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Keel Black Ballistic Black


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Due to go for Blacking soon, thinking which of the above prouducts to use? Keel Black water based or Ballistik Black which is spirit based  ......  Any one used either of the Above ??? 

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We used Ballistic Black a year ago. Quite impressed.

Asked for advice from SML due to the several different blacking that have been used over the years. They said that after pressure washing to give 2 1/2 coats of Vinyguard primer followed by 2 full coats of Ballistic Black with a further coat around the waterline. So it does mean a full 7 days out of the water.

A year on, there are patches on the waterline rubbing steaks where the black has gone but the silver primer is still there.

The blacking is very thick to apply and it is easy to see at those places where the hull has been scraped that it sort of spreads the blacking along rather than scraping it off.

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Have had Keel Black applied and it is failing - not only on my boat but on 4 or 5 other boats which have been done. I am told that the makers of Keel Black now advise that the anti rust primer must "go off" for 4 days before the keel black is applied. This would mean (for me) a double dry dock charge on the top of the increased cost of the Keel Black. So any thought of saving money in the long run is now outweighed by the increased costs during application. End result is that the Keel Black is going to have to come off and will be replaced by ordinary black.

I have been told that the makers of Keel Black have not been too much help and are denying any responsibility for the failure. I will be down at the boat yard next week and will make further inquiries to get to the bottom of what I was told over the telephone.

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Just now, DaveR said:

Have had Keel Black applied and it is failing - not only on my boat but on 4 or 5 other boats which have been done.

Interesting. I believe quite a few of us have been waiting to see how Keel Black held up in the real world. I for one will be very interested to hear what you learn next week.

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Just now, DaveR said:

I am told that the makers of Keel Black now advise that the anti rust primer must "go off" for 4 days before the keel black is applied.

Their website repeatedly stresses the reduced docking time for Keelblack compared with other products.

The Guidance for Use notes on their website, dated as recently as 7 March 2017, state that the recommended primer, Fertan, should be given 24 hours for the chemical reaction to work, with any residue then washed off. Keelblack can be applied as soon as the previous coat is touch dry, with 24-36 hours curing in dry conditions, or 48 hours+ in damp conditions, before refloating.  So where is this advice of 4 days for the primer to work set out?

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20 minutes ago, WotEver said:

Not to be a smart-arse but wouldn't it be best to ask for opinions/advice prior to purchase?

The problem is, there were one or two people singing the virtues of Keelblack on here last year, and they happened to featured on the website, then the director became a unofficial member and extolled the product, virtually copy and pasted from the website too. There also seemed to be planted stooges asking Keelblack questions, to which the same people responded.

No boatyards could get product to trial, so no real testimonies could be gained.

The products biggest selling point, paint on when still wet, therefore vastly reducing docking times, has now been kowtowed by this latest advice.

 

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As Matty rightly points out , there was a thread on keelblack and it was being highly spoken of .

Will give mine a good few coats in the summer and keep an eye on the waterline and see how its holding out.

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Grateful to the OP for this interesting feedback, there was a lot of fuss made about Keelblack when it came out, seemingly the product narrowboat owners have been waiting for.  As so often, if something seems too good to be true it usually is.  I looked at the technical info and as other have said, the big selling point about Keelblack was how fast it takes effect, giving the impression you could apply real protection to your steel hull with vastly reduced docking times.  

   

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When I used to black my boat, before I became a total convert to 2 pack, the idea was to scrape any loose old stuff off and remove any bad rust, but not to go to shiny steel. The blacking was applied directly to the bare and slightly rusted steel. There was a general consensus that using a primer was not the way to go (though I did try it).

It looks from the posts here that Keelblack works best with a primer which defeats many of its claimed advantages and also begs the question: is it the keelblack or the primer that is providing the protection?. I suspect the primer also required better hull preparation than ordinary blacking.

Two pack is the way to go.

.................Dave

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1 hour ago, matty40s said:

I do know of one boatyard who stock it, havnt sold any but will use it if someone requests it on their boat. 

They have done one boat with it which I am keeping tabs on.

Someone must have requested it if they have done one.

Neil

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I was going to have the Keel Black treatment but fortunately was warned off it by Steve and Matt at Burton Engineering as they had applied it to several boats over the recent weeks and encountered problems. Talking to them yesterday the problem lies in the drying and curing times which can take 48 hours in good conditions so at this time of year when boats are being blacked it could if the weather is bad take forever. Any way it all takes too long which means it isn't really commercially viable as most yards want to turn round boats in a week.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, teegee said:

I was going to have the Keel Black treatment but fortunately was warned off it by Steve and Matt at Burton Engineering as they had applied it to several boats over the recent weeks and encountered problems. Talking to them yesterday the problem lies in the drying and curing times which can take 48 hours in good conditions so at this time of year when boats are being blacked it could if the weather is bad take forever. Any way it all takes too long which means it isn't really commercially viable as most yards want to turn round boats in a week.

 

 

 

 

Having done mine with Keel Black, last year, in September, it did take a long time to "cure".  Much longer than expected, as I was on the hard, a few extra days wasn't a problem, but in a dry dock, a different story.  I think the claim is quicker application times, but the overall time in dock is the same.  All the painting time is at the beginning, with all the drying time at the end.

 

Bod

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  • 2 weeks later...

As promised my investigations into what may have gone wrong with the Keelblack applied to Legacy has turned up an interesting point.

Keelblack advocate the use of Fertan as an anti-rust primer. Fertan is  a very good product, well tried and tested. My inquiry to Fertan about curing times solicited a very interesting response. I quote :-

Now you've asked the question it amazes me that we've been thundering along since 1980 without one. 

The figures are: 

20C      24 hours

15C      36 hours

10C      48 hours 

At 20C a great deal occurs in the first 4 hours and the remaining 20 hours is very useful but less vital.   At 15C what occurs in the first 4 hours at 20C takes place over 12 hours.

It took me a few reads of the last line to understand that what is meant and this is that the curing takes 4 hours at 20 degrees but now takes over 12 hours at 15 degrees,

My boat was done in February where the ambient temperature was about 10 degrees. From the information above I would extrapolate to say that at 10 degrees the important part of the curing time is 36 hours. The Fertan should have been left for 48 hours to cure and not as claimed from Keel Black only 24 hours. So it would appear that the information given on the Keelblack web site "How to use, instructions" needs updating to reflect the above curing times, again I quote from the document:-

Old steel surfaces should be pressure washed clean, all marine growth removed and freed of flaking material with a scraper. Heavy rust should be wire-brushed or ground back to bare steel then primed with Fertan in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the chemical reaction allowed to work for 24 hours. Any residue from the Fertan must be washed off before Keelblack is applied. On painted surfaces previously treated with bituminous paint or 2-pack epoxy, ensure all flaking paint is removed where possible and flatted back. If the type of previous coating is unknown, a small test area should be tried to check that there is no reaction between it and Keelblack. Keelblack will flow between old paint and the steel and can help to re-bond previous coats of bitumastic to the hull but Keelblack applied over flaking paintwork may detach.

As Fertan indicated no one has asked them about curing times so I wonder where Keelblack obtained this information?

I am going to leave the Keel black on the boat through the summer and dry dock her again this winter where the parts of the hull where the Keelblack is failing will be repaired but I do wish to give Keelblack a fair test and so with the correct curing times for the Fertan more Keelblack will be applied.

I will update the information much later in the year.

Dave R

Edited by DaveR
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53 minutes ago, DaveR said:

As promised my investigations into what may have gone wrong with the Keelblack applied to Legacy has turned up an interesting point.

Keelblack advocate the use of Fertan as an anti-rust primer. Fertan is  a very good product, well tried and tested. My inquiry to Fertan about curing times solicited a very interesting response. I quote :-

Now you've asked the question it amazes me that we've been thundering along since 1980 without one. 

The figures are: 

20C      24 hours

15C      36 hours

10C      48 hours 

At 20C a great deal occurs in the first 4 hours and the remaining 20 hours is very useful but less vital.   At 15C what occurs in the first 4 hours at 20C takes place over 12 hours.

It took me a few reads of the last line to understand that what is meant and this is that the curing takes 4 hours at 20 degrees but now takes over 12 hours at 15 degrees,

My boat was done in February where the ambient temperature was about 10 degrees. From the information above I would extrapolate to say that at 10 degrees the important part of the curing time is 36 hours. The Fertan should have been left for 48 hours to cure and not as claimed from Keel Black only 24 hours. So it would appear that the information given on the Keelblack web site "How to use, instructions" needs updating to reflect the above curing times, again I quote from the document:-

Old steel surfaces should be pressure washed clean, all marine growth removed and freed of flaking material with a scraper. Heavy rust should be wire-brushed or ground back to bare steel then primed with Fertan in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the chemical reaction allowed to work for 24 hours. Any residue from the Fertan must be washed off before Keelblack is applied. On painted surfaces previously treated with bituminous paint or 2-pack epoxy, ensure all flaking paint is removed where possible and flatted back. If the type of previous coating is unknown, a small test area should be tried to check that there is no reaction between it and Keelblack. Keelblack will flow between old paint and the steel and can help to re-bond previous coats of bitumastic to the hull but Keelblack applied over flaking paintwork may detach.

As Fertan indicated no one has asked them about curing times so I wonder where Keelblack obtained this information?

I am going to leave the Keel black on the boat through the summer and dry dock her again this winter where the parts of the hull where the Keelblack is failing will be repaired but I do wish to give Keelblack a fair test and so with the correct curing times for the Fertan more Keelblack will be applied.

I will update the information much later in the year.

Dave R

In light of the information you have put together are they going to pay for it?

 

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