Epoxy Tar on steel hull since 1993

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by owensp, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. owensp
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    owensp Junior Member

    I have just bought a steel yacht (bruce roberts Mauritius 43ft, launched 1993). Hull was painted using the system: Steel-Epoxy tar (3 coats)-Antifouling.
    On a recent lift out and power wash some of the epoxy tar came off and also for the survey some spots were cleared to the bare metal to enable ultrasound measurements.

    Can any readers out there give advice about repainting the hull - can i just touch up the spots that are down to bare metal. Is a primer required?

    If I wanted to change the paint system (any good reason for this?) , what is the best way of going about this task?

    Any recommendations for where I can get this kind of paint? or should I put on something more modern? If so does anyone have a recommendation?

    Thanks for any advice on this subject.

    Peter Owens, Galway, Ireland.
  2. wardd
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    wardd Senior Member

    what was the condition of the bare steel?
  3. owensp
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    owensp Junior Member

    the condition of the bare steel seemed good. This was the surveyor's opinion also.
  4. wardd
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    wardd Senior Member

    1993 till now doesn't seem bad to me
  5. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    When it came off in some spots, it will most likely soon come off in other spots too.

    Therefore building up a new paint system would be sensible.

    If you completely washed it down with high pressure, and it was sticking well except for the few places you mentioned, you can go for a touch up. Use Epoxy primer on the bare metal, then apply several layers of EP tar again, before you put the antifouling on. Follow the manufacturers advice about film thickness and # of coats.

    You have to apply a primer on Ep/tar to make your antifouling stick to it!!!!

    Hansapox TE is one product
    Interlux Intertuf another

  6. tpierce
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    tpierce Junior Member

    If re-coating only the bare spots, they should be sandblasted to white metal, then repainted. Coal tar epoxy is self priming. Put on 2-3 coats. If re-coating the entire hull, brush blast all surfaces and vacuum prior to re-coating.
    Richard is correct-you'll have to use a suitable primer for any antifouling.
    mikeny likes this.
  7. baeckmo
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    baeckmo Hydrodynamics

    Agree with that, except for the requirement for primer on the tar. We use "Sigma" products for steel and alu: one layer of EP primer + two of EP tar "Tie-coat"+ two of antifouling. According to Sigma and to our experience, their AF will stick to the EP tar well enough.
  8. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Maybe a difference between the products?

    Hanse and Internatioal call for a primer prior to AF application.

    And yes, tpierce,
    Ep tar is self priming, but the standard procedure is to apply one coat of primer to the bare metal (SA 2,5)
  9. owensp
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    owensp Junior Member

    thanks for all of your replies,

    The original coal tar epoxy was a Sigma paint. three coats were painted on the bare steel and then the antifouling. According to the owner no tie-coat was applied. The problem is that i am not sure if I can get coal tar epoxy in europe anymore, read on some forums that it has been banned here, but is still available in the US!

    I have been ringing around the manufacturers for an alternative and so far sigma and jotun have supplied suggestions. These are:

    clean and sand the area, wash in fresh water
    Use patch primer , sigmacover 280 (2 pack )
    then , sigmacover 300 (2 pack)
    then tie-coat sigmacover 525 (2 pack)
    then ecofleet 530 antifouling

    prepare bare steel spots as before
    Jotamastic 87 primer
    vinyguard silver grey 88 tie-coat
    then antifouling

    Does anyone have any comments on these two systems? Most of the hull is in good condition just needing an anti-foul layer. From your posts it seems like i definitely need to paint a tie-coat layer also over the whole hull. The question is which one will be suitable for both the original coal tar epoxy and the new repair patches?
    Han you any opinions on the best way to go with this?


  10. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Thats more a question of personal taste than quality, Peter.

    Both provide perfect products for your application.

    It seems Hansapox is not longer available, you are right!

  11. larry larisky

    larry larisky Previous Member

    in the side of the steel hull, and on top of the concrete hot bitumen was used on some of the vessel i was in. i think it is coal tar.
    solid pieces, heated on a some sort of pressure vessel, then from the spigot the tar came running. very hard large round brush was used to spread the liquid.
    it runs like mad until it cool off. its a battle.
    the smell in summer is worst than dead fish. even the food taste like tar.
  12. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Is epoxy tar still a good choice for steel vessels?
  13. apex1

    apex1 Guest


    Ep primer, Ep filler, Ep paint.
  14. castaway
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    castaway New Member

    Mauritius 43

    Hi Peter

    Interested that you have just bought a BR Mauritius 43. I have done likewise just a week or so back.

    I would be interested to hear how you get along. Mine was built as a hull on the Clyde in 1993, but not completed until 2006. She is round bilged and rather nicely equiped and fitted out, also nice new Betamarine 75hp Aux instaled.

    Currently she is in W Scotland and I plan to sail her back to the Solent summer 2011.

    Is anyone aware or a BR Mauritius 43 owner group ?

    Good luck and all best


  15. Jack Hickson
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    Jack Hickson New Member

    Most paint manufacturers sell epoxy tar (International , Pittsburg, Cloverdale ,General Paint etc) , one of the best paints for steel boats ever invented. A friend summed it up by saying "One coat of that is like 5 coats of anything else, when it comes to protection."
    While they are all equal , I've been quoted prices from $44 a litre to $44 a gallon, from two paint shops side by side, for the same product.
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