Frequently Asked Questions
How does your paint work?
Instead of killing fouling organisms like traditional, biocidal, antifouling paints do, SLIPS® Dolphin™ products create a surface that fouling cannot stick to. The patented SLIPS® lubricant technology in combination with surface active polymers (SAPS) work together with the silicone base to create a truly slippery surface. That surface is next to impossible for organisms to stick to, and if any do stick, they are easily removed either by the motion of the boat or light washing.
Can I use SLIPS® Dolphin™ on things that aren’t boats?
SLIPS® Dolphin™ can be used on virtually anything that will stay in water for long periods of time. The steps for adhesion may be a bit different depending on your substrate, but SLIPS® Dolphin™ prevents fouling the same way on a buoy as it does on a boat hull*.
*You do need to be able to remove the item from the water to paint it, SLIPS® Dolphin™ can NOT be applied in the water
Does water temp have an effect on results/time period?
Warmer water in general has more fouling, and thus can make cleaning necessary more often. The life expectancy of the coating should not change.
What do I do at the end of the season/if I need to take my boat out of the water for an extended time period?
At the end of the season SLIPS® Dolphin™ can be power washed and then stored for as long as you need it to be. Being out of the water does not hurt SLIPS® Dolphin™’s performance.
Freshwater vs saltwater
While the amount and species of fouling may differ from freshwater to saltwater, SLIPS® Dolphin™ works in both. Fouling cannot stick to SLIPS® Dolphin™ in saltwater or freshwater.
Is white the only color available? Will other colors be available?
For 2021 white is the only color you can get SLIPS® Dolphin™ in. While we hope most people will be happy to be able to keep their bottom the same color it (usually) comes as, we are planning on expanding the product offerings in the future to accommodate those who want their hulls to be a different color.
BEFORE YOU APPLY
What do I need to buy before I am ready to paint my boat with SLIPS® Dolphin™?
You’ll need paint rollers, no lint 3/8” or 1/2” are best, mixing buckets, paint trays, and mixing sticks. You’ll also need a kit(s) of SLIPS® Dolphin™ paint, as well as a primer/barrier coat of your choosing. If you are going to spray SLIPS® Dolphin™ you will need a spray gun, be sure to thoroughly clean after use, as SLIPS® Dolphin™ is silicone based and can contaminate non-silicone products.
Do I have to use barrier coat?
It’s not absolutely necessary to use barrier coat, but for best results from both an adhesion perspective and a performance perspective barrier coat should always be used. It helps protect your hull from damage and makes sure your SLIPS® Dolphin™ is adhered optimally.
What barrier coat should I use?
There are a number of options, all will work. Interprotect 2000e is the most common one used in our own testing, but all major brands have been tested.
What comes when I order a kit of SLIPS® Dolphin™?
When you order a gallon (or quart) kit of SLIPS® Dolphin™ you get part A and B of SLIPS® Dolphin™ that add up to 1 gallon (quart) total. Additionally, you get a gallon (quart) of tie coat, again split into parts A and B.
Why are their environmental warnings on my SLIPS® Dolphin™? Isn’t it supposed to be environmentally friendly?
SLIPS® Dolphin™ has environmental warnings on it because the separate liquid parts still do pose some health risks, similar to any paint. Once the product has been mixed and cured, the hazardous elements have been reacted and/or trapped into the paint.
How much paint do I need to order for my boat?
For a rough estimate of the area to be painted, multiply the length of your hull (LOA) by the beam and multiply by 0.85. (LOA x B x 0.85 = Area).
Our paint covers 160-200sq ft per gallon, depending on how thick is it applied. You can use this as a general guide:
|Under 25ft||1 gallon|
How do I prepare my hull for painting with SLIPS® Dolphin™?
- You must remove the old antifouling paint to ensure a smooth surface
- You can have it blasted
- You can use a Fiberglass Paint remover to remove it
- You can sand it off with 60 or 80 grit sandpaper ON A SOFT PAD ON A DISK GRINDER.
- Clean the surface with Acetone Paint thinner or the epoxy thinner
- Be sure the dust, sanding residue and other contaminants are completely removed.
Why do I need to strip my hull?
The anti-fouling paint is designed to dissolve into the water, so any paint put on top of it will also ablate into the environment.
(Full application instructions can be found HERE)
How long do I need to wait for each coat to dry?
For the primer coat, each will vary a bit, and if in doubt refer to their application instructions. With that said, generally you will want to apply the tie coat when the primer feels sticky, but no longer transfer to your glove.
The tie coat should be given at least 6 hours to cure before applying top coat. You can wait up to 7 days before applying the top coat. The top coat should be allowed 24 hours to dry before putting your boat into the water.
What is tie coat, and why do I need it?
Tie coat is an epoxy and silicone hybrid, that acts as an adhesion promoter. The epoxy bonds well to the epoxy in the barrier coat and the silicone bonds well to the silicone in the top coat. You need it because without it the top coat will not bond as well to the barrier coat, and would therefore not be as durable.
What is a tack coat and flow coat? Why do I need them? How long do I need to wait between coats?
Tack coat and flow coat means a first coat to provide “tack” and then a second coat that flows nicely over the surface and provides a smooth finish. SLIPS® Dolphin™ utilizes this method when applying by roller because it provides the smoothest and best finish possible, allowing for maximum drag reduction in the water. (If applying by spray, the paint can be applied in a single pass.)
The time it takes to paint the full hull is usually long enough that you can immediately start the flow coat once you finish the tack coat. The window to apply the flow coat, after the tack coat, is roughly 30 minutes – 3 hours, depending on the temperature.
How do I paint around the jack stands?
Painting the jack stands depends on how quickly you need to turn around the paint job. If not in a time crunch, you can paint the entire system on, wait for it to dry, then move and paint under the jack stands. The fastest method is to move the jack stands as soon as the tie coat is dry on the first day, and apply both top coat and tie coat under the stands. Then move them again after the top coat is dry the next day and repeat. We have also had success painting the primer and tie coat under the jack stands on the day before painting the rest of the boat, after surface prep is done. Really whatever works best for your schedule determines how to paint under the jack stands.
Be sure NOT to move the jack stands onto wet paint.
Why is the work life and dry time given as a range?
The work life and dry time are partially dependent on the environment during painting. As a general rule of thumb, the hotter and more humid the environment is, the faster the paint will cure.
Can I put another coat of SLIPS® Dolphin™ on the day after I do the tack coat and flow coat?
In short, no. Once SLIPS® Dolphin™ is cured, it becomes nearly impossible to stick to, even for more SLIPS® Dolphin™. You can put as many coats as you would like until it is fully cured, but once it is, sanding is required before applying an additional coat (more on this in the “In Use” section below).
How long do I need to wait after painting to launch? Is there a maximum time I can wait?
The standard period for letting SLIPS® Dolphin™ cure is 24 hours, basically you can launch your boat the day after you paint. There is no maximum wait time, as being in air does not deteriorate the product.
I’m done painting and haven’t put my boat in the water yet, why does the paint feel almost sticky?
Part of what makes SLIPS® Dolphin™ work is what is called Surface Active Polymers, or SAPs. These polymers are activated by exposure to water. Once SLIPS® Dolphin™ gets wet, it will feel quite slippery.
I’ve had my boat in the water for a couple months and I’m starting to see a bit of slime, why am I seeing this and how do I get it off?
Unfortunately, SLIPS® Dolphin™ is not magic, and won’t keep every little bit of slime off forever. It also works best when boats are in motion, so if you check your hull before going out after several weeks of sitting you might see a bit more slime. Most fouling will self-clean when the boat is moving, but for anything that is left after that, it should easily be cleaned with just a water jet, sponge, or soft cloth. Avoid cleaning with sharp objects like wire brushes.
The coating feels softer than what I am used to, will it damage easier?
Since the coating is silicone based, it is a little bit softer than traditional anti-fouling coatings. It is also more elastic and flexible. How this translates to your boat, is that a sharp object is a little bit more likely to cut into and damage the coating, but blunt objects are less likely to dent or deform the coating.
If I do damage the paint, how do I fix it?
To repair damaged areas, sand with medium grit sand paper (160 grit or so). Wipe with IPA or another solvent, and apply SLIPS® Dolphin™ over the damaged area.
I’ve had my paint on for several years, and I think it’s time for a new coat, what do I need to do to apply one?
To put a new coat of SLIPS® Dolphin™ on top of old SLIPS® Dolphin™ it is essentially the same as the repair process, but on the full hull. You need to sand the entire hull with medium grit paper. Many yards sand hulls with traditional bottom paints to both remove fouling and prep for a new coat at the end of a season, this is essentially the same procedure. Sanding will roughen the silicone enough to allow new silicone to cling to the surface, from there you can apply a new coat of SLIPS® Dolphin™ that will stick well to the old one without needing any tie coat. Solvent wipe immediately before application, as you do not want to leave time for dust to settle on the surface.