Ownership: Painting and anti-fouling treatment of aluminium boats

Painting and anti-fouling treatment of aluminium boats

Maintenance & Care

In coastal areas, anti-fouling paint can be used to prevent the hull from becoming covered by marine bio. Fouling on the hull significantly increases fuel consumption. An alternative to using anti-fouling paint is to mechanically clean the hull during the boating season. Barnacle larvae, which can be hard to remove after the boating season, are easy to remove soon after they attach themselves to the hull in late July and early August.

Boats that are kept on trailers and in freshwater lakes do not require anti-fouling treatment. Always comply with local regulations when using anti-fouling paints.

Anti-fouling treatment of aluminium boats

Do not use copper-based anti-fouling paints on aluminium boats, as the copper in the paint reacts with the aluminium and corrodes it. 

Use only anti-fouling paint designed for aluminium boats; we recommend Hempel AluSafe. Before coating the hull with anti-fouling paint, apply a sufficiently thick and water-tight layer of epoxy primer to all surfaces below the waterline.

Always follow the instructions provided by the paint manufacturer.

Anti-fouling treatment of boats delivered with an epoxy primer coating

Anti-fouling paint designed for aluminium boats can be applied directly on top of the epoxy primer coating applied at the factory’s industrial coating line as follows:

  • Clean the boat’s hull using a grease and oil remover designed for aluminium boats.
  • Lightly scrub the hull until it loses gloss, and rinse off the dust using fresh water.
  • Allow the hull to dry and apply a sufficient coat of anti-fouling paint designed for aluminium boats, carefully following the instructions provided by the paint manufacturer.
  • Never use copper-based anti-fouling paints on aluminium boats.

Removing anti-fouling paint from the hull

Carefully follow the instructions provided by the paint manufacturer when removing an existing anti-fouling coat. Never dry-sand old anti-fouling paint, as the paint dust is toxic. It is also important to collect all paint waste afterwards.

When treating aluminium, always use grinding equipment suitable for aluminium, such as aluminium oxide wheels that do not produce metal particles corrosive to aluminium.

Old paint can also be removed by sandblasting, using fine-grade abrasive media. Remove all oil and grease from the surface before sandblasting using a cleaning agent such as acetone. Exercise care when sandblasting the sides of the boat and make sure that the aluminium does not stretch. Complete the cleaning by rinsing the hull with fresh water.

Exercise care when sandblasting the sides of the boat and make sure that the aluminium does not stretch.

Never use a paint stripper or remover if you have the slightest doubt about the product’s suitability for aluminium.

Avoid using heat for removing paint, as heat can damage metallic paint, as well as rubber and plastic parts.

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