As a boat owner, keeping your vessel's hull in pristine condition is a top priority. However, there are some threats out there that can damage your boat's hull without you even realizing it. Spider and bee droppings are two culprits that can wreak havoc on your hull's gelcoat over time. Here's what you need to know about this hidden threat and how to protect your boat's exterior
The Problem with Spider and Bee Poop
Spider droppings, known as guano, may seem harmless. But this acidic excrement can eat away at your boat's gelcoat, leaving behind etching and pits. Bee droppings, similarly, contain acids that can erode and discolor your boats finish. Even small amounts of accumulated poop deposited regularly in the same spot can add up over time. The droppings are often easy to clean at first when the boat is new but becomes worse years later when the gelcoat begins to deteriorate.
Spiders are attracted to marinas and docks because of the abundance of insects and protected hiding spots on boats. So, if your boat lives at a marina, it's under constant threat. Bees sometimes gather under boat covers and build hives aboard without the owner realizing it. Even boats stored at home can be targeted by these insects. The effects are exacerbated in warm climates like Florida and Texas where spiders and bees are more prevalent year-round.
The etched patches and pits left behind by spider and bee droppings create an uneven surface on your boats gelcoat. This not only looks bad but can lead to accelerated oxidation damage. If left unaddressed, spider and bee excrement damage can lead to gelcoat failure requiring expensive repairs.
Why Spider and Bee Droppings Are So Damaging
To understand why spider and bee droppings wreak such havoc on your boats gelcoat, you first need to understand what makes up these acidic excretions
Spider poop is comprised of concentrated urine combined with exoskeleton pieces and undigested insect body parts. This mixture creates a highly acidic substance, with a pH ranging from 4-5.
Bees process pollen into protein-rich excrement pellets to discard unused material outside the hive. Their poop contains high levels of uric acid and ranges from pH 3-4.5, making it even more acidic than spider guano.
These low pH levels allow spider and bee droppings to chemically etch into gelcoat the same way acidic rain eats away at paint on cars. The gelcoat is vulnerable because it utilizes epoxy or polyester resin, which degrades when exposed to acids.
Gelcoat is also porous on a microscopic level, allowing the excrement to seep in and break down the binder within the resin. This leads to pitting, cracking, and an uneven eroded surface.
Once water infiltrates through this erosion, oxidation accelerates the damage. The glecoat becomes weakened and structurally compromised over time. Severe cases require sanding off the gelcoat layer and re-applying new resin.
Regular boat Maintenance Isn't Enough
Many boat owners believe regularly cleaning and waxing their hulls will fully protect against damage. But the truth is that no amount of elbow grease can entirely prevent spider and bee droppings from degrading your gelcoat.
The etching caused by accumulated guano happens slowly at first and may not be noticeable for months or even years. By the time pitting becomes visible, the acid has already penetrated deep into the gelcoat layer.
Waxing forms a temporary barrier but it wears off quickly through abrasion from docks, covers, and general use. Maintaining a waxed surface requires constant reapplication at least every few weeks. Spider and bee droppings can still cause micro-etching between wax jobs.
Frequent boat washing will remove surface level poop before it dries and sticks. But you would need to literally wash the boat daily to prevent any spider or bee feces from adhering. This is highly impractical and labor intensive for most boaters.
Protecting Your Hull with Undrdog
Regular cleaning and waxing can help minimize the effects of spider and bee droppings. But it's impossible to prevent these determined insects from returning again and again. That's why it's crucial to take proactive measures to shield your hull from damage.
Undrdog Marine protective coatings offer a high-performance invisible barrier between your gelcoat and the elements. Developed exclusively for boats, Undrdog forms a durable, non-stick surface that keeps acids, water, grime and stains from seeping into the gelcoat. It's designed to resist the marine environment's constant abrasion from salt, sand, cleaning and more.
Undrdog Marine is resistant to spider and bee excrement thanks to its slick water-repelling properties. Instead of clinging to the gelcoat, guano sticks to the coating instead preventing etching or burning. The coating fills in the pores of the gelcoat lessening the opportunity for stains.
Applying Undrdog is quick and easy - no buffing required. A single treatment lasts an entire boating season. It can be applied to your gelcoat, deck, vinyl, plastics and any other exterior surface prone to spider and bee droppings. Once cured, the coating is safe for all hard finish types.
Real World Testing Proves Effectiveness
Undrdog has been proven effective through real-world testing. In one trial conducted by the manufacturer, a boat was treated with Undrdog on half of its hull, leaving the other half uncoated. It was then left for 12 months in a marina known for issues with spider poop accumulation.
After the test period, the uncoated half of the hull showed significant etching and damage that required heavy compounding to remove. But the Undrdog protected half was still smooth and glossy, with zero visible etching or pitting from spider droppings.
In another test, coated fiberglass samples were directly exposed to both spider guano and bee feces for an extended period. Despite the concentrated exposure, the Undrdog samples showed no signs of damage or etching. Uncoated samples, however, suffered severe degradation after just a few weeks.
This type of rigorous laboratory and on-the-water testing confirms that Undrdog provides unparalleled protection against these harmful excretions. No other maintenance product or routine waxing provides the same long-lasting defense.
Give Your Hull Long-Lasting Protection
Don't allow tiny spider and bee droppings to cause costly damage to your boat's finish. With an Undrdog coating, your hull stays pristine no matter how many insects attack it.
Undrdog provides a reliable high-performance shield against erosion, staining, friction and more. It will give your boat maximum defense whether in-season or out-season.
Contact us today to learn more about protecting your boat from this hidden threat. Get peace of mind knowing your hull is safe from acidic spider and bee excrement - and the expensive repairs they necessitate. Maintain that showroom gloss for years to come with long-lasting Undrdog.