Category Archives: Bottom Paint

Which Bottom Paint is Best for Freshwater Lakes?

algaeMost Antifouling Bottom Paint is marketed toward the harsh conditions of the Caribbean. But which Antifouling Bottom Paint will work best in Freshwater Lakes?

The short answer is this: Antifouling Bottom Paint that works well in the harsh conditions of the Caribbean will be more than enough protection for boats in freshwater lakes. The real trick is choosing the paint that will fit your situation the best. Choosing a bottom paint with more biocide (usually cuprous oxide) will be more potent and fight off growth more successfully. Sometimes you don’t need to purchase the strongest and the greatest. A paint with just the right amount of biocide will do nicely and can also save a few bucks.

Here are some basic guidelines to help you decide which paint is best for your boat.

boat-trailer-360If the boat comes out of the water periodically, such as on a lift or trailer, Ablative Bottom Paint is the correct choice. Cukote is a very popular and potent Sea Hawk Ablative Paint. Also check out, Sea Hawk’s AF-33 and Blue Water Marine’s New England Copper.

If the boat never comes out of the water except to be repainted, a Hard Epoxy Bottom Paint will keep away the algae. Sea Hawk Sharkskin is a mid strength Hard Bottom Paint. Though there are stronger paints too; Sea Hawk Tropikote, and Pettit Trinidad. Copper Shield 35 Hard is a great Hard bottom paint that fits a tighter budget.

What about Bottom Paint Additives?

Sea Hawk produces a paint additive called Bio Cop TF to help fight against algae and soft growth. This product will boost the effectiveness of your paint’s ability to keep the hull free of growth. **NOTE: Biocop TF Pint may only be used as a bottom paint additive in the following products: AF-33, Cukote, Sharkskin, Talon, and Tropikote.

If you still aren’t sure what is needed for your boat, check out these other How To Articles:

Do I Need Bottom Paint on My Boat?

What is the Best Paint for My Boat?

Choosing the Right Boat Paint

How to Apply Bottom Paint Over Existing 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?

sharkskin300x300

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.

What is the Best Bottom Paint Money Can Buy?

Best Bottom Paint

Best Performing Bottom Paint

The best bottom paint that money can buy may NOT be the most expensive. You should buy the bottom paint that works best in your area. That will depend on the temperature of the water, tide changes, the nutrients in the water that feed unwanted growth, and many other factors.

The best bottom paint for you will be the bottom paint that stops the growth and does not break your wallet. If you buy the best performing bottom for the harshest fouling conditions and the warmest waters you would need Sea Hawk Paints Biocop TF  or another Top Performing Bottom Paint. This provides you the absolute maximum protection against hard and soft growth on the bottom of your boat. This solution is recommended for high growth areas, or if you are trying to goes as long as you possibly can between bottom jobs. If you are in cooler climates or lower fouling conditions you would NOT need to spend the extra money on Sea Hawk Biocop TF. A better choice that is less expensive and will work in these conditions is Sea Hawk AF-33 or the equivalent.

ALUMINUM BOATS: The best bottom paint for an aluminum boat or pontoons is a copper free bottom paint. You cannot put the paints mentioned above (Copper-Based) on aluminum because they contain copper and will react like a battery causing pitting (holes) on aluminum. Therefore, we recommend an Aluminum Safe Bottom Paint. A good choice for aluminum is  Sea Hawk Smart Solution, it is copper free, completely metal-free and safe for aluminum. If the aluminum has never been painted the best practice is to prime with high build epoxy primer like Sea Hawk Tuff Stuff to insure good adhesion and protect against corrosion. If you are painting a pontoon boat for the first time – try our Pontoon Bottom Paint Kit.

Premium Outdrive bottom paint kitThe best bottom paint for the outdrives is to brush on Smart Solution. (pint size).  If your outdrive has never been painted before, you can use Barnacle Blocker Primer for priming the area application of bottom paint. A great value for this is the Premium Outdrive Bottom Paint Kit. If there is already a bottom paint on your running gear, just scuff sand and paint! Another option is to try an aerosol spray bottom paint. These are easy to apply.

Do You Need Bottom Paint Thinner?

Bottom Paint is formulated to apply via brush or rolller. Under these normal application methods, there is no need to thin bottom paint (reduce bottom paint).

Bottom Paint Reducer

Bottom Paint Thinner

There are reducers for bottom paint, but these are used for spray applications, extremely hot climates (90F+) or if you applying to wood. (bottom paint should always be reduced by 20% for the first coat of bottom paint on wood.)

When used for these applications, please follow the manufacturers’ guidelines. (typically thin bottom paint no more than 10% unless barewood (20%) per application)). Be sure to use the correct thinner for the bottom paint that you are using. Do not mix competitive brands.

Don’t waste your money on bottom paint reducer unless your application meets these conditions. Otherwise, you are just spending more money thinning your bottom paint and waiting for it to dry! Remember that bottom is not like house paint, thinning bottom paint means that you are actually spreading less bottom paint over the surface. Bottom paint needs to be thick enough to repel growth as the paint film wears away over time.

What Is Bottom Paint?

What is bottom paint

What is Bottom Paint?

If you don’t know what bottom paint is, you are not alone. A boater that keeps his/her boat in the water for an extended period of time, must have bottom paint on the bottom of the hull to prevent growth (fouling) from occurring.

Bottom Paint also called antifouling paint, boat bottom paint, and anti-foul paint, is a special marine paint that is formulated with pesticides to keep those marine critters from growing on the bottom of the hull. Copper is most common pesticide used in bottom paints, and will prevent hard growth. Hard growth is considered mussels, barnacles, or any other crustacean that can attach to the bottom of the boat. Hard growth mostly occurs in warmer water and salt water. However, depending on your geographical location, hard growth will occur in fresh water and nutrient rich cool waters as well.

Some boat bottom paint is  also combine other pesticides (biocides) with copper to prevent soft growth. Soft growth refers to algae and grass.

Why do you need bottom paint? If you are going to keep your boat in the water for more than a couple of days, you will need some bottom paint!

Related Articles:

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

What Bottom Paint Can go Over Polyethylene?

Yes, you can apply bottom paint over polyethlene (plastic). We recommend applying an ablative bottom paint. (preferably ablative such as Cukote.

bottom paint primerYou should sand the boat with a 60 grit sandpaper, then wash it off with S-80 Cleaner and Dewaxer. After it is cleaned, you should apply 1-2 coats of 1277 bottom paint primer. Let it dry overnight and then apply the Sea Hawk antifouling paint of your choice.

Do I Need a Reducer For Bottom Paint?

Reducers help the paint to dry faster or slower, depending upon the reducer you use. There is a warm weather reducer that makes it dry slower, and a cool weather reducer that make it dry faster.

Generally speaking, reducers should only be used in extreme weather conditions, or to thin the paint for a spray application.

Here is the link to reducers for bottom paint.

How to Apply Bottom Paint Over Existing Bottom Paint

Bottom Painting is not very technical, but you must have a clean surface to insure good adhesion.

Refer to the Sea Hawk Compatibility Chart to determine if your existing coating is compatible with Sea Hawk antifoulant paint choice.To insure that your bottom paint adheres to your existing coating, it is important to have a clean prepared surface and an existing coating that is in good condition.

Known Compatibility of Existing Bottom Paint:
Power wash (pressure wash) to remove any loose paint,dirt, grease, or any other surface contaminants.
Scuff sand with 80 grit sandpaper, or scuff with a 3M Scotch-Brite® 7447 pad scrubbing thoroughly. Remove all residue and let dry.
Apply minimum of two coats of antifoulant. Allow 3 to 6 hours between coats and a minimum overnight dry. See the specific Technical Data Sheet for antifoulant being used. Some antifoulants may require more than 2 coats.

Unknown Compatibility* of Existing Antifoulant:
Power wash (pressure wash) to remove any loose paint,dirt, grease, or any other surface contaminants.
Scuff sand with 80 grit sandpaper, or scuff with a 3M Scotch-Brite® 7447 pad scrubbing thoroughly. Remove all residue and let dry.
Apply 1 coat of Bottom Paint PrimersHAWKocon or 1283 Island Primer (see respective technical data sheet)
Apply minimum of two coats of antifoulant. Allow 3 to 6 hours between coats and a minimum overnight dry.See the specific Technical Data Sheet for antifoulant being used. Some antifoulants may require more than 2 coats.

Poor Condition of Existing Antifoulant:
If previous coating is cracking, flaking or peeling then strip antifoulant with Marine Paint Stripper, or by sanding or commercial blast. Refer to Bare Fiberglass Application Guidelines for new antifoulant application.

How To Apply Bottom Paint To Bare Fiberglass

The following steps should be taken to insure good adhesion of bottom paint to a fiberglass or gelcoated hull.

Preparation

  • Clean Surface: 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.
  • Dewax Surface:  Clean and de-wax fiberglass hull with S-80 Wax N’ Grease Killer solvent based dewax. Saturate cheesecloth rag 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.

OR

  • 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 beading on 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.

Premium Blister Protection and Adhesion System

  • Sand and Clean: Sand to a uniformly frosty, dull looking surface with 80-100 grit (no finer) sandpaper, rewash with S-80 Wax N’ Grease Killer or, S-90 De-Wax Etch & Cleaner.
  • Apply Primer: Seal the surface with 2-3 coats of Tuff Stuff, or other high build epoxy primer. For Tuff Stuff, apply the first coat of primer and allow the surface to dry to become tacky.Temperature and humidity affect the dry time, but you will know when to apply your next coat of primer once the paint film becomes “tacky”.You should be able to firmly press your thumb into the paint film and leave a thumbprint without any primer coming off the surface.You should use this method in between coats of primer and your first coat of antifouling paint.When applying over multiple days, it is always best to go overnight between coats of primer instead going overnight between the final coat of primer and the first coat of bottom paint. Additional information can be found on the Tuff Stuff Technical Data Sheets.
  • 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. See the specific Technical Data Sheet for antifoulant being used. Some antifoulants may require more than 2 coats.

Sanding System

  • Sand and Clean: Sand to a uniformly frosty, dull looking surface with 80-100 grit (no finer) sandpaper, remove any residue.
  • Apply Bottom Paint: Apply minimum of two coats of bottom paint. Allow 3 to 6 hours between coats and a minimum overnight dry.See the specific Technical Data Sheet for antifoulant being used. Some antifoulants may require more than 2 coats.

No Sand System with Superior Blister Protection

  • Apply Primer: Apply a one step primer, such as Bottom Paint Primer, by Seahawk. Review Technical Data Sheet to compare the primers and best one for the paint you choose.
  • Apply 2nd Primer: Seal the surface with 2-3 coats of Tuff Stuff, or S-78 High Build Primer. Apply the first coat of primer and allow the surface to dry to become tacky.Temperature and humidity affect the dry time, but you will know when to apply your next coat of primer once the paint film becomes “tacky”.You should be able to firmly press your thumb into the paint film and leave a thumbprint without any primer coming off the surface.You should use this method in between coats of primer and your first coat of antifouling paint.When applying over multiple days, it is always best to go overnight between coats of primer instead going overnight between the final coat of primer and the first coat of antifouling. Additional information can be found on the Tuff Stuff, S-78 Technical Data Sheets.
  • Apply Antifoulant: Apply minimum of two coats Sea Hawk Premium antifoulant not allowing more than 24 hours since the last coat of Tuff Stuff / S-78 High Build Epoxy Primer.

Simple No Sand System

  • Apply Primer: Apply one thin coating of 1266 Non-Sanding Primer.This coating is applied at a maximum of 1-2 mils WFT.Excessive buildup can cause a lack of adhesion. Minimum dry time is 20 minutes with a maximum of one hour.
  • Apply Antifoulant: Apply minimum of two coats of Sea Hawk antifouling paint. Apply first coat of antifouling within 2 hours of applying primer.Apply 2nd coat of antifouling allowing 3 to 6 hours between coats and a minimum overnight dry.

Note: Do NOT use a copper based paint on metal running gear and parts. You should use a metal free bottom paint such as Sea Hawk Outdrive Paint, priming it with Tuff Stuff first.

If the boat is taken down to gelcoat, is primer needed when applying bottom paint?

TUFFSTUFFnewPrimer for bottom paint is not necessary. However, if you use Tuff Stuff marine epoxy primer on the bare fiberglass, it will provide protection against blisters and any moisture. It will also improve adhesion to the hull. Tuff Stuff marine epoxy primer will last for many years. It cannot be applied over paint, it must be applied on gel coat (bare fiberglass).  It only needs to be applied once, while bottom paint should be applied every season or two depending on your conditions.

If you decide to use Tuff Stuff, here is the link. You should apply at least two coats.

See Related Article> Application of a Marine Epoxy Primer

Application of Marine Epoxy Primer to a Boat

Marine 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. Here are the steps that you need to take for proper application of a marine epoxy primer (barrier coat system) to the bottom of a boat.

Preparation

Clean
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.

Sea Hawk s-80 Wax N Grease KillerA. Clean and de-wax fiberglass hull with S-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.

OR

Sea Hawk S-90 Low VOC De-Waxing Etch & CleanerB. 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
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 .

Apply Marine Epoxy Primer
TUFFSTUFFnewSeal the surface with 2-3 coats of Tuff Stuff Epoxy Primer. Apply the first coat of marine epoxy primer and allow the surface to dry to become tacky. Temperature and humidity affect the dry time, but you will know when to apply your next coat of marine epoxy primer once the paint film becomes “tacky”. You should be able to firmly press your thumb into the paint film and leave a thumbprint without any high build marine epoxy primer coming off the surface. You should use this method in between coats of marine epoxy primer and your first coat of bottom paint.

Tip: When applying marine epoxy primer over multiple days, it is always best to go overnight between coats of marine epoxy primer instead going overnight between the final coat of marine epoxy primer and the first coat of bottom paint. When over coating Tuff Stuff Epoxy Primer it is important to meet the required over coating times in order to achieve the best adhesion because temperature and humidity control dry times. It is hard to give exact times of cure. An easier rule in epoxies is when the coating is dry to the touch, yet still has some tack, it is ready to be over coated. However, if the coating is completely cured (after 24 hours) it needs to be thoroughly sanded with 80 grit sand paper to remove shine. If the marine epoxy primer is not sanded after full cure, bottom paint will not adhere.

Apply Bottom Paint to Marine Epoxy Primer
Apply minimum of two coats of  bottom paint. Allow 3 to 6 hours between coats and a minimum overnight dry. See the specific Technical Data Sheet for bottom paint being used. Some bottom paint may require more than 2 coats.

Painting an Aluminum Outdrive

Outdrives are difficult to keep free of growth. The main reason for this is that traditional copper-based bottom paints cannot be used on an aluminum outdrive. Doing so will result in serious corrosion from the aluminum reacting to the copper in the paint.

Outdrive paint kitWhen painting an aluminum outdrive you must use a copper-free bottom paint. There are a couple of different brands out there. Interlux Trilux 33 (The most popular) , and Sea Hawk Smart Solution (The best). Trilux is the most popular and easy to find at your local West Marine. However, the results are not as impressive as Sea Hawk Smart Solution   (available in pint size black as Outdrive Paint) that uses the newest metal free technology. You will get the best possible results with Smart Solution, and is becoming more and more popluar as the best solution for painting an outdrive. It is also the best priced of the two, but is yet not available in an aerosol spray. You can get a quart and brush it on, or you can spray it with a conventional spray gun.

The Outdrive Paint shows best  results when paired with a primer such as Tuff Stuff or Bottom Paint Primer by Sea Hawk.  For spray options the Barnacle Blocker can be used alone or over coated with Smart Solution for improved protection. You can find our Outdrive Paint Kit for increased savings!

What’s the difference between freshwater bottom paint and salt water bottom paint?

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!

Keep in mind that you probably don’t need the top performing paint like Sea Hawk Biocop TF bottom paint if you are in fresh water. You can go with a less expensive alternative like AF-33 or Silver Bullet. Anything more is probably over kill!

Applying Bottom Paint for Boats

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.

Clean

 

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.

OR 

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

 

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
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.

Sea Hawk Ablative Bottom Paint Rankings by Antifouling Performance

Sea Hawk Ablative Bottom Paint Rankings by Antifouling Performance

sea hawk paints

Rank Bottom Paint Name Fresh Water / Salt Water High Growth Area Performance Slime Fighting Warm Water Performance Cost Comments
1 Islands 77 Plus   Both ***** ***** ***** $$$$$ Top Performance for Highest Growth Areas (Non-US)
1 Biocop TF Both ***** ***** ***** $$$$$ Top Performance for Highest Growth Areas (US)
2 Cukote Biocide Plus Both **** *** **** $$$$ Best Value Multi-Seasonal with Slime Fighter
3 Cukote Both *** n/a *** $$$ Best Overall Value Multi-Seasonal
4 Monterey Both *** n/a *** $$ Best Value Water-Based Multi-Seasonal
5 AF-33 Both *** n/a *** $ Lowest Cost Multi-Seasonal Available
6 Smart Solution Salt ** n/a ** $$ Metal Free Best Choice for Aluminum in salt water
7 Mission Bay Fresh ** n/a ** $$$ Best Choice for Aluminum and Pontoons. Safe on Aluminum.
8 Mission Bay CSF Both ** n/a ** $$$ Environmentally friendly water-based and copper free. Best for apply indoors.
9 Silver Bullet Fresh * n/a * $ Best used in Fresh Water Only, or as a Smooth Racing Finish

Ranking: By Most Effective Antifouling Performance
* All rankings provided by Bottom Paint Store are based on customer feedback, product testing data, and current market prices.

How to Apply Bottom Paint to an Aluminum Boat

Tuff Stuff Marine Epoxy Primer

Tuff Stuff Marine Epoxy Primer

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 primer on 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 Bay for 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.

Links:

How to Video: Aluminum Boat Bottom Paint Application

Smart Solution Bottom Paint by Sea Hawk Paint 
Mission Bay Copper Free Paint