Much Improvement After Antifouling Work – Motoring to the River Yealm

Slips Along Lovely!

I couldn’t wait to see how much difference all the hard work in the boat yard had made.

Ever since I bought the boat in Oct 2016 she’s had a really weedy bottom. The Yanmar 1GM 8hp engine has struggled to push her along at any more than 4Kts and any attempt to go faster has resulted in clouds of black smoke as the engine is put under too much load.

After all the work on the bottom I was keen to get out and see what difference all the work had made.

Unfortunately there was no wind, but I did have a lovely motor over to the river Yealm. On the way back into the Plym I touched 6Kts under motor alone and she was really happy chugging along at 5 to 5.5kts.

All that work has paid off 🙂

Winter Refit of Floreasca 2017

Winter Refit of Floreasca 2017

Refit may be bit of a strong word, but Floreasca my Halcyon 23 based in Plymouth definitely needed some attention. She had a very weedy and fouled bottom and needed lifting and antifouling, and as it turned out a ton of scraping, sanding and gelcoat treatments too. Chroist.

I had her lifted out by Yacht Haven Quay in Plymouth a week or so before Easter and they pressure washed her to get rid of the worst of the week/barnacles/mussels etc.

A foul bottom
A foul bottom.
Picture of the seaweed on the rudder
The rudder was no better

When I found her sat in the yard she was looking like this;

Halcyon 23 sat in boatyard
Waiting for me in the boatyard…

Preparing the Keels

The keels were really heavily pitted and rough. I gave them a once over with a wire brush attachment on my drill, then used rust converter to go back to a nice black surface. It was mucky, but at least it was a fairly quick job.

Preparing the Bottom Side

I started sanding the bottom ready to apply the antifouling paint. The more I sanded, the more I became unhappy with what I was finding.


There were lots of different coats and getting it smooth was difficult. I tried really hard to ignore it, but a nagging urge overtook me and I decided that I should remove all the old crap layers of antifoul, primer and what ever else was on there first.

I used Interstrip AF which softens the old paint and makes it easier to scrape off. It’s nasty stuff though so I needed a protective suit, mask and googles. It was tough going. I took a day each side of the boat.

GelShield Coat

I was left with a fairly smooth surface, but it had lots of different layers showing through, including some exposed glass fibre. The chandlers at Yacht Haven Quay suggested that I put a good layer of epoxy Gel Shield on to seal the bottom before antifoulding, which seemed like a great idea. It was great to finally start painting rather than prepping…

Finally the Anti Fouling Paint

After days of hard work it was finally time to put the barnacle repelling, weed busting, mussel strangling anti-fouling paint on! Yay!

Just One More Thing

… as Columbo used to say. A boot topping line. To my mind boats just don’t look right without them…

So after six days of hard work I’m really happy with what I achieved, and with how Floreasca is now looking! I can’t wait to get out for a sail and see how she goes!

Happy Sailing!