is a revolutionary new product free of heavy solvents, acids or alkalis, formulated specifically to remove multiple layers of aged antifouling in one application with the greatest of ease. Apart from saving money and effort the greatest saving to using this unique product is the saving of time. “How does one save time, whilst removing antifouling?” – as Peelaway Marine works at softening the antifouling in preparation for removal, you could be getting on with other equally important jobs or socialising and enjoying a beverage of sorts!

Peelaway Marine is suitable for most hull construction materials including GRP, wood, steel and aluminium.

Peelaway Marine blanket being stripped away after suitable dwell time, safely removing the layers of old antifoul.

Peelaway Marine blanket being stripped away after suitable dwell time, safely removing the layers of old antifoul.v

As with all on board maintenance projects the key to a successful project outcome is the planning and preparation, and to make your job even easier, Peelaway Marine comes in a handy test kit. This allows you to be sure of the accurate film thickness needed and therefore the right volume to purchase and enables you to experiment with dwell time until you reach the right balance. The product can be applied to the hull and left to work for up 48 hours with no adverse effects to the substrate. The use of the test kit allows for numerous applications to various areas of the hull which, during this experimental period, you would check at hourly intervals to ascertain the required application thickness and dwell time in readiness for the main application to the entire hull. Once you have the determined this vital information and are certain the aged antifouling is dry, you are ready to get the job done. The drier the hull, the better the results will be. It is best if the boat has been out of the water in dry weather conditions for a week or so to allow the antifouling to be fully dry before you start the project.

With minimum personal protective equipment (goggles, mask and gloves) you are ready to apply the product by either trowel or provided spatula. Being a poultice it clings very well to the hull and easily conforms to tricky shapes. Once the application of an area is complete the product is covered with the supplied ‘blankets’ to ensure it is airtight to keep the product moist to allow best results. Multiple applications may be required on a hull with excessively thick films of antifouling. The purpose of using the blankets is twofold – firstly to stop the product drying out due to exposure to the elements and secondly to catch and hold the antifouling as it is peeled away from the hull. By ‘catching’ the removed product (in paste form) in the blanket, it makes this a very environmentally friendly option by not allowing removed antifouling to enter drains and water courses. Once all antifouling is removed, simply wash the hull down with fresh water and you are ready to prime and antifoul ready for next season.

I am currently researching various antifouling types and legislation and look forward to sharing my findings with you next month.

Peelaway Marine is available from many leading chandlery outlets, but if in doubt please contact Bainbridge International for your nearest stockist.

visit for detailed product information.