The boat‘s water glide, ensured by good hull work, is a crucial element if we want to bring out 100 percent of its performance from our craft. Maniacally caring for the preparation of the hull, and its maintenance, is a key job in achieving this goal, but how?
IT ALL STARTS AT THE CONSTRUCTION SITE
Once the boat is hauled out, the first thing to do is to wash the hull with apressure washer so as to remove all vegetation and any spent layers of the old antifouling. With that done, and the hull allowed to breathe and dry for a few weeks, it is time to prepare the bottom on which to pass the new antifouling. General sanding so as to prepare a completely smooth surface before application is particularly effective. In the case of boats that will be used in regattas, it is advisable to use a hard matrix paint. This will allow us during the season to be able to “take back” the hull with quick hauls to gently clean it with a sponge. In the case, on the other hand, of a cruising boat that sails for a long time, choosing a self-sanding paint might be a good solution.
The goal is to achieve as smooth and polished a final surface as possible to promote smoothness of the hull. No application of antifoulings better than spraying meets this criterion. In fact, this technique ensures a more controlled application of the amount of paint and eliminates the roughness of the roller pass. The latter is still a valid method, however, provided that after the last coat we do a final sanding at least 24 hours later using a 600-grit sand paper to water sand and remove imperfections or roughness. An operation by the way that is also advisable in the case of spray application.
IT TAKES LITTLE TO MAKE IT DIRTY
From the moment the boat goes into the water it takes only 24 hours to start the biological process that will lead to the formation first of a patina, then as the days go by of a real plant formation on the hull. For this reason, if we are planning to participate in a regatta even a week after launching, it is advisable, in compliance with current regulations that do not allow the operation to be carried out everywhere, to have a diver intervene to pass a soft patch through the hull. Alternatively, a quick hauling with rinsing the hull with fresh water (not pressure in this case) and using a soft sponge can be very effective in removing the patina that will certainly have already formed.
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