Reading this site you may learn about my experiences using the epoxy primer VC TAR2 and the anti-fouling VC17m (both from International) on the bottom of our h-boat.
Our h-boat was bought in Sweden in the fall of 2005. For years it has been used first in Finland and later in Sweden as a racing boat with out any paint below the waterline. The former owner decided to paint the boat in order to keep the boat in the water all through the season saving him the trouble using a crane after each day on the water. The fibre glass below the waterline was sanded and painted with three layers of VC TAR2 from the company International. The colour of this primer was black and followed by two or three layers of the very thin VC17 in copper/gray. The colour is copper during the painting but after a few weeks in salty water the copper corrodes and the colour changes to dark gray.
We bought the boat and used it for one season without repainting it even though it was needed. We raced a lot in 2006 and whenever we used the crane to put it on the trailer we washed it and thereby avoided too much fouling. By the end of 2006 we decided to change the colour from gray to white making the look of the boat more “light”. By 2009 rumers had it, that the white colour was to be taken off the market as there were difficulties in controlling the mixture. Still I have seen a few buckets in the marine stores…
We weren’t to sure about the thickness of the VC TAR2 layer and decided to thickend it by a white colour making it easier to cover the gray colour from the old layer. I have always heard that you must not put a two-component paint (here VC TAR2) on a one component paint (here VC17) but to make sure we called WATSKI who surprised me by stating that it shouldn’t be a problem. I asked again to be sure and still the answer was the same.
One of my friends works at a place where they have the ability of hosting an h-boat during a week in the winter and to our luck the place also have a crane. We slightly sanded the boat and made sure that the temperature of the hull and especially the keel (725 kgs. of iron) had reached at least 15°C. As we sanded the hull below the waterline not all of the VC17 had come off but according to WATSKI the fact didn’t matter. We painted the boat in VC TAR2 in white and were very happy with the result. During the drying process we discovered that cracks had occured in the paint. I called one of my friends who works for WATSKI as well and after her arrival she was kind enough to put five nails in our newly painted boat and scratched off the layer to prove that it didn’t stick to the reminiscent gray VC17. In other words, we hadn’t proceeded at all!
To make the painting in a proper way we had to remove the white VC TAR 2 as it didn’t stick satisfatory so to the hull and to paint more layers would be useless. We pushed the boat outside the hall and started to steam clean the hull. We spent 7 hours in a row to clean as much of the VC TAR 2 off the boat as possible.
Hereafter the boat had to dry indoor for at least a day and the plan would then be to paint VC 17 on the boat until a white colour was reached. In fact the VC 17 is very thin and it requires several layers of white to cover the heavy gray colour – actually we decided to put an extra layer or two in order to be able to sand the boat after it was painted to reach the fastest surface possible. We ended up painting the boat eight! times before we were satisfied.
I write this in the wish that it might prevent other sailors from a lot of work removing a two-component primer. I have had good help from WATSKI and wrong guidance from one person in a staff shouldn’t affect the overall positive picture. To this day we have been satisfied with the products and it works well for us, racing as well as cruising. Use foam rubber rollers and fill it with as much VC 17 every time you dip and one pot of VC 17 should cover your h-boat 1½ time. Good luck with your painting.