Moxie's bottom or Do we or Don't we

posted May 3, 2014, 9:36 PM by PacificNorthWest MultihullAssoc   [ updated May 3, 2014, 11:19 PM ]

When Linda, Mike Wright and I went down to Santa Cruz to take delivery of Moxie, she had bottom paint.   It closely resembled blacktop or Macadam.   Nothing was growing on it, so I guess it worked but I was appalled that on our 3 mile motor offshore (took possession at sea), we could not nurse more than 5 knots through the water.  So, with speed in mind, one of the tasks when we got her home was to strip her bottom.   To my surprise, once stripped the bottom was nearly flawless.   Yea, great.   This is, after all, a RACE boat.

Well, we raced her, keeping her on the trailer and all was well in Moxie land until i decided that I was getting old and convenience was asserting itself.  Now, convenience and boat may not commonly be used in the same sentence and when they do, it usually means a significant exchange of dollars.    Well, no problem, I will just spend a little bit more and keep Moxie in the water.   What?    Anti-fouling?   Bottom Paint?   Are you kidding me!  Mike and I had spent a good deal of time and money (not to mention physical abuse) getting the bottom free of that black stuff.  OK.   I'll just buy a can of bottom paint and...what do you mean what kind of bottom paint?    Hard, Modified Epoxy, high copper, low copper, no copper, ablative, racing (like THAT'S going to be cheap).   There is a dizzying array of bottom paints available, oh, and they don't all perform the same in different areas.     Fresh water, salt water, are you going to trailer the boat ("Then you can't use that one").   One moment, we are not moving but I am beginning to feel ill.  "You can do it yourself and save money."   The heck I can, just add in the chiropractor bill and nothing for pain and suffering and it will trump any savings.  Where to do it and How much?    Checked the guy at Shilshole and he tossed out $5K.   Called a fellow in Anacortes.   3 weeks later he returned my call.   Happened to mention it to someone in the Cruising club we belong to and he sent me a link to a 2 year old article that mentioned Pt Townsend.   Linda's cousin lives there and I recall his talking about new bottom on his Alerian.   I got confused and called the wrong place which turned out to be the right place (confused?   Yes, so was I).  Time for a road trip.   What do you mean the shop manager isn't here today.   Have him call me.  At this point I am wondering if anyone even wants to bottom paint Moxie.   I am half cross-eyed researching paint and still don't really know anything (well, enough to be dangerous maybe).   Then Mark called.  

Like a ray of sun, the clouds of confusion parted, horns and lutes began to play...OK so it was seagulls and it stopped raining but here was a real live person and YES they would paint Moxie.  Mark Merryman was the shop manager at Sea Marine and he patiently answered all my confused questions.   Then I had an epiphany...why not ask him what he found to work best.   "Well it depends..."   So, I told him Moxie would take the occasional trip on the trailer but live most of the time in salt or brackish water.   The boat sailed pretty fast and I wanted a smooth bottom..."Well we can burnish it as much as you want.   How smooth do you want it?"   Cha$$$Ching$$$

They charge a flat rate per foot that includes haul out (22.5 ft wide?   Uh we can't haul out that wide), chemical wash and sand the existing painted bottom (it has no bottom paint  but they will scuff sand to get a good bond), prep with a tie coat if necessary and at least 2 coats of bottom paint of my choice.   They do everything.   It will take more than a week and less than 2 weeks.   Price includes everything but the actual paint, which you can provide or they will acquire.

"What kind of paint? "  

"Red...I want it red" (maybe that will limit my choices).    

"No problem about everyone has it in red."

"Can I decide when you have the boat there?   I will bring it on the trailer and help you unfold it."

"Sure.   You can look at some examples in the yard when you are here."

We showed up as promised and Mark patiently answered all of Linda's questions (remember, for me this is the second time around) while I stood and looked wise.   "You know, Pettit makes a very good product called Ultima SR-40 and they happen to private label it for West Marine who has a very good price on it " (btw, bottom paint is pricy)    "West Marine's product is PCA Gold.   Lot of customers use it and they have not had any complaints."  Finally Linda asked if we could see examples of the type he was recommending.  In the yard we see several and I like the relatively smooth texture.   It is DECIDED, so I look around again for more parting of clouds but it is a pretty nice day so I don't see any. I help Gus, the travel lift operator, and open Moxie.   With jacks under the beams I show how we lift the boat clear of the trailer and like that the process has begun.  Sea Marine found traces of the original water line on the main hull and hit it perfectly.      

You can see in the photo how she sits.   There was nothing to go on for the floats, so they guessed.   Missed it by a bit but I'm happy.

Ten days later we reversed the process and trailered Moxie home via the Edmond's ferry.

All up it cost about $1400 and the red paint accents the red-orange of Moxie's name.   Performance has not suffered as best as I can tell.   I don't know if it is the right paint but have not seen any dead plants or animals around her and only time will tell if she sprouts hair.  I will say that I was treated very well by everyone at Sea Marine and if they steered me right will return when necessary.   Have found no over-spray and was impressed by the clean organized clutter of a busy yard.   They are right there at the head of Pt Hudson marina.   Stop by and tell them that crazy trimaran guy said he was impressed.


Martyn & Linda Adams