How do you remove existing antifouling?


If you want to remove antifouling from your boat, there are different techniques that you can use. Which one is right for your boat depends on the existing antifouling on your boat and your personal preferences.


Here are some methods you can use to remove antifouling:


  • Sanding antifouling
    Antifouling can be sanded off easily. You will need a sander and appropriate sandpaper. Make sure you wear protective equipment such as a face mask and glasses. Hook up your vacuum cleaner to the sander and make sure you are using the correct sandpaper. Sand off layer by layer and keep the sander flat to the surface. Don’t put too much pressure on it, because this could lead to cracks and scratches.
  • Removing antifouling with a paint scraper
    A paint scraper can be used to remove old antifouling. Wear protective clothes such as a mask and glasses. The best choice for a paint scraper is one with a vacuum cleaner attached. This will save you a lot of time cleaning up. Scraping antifouling has the advantage of being able to remove several layers of antifouling and primer. The downside is that it can be physically demanding.
  • Sandblasting antifouling
    Another method of removing antifouling is sandblasting. This method involves using water mixed with sand to blast layer after layer of antifouling from the boat with high pressure. Sandblasting is the most effective method of sanding and is suitable for all surfaces. The advantage of this method is that individual layers can be removed. However, you won’t be able to do it yourself and you have to get it done by a professional.

Removing antifouling tips

To get the best results, make sure you read the warning labels of the antifouling removal product and the antifouling used on the boat.
Antifouling contains biocides that could be harmful. That’s why you should always wear protective clothing when removing antifouling. Also make sure you work in a well-ventilated environment. Antifouling residues must be collected and disposed of properly.


Which antifouling do I need for my boat?

To find out which antifouling you need, you will first need to know what types of antifouling there are. The overview below shows which types of antifouling there are:

  • Regular antifouling
    This type of antifouling contains water-soluble biocides that are slowly released to reduce the rate of growth of marine life.
  • Hard antifouling
    Hard types of antifoul use biocides that dissolve very slowly in water, so they gradually dissolve as the season progresses. Hard antifouling is ideal for racing yachts and for fast powerboats.
  • Eroding antifouling
    Eroding antifoulings use a paint that is very slightly soluble in water. Microscopic fragments of it are constantly falling off to expose fresh biocides. This has the advantage that the build up of layers of antifoul is reduced. Eroding antifoulings are most suitable for cruising yachts.
  • Fresh water antifouling
    Boats that are kept in freshwater need protection against different species of fouling compared to those who are kept in a saltwater environment.



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