I had a light duties day today, the beam is still curing so I cant do much with it. I did remove some of the peel ply to see how it came out, I am quite happy. So I glued some duracore panels ready to strip them for planking, I did a little more work on the dingy repairing a spot on the underside where I sanded through a tape but was not aware until I painted it and it showed up through the paint and had a quick clean up, although a more thorough clean up is due, especially on the boat which had a lot of dust in it now.
I also checked on the PureSeal sample today and I am happy to report on the first birthday of this sample that it is still performing as it should. After being in the water for a year I am still able to easily clean off the slight growth of algae that has grown since the last test 3 months ago, using just the pad of my index finger. The only degradation seems to be some hairline scratches starting to appear on the surface here and there. I don’t know how they got there, maybe the result of friction of the rubbing clean but I doubt it, nevertheless these don’t seem to be effecting the performance of the coating. Algae or other more serious growth does not get any hold on the panel. The pictures below show the sample cleaned after a year in the water on the left and the original sample before it went into the water on the right. You can also see some of the bigger scratches or marks on the panel were there all along and not degradation. The hairline scratches starting to appear do not show up on the photos and as I said don’t seem to be effecting the way the panel cleans up. You cannot see them through the algae, they become noticeable half way through cleaning as the dirty water shows them up, but then disappear again once completely clean.
My feeling is that the panel is now about a third of the way to proving its worth. If the panel can continue to perform like this and maintain this finish for 3 years it is worth the cost, any longer than 3 years being a bonus, if you can get 5 years all the better (the manufacturer claims 10 years!). I figure it is about twice the cost of a traditional anti foul and if you factor in the cost of slipping a 40ft cat with a 20ft beam twice in 3 years or 3 times in 5 years we are starting to see a considerable saving and of course getting 5 years and its a no brainer. I don’t believe it is right to beach the boat to apply a traditional antifoul but beaching to give this type of coating a dry rub, or to rub it clean in the water is environmentally fine, after all it is only algae coming off it. Not to mention how much easier a light rub every 3 months would be compared to a lift out every 18 months. I will have outboards (petrol or one day perhaps electric) so other than a safety inspection of the underside of the boat I cant see any reason the boat should need slipping if this stuff passes the test.
I think I will trim the beam down tomorrow and I will start on the inside bow strip planking this week. I have to be in Melbourne this week so I wont get to work everyday.