The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Tips For Using Zinc-Based E-Paint Antifouling

We have been using various formulas of zinc-based antifouling paint (copper is out for Morgan’s Cloud since she is aluminum) from E-Paint for 12 years with varying results. For the last three years we have been using their ablative ZO product with generally good results.

However, there are a few things to know:

  1. E-Paint ZO works well as long as you move the boat at least once a week but it is very poor at warding off slime and grass when the boat is sitting in one place. What happens is that once a layer of slime appears, it seems to encapsulate the active ingredients and prevent them from releasing. The key is not to let this process get going, either by moving the boat once a week, which will slough off the slime easily, or by giving it a light scrub about once a month while diving.
  2. The paint has failed at the water line (see photo) twice in just 9 months resulting in us having to recoat even though the paint on the rest of the bottom had plenty more life in it. And this despite having applied five coats to the water line area. We understand from the manufacturer that this is caused by the combination of lapping action and sunshine. To stop this happening again, we now first applied two coats of ZO-HP, which is the same formula as ZO but non-ablative, prior to coating with three coats of ZO. That has worked well and solved the problem.
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Neil McCubbin

Our experience with E-Paint has been like yours. Last time around we painted one side of the rudder with HP, and the other with ZO. The HP was quite a lot better.

Main problem with E-Paint has been that after about 4 years of 2-3 coats each, it started lifting off when rolling the new paint on, leaving bare barrier epoxy. Our original epoxy was cured months before first E-Paint, which is not a good way of doing it.

Edward Bondellio

I’m considering Pettit Ultima Eco ablative paint on my aluminum hull…have you or any of your followers had experience with this econea based antifouling paint?

Alan Teale

Hi John, What are you using currently for bottom paint? We are wintering in Canada for the first time and from what I understand the antifouling paints we have used hitherto on Kiviuq, which is an alloy boat, such as Micron CF in the US and the excellent Seajet Emporer in the UK are not available here.
We have been advised to use Trilux II, which is copper isothiocyanate-based, but I am far from convinced. It is recommended by Interlux for alloy boats but hitherto I have not been able to get any justification for such recommendation. It also took some persistence to find out what the active constituent is.

Frank Mulholland

We hope to return to our Ovni in Nova Scotia, this month, to begin a long delayed fit-out. I’m finding it difficult to source suitable aluminium friendly, antifoul paint. Did you manage to get the epaint ZO shipped from the US? Any other recommendation?

Frank Mulholland

Hi john,
Many thanks for the speedy reply. I had a feeling that Trilux would be the “answer”. It’s usually the only choice and we have never really been happy with the performance. It’s backed-up by an ultrasonic antifoul system, so I never really knew how effective either is and they totally failed to work in the tropics. Oh well; back to Trilux for another year.
Kind Regards

Michael Hiscock

For those Canadians who use Trilux, this week I was informed by two separate yards that Interlux will no longer be supplying the Canadian market. Only what is on the shelves will be available. Supposedly due to supply chain issues combined with Canadian red tape.

BTW apparently other antifouling products are also affected, but I forget those mentioned.

The remedy for metal boats–a really good barrier coat and a copper-based product!