Antifouling for Props and Shafts

Ask Sail: Another boater we know treated his prop and shaft with a zinc spray paint (93 percent zinc) that he bought at Home Depot for $10. The zinc spray sounds like a good deal, but before using it I want to know if there is any downside?
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Dic King of Plymouth, Massachusetts, asks:

Last year several friends and I used a product called PropSpeed from West Marine to protect our props and shafts against fouling. One $300 kit covered about 10 to 12 sailboat props and shafts, and worked very well. Another boater we know treated his prop and shaft with a zinc spray paint (93 percent zinc) that he bought at Home Depot for $10. The zinc spray sounds like a good deal, but before using it I want to know if there is any downside to using a product like this in a marine environment.

Don Casey replies:

A zinc coating should not have any detrimental effect. To the contrary, it should protect the underlying bronze or steel from corrosion, although it should not be used on an aluminum prop. There are a lot of anecdotal reports from boaters who believe zinc coatings keep their props relatively barnacle-free. Results may vary depending on how much time is spent underway, the rotational speed of the prop and the specific fouling environment. If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to PropSpeed.

As an aside, I keep my prop clean in the tropics with a heavy application of paste wax. I have also heard that surfboard wax works well. It reportedly lasts longer and can be reapplied underwater.

Related

Shelly-forward-last-day

Charter Advice for First-Timers

Never chartered? No worries. A vacation under sail can be the most memorable time of your life. That said, it also pays to be prepared by doing some reading, building your skills and listening to what the experts say. First and foremost, not all charter grounds are created ...read more

HugoBoss

Video: Vendeé Update

Last week Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) led the fleet across the equator. As one of the class' top sailors who's been on the Vendeé Podium twice, it seemed possible that Thomson was going to grab an early lead and hold on to it all the way around the world. But early on Saturday, he ...read more

AdobeStock_229409051

Chartering Again for the First Time

It’s been a rocky road of late for the charter industry, especially here in the Western Hemisphere. First came hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean followed by Dorian in the Bahamas. There has also, of course, been the coronavirus, which burst into global prominence ...read more

01 LEAD cedaryachtclub_onedesign18_hike

An Interview with Ayme Sinclair

In recent months, US Sailing, like many organizations, has been taking a closer look at diversity to ensure it’s doing the best job it can of introducing people from all backgrounds and ethnicities to the sport. As part of this effort, this past summer it organized an online ...read more

125768940_10222759720523627_5373654001582879638_n

US Sailing Presents Adaptive Sailing Panel

On Tuesday, November 24, US Sailing’s Leadership Forum will present the latest panel discussion in their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion series. This event will focus on adaptive sailing and provide practical recommendations for organizations looking to expand their adaptive ...read more

02-IMG_5971

A Carbon Neutral Circumnav with Jimmy Cornell

Historic anniversaries have always held a special fascination for me, especially if they mark a significant nautical achievement. In 1992, on the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ would-be voyage to India, I organized a transatlantic rally that followed the historic route of the ...read more

DJI_0068

SAIL Podcast: Jimmy Cornell’s Carbon-free Circumnav

In this episode of Point of SAIL, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with bestselling author and pioneering bluewater sailor Jimmy Cornell, who set out November 19 on yet another circumnavigation aboard a newly designed, carbon-neutral Outremer 4Zero catamaran. The voyage, which ...read more

emirates-600x

Emirates Team New Zealand Splashes the last of the AC75s

Emirates Team New Zealand unveiled its second-generation AC75 yesterday, joining the other three America's Cup teams with boats in the water. In just over 100 days, this boat will attempt to defend the Cup for the Kiwis, but there's plenty of racing between now and then, with ...read more