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:
Publish date:
asksail_antifouling

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:

DonCasey

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

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com No chafe, safe stay  If you’re leaving the boat unattended for a longish period, there’s a lot to be said for cow-hitching the shorelines, as this sailor did. They’ll never let go, and so long as the ...read more

belize600x

Charter Special: Belize

It would be hard to imagine a more secure spot than the Sunsail base on the outskirts of the beachside community of Placencia, Belize. The entire marina is protected by a robust seawall with a channel scarcely a few boatlengths across. It’s also located far enough up Placencia ...read more

DSC00247

DIY: a Top-to-Bottom Refit

I found my sailing “dream boat” in the spring of 1979 while racing on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Everyone had heard about the hot new boat in town, and we were anxiously awaiting the appearance of this new Pearson 40. She made it to the starting line just before the race ...read more

01-oysteryachts-regattas-loropiana2016_063

Light-air Sails and How to Handle Them

In the second of a two-part series on light-air sails, Rupert Holmes looks at how today’s furling gear has revolutionized sail handling off the wind. Read part 1 here. It’s easy to look at long-distance racing yachts of 60ft and above with multiple downwind sails set on roller ...read more

HanseCharles

Video Tour: Hanse 348

“It’s a smaller-size Hanse cruiser, but with some big-boat features,” says SAIL’s Cruising Editor, Charles J. Doane. At last fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, Doane had a chance to take a close look at the new Hanse 348. Some of the boat’s highlights include under-deck galleries for ...read more

amalfitown

Charter Destination: Amalfi Coast

Prego! Weeks after returning from our Italian flotilla trip last summer, I was still feeling the relaxed atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast. It’s a Mediterranean paradise, with crystal-clear waters, charming hillside towns and cliffside villages, plenty of delicious food and wine, ...read more

image005

Inside or Outside When Sailing the ICW

Last April, my wife, Marjorie, and I decided to take our Tartan 4100, Meri, north to Maryland from her winter home in Hobe Sound, Florida. This, in turn, meant deciding whether to stay in the “Ditch” for the duration or go offshore part of the way. Although we had both been ...read more

MK1_30542

SailGP: There’s a New Sailing Series in Town

San Francisco was the venue of the biggest come-from-behind victory in the history of the America’s Cup when Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013, so it seems only fitting that the first American round of Larry Ellison’s new SailGP pro sailing series will be ...read more