Category Archives: Bottom Paint

Apply Paint Over Polyethylene, Polypropylene, ABS, and PET/PBT Blends

You can apply paint over Polyethylene, Polypropylene, ABS, and PET/PBT Blends with proper surface preparation and primer.

1. First wipes down the surface with a 50/50 Isopropyl Alcohol such as Denatured Alcohol to remove any contaminants prior to sanding.

2. Sand the surface with 60-80 grit sandpaper.

3. Wipe down the surface again with 50/50 Isopropyl Alcohol ( Denatured Alcohol ) to remove all sanding residue.

4. Apply 3M Tape Primer over a small section.M23929

5. Apply a small test section of the desired Topcoat paint. Since there are so many type of paints, it is recommended to perform an adhesion test on the small area painted. Once the paint has dried perform a hatch test. Use a razor blade to cut into the paint and the primer and draw a 2-3 inch line. You should follow this at least 3 more parallel lines about 1cm apart. Then cut 4 more perpendicular line again about 1cm apart. It should like a large tic-tac-toe game. Finally, apply duct tape firmly and then pull the tape off quickly. If you have any paint or primer on the tape the adhesion is poor. If there is no paint or primer on the tape then it is safe to apply the primer and paint over the entire surface.

This application and test can be used for topside paints and bottom paints.

Choosing the Right Boat Paint

There are many different boat paints and qualities, generally the more you spend the better the results. There are a variety of types including topside and bottom paints. Topside paints are meant to be used above the waterline and will not hold up under water. Bottom Paints (also called antifoulants or antifouling coatings) are pesticides that are only used below the waterline when you are trying to stop growth from occurring while your boat stays in the water over long periods of time.  See Related Article>: Do I need Bottom Paint?

Boat Paints

Duralux High Gloss Marine Enamel is affordable and easy to apply and only recommended for above the waterline or moderate use on the bottom (a day or so in the water, not extended periods). This topside paint works best in very thin coats; see the prep recommendations found on product page on “how to use” tab. Duralux marine enamels do have a color offering in a flat finish, those are limited to their camouflage paint colors. Marine Alkyd Enamels like Duralux and Blue Water Marine are effective and low cost. There are a variety of brands styles and even include a water-based enamel.

A step up from the marine enamels are polyurethane enamels. These products such as Blue Water Marine Mega Gloss Polyurethane,  Interlux Brightside,  and Pettit Easypoxy have a better flow and gloss.

Supermarine RevolutionNext, you also have a choice from Supermarine Paints that can be used above or below the waterline and come in a few different styles.  Revolution boat paint (a great option if rolling/brushing)  or Mono Epoxy (durable and looks best sprayed) are the easiest to use and are best primed with the SuperMarine Etching Primer (SM 664D) for the primer. They are also available in your choice of sheen (satin or gloss). Click on “view more” for the paint and use the specification/how to use tabs for detailed instructions, coverage and preparation on any of the product pages. The “work horse” is the Two Part Epoxy, most durable of the Supermarine choices with the top of the line selection is Ironside. The previous two paints are available in flat and semi gloss as well as satin and gloss, and perform better than a marine enamel and poly enamel, but with a little higher cost.

The best performing and hardest application is either Awlgrip or Awlcraft 2000. These require a more technical application and require the use of proper primers, catalyst and thinners with each application.

Typically when people discuss bottom paint on a boat they are referring to Antifouling paint. Bottom paint prevents growth of organisms that attach to the hull and can affect a vessels speed, performance, and durability when boat is kept in the water for extended periods of time.  If you don’t have that problem, you may not need bottom paint. Antifouling bottom paint typically has a flat, dull finish that is used below the waterline.

CUKOTE 2013There are generally two types of bottom paint both of which have several variations that create a multitude of products in the market place. The two different types or categories of bottom paint include hard bottom paint and ablative bottom paint. Related Article> What is the Difference Between Hard and Ablative Bottom Paint.

So your boat paint choice depends on your budget and which paint meets the needs of your boat and usage.

Can I Reactivate Hard Bottom Paint?

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Hard Bottom Paint

According to Practical Sailor Magazine, March 2013 issue, this topic was discussed. It is generally regarded that after 72 hours of exposure to air that hard bottom paints will oxidize and lose antifouling  properties but test are showing otherwise. Of course you should always check with the manufacturer of your paint choice below are the guidelines to reactivate hard paint:

 

  • Launching of newly painted boats may be delayed up to 60 days after painting without sacrificing antifouling performance.
  • Boats painted between two and 12 months prior to launch date must be scuff-sanded with 220-grit production paper or abrasive pad before launching.
  • Boats painted more than 12 months prior to launch date must be lightly sanded with 100-grit production paper and recoated before launching.
  • Boats in the water for less than 24 hours (e.g. for in-the-water water testing) should be pressure washed lightly to remove dirt, salt or other contaminants and allowed to dry. These boats should still be considered newly painted and may be launched up to 60 days after the date of painting.
  • Boats in the water for more than 24 hours, but less than 30 days, should be pressure washed when hauled, then lightly sanded with 220-grit production paper immediately before re-launching. If necessary, launching may be delayed up to 60 days after the bottom has been sanded. Note: Boats re-launched within 72 hours of haulout do not need to be sanded before launching.
  • Boats in water for more than 30 days should be pressure washed when hauled, lightly sanded with 100-grit production paper and recoated with antifouling paint, even when re-launching will take place within 72 hours.

If there isn’t enought hard bottom paint on the surface it could flake off with sanding due to the thin layer.

 

What is the best paint for my boat?

A lot of factors contribute to what paint is best for your boat:

Are you painting the entire boat, or just the bottom? Are you in fresh water or salt water? Is your boat trailered?

What is on the bottom of the boat now: bottom paint, paint or gelcoat? As once an antifouling bottom paint has been applied only bottom paint can go over it (unless you remove it). Gelcoat application is recommended over fiberglass, most resins and gelcoat. It can have difficulty adhering to other surfaces.

Supermarine Paint can be applied all over the boat but won’t prevent growth in water but is durable and available in over 80 colors.

For topside only the Duralux Marine Enamel is an economical choice with several colors to choose from and easy application.

Gelcoat is usually what is original to most boats; a bass boat will have  metal flake mixed in.

We sell metal flake that can be added to gelcoat or paint but we don’t sell any with it already mixed in.

Ablative bottom paint can help with the slime and will wear away slowly over time and is trailerable. Bottom paint is applied below the waterline only.

 

 

Do I Need Bottom Paint on My Boat?

 

Sea Hawk Cukote Bottom PaintTypically when people discuss bottom paint on a boat they are referring to Antifouling paint. Bottom paint prevents growth of organisms that attach to the hull and can affect a vessels speed, performance, and durability when boat is kept in the water for extended periods of time.  If you don’t have that problem, you may not need bottom paint. Antifouling bottom paint typically has a flat, dull finish that is used below the waterline.

If you don’t have a growth problem or would like a nice shine to your boat’s bottom look to our other items like gelcoat or SuperMarine paint, see easy paint application for the do it yourselfer.  Gelcoat adheres to most gelcoats or fiberglass/resins, see how to apply gelcoat.  A boat bottom with antifouling will need to have it removed via sanding, sandblasting or bottom paint remover before a different type of paint will adhere.

There are generally two types of bottom paint both of which have several variations that create a multitude of products in the market place. The two different types or categories of bottom paint include hard bottom paint and ablative bottom paint.

Hard Bottom Paint vs. Ablative Bottom Paint

Hard bottom paint is bottom paint that is a hard modified epoxy. After you apply hard bottom paint it is very durable and does not wear off. Hard bottom paints typically have a higher ratio of pesticides (usually copper) in them that are exposed in the outer surface of the bottom paint coating. As time goes by, the coating oxidizes and becomes less effective in combating marine growth. Hard bottom paint is generally used on boats when the boat sits for long periods of time without moving at all, or there is little movement of water (current/ tide) around the boat. You should not use a hard paint if you boat comes out of the water such as on a trailer or a lift. After 72 hours, the hard bottom paint will oxidize on the outer surface from the air and becomes ineffective. If you are trailering your boat, or keep it on a lift you should always use ablative bottom paint.

Ablative bottom paint, also known as self- polishing bottom paint, is softer and allows the coating to wear off at a controlled rate. Much like a bar of soap, once the boat moves in the water or there is a current and or tide, the outer layer slowly wears away. The wearing away of the self-polishing bottom paint allows for new, unoxidized paint to be exposed. Therefore, if you are trailering your boat, or it comes in and out of the water for any reason, the paint will oxidize within 72 hours. However, once placed back in service, that oxidized ablative paint wears away and exposes a new fresh outer coating with active protection. Ablative bottom paint is a newer technology then hard paint. It is the preferred bottom paint of most users since it typically lasts longer and continuously exposes a new active outer coating that protects against marine growth.

For more how to use details see How to apply bottom paint to bare fiberglass or How to apply bottom paint over existing bottom paint.

Applying Antifouling Paint to a Pontoon Boat

If you do not have any coatings at all on the bottom of the boat, we suggest to sand the pontoons 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. Tuff Stuff will insure that you protect the aluminum from corrosion, and also aid in the adhesion of the antifouling paint. Use 2 coats. You can apply the 2nd coat within a couple of hours of the first coat. See detailed instructions at How to Apply Marine Epoxy Primer”.

TUFFSTUFFnewAfter you apply Tuff Stuff marine epoxy primer on hull, be sure to use an aluminum safe antifouling paint. The bottom paint needs to be applied the same day as the Tuff Stuff marine epoxy primer. Antifoulants in general are designed to repel hard growth. For soft growth you should have an additional biocide that help with the algae. Smart Solution is an excellent antifoul for aluminum pontoons used in salt water as well as Mission Bay for fresh or salt water.

WARNING: You should only use an aluminum safe antifouling like Mission Bay or Smart Solution. Using any other type of copper based antifouling could severely damage your pontoons and will cause corrosion, pitting and eventually holes in your pontoon boat.

If you do not need antifouling paint and are in fresh water, we suggest using one of the products located in the “How to Paint an Aluminum Jon Boat article.

Links:

How to Video:

Eco-Clad Bottom Paint Review

eco cladAfter further review on the performance of Eco-Clad as a bottom paint, we are NOT offering this product to our customer base. Eco Clad is engineered to support a natural beneficial biofilm (slime) on the coated area. However, we have heard several complaints about the products’ poor performance when it comes to keeping growth off the boat. The company has done a great job of marketing Eco Clad everywhere, and claims better fuel economy and faster speeds.    This might be true, but performs only for a few months at best. After that you will see substantial marine growth and even worse fuel ecomony and speed along with the added costs of a new bottom job.

Our opinion and recommendation is to stay away from Eco-Clad unless you plan on keeping your boat in fresh water. Your are much better off using a traditional high quality bottom paint.

What is the difference in Hard Bottom Paint and Ablative Bottom Paint?

Hard Bottom Paint Vs. Ablative Bottom Paint

Bottom paint is generally used to keep the growth off of the bottom of your boat. There are generally two types of bottom paint both of which have several variations that create a multitude of products in the market place. The two different types or categories of bottom paint include a hard bottom paint, and an ablative bottom paint.

Sharskin Hard Bottom PaintHard Bottom Paint is bottom paint that is a hard modified epoxy. After you apply a hard bottom paint it is very durable and does not wear off. Hard Bottom Paints ypically have a higher ratio of pesticides (usually copper)  in them that are exposed in the outer surface of the bottom paint coating. As time goes buy, the coating oxidizes and becomes less effective in combating marine growth. Hard bottom paint is generally used on boats when the boat sits for long periods of time without moving at all, or there is little movement of water (current/ tide) around the boat. You should not use a hard paint if you boat comes out of the water such as on a trailer, or a lift. After 72 hours, the hard bottom paint will oxidize on the outer surface from the air and becomes ineffective. If you are trailering your boat, or keep it on a lift you should always use an ablative bottom paint.

AF-33 Ablative Bottom PaintAblative bottom paint, also known as self- polishing bottom paint, is softer and allows the coating to wear off at a controlled rate. Much like a bar of soap, once the boat moves in the water or there is a current and or tide, the outer layer slowly wears away. The wearing away of the self-polishing bottom paint allows for new, un-oxidized paint to be exposed. Therefore, if you are trailering your boat, or it comes in and out of the water for any reason, the paint will oxidize within 72 hours. However, once placed back in service, that oxidized ablative paint wears away and exposes a new fresh outer coating with active protection. Ablative bottom paint is a newer technology then hard paint. It is the preferred bottom paint of most users since it typically lasts longer and continuously exposes a new active outer coating that protects against marine growth.

Related Articles and links:

Hard Bottom Paint

Ablative Bottom Paint

Applying Bottom Paint

Bottom Paint Cross Reference Guide

See the table below for a listing of most bottom paints and how they compare by the top manufacturers.
Bottom Paint Cross Reference Guide.
Top Performing Bottom Paints
sea hawk paints
interlux_paints Pettit Paints Blue Water Marine Paints
Biocop TF Micron 66 Ultima SR60* Gold Coast SPC
Islands 77 Plus Micron 77 Copper Pro SCX*
Cukote Biocide* Micron Extra with Biolux* Ultima SR40* Copper Pro SCX*
Self Polishing / Ablative Bottom Paints
Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Biocop TF Micron 66 Ultima SR60* Gold Coast SPC
Islands 77 Plus Micron 66 Copper Pro SCX*
Cukote Biocide* Micron Extra with Biolux* Ultima SR40* Copper Shield SCX*
Cukote Micron CSC Ultima SSA Copper Shield 45 Ablative
Monterey Fiberglass Bottomkote Aqua Hydrocoat SR* Aqua Shield
Hydrocoat
Hydrocoat Eco
AF-33 Micron CSC Horizons Copper Shield Uno
ACT Ultima SR40
Mission Bay Trilux 33 Vivid KOLOR
Mission Bay CSF
N/A Bottomkote NT Seamate New England Copper
Hard Modified Epoxy Bottom Paints
Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Tropikote Ultra-Kote Trinidad 75
Trindad
Tropikote Biocide Plus* Ultra with Biolux* Trinidad SR* Copper Pro SCX Hard*
Trindad Pro*
Sharkskin Fiberglass Bottomkote with Irgarol* Unepoxy Plus Copper Shield Hard
Talon Unepoxy Standard, Copper-Guard
Aluminum Safe Bottom Paints
Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Smart Solution Pacifica Ultima Eco KOLOR
Micron CF*
Mission Bay Trilux 33 Vivid Shelter Islands Plus
Mission Bay CSF
Water Based Bottom Paints
Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Monterey Fiberglass Bottomkote Aqua Hydrocoat SR* Aqua Shield
Hydrocoat
Hydrocoat Eco
Mission Bay CSF n/a
Outdrive Bottom Paints
Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Outdrive Paint Trilux 33 Aerosol Alumaspray Plus Aerosol Drivesleek Outdrive Aerosol
Bottom Paint Primers
Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Bottom Paint Primer Primocom Tie Coat Primer 6627 BarrierShield Primer
Islands Prime
Shawkocon
1266 Non-Sanding Primer YPA200 No-Sand Primer Skip Sand Primer 6998
Barnacle Blocker Aerosol Primocon Aerosol
High Build Epoxy Primers
Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Tuff Stuff Interprotect 2000E Pettit Protect Bottom Shield 70, Bottom Protect
Bottom Paint Cleaners
Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
S-80  Wax ‘N Grease Killer 202  Fiberglass Solvent Wash Bottom Prep D-95 973 Dewaxer
S-90  De-Waxing Etch & Cleaner 202V  Low VOC Fiberglass Solvent Wash Bio-Blue 92
Bottom Paint Removers / Strippers
Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Marine Paint Stripper Interstrip 299E
Speciality
Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Silver Bullet VC-17M Extra* SR-21* Liquid Speed*
Inflatable Paint
Transhield

These bottom paint comparisons are the best match ups of antifoulant brands and type by manufacturer. This information is the sole the opinion of www.BottomPaintStore.com. Please consult each manufacturer for more specific product information and comparisons. 

*These items are currently out of stock from the manufacturer and are considered to be on phase out.   Availability is very limited. 

Can you use water-based bottom paint over a marine epoxy primer?

Putting a water-based bottom paint  (WBP) over a solvent based primer can be done with some modified application procedures. You do NOT want to make the window, or hot coat the water based paint over the solvent based primer such as Tuff Stuff high build marine epoxy primer. If you do, it will mud crack. So instead of putting on the WBP over the Solvent Primer in the same day, you need to wait for the primer to totally cure. Then you have to sand it with 80 grit sandpaper before apply WBP. This is a lot of extra work and very difficult to sand = extremely hard surface. So the best thing to do when using a high build solvent based epoxy is to coat it with a solvent based paint. That way you skip the extra time and labor with sanding.