Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hull Cleaning Tips for Boaters in the Oil Spill Zone

Press Release from  Interlux and Awlgrip:  Here are some tips boaters who keep their vessels in the waters of the Gulf are likely to need in the near future.

Oil Spill Cleanup Tips For Boaters
From Interlux® and Awlgrip®

Tech Hotlines Also Open
Interlux 800.468.7589
Awlgrip 888.355.3090

UNION, NEW JERSEY (USA) – In the wake of what could be the largest oil spill in US history, leading yacht paint manufacturers Interlux and Awlgrip offer boaters in the impacted areas the following tips to help clean contaminated boats.

The surface of an antifouling paint that has become contaminated with oil can become “blocked” i.e preventing the biocide from being released, which subsequently leads to premature fouling. It will also result in a contaminated layer that will make adhesion of new antifouling applications difficult.

Cleaning of contaminated antifouling surfaces:

For hard polishing and ablative antifouling paints that have been heavily contaminated the best method to use when treating the bottom is to use a paint-stripper such as Interstrip 299e to remove all the pollution and the paint, then scrub the substrate using Fiberglass Surface Prep YMA601 and a coarse Scotch-Brite pad. Rinse with fresh water. Repeat until the surface is clean (when the water cascades off of the surface with no beading or separating). Allow the surface to dry thoroughly prior to re-painting. The same process is recommended on metal boats however to avoid corrosion the metal substrate should be prepared by grinding or blasting after the cleaning process and prior to priming. To aid adhesion apply InterProtect 2000E primer per label instructions.

Sanding or sand blasting a surface that still has oil on it may drive the oil into the surface and cause a loss of adhesion of the subsequent coats.

If the coating of oil is light, powerwash and then use a household detergent with water to scrub off any pollution. Then scrub using Fiberglass Surface Prep YMA601 and a coarse Scotch-Brite pad and rinse thoroughly with fresh water. Let dry prior to re-painting. Polishing paints such as Micron Technology, may be re-launched without painting assuming the film thickness of remaining paint is adequate (2-3 mils dry after scrubbing) & the next application is scheduled within 5 months.

Cleaning of contaminated topcoat surfaces:

Contaminated topcoats should be cleaned as soon as practically possible to minimize the damaging effects of the crude. If the surface of a topcoat is contaminated with crude oil, staining and possible degradation of the topcoat may result from the acidic nature of the contaminant. The recommendations below apply to Awlgrip®, Awlcraft® 2000 and Interlux® Perfection topcoats. If there is any doubt of the type of surface in question always test a small area first.

In the case of heavy contamination, the material may be a thick, sticky tar-like material due to its exposure to the elements. It is recommended that these surfaces first be cleared by wipe down with T0016, T0170 or Mineral Spirits followed by power washing, and then cleaned with Awlwash® at a 4 oz/gallon level (or household liquid detergents such as Dawn). The detergent washing step of the cleaning process must be done in manageable areas. Each area should be then be thoroughly rinsed with plenty of clean water before moving on to the next. DO NOT allow detergent solutions to dry on the surface.

Hulls exhibiting ‘sheen’ contamination may be cleaned with the regular concentration levels of Awlwash, though they too may benefit from a prewash wipe down with T0016, T0170 or Mineral Spirits to loosen the film.

In both cases, it is recommended that the newly cleaned surface be protected from further contamination with application of Awlcare®.


Contaminated waste water should be collected per local marina guidelines, local authority regulations and/or Clean Water Act requirements. Collecting the water and the emulsified crude will prevent spreading of contamination. Crude and solvent contaminated wipes must also be disposed of in a responsible manner.
For further assistance, call Interlux Technical Service, 1+800.468.7589 or Awlgrip Technical Service, 1.888.355.3090. For more information about Interlux products, visit For more information about Awlgrip products, visit

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mississippi Sound Article in Current Issue of SAIL

One of my most recent magazine projects was an article for SAIL, that is featured in the current issue (May 2010). The article is part of SAIL's "Great Coastal Cruises" series, and highlights the Mississippi Sound and the barrier islands of the Gulf Islands National Seashore as a great destination for weekend or longer cruises on the northern Gulf Coast.

My friend, Dick Dixon, a photographer who lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and frequently sails out to the islands contributed this awesome photo of a Horn Island sunrise:

All of us who love these islands and the cruising grounds of the northern Gulf of Mexico are waiting with dread to see what will happen with the massive oil spill that is threatening to destroy it all.  It seems at this point no one has the answers, only speculation about what will happen and how bad it will be, and whether we can do anything about it.  After such a battering from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a blow like this is the last thing we need.  All we can do his hope and pray for the best and that it won't be as bad as some predict.

If you don't have a subscription to SAIL, you can get it here:  Sail
"A boat is freedom, not just a way to reach a goal."
Bernard Moitessier - A Sea Vagabond's World


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