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Application Guide - Below Waterline Application Systems

Running Gear and Hardware

Surface Preparation, Priming & Application

Below waterline hardware can be difficult to coat for a variety of reasons. Two primary problems are:

  • The difficulty in obtaining good surface preparation

  • The specific metal alloys used for below waterline hardware

Brass, bronze and stainless steel do not hold paint very well.

Please note that it is critical the metal is primed immediately after grinding or sand blasting, and great care should be used on rotating parts, such as shafts and propellers. Uneven grinding could take a shaft or propeller out of balance.

Remember Awlstar Gold Label is an ablative coating which wears away in use. It will perform satisfactorily on a rotating shaft, but would wear away very rapidly on a propeller.

Note: This system must not be used on aluminum hardware of any kind.

  1. Thoroughly clean and degrease the surface. Use commercial detergents, steam cleaners, or pressure washers. Be sure all detergent residue is rinsed from the surface. Use Awlgrip Wipe-­Down Solvent (NA/AP: Awlprep Plus T0115; EU: Surface Cleaner T0340) as a final wipe down of the surface.
  2. Power grind with a 60 grit disk to obtain profile. If the profile is particularly jagged, grind to remove “spikes” providing a more uniform surface.

    Blow off the surface thoroughly with clean, dry, compressed air to remove all blast/grind residue and any dust or dirt. Use a brush or broom if necessary.


    Do not use rags to clean this surface. The sharp metal will snag fibers from the rags. These fibers can act as wicks for moisture or other contamination to enter the paint film. This can lead to premature failure of the Awlgrip System.
    This surface must be primed within 4 hours.

  3. Apply minimum 2 coats of Hullgard Epoxy to achieve 8–10 mils (200–250 microns) DFT. If the schedule allows, 3 full coats at 14 mils (350 microns) DFT would be preferred.

    Allow 2 hours between coats at 77°F (25ºC), 50% R.H. Hullgard Epoxy has an extended recoat capability which allows recoating with itself at any time up to 6 months without requiring sanding. The aged Hullgard Epoxy must be thoroughly cleaned and free of all foreign material before recoating with additional Hullgard Epoxy.

  4. Apply Awlstar Gold Label antifouling as soon as the last coat of Hullgard Epoxy is barely tack free, about 2 hours at 77°F (25ºC), 50% R.H. Apply a minimum of two coats of Awlstar Gold Label antifouling. If the schedule allows, three coats are preferred.

Use antifouling paints safely. Always read the label and product information before use.