Frequently asked questions about boat maintenance

In this article, we cover the most frequently asked questions on boat maintenance. We answer questions on antifouling, primers, polishes and boat paints. For more advice, questions, tips and information, please feel free to contact our specialists.

What types of antifouling are there?

A common question about antifouling is the question of what types there are. You use antifouling to combat fouling on the underwater hull. You have two different systems: self-sharpening antifouling and hard antifouling.

Self-sharpening antifouling

Self-sharpening antifouling is also known as 'soft antifouling'. This system 'wears out' itself through the friction of water, releasing biocides. The advantage of self-sharpening antifouling is that it does not build up layer thickness and can be applied over both self-sharpening antifouling and hard antifouling. However, it is necessary to apply a new layer of antifouling every season.

Popular self-sharpening antifoulings:

Hard antifouling

When hard antifouling comes into contact with water, substances in the paint that prevent fouling dissolve. The hard paint layer is left behind and will no longer work after some time. So over the years, you build up a hard paint layer that has to be removed after a few years before you can apply a new layer. So you can use this system for several years and wet polish in between.

Popular hard antifoulings:

Want to know more about antifouling coating and how to apply it? Then also read the information article "All about antifouling"

What antifouling do I need for my boat?

The antifouling you need for your boat depends on the waterways and the material and speed of your boat.

  • Self-sharpening antifouling: slow vessels (up to 25 knots)
  • Hard antifouling: fast vessels (faster than 25 knots)

To start, it is important to know which system is currently on your boat. You can easily check this by rubbing the underwater hull with a wet cloth. If the paint comes off on the cloth, self-sharpening antifouling has been applied. If this does not give off, you are dealing with a hard antifouling coating. Now that you know what antifouling has been applied to your boat, you can decide which system to use. For slow-moving vessels (up to 25 knots), we recommend using a self-sharpening antifouling. If you apply soft antifouling to fast vessels, the system will wear out in no time due to the friction released by fast sailing. For vessels sailing faster than 25 knots, we recommend applying hard antifouling.

Can I apply a new layer of antifouling over the old layer?

If there is still an old self-sharpening system on your boat's underwater hull, you need to remove it first. This can be done by sanding, hosing down or scratching your boat with, for example, a vacuum scraper. If the substrate has a hard antifouling and you put exactly the same system over it, it is sufficient to just sand and degrease it.

What paint can I use above the waterline?

Varnishing your boat above the waterline is easy with DD Lacquer (Double Coat). If the current surface already has a layer of Double Coat Lacquer, you can sand and degrease it before applying a new layer of lacquer. At Polyestershoppen.nl, DD Lacquer is available in all RAL colours and in different quantities in high glosssilk gloss and matt gloss. Is there an unknown or 1-component varnish on your boat? Then sand it first and apply a suitable primer before applying a 2-component system. Priming your boat is easy with HB Coating or ZF Primer.

Want to know more about applying DD Lacquer? Please read our information article "Painting a boat above the waterline".

Do I need to prime my boat?

Whether you need to primer your boat depends on the substrate and the work you want to do. If you want to apply the material to a surface it is already on, sanding and degreasing is often sufficient. When the surface is unknown, you should always sand and primer it with a suitable primer before applying a finishing coat.

Want to know more about primers? Please read our information artice "All about boat primers".

How can I sand the non-skid part?

Sanding the non-skid part of your boat is a tricky job because you can't actually do it with a machine. You have to sand the non-skid by hand and preferably with a sanding sponge, as it can get between the non-skid well. You can also roughen the non-skid surface with a wire brush or brass brush.

Want to know more about applying non-skid? Please read our information article "Applying non-skid coating in your boat".  

What do I need to properly polish/polish my boat?

The material you should use to polish your boat properly depends on its condition. For polishing your boat, we recommend using Riwax polishes. Want to know more about polishing your boat? Please read our information article "Maintaining and polishing your boat".

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