Typically there is less growth in fresh water than in salt water. For that reason, bottom paint used in fresh water usually have less active ingredients (copper, zinc, etc.) to prevent growth. Most bottom paint for salt water can be used in fresh water. However, there are some exception, such as, Interlux Micron 66. This paint is limited to salt water only. Using Micron 66 bottom paint in fresh water, or where there is a lot of fresh water run off, will result in failure of the coating.
Consider using a bottom paint that is good in both fresh water and salt water. All of Sea Hawk Paints bottom paints are good for either types of waters and are considered both fresh water bottom paint and salt water bottom paint. You never know where you might travel that will have significant fresh water run off!
Preparation is the key when painting on any surface. Applying bottom paint for boats is not the cleanest of jobs, but it really simple to do. Below you will find the exact steps to insure a good bottom paint job, whether you have a new boat, or a boat that has existing bottom paint on it. Bottom Paint for Boats Preparation on Bare Fiberglass When painting a bare fiberglass / gel coat hull for the first time, it is extremely important that all contaminants such as grease, oil, wax, salt, or other foreign material are completed removed prior to sanding or application of a Sea Hawk System. Scrub the surface with a detergent soap and stiff bristle brush.
A. Clean and de-wax fiberglass hull withS-80 Wax N’ Grease Killer solvent based dewax. Saturate cheeseclothrag and wipe thoroughly to remove any cleaner and contaminants. Be sure to remove any residue before it dries and change rags frequently to insure contaminants are completely removed.
B. Apply S-90 De-Wax Etch & Cleaner with a maroon 3M Scotch-Brite® pad scrubbing thoroughly. Do not allow cleaner to dry on the surface and remove by flushing with water.Rinse entire surface with water and check for any beadingon the surface which will indicate that wax is still present. If necessary repeat step 2 again until the surface is contaminant-free. Choose your system below.
Sand and Clean
Apply Bottom Paint Apply minimum of two coats of Sea Hawk bottom paint. Allow 3 to 6 hours between coats and a minimum overnight dry before launching. See the specific Technical Data Sheet for bottom paint being used. Some bottom paint for boats may require more than 2 coats.
Sand to a uniformly frosty, dull looking surface with 80-100 grit (no finer) sandpaper, rewash with S-80 Wax N’ Grease Killer , S-90 De-Wax Etch & Cleaner . Tip: Epoxy systems on the bottom of bare fiberglass is the best way to protect your boat against blisters. It also provides added adhesion of the bottom paint to the hull. Click Here for the steps that you need to take for proper application of a marine epoxy primer (barrier coat system) to the bottom of a boat.
Bottom Paint for Boats Preparation Over Existing Bottom Paint
Clean the existing boat bottom paint with a pressure washing. If you have excess build up of growth, you can remove this by scraping and or muratic acid. Try to get all growth residue off the existing old bottom paint so that you have good adhesion of the new bottom paint.
Scuff sand to a dull looking surface with 80-100 grit (no finer) sandpaper, then rinse with water and allow to dry. If your old bottom paint is really chalky, consider giving it a more agressive sanding to insure proper adhesion of the new bottom paint.
Apply Bottom Paint Apply minimum of two coats of Sea Hawk bottom paint. Allow 3 to 6 hours between coats and a minimum overnight dry before launching. See the specific Technical Data Sheet for bottom paint being used. Some bottom paint may require more than 2 coats.
If you do not have any coatings at all on the bottom of the boat, we suggest to sand the hull with 80 grit and then apply Tuff Stuff High Build Epoxy. It is a water tight barrier coat designed for use under the waterline and with aluminum hulls. Use 2 coats. You can apply the 2nd coat within a couple of hours of the first coat. (up to 6 days)
After you apply Tuff Stuff marine epoxy primeron hull, be sure to use an aluminum safe bottom paint. The bottom paint needs to be applied the same day as the Tuff Stuff marine epoxy primer. Bottom paints in general are designed to repel hard growth. Smart Solution is an excellent bottom paint for aluminum hulls when in salt water. We recommend Mission Bayfor fresh water. I have listed links below to the products described above. These can be brushed, sprayed, or rolled. If you already have coating(s) on the hull, pressure wash, sand with 80 grit, and then apply Smart Solution.
Gelcoat Restoration Guide
Keep your gelcoat in good condition by using these 4 steps:
As you haul your boat out of storage you may want to get the gelcoat shining once again. Use the steps below as needed:
A one step clean-and-wax products combine washing and waxing in one step, best used on new boats where the finish is in good condition with little or no oxidation, try 3M Marine Cleaner and Wax.
Light gel coat oxidation? Best to use the least aggressive method if possible to prolong the life of gelcoat Clean with 3M Marine Boat Soapand buff with the 3M Imperial Compound. Avoid direct sunlight and room temperature is best. Use a tape, like 3M 471available in different lengths.
Step 1: Boats that need more aggressive cleaning just wash surface and remove loose contaminants: Use a non-abrasive light detergent to remove all surface dirt and all previously applied coatings, 3M Marine Boat Soapor Marine Clean are ideal.
Sometimes you need something stronger to remove surface rust, oil, tar, algae discoloration, black streaks caused from water runoff, exhaust and waterline scum or other stains before waxing or you’ll seal in the stain. Usually you will need an acid-based stain remover like Hammerhead Hull Cleaneror Hull Cleaner, Extra Strong by Tip Top Teak (test in an inconspicuous area first) using gloves.
Step 2: If your boat is a bit more oxidized a rubbing compound (liquid abrasive which “sands” your hull) is needed but do so carefully as you can rub through the gelcoat. The more faded your hull the more compounding you’ll need. The 3M Imperial Compound, usually applied with a polisher if possible and compatible 3M pads,like the white 100% wool pad,is recommended by 3M. Keep product off bottom paint, if applicable, by taping off as it can spatter. If the compound isn’t strong enough for your level of oxidation and scratches then you may need to “pretreat” with a 1200 (or 800) grit as needed prior to the compound.
Mission Bay Bottom Paint Has Clear Advantages over Trilux 33!
30% Longer Lasting Performance than Interlux Trilux 33 !
US Made with Premium Raw Materials VS. European
Completely Safe for Aluminum Boats, Including Pontoon Boats!
No Copper (Trilux 33 has liquid copper)
Proven Premium Performance in All Waters!
Solvent Free Version Available (Mission Bay CSF -Easy application, Less Toxic Fumes and VOC’s)
Compatible with Trilux 33 (You can apply Sea Hawk Mission Bay over the top of Trilux 33 without any additional steps!)
This Sea Hawk Mission Bay and Interlux Trilux 33 bottom paint review / comparison was based on customer feedback and information received by the manufacturer(s) either directly or indirectly, and is solely the opinion of Bottom Paint Store.