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ablative bottom paint

How to Apply Water-based Antifouling to Wooden Boats

Antifouling paint can be applied to many different substrates including wooden boats. What is the recommended procedure for preparing the surface? Is a primer needed? What paint should I use? This article should answer all those questions. The Bottom Paint Store has 3 water-based antifouling products: Aquagard, Sea Hawk Monterey, and Interlux Fiberglass Bottomkote Aqua.

Aquagard Water-based Antifouling Bottom Paint

When applying antifouling paint to wooden boats, primer is optional. Antifouling paint can seep into the wood grain and create a strong bond. Usually, the first coat is thinned 10% to assist in penetrating the wood grain. Then the subsequent coats can be applied normally.

If adhesion is a major concern, then primer will promote adhesion. There are 2 Aquagard primers to choose from: 181 Solvent based primer and 190 Water based primer. They both accomplish the same task, but the water-based version has less VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). If you choose to use a solvent based primer and then a water based paint, make sure the primer is completely cured before proceeding. You can read the full application instructions on the Aquagard product page.

 Monterey Self Polishing Solvent Free Bottom Paint

When applying Sea Hawk Monterey to a wood hull, no primer is needed. You can use the same method of thinning the product to allow it to seep into the wood grain. If the wood can accept more paint after the first coat, you can repeat the process a second time. Here is the step by step process for Monterey:

Step 1 – CLEAN SURFACE

Surface must be clean, dry and free of contaminants.

Step 2 – SAND & CLEAN

Sand to a uniformly frosty, dull looking surface with 80-100 grit (no finer) sandpaper; remove any residue.

Step 3 – APPLY ANTIFOULANT

Apply two coats of Sea Hawk antifouling by brush, roller or spray. Apply first coat thinned 10% and let dry overnight. Apply two more coats of bottom paint allowing 3 to 6 hours between coats and a minimum overnight dry.

Interlux Fiberglass Bottomkote Aqua

BARE WOOD: It is essential to remove all contaminants from the surface prior to sanding and overcoating.

Sand with 80 grit paper.

Clean with Special Thinner 216. Repair any defects with Watertite Epoxy Filler.

Lightly sand and wipe clean. Surface must be free from all contamination.

Fill seams, if necessary, with Seam Compound Brown 30.

Apply first coat of Fiberglass Bottomkote® Aqua thinned with clean water (do not add more than 10% by volume).

Care and Maintenance of Awlgrip HDT

Awlgrip HDT Base

DO:
1. Wash the surface regularly with Awlwash (73234) or Awlwash 2.0 (73235) and water.
2. Use only mild solvents to remove stubborn stains. Awlprep T0008, mineral spirits and xylene are acceptable for use on Awlgrip HDT.
Do not allow solvent to dry on the surface or puddle and soak into the surface. Wash these areas with Awlwash and water to remove solvent residue.
3. Always thoroughly rinse surfaces with fresh water after cleaning with Awlwash or solvents.
4. Use distilled white vinegar and hot water to remove stubborn salt stains. Washing with Awlwash after use of vinegar is recommended.
5. Use Awlcare (73240) by hand only to remove mild diesel soot stains.
Protecting the surface with Awlcare will help maintain the gloss of Awlgrip HDT. Awlcare is a hand applied, non-abrasive, synthetic polymer. It will remove mild stains, water spots and diesel soot while increasing resistance to attack from acid rain and other pollutants, when applied regularly.

DO NOT:
1. Do not use traditional waxes. Awlgrip has developed Awlcare Protective Polymer Sealer for those who want to enhance their finish and need the additional cleaning power of a hand applied, dry wash product.
2. Do not use abrasives, scratch pads or polishing compounds. Scratching the surface gives dirt a place to cling while wearing out the resin layer. Using abrasives of any kind will reduce the overall life of the finish and voids the Awlgrip Limited Warranty.
3. Do not allow contact between the Awlgrip HDT and teak cleaners.
4. Do not allow metal polishes to dry on the surface of Awlgrip HDT. Metal polishes may discolor and stain the painted surface.
5. Do not use strong solvents (eg. lacquer thinner, M.E.K., acetone) to clean Awlgrip HDT.
6. Do not allow wet equipment (e.g. seat cushions, coils of line, sails, sail covers, coolers) to trap and hold moisture against Awlgrip HDT.
7. Do not ‘shrink wrap’ or tightly bind Awlgrip HDT surfaces with plastic wrappings. The cover system, whether synthetic or natural fiber, should be ventilated to allow the coating system to ‘breathe’.

How to Apply Awlgrip HDT

Surface Preparation

The surface preparation advice provided, and equipment suggestions, can be used as a guide. Preparation techniques and results will vary according to individual conditions, equipment choice/condition and other factors. Testing on a non-critical area should be carried out prior to full-scale preparation.
Awlgrip HDT should be applied over Awlgrip 545 Epoxy Primer or previous Awlgrip Topcoat/Awlgrip HDT/Awlcraft 2000.
Over Awlgrip Topcoat/Awlgrip HDT/Awlcraft 2000 topcoat sand topcoat with P400 to remove the gloss and clean with surface cleaner T0170 (US) or T0340 (EU) using the two cloth wipe down method.
Avoid painting in direct sunlight. Do not apply paint materials to surfaces less than 5°F (3°C) above dew point, or to surfaces warmer than 105°F (41°C).
Ambient temperature should be minimum 55°F (13°C) and maximum 105°F (41°C). At standard conditions (77˚F (25˚C), 50% R.H.), avoid applying topcoats when the temperature could drop below the dew point within 6–8 hours after the application.

Mixing & Reduction of Awlgrip HDT
Mixing and reduction requirements will vary according to individual conditions, climate, equipment choice/condition and other factors. Mixing and application of a small sample before full-scale application is recommended.
Mix Ratio (by volume) – 1:1:0.25 (Base : Curing Solution : Activator)  (eg 1 Gallon:1 Gallon:1 Quart or 100:100:25ml).
Induction time = 15 minutes.
Mix to a smooth, homogenous mixture
Awlgrip HDT is designed for spray application only. Correct choice of activator must be made according to the application conditions and project size.
General guideline:
15-23ºC OA0020
20-30 ºC OA0015 (US only)
>30ºC OA0010

1. Mix all 3 components of Awlgrip HDT thoroughly, especially the base. Mix by volume to a homogeneous mixture:

For example, mix 100ml OC series, 100ml OC0010 & 25ml OA0020 (or 32 ounces OC series, 32 ounces OC0010 & 8 ounces OA0020). Keeo in mind that adding more activator into the mix may compromise pot life and could affect the flow of the product.
2. Once the product is mixed, ensure at least 15 minutes induction time. If the induction time is not followed, the product may down gloss / haze once cured.
3. Initial spray viscosity should be 14-20 seconds (DIN4 or equivalent) and varies with the application conditions. The best choice of activator will depend on application conditions and boat size.

As a general guideline (see below):

Application & Conditions for Awlgrip HDT

4. Application equipment: Gravity or pressure feed, air atomized spray or electrostatic spray
5. The primed surface must be clean and dry.
6. Apply 2 coats of Awlgrip HDT, this should be sufficient to achieve the correct DFT of 50-75 microns (3mils) DFT. However, some colours may require additional coats to achieve full hide / opacity and colour development. Application of the first coat should be approximately 75 microns (3 mils) WFT and application of the second coat should be approximately 100 microns (3.9mils) WFT. The surface may not become completely ‘tack free’ in between coats, however it is recommended to wait at least 30 minutes between coats (this time will vary depending on activator selection, temperature and humidity and air flow)
7. Awlgrip HDT has a relatively short pot life compared to Awlgrip topcoat, so for optimal performance prepare a fresh mix for each application. Don’t mix the new & old paint together as this may compromise the final finish.
8. The Awlgrip HDT activators can be blended together to suit not only environmental conditions but also project complexity. For a good starting point use a 50/50 OA0010/ OA0020 blend (or OA0015) then adjust to your preference.
8.1 To achieve a longer pot life or longer wet edge, the blend of A0010 and A0020 should be adjusted to include more A0010.
8.2 Similarly, for small areas or where drying time needs to be reduced, the proportion of A0020 should be increased.

9. Even if temperature has a greater effect on the cure and the potlife, humidity to some extend can also have an influence on the flow and performance of the product.
9.1 In cooler humid conditions it is suggested to either use only OA0020 or a blend of OA0020 and OA0010 with a higher proportion of OA0020 to OA0010. Example 75/25 OA0020/OA0010.
9.2 In hot humid conditions it may be necessary to increase the proportion of OA0010 and decrease the proportion of OA0020. Example, 75/25 OA0010/OA0020. Even in hot humid conditions, it is not recommended to solely use OA0010 due to the risk of moisture causing down glossing.
10. When first using Awlgrip HDT, it can apply differently to other topcoats currently in use. To help with this, up to 12.5% of T0002, T0001, T0003, T0005 or T0031 can be added to help with wetting out of the surface. Using extra reducer may require an additional coat to be applied and will mean the product is no longer ‘VOC compliant’. Once applicators are used to the behaviour of HDT on application, a similar quality of finish can be achieved without the addition of extra reducer. It is recommended to mix separately the Activator (OA0010, OA0015, OA0020) in equal amounts to the chosen reducer. This mix can then be added to the 1:1 base & curing solution at 25%. This mix will contain 12.5% Activator (as recommended) with 12.5% reducer; from a painters perspective this gives a 1:1:0.5 overall mix ratio.
11. Thanks to the activator/ reducer choice based on temperature, Awlgrip HDT has been proven to be a very adaptable product. The chart on page 1 is to be used as a guide only. In low temperatures, the standard paint mix with fast activator works very well. On larger surfaces, the addition of standard solvents helps to carry a wet edge if the applicator is struggling. For hot weather, OA0015 activator works well. If the applicator is struggling with wet edge, the addition of solvents helps. It is recommended when blending the activators to use the two extremes OA0010 Slow) and OA0020 (Fast) this allows more control. In low temperatures, we recommend T0001 or T0002; in medium temperatures T0003 and in hot temperatures T0005. In hot to very hot weather T0031. Start with the addition of 5% solvent. It is recommended for larger applications that a pre-shoot on panels is to be carried out, “to enable applicator to choose” the best optimization for the size project and conditions.
DRYING TIMES & REPAIRS for Awlgrip HDT
12. If environmental conditions require that the product dries faster (cooler more humid conditions), add slightly more OA0020 into the mix. Keep in mind this may compromise pot life and could affect the flow of the product. Also, in that case the product is no longer VOC compliant.
13. Awlgrip HDT has a new repair process compared to the standard Awlgrip repair. See the Repair & maintenance brochure for further info.
14. Awlgrip HDT can be harder to polish therefore we only recommend this for repairs and to remove localised defects. If working in an environment where you know you’re going to polish the whole boat, Awlcraft 2000 is the best choice.
15. Polishing Awlgrip HDT : Always test a small, low visibility area (or a sample panel) first before proceeding. Certain color shades may not be suitable for polishing. The tone of the color may be affected during sanding or aggressive polishing. Multi-stage sanding & polishing systems can also be used. You should contact your local supplier for further information.

Awlgrip HDT Application continued

Application equipment and parameters are given as a guide. Actual equipment choices will vary according to application conditions, equipment condition and other factors. Testing on a non-critical area should be carried out prior to full-scale application. Contact your local technical service representative for further advice if necessary.
To ensure optimal adhesion between coats Awlgrip HDT should be applied according to the overcoating intervals as described in the Recoatability & Drying Times section.
Apply a full coat of Awlgrip HDT to the surface. Allow tack coat to “flash off” 30-45 minutes depending on application conditions. Apply a slightly heavy second coat. A third coat can be applied to reach DFT if needed.                         

Application MethodsFluid TipFluid PressureAir Pressure
Conventional Spray Gravity,
Electrostatic
1.20 – 1.40 mm
47 – 55 thou
 –180 – 280 cc/min3 – 5 bar
29 – 44 psi

Recoatability & Drying Times
The data given for recoatability is not exhaustive. Actual recoatability can vary according to individual conditions, climate and surroundings. If unsure, consult your local technical service representative before proceeding.

Drying15ºC (59ºF)25ºC (77ºF)35ºC (95ºF)
Hard Dry46 hours22 hours6.5 hours
Touch Dry6 hours4.5 hours1.5 hours
Pot Life3 hours2/5 hours2 hours

Values in the table are for a 50:50 mix by volume of Awlgrip HDT Fast Activator and Awlgrip HDT Slow Activator. If using only Awlgrip HDT Fast Activator or Awlgrip HDT Slow Activator at a different ratio drying time and pot life will vary.

Awlgrip HDT has a shorter pot life than a standard polyurethane topcoat.

Overcoated by15ºC (59ºF)15ºC (59ºF)25ºC (77ºF)25ºC (77ºF)35ºC (95ºF)35ºC (95ºF)
MinMaxMinMaxMinMax
Awlgrip HDT2 hours24 hours2 hours24 hours2 hours24 hours

Recoatability: Spray application consists of 2 to 3 coats applied over 2-4 hours. Exact time will vary with temperature, project size and film thickness applied. Awlgrip HDT cannot be overcoated with itself after 24h. Please contact your local representative for more information
Some Important Points
Awlgrip HDT is compatible with Awlgrip repair product. Please refer to the Awlgrip website or to the Awlgrip Application Guide for further information.

Awlgrip Product Data Sheet

TIPS & TRICKS FOR AWLGRIP HDT APPLICATION

Sea Hawk Paint Reviews

Customer Reviews of Sea Hawk Paints

Sea Hawk Paints is an American manufacturer of premium performance antifouling paints and coatings, dedicated to bringing the highest quality products to boat enthusiasts.

Bottom Paint Store is a proud Sea Hawk paints distributor, and we have received a lot of Verified Reviews from actual customers using Sea Hawk marine paints. Although the reviews are listed on each of our product pages, we thought it would be helpful to share a collection of some of the reviews on one page.

Sea Hawk Aluma Hawk Paint Reviews

Seahawk aluminum boat paint is perfect. No primer required. I’ve used this paint for two years with excellent results. – William E.

Great product. – Kody L.


Very impress with the paint covering, 1 1/2 half gallon for my 20 feet pontoon.- Cristian V.

Adhesion seems better than most paints even when not fully cured. Liking what I see so far. – Mark L.

Great paint and easy to use. Took a little bit longer to dry than expected, but that was mostly a humidity issue on my end. Looks great and it will buy it again if I need some more for anything.- Eddie C.

Haven’t used it yet but I ordered it because of its good reviews on YouTube.- Jesse H.
Great product. Bruce D.

Excellent product for my Jon Boat- Dennis E.

Looks great! Sam B.

I learned several things about this paint; 1. Make sure you apply it soon after you receive it. If it’s going to sit for a couple of weeks, you will need to stir it very well to break up chunks in the bottom of the can. 2. Two quarts are not enough to paint the bottom hull of a 14-foot aluminum Jon boat. It will take at least 3 quarts for 1 coat. 3. Wear gloves. If you get this on your hands, it will take longer to get off than regular paints. 4. It takes a week to cure. It says so on the can and I can see that. Even though the paint appears dry after a few hours, it’s still tacky. So, you will need to have some patience. Seriously, this is not like painting other objects like wood. Read all the directions and act accordingly. Keep in mind that this is for boats that will routinely be out of the water. It has no anti-fouling properties, and that’s OK if you’re not going to leave it in the water. Personally, I live in a desert area of Arizona, so not an issue for me. – Kevin P.


The best product for aluminum boats.- Robert D.

Purchased an older small used pontoon for our no motor lake. The bottom crud was like cement and I eventually used a sand blaster wand attachment to my power washer to clean of this crud (unreal). Chose Aluma Hawk paint for the sand blasted pontoons and it worked great. This paint needs to be used in a WELL ventilated area!!! I was outdoors painting with a roller on a calm morning and decided to wait till the wind picked up to finish. Tough durable and easy to use. The green makes it look like its from the military surplus! Love it. Certainly the fish will be confused. LOL.- Keith B.

Smooth application.- Brad H.

Very good paint. – Chris T.

I used a roller went on smooth. – Roger C.

The paint match was pretty close to what the previous owner said he put it on the boat… I only did the transom and some touch up on the sides. Good quality paint for an aluminum boat.- Rich H.


I purchased the Aluma Hawk 7031 lite gray – 1 gallon, which gave me 2 coats on the bottom & 1 coat inside. The factory didn’t recommend spraying the paint, so i rolled it & brushed it on. The paint dries quickly, so you have to work fast to maintain a wet edge. I did small sections at a time to make sure I got even coverage. – Russell S.


Haven’t used it yet. – Joe S.


Love this paint. I painted my jon boat years ago with this stuff. It holds up, doesn’t fall off or fade. Added pods to my boat and had to get another quart. The color matched really well.- Steve K.


Great paint, just needs to be shaken before shipping.- Greg M.


This paint if fantastic! It adhered to my boat very well and it only needed one coat to cover evenly. – Arnold B.


Met all my expectations for painting exterior of houseboat. I strongly recommend!- Marsha M.


Best I ever used on alum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – Herman B.


The Value is in the Lasting Performance so I shall see. Putting it on, one NEEDS to KNOW what they are dealing with BEFOREHAND as far as Application, in knowing this project should come out perfect. Price of this product should be determined by it’s worthiness over time. Clean Up be SURE to use right Measures and Tools.- Jerry H.
Works good, dries well, one quart did a first and second coat on our jonboat.- Lindsey M.


Anticipating the paint will be great- Paul M.


Great products. – D. Mendez


Great product. Best bottom paint I have used yet. Good ventilation required. -Jon B.
Awesome- Todd Z.


Paint was as advertised. Very pleased with product. Would highly recommend.- Jerry R.
Easy to apply and dried quick, didn’t even really need a second coat but put one on anyway. -Sarah L.


Applying the product now and appears to be coating and covering as described. The painting (job) isn’t complete yet so I can’t comment on life longevity or wearing but satisfied so far. – Jason K.


This appears to be a good quality product but is not real user friendly for DIY due to the fumes and the fact that MEK is needed for clean up. – Douglas L.


So far pretty good, it’s been about six months now since application. I recommend reading the directions very well, it tells you exactly how to thin and apply with the exception of what type of roller to use, I used a 1/4 nap roller but seemed to go on pretty thick. I had to thin it a bit more than what it said in order make it a bit easier, it recommends rolling as best method but I believe spraying would be better. A 16 foot long 5 foot wide vhull took about a gallon and a half to paint but I believe it is because it was going on pretty thick, to spray it says can be thinned 50% but for roller or brush only 10% which seemed to thick and not much coverage, either way you have to move pretty quick because it will flash pretty fast. It dried to touch pretty quick but due to the thickness from rolling it seemed to take forever to fully dry and or cure during which time it was still pretty soft and easily scratched off. After being left to sit and fully cure/harden I will say the stuff seems pretty hard and tough as nails. I used the sand color and if an when the time comes to paint the boat again I would use it again only spray it . I initially bought a gallon and a quart but soon realized it was going to be enough so I bought another gallon and still have about half of it left, I applied two coats to the entire boat both inside and out.- David P.


Great- Todd Z.


The paint went on as expected will have to wait and see how it holds up.- Howard B.

Sea Hawk Cukote Paint Reviews

I thought the value was great even though I haven’t used it yet due to my marina being backed up with haul outs so Ill probably get hauled out after hurricane season is over, plus it will be cooler then as well.- Michael W.

The quart I bought was surprisingly heavy but instructions were clear and it was easy to apply. Certainly recommend gloves and a disposable brush. – Peter S.

Boat had never been painted and I prepped and applied 2 coats below the waterline and 3 coats on the waterline . Held up for 2 years in coastal NC waters . Very little growth to remove . Pressure washer blew most of it off . I would call Sea Hawk Cukote a very good product. – D. Bordeaux

After more than 40 years experimenting with different bottom paints on many boats, I’d have to say Sea Hawk paints are the best (least fouling, longest-lasting) ablative paints I have found. – Stephen P.

Quick delivery good pricing. – Robert S.

I kept my sailboat on the Chesapeake in an area with warm brackish water very conducive to barnacle growth. Cukote worked better. – Robert P.

Excellent product. Alfred L.

IMO, this is the best bottom paint. Only requires one coat. – Gerald D.

It is on our boat now and we needed some touch up. – Carol S.

Great product to use on boat bottoms. – Jeffrey R.

Sea Hawk Tuff Stuff Reviews

Cleaned the surface, highly recommend a fan or 2 when using. Does have strong odor like any reducer or thinner. – Peter P.

A high quality epoxy paint. I will order it again. – Edward O.

Applied well, pretty happy so far! – Sam B.

Love it. Easy to work with and tough when cured ! Easy to wet sand also in prep for color coats ! – James W.

Very easy to use, just follow the directions. I have not put the boat in the water yet, but I don’t forsee any problems. – Sharon T.

The Sea Hawk Tuff Stuff was very easy to work with and the 1:1 ratio made mixing easy and error free. It went on easily and dried quickly so that I could apply 2 coats plus bottom paint In one day on a 46ft. Motor Yacht. The Sea Hawk Tropicoat was also easy to go on ( I recommend thinning as the paint is extremely heavy with copper). It dries quickly and have a hard service in 15 minutes. I am very happy with both products. – George M.

Great primer, the name says it all. – Eric H.

Very good product. – Nicholas C.

How Can Gelcoat Be Used to Repair Fiberglass Surfaces?

brushable gelcoat

Gelcoat is popular as a surface coating in the fabrication and repair of fiberglass-based products and can also be used to patch existing gel coat, fiberglass repairs, and new construction and repair projects. Gelcoat is extremely durable and provides a high-quality finish to visible surfaces making it a popular solution for damages to fiberglass surfaces such as covering up blemishes, patching small holes, filling cracks, and renewing surface shine. Gelcoat is often referred to as a one-stop solution for almost all types of damages on fiberglass surfaces such as, boats, jet skis, wave runners, swimming pools, hot tubs, showers and more.

Gelcoat for Swimming Pools

If you have a fiberglass pool then its surface is made of gelcoat, a liquid-colored resin that is applied to the pool shell. Gelcoat is the considered one of the most durable pool surfaces, typically lasting several decades, depending on maintenance, wear and tear, and the quality of the surface. Concrete pools need to be refinished about every ten years or so.

One of the more common areas of a fiberglass pool that needs to be refinished over time are the pool steps which can fade after exposure to pool chemicals, weather and UV rays. For more information please refer to our How to Gelcoat your Fiberglass Pool Steps article.

Gelcoat for Shower Stalls, Bathtubs, and Hot tubs

Cracks, holes, chips, and stains in showers and tubs made from fiberglass can be repaired with gelcoat. A common rule of thumb is if the hole is smaller than 1/2 inch, you should be able to make the repairs yourself; if it is a larger hole, then it may require the replacement of the surface or unit.

Fixing the damaged area requires applying two-part epoxy that hardens to the strength of the surrounding surface.

Gelcoat for a Fiberglass Deck

One of the most common ways to refinish a fiberglass deck is with a two-part polyurethane, as the results will provide a finish that will look as good as and should last at as long as the original gelcoat.

Re-gelcoating a Boat Fiberglass Hull

Regularly waxed gelcoat can last up to 15 years, depending on how well you take care of your boats hull and exposure to UV rays. If your hull is showing signs of damage such as cracking or is no longer retaining its gloss, and has chalky white powder on the surface, then it is time to re-gelcoat your hull. Dewaxer is perfect for dewaxing the hull and effectively cleaning up paint supplies.

Be Prepared for your Gelcoat Project

Using gelcoat can be an excellent solution for repairing and renewing fiberglass-based surfaces. Gelcoat is sometimes referred to as marine paint for fiberglass, however it is not a paint, so if you are unfamiliar with applying gelcoat, please see our numerous how to articles as it can be difficult to apply and achieve optimal results for first time users. You can also contact Bottom Paint Store’s technical team from 8:30-5:00pm EST Monday through Friday.

The Different Types of Pettit Paint

Pettit Marine Paint, was established back in 1923 and is a manufacturer of a variety of boat paint including marine coatings, antifouling boat bottom paint, varnish, and epoxies.

Hard Modified Epoxies – The active ingredient leaches out while the paint film stays mostly intact. Leaching Coppers lose performance as time goes by and must be repainted after dry storage.

Pettit Easypoxy is an advanced single-stage topside polyurethane and deck enamel. It has a superior high gloss finish and flows well when brush applied. Easypoxy’s innovative ultraviolet filters improve gloss retention and enhance polyurethane’s durability.

Captain’s Satin Sheen Varnish V-975 is widely esteemed for its reliability, multi-purpose application, fast-drying capability, and superior durability.

Ablatives – (Ultima and Hydrocoat Technology) Ablative polymers paints wear away with use exposing new biocides, both the biocides and the paint film disappear over time. Ablative Polymers can be used multi‐season and maintain a more steady performance throughout their useful life.

Pettit Black Widow Racing Antifouling is the slickest, fastest, ultra-smooth, burnishable racing finish available. Its powerful dual biocides provide multi-season protection in all waters. Black Widow is easily applied by roller, brush, or spray and is easily burnishable to a metallic “gun-metal” shine.

Hybrid – (Vivid Technology) Hybrid antifoulings offering hard paint that does not build up. Hybrid’s work by leaching out the biocides just as a Traditional Leaching Copper does, but once the biocides are gone, the paint film will break down exposing a new layer of biocide.

Trinidad HD, Multi-Season Hard Antifouling Paint provides excellent, long-lasting protection, even under the toughest antifouling conditions. Trinidad HD provides dependable in-water antifouling protection while meeting the 330 gram per liter VOC regulations.

Copper Free – Econea is a non-metal biocide that is extremely effective against hard-shelled fouling organisms including barnacles, hydroids, mussels, oysters, and tube worms.

Odyssey HD multi-season antifouling combines controlled polishing ablative technology with a high copper content to provide a paint film strong enough to handle the tough marine environment from coast to coast. Odyssey HD is compatible over most finishes, 50 state V.O.C. compliant, and will not build up over time leaving running surfaces smooth and clean.

White Copper -(Cuprous Thiocyanate)- requires 50% less copper content than the heavy, dark copper used in conventional antifouling paints. They are the only copper-based paints that are compatible with aluminum.

Low-Density Copper – replaces the core of traditional Cuprous Oxide with environmentally friendly materials found naturally in the ocean.

Irgarol – is used in many dual biocide products, Irgarol is an algicide designed for use in antifouling paints to prevent soft growth such as algae and grasses.

Water-Based (Hydrocoat Technology)- This formula uses water to replace the harsh solvents found in conventional antifouling paints. The product has an extremely low VOC content.

Clean Core Technology – An enhanced paint film that can reduce the amount of heavy metals released into our waters by up to 90%. These new additives have been specially formulated to provide a more “finetuned” and consistent release of the biocides from the paint film. This results in a more effective bottom paint that requires lower biocide levels to deliver full antifouling protection.

Pettit SR vs Pettit PRO

Pettit Ultima® SR-40 features an enhanced formula that utilizes an increased biocide load combined with PTFE to offer an outstanding multi-season control in all types of fouling. SR-40 employs a unique controlled erosion technology to minimize coating build-up and keep underwater surfaces smooth. Its ablative surface wears away with use providing a continuous supply of fresh biocides while eliminating the need for sanding. Ultima® SR- 40 employs a Slime Release technology combining super slick PTFE with a higher copper load for added performance and reduced friction. It can be hauled and re-launched without repainting. Ultima SR-40 is available in red and blue colors and is an excellent choice for powerboats or sailboats with fiberglass, wood, or steel hulls. Formerly sold as Ultima® SR and Horizons® Pro, this formula has a proven track record as one of America’s premium ablative bottom paints. Ultima® SR-40 is an excellent choice for power or sailboats with fiberglass, wood, or steel hulls.

Pettit Trinidad Pro is packaged exclusively for professional applicators through the Pro Coatings line. Due to its dual biocides, with a high 60% copper load, Trinidad Pro offers unprecedented protection. It is a long-lasting, strong antifouling and features a high copper load and slime resistance that provides unprecedented resistance to all fouling. It is a hard protective coating that has excellent adhesion and withstands the toughest abuse. Trinidad Pro is available in black and blue colors and can provide years of dependable service, even if left in the water, and is backed up by the HD (Hull Defense 18 Month Limited Warranty).

If you need assistance selecting the best boat paint for your paint project, contact the technical experts at Bottom Paint Store Monday through Friday 8:30-5:00 pm EST 888.505.2313.

The Different Types of Boat Paint

In this article, we will briefly describe some of the different types of boat paint that can be used to repair, restore, protect, and make your boat looks its best.

Topside boat paint is a type of paint you apply above the waterline of a boat. This can include the sides of the hull, deck, as well as interior. Marine topside paints usually consist of one-part polyurethane, two-part polyurethane, and alkyd marine enamel. There are also buffable, two-part acrylic urethanes. Due to the sun’s rays, your boat is vulnerable to UV damage so coating your upper hull and deck with good topside paint can go a long way to protecting your boat.

Blue Water Marine Topside Paints are superior in quality, higher in value and typically, priced better than store brands


Aluminum boat paint can be used for many purposes including to camouflage, decorate, refurbish, or restore aluminum boat surfaces. Paint that is safe for aluminum and can be applied without a primer and can be used below or above the waterline.

Aluma Hawk Paint
Aluma Hawk is a fast drying, high-solids, corrosion-inhibiting coating designed for use on aluminum with no need for a primer.


Fiberglass coatings usually consist of gelcoat, gelcoat putties, resins, restoration solutions, repair kits, and tools/materials. Gel coats are often used to touch up or repair a boat’s finish. They have a much shorter shelf life and can be a lot more difficult to apply than paint so the manufacturer’s instructions must be carefully followed to ensure a successful result.

Gelcoat can be used to patch existing gel coat, fiberglass repairs, and new construction and projects.


Wood boat paint typically includes traditional types of oil-based finishes, as two-part paints tend to be less flexible. Because wood can flex and swell, especially along seams, expensive finishes will not last any longer than traditional stain or paint. Teak can be used to prevent fading on a boat’s wood finish. If left untreated, it will often fade which leads to the need to clean or treat the wood so it is not susceptible to rot, mildew, and discoloration.

Teak wood cleaner
Just Teak is a simple solution to clean, brighten & protect your teak.


Bottom boat paint is antifouling paint or coating designed to diminish weeds, barnacles, and other aquatic organisms that can attach below the waterline of a boat and cause damage. Bottom paint includes ablative bottom paint, hard boat bottom paint, aluminum safe bottom paint, primers for bottom paint, and boat bottom paint remover.

Biocop bottom paint uses the newest biocide technology which is safe for the environment.

If you need assistance selecting the right marine boat paint for your next project see Bottom Paint Store’s how-to articles or call our technical support department Monday-Friday from 8:30-5:00 pm EST 888-505-2313.

Using a Signal Coat Indicator for Repainting Ablative Antifouling Paint

Antifouling paint is a type of underwater hull paint, also known as bottom paint. These specialized coatings are designed for the exterior of the hull of a ship or boat and combat the growth, as wells as, the detachment of underwater organisms, such as seaweed, algae, and barnacles. These aquatic life forms bind to the hull and impact a vessel’s performance and longevity.

Anti-fouling paints are often applied as one component of a multi-layering process which can have other benefits in addition to their antifouling properties, such as acting as a barrier against corrosion on metal hulls that will degrade and weaken the metal, or improving the flow of water past the hull of a boat or yacht.

Boaters recognized early on it is important to keep the bottom of their craft free of barnacles due to loss of speed and performance. The key is knowing when to pull your boat out of the water for a new bottom paint application. Ablative paints are typically reapplied every 1–3 years. One way to ensure you reapply your ablative antifouling paint when it’s needed is by adding a signal coat or flag coat.

To apply a signal/flag coat, when you are getting multiple coats of ablative bottom paint applied to your hull, make the first coat a different color. For example, if the bottom is going to be painted blue, make the first coat red. When the blue paint wears off and you see the red flag coat, it is time to repaint.

ablative bottom paint
Aquaguard is an excellent antifouling bottom paint

If you need further assistance with your boat painting project feel free to contact our technical team Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00 pm EST.

Antifouling Paint for Inflatable Boats

Be sure to apply a water-based ablative antifouling paint to your inflatable boat

Inflatable boats have become very popular due to their flexibility and variety of uses. If your inflatable-bottom dinghy stays in the water for long periods of time and you have decided to apply antifouling paint you have a few options. You’ll want to apply a water-based ablative antifouling such as Monterey by Sea Hawk, one quart is enough for two coats on an 8-10′ boat. Avoid copper-based paint on aluminum. Before application clean the area with a maroon Scotchbrite pad for good adhesion. These paints tend to be flexible and adhere well to PVC and Hypalon but since they are ablative they can easily rub off so be careful when storing your dinghy on deck or deflating it for longer storage to protect surrounding areas from paint.

Monterey Bottom Paint

If you need further assistance with your inflatable boat paint project do not hesitate to contact our technical team Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00 pm EST.

Using Webbing Solution

Webbing Solution is a clear liquid added to gelcoat to obtain spatter or cobweb effects. It is mixed with a gelcoat of one color and sprayed onto a contrasting colored surface.

Decorative effects produced by the webbing mixture will vary, and relate directly to techniques or gun adjustments. A fine hairline spider web pattern results from plenty of air and scanty material flow. Coarse and splotchy patterns are created by fuller material flow and decreased air volume. While our webbing solution is only tested with gelcoat, customers do use with paint achieving similar results.

The manufacturer suggests on the initial coat you add the wax and while gelcoat is still tacky before it comes to a full air cure, you apply the contrast color of webbing (which should have the wax added too).

If you are applying webbing over a fully cured gelcoat, sand with 150 grit, clean with acetone, and then apply the webbing.

Mix 2 parts gelcoat to 1 part webbing.
Mix proper amount MEK-P for the amount of gelcoat.
Shoot at 10 to 12 PSI.

Add to colored gelcoat to obtain desired webbing effect. Test in an inconspicuous area to determine satisfactory results

Testing for Compatibility of Topside Paint with Awlgrip Topcoat

SURFACE PREPARATION
COATINGS COMPATIBILITY & ADHESION
TESTS (ABOVE WATER ONLY)


Test One: Cross Hatch Adhesion (See diagram above)

  1. Select test area(s) on the surface to be painted. Thoroughly clean,
    de-wax and degrease this area.
  2. With a sharp blade, cut 6 lines vertically and 6 lines horizontally to give
    a box of 25 squares. The cuts must be deep enough to reach the
    substrate. On thick fairing systems this test may have to be done to
    several different layers.
  3. Apply 3M #610, #895 or #898 3M Scotch Brand Filament Tape (or
    similar type of packaging tape) over the scribed area, making certain
    that the tape is tightly adhered to the test surface. Do not use
    masking tape.
  4. With an abrupt yank, pull the tape back parallel to the surface. Pulling
    the tape straight up will give no test at all.
  5. Examine the test surface. If any square of old coating in the scribed
    area is removed, the adhesion has failed. All the failed layers must
    be removed.

Test Two: Solvent Resistance

  1. Saturate a cotton ball or small wad of cloth with one of the
    Awlgrip Topcoat or Primer Reducers (T0003 or T0006).
  2. Tape the reducer-saturated ball to the scribed area surface for
    30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes remove the cotton ball. If the reducer has dissolved
    or severely softened the old coating, the coating is incompatible and
    must be removed. If the scribed area has remained intact, allow a
    15 minute recovery period and repeat all steps in Test One again.
  4. If any square areas are removed, all the failed layers must be
    removed.

Test Three: Coating Compatibility
If the old coating is still intact after Tests One and Two, perform
Test Three.

  1. Lightly sand a small test area with 220 grit paper. Clean the sanded
    areas thoroughly with Awlgrip Wipe-Down Solvent (NA/AP:
    Awlprep T0008 ; EU: Surface Cleaner T0340) and using clean cloths.
  2. Paint a small patch of the surface with Awlgrip Topcoat. Do not use
    masking tape on the edges of the test application as the paint edges
    created by the tape will ‘print through’ and be visible in the finish.

How to repair a hole on the side of your boat

Repairing a hole on the side of your boat is possible by following this guide and using epoxy resins for wooden boats.

Begin by inspecting the hole for any cracks that extend away from the
hole and clearly mark the entire area that needs to be patched. You want to be sure to extend your mark out beyond the damaged area by a few inches.

Hawk Epoxy f2 Structural Adhesive Filler

Cut the marked area with a hand saw making sure the hole is beveled in order to allow layers of fiberglass to fill the hole. Measure the thickness of the hull substrate and multiply it by 10. This is the distance from the hole edges that the bevel needs to accommodate.

Use a power sander with a 50 grit sanding disc to bevel from the whole edge out to your mark. Fiberglass layers are going to be placed on the outside of the hull. Use a flat backing on the inside of the hole to keep the wet fiberglass cloth from caving into the hole.

Next cut six pieces of fiberglass bi-axle cloth with the first piece being the size and shape of the outer edge of the bevel. The final sixth piece being the size of the hole itself. Remember it is important to use fiberglass bi-axle cloth for hole repairs.

Wet out the beveled area of the hole with a mixed epoxy. Lay the cut fiberglass bi-axle cloth on a piece of plastic going from large to small pieces. Make sure to wet each piece as you place them on top of the next piece. When wetted out properly the bi-axle cloth will become transparent. Put the wet out pile of fiberglass bi-axle cloth into a piece of peel ply, with the small pieces down. Next, mix the Hawk epoxy f2 filler and hawk epoxy resin catalyst until you reach a soft butter consistency.  

Hawk Epoxy Resin Catalyst

Brush this mixture onto the beveled area of the hull and be sure to center your filler. Wipe off any extra leftover epoxy from the hull, squeegeeing out the air pockets and wiping with a clean cloth that has been dampened with solvent. This will be a lot easier than sanding it off later. Allow the patch to cure for the recommended cure time (overnight is typically sufficient) per the instructions on the hawk epoxy resin can label.

Once it has cured, remove the repair area backing on the inside of the hull. The repair area on the inside of the hull can be left untreated if it will not be exposed to sunlight. Remove blush with soap and water. Next sand off any rough areas on the outside of the hull with 80 grit sandpaper and then sand with 100 grit sandpaper the entire repair area so it is completely smooth (this may require a disc sander if it’s too difficult to sand by hand). You can dust off the area a clean cloth, air gun or brush it off with a clean brush.

F5 Light Density Fairing Filler

Prepare a batch of Hawk epoxy resin and catalyst. Apply coats to the repair area with wet epoxy, with the remainder of the Hawk epoxy resin mixed in the Hawk epoxy f5. Lightly mix filler until density is a medium thickness
with no sag consistency.

Next, spread the mixture onto the repair area and squeegee the area until as smooth as possible. Allow the area to cure until you can push the corner of the squeegee into the surface and only a slight indentation remains. Repeat the process with Hawk epoxy mixed resin and f5 light density filler, adding another coat of this mixture onto the repair area. Let this cure for 10 to 12 hours.

Remove the blush with soap and water and sand the repair area with a smooth 80 grit sandpaper.

To add color, mix another small batch of Hawk epoxy and introduce the liquid dispersion as this will seal and fill any low areas. Now that you have a strong and
sturdy hull side you are ready for paint!

What Is Zinc Chromate Used For?

Zinc chromate is used for a wide range of applications. It is an odorless chemical compound primarily used as an industrial paint coating. The compound is a beneficial coating because it is an anti-corrosive and an anti-rust primer. It is primarily used to coat aluminum and iron materials. Developed by the Ford Motor Company during the 1920s, it was historically used on aircraft by the US military during the 1930s and 1940s. It is also widely used as a paint coating for the aerospace and automotive industries, as well as, a coating for boats, due to its ability to destroy organic growth on the surface and to protect aluminum from corrosion.

Zinc chromate is on the hazardous substance list and regulated by OSHA because studies have shown that not only is zinc chromate highly toxic, but it is also a carcinogen. It has been cited by ACGIH, NIOSH, DEP, IARC, HHAG, and EPA.

What is zinc chromate used for

Duralux ZinKromate is a high-quality synthetic primer for use in light to moderate marine exposures. It is lead and chromate free so it is safe to use; however, it offers all of the performance and quality characteristics of zinc chromate without the health and application hazards. It has good chemical and corrosion resistance, dries fast, and allows single finish coat coverage when using a like-colored topcoat. ZinKromate performance primer adheres very well to steel, iron, aluminum, or partially rusted galvanized surfaces.

S-76 Strontium Chromate Tack Coat Primer is for use on properly prepared steel, aluminum, or galvanized steel. S-76 is an anti-corrosive strontium chromate-based primer that is specifically designed for underwater metal surfaces including hulls, running gear, and the lower units of outboards and I/O’s. It provides an excellent barrier to reduce the pitting of the metal from galvanic corrosion.

S-76 Strontium Chromate Tack Coat Primer

Stromate Chromate tack coat primer may be used on bare aluminum in conjunction with Tuff Stuff High Build Epoxy to form a barrier for the application of copper-based antifoulants.

If you have any questions about ZinKromate primer or Stromate Chromate tack coat primer, please call our technical expert team at 888-505-2313 Monday to Friday 8 am-5:00 pm EST.

Gelcoat Putty – Repair Spider Cracks And Fill Gouges!

There are many ways to repair spider cracks in boats, using our Gelcoat Repair Putty is an easy and fast way of doing it!

First, you will need to determine your spider cracks are only that, spider cracks. To do so, you will need to inspect the area for any sign of broken support. If the surface is steady and looks solid, then you have spider cracks.

In order to properly fix any spider cracks, you will have to open the cracks to fill them up correctly. This can be done by using a Dremel. Once the crack is open and it has a good size you can sand and clean the area. For cleaning, you may use acetone or soap and water.

Now, you are ready to use the Gelcoat Putty. Mix in a 1-1/2% ratio of MEK-P Catalyst into the putty and mix it properly. Use a putty knife to fill in the spider cracks. Once dry, sand the surface to a smooth finish.

Tip: You can apply gelcoat to match the color of your boat over the repair, or you can use our pigments to tint the gelcoat putty and complete the repair all at once!

Shipping Questions

How long will it take to receive my order via UPS Ground shipping?  The time to ship can be seen on most product pages and may vary by product. Most orders are placed before 2:00 EST. Monday-Friday is shipped the same day with a few exceptions that will be noted on the product page. Gelcoat/Resin materials along with any specialty colors typically ship in 2-4 business days. After the product leaves the warehouse, standard UPS shipping times apply. The map below shows estimated shipping times for items shipped via UPS Ground from our main warehouse In Florida, to destinations in the US. Please note that your order may ship from a manufacturer, or another warehouse resulting in less or more time stated in the map.

Not all items are stocked in the same warehouses, so you may get multiple tracking numbers if you order several items.

If you need exact delivery dates for your potential order or expedited shipping, please create an account and add all the items to your cart. Then email us or give us a call and we will be able to see the items in your order and determine exact delivery times and any expedited shipping rates if requested.

Do You Ship Outside of the US? No. We only ship to the continental US.

All Other Countries or outside the continental U.S.: Items can be purchased and shipped outside the US through the use of a freight forwarder. Items will be shipped through our designated carriers to the US freight forwarding company of your choice.  After you pre-arrange a freight forwarding company, they will provide the necessary documents for export, charge you for the freight to the final destination, and provide you with a US shipping address. We will ship your order to the US freight forwarder as you indicate on the orders’ shipping address. NOTE: We do not offer customer pickup for international shipments. Our carriers must ship to your designated US freight forwarder.

Do you have overnight shipping? This is not typically offered since the cost is about 3-4 times that of regular ground shipping and most of our items are considered hazardous material and travel via ground only.

Thinning Gelcoat and Using PVA

Gelcoat does not fully cure without first supplementing it with a surfacing agent or wax additive sanding aid. Gelcoat may be thinned for use in a Portable Preval Sprayer with styrene monomer. You can spray it with a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) before gelcoat reaches its gel stage (5-10 min.), or adding 1oz per quart of a wax additive sanding aid.

PVA or Partall Film #10 is a release agent that helps with removing parts from a mold or can be used as a surfacing agent when using gelcoat without a wax additive (sanding aid).

PVA is soluble in water making it easy to wash off. Applying can be achieved by spray or wiping the green liquid on with a sponge. It will foam slightly but dry to a clear, glossy shine. It can take 15-30 minutes depending on temperature.

For spraying gelcoat our FGCI brand does not recommend thinning.

If thinning is needed, the most cost effective and basic option is Styrene. Generally, you should not add more than 10% Styrene by volume. Patch Booster is an additive that will thin out gelcoat and not affect colors. This is added at 20-25% and the gelcoat will require catalyst at 2% so purchase an extra tube and omit wax (sanding aid).

Another thinning alternative is the Duratec High Gloss Additive. This is used with gelcoat for many reasons. Mixed at a 50/50 ratio this will produce a high gloss finish and will serve as a thinner for your gelcoat, that is why this is commonly used when spraying gelcoat. In addition, you’ll omit any additional sanding aid. After waiting a full 24 hours you can buff when cured, for a hi-gloss use 600 or higher grit paper and buff with Aqua Buff 2000 compound. Purchase an extra hardener as your gelcoat will need to be catalyzed at 2%.

Aqua Buff 1000-W and Aqua Buff 2000

If you are looking to remove some unwanted scratches on your boat or to bring back shine into your gelcoat, Aqua Buff is for you!

Aqua Buff is a polishing compound that we offer in two variations: Aqua Buff 1000-W and Aqua Buff 2000. It is mainly used as a way to remove heavy oxidation, sanding scratches, and swirl marks from gelcoat. There are no oils or polymers in Aqua Buff, so the surface you see is the true surface.

The Aqua Buff 1000-W is used for deep scratches and heavy oxidation. It has a blue-green color which is why is not recommended for white hulls. Use Aqua Buff 1000-F on white surfaces. Aqua Buff 1000-W removes 320 – 600 grit scratches.

Aqua Buff 2000 is used for finer scratches, swirl marks, and light oxidation. Use it to remove 1000 grit scratches and higher. Cleans and removes scratches from Fiber-Reinforced-Plastic parts, metals, and painted surfaces. It is strong enough for most uses and provides a shiny finish.

Application Instructions

  1. Apply a small portion of Aqua–Buff 1000-W or 2000 on the surface using a brush or microfiber cloth (stick to a small area)
  2. Use a spray bottle to mist the surface with water. Only use about a coin-size amount of compound per square foot.
  3. Immediately machine buff* with a clean, damp, compound pad.
    Use wool or wool/blend pads only.

*Use machine buffers that generate at least 2500 rpm for best results.

For the best techniques and tips on how to apply Aqua Buff please watch the video below.

Which Fiberglass Cloth to Choose?

Depending on the job at hand, we offer a few types of fiberglass cloth to choose from and different cloths are used for different jobs. They are available in different widths and are sold by the roll or yard.

Mat– This mat is used for parts and is great for not showing fiberglass patterns through gelcoat. Mat has many small fibers thrown together on a binder and is the most used, basic cloth. There is no specific direction to the fibers, making them strong and light. Sold in ¾ oz up to 2 oz thickness.

Woven Roving-This weave has long fibers weaved together like a cloth. It is extremely thick and durable making it heavier than other fiberglass materials. This often shows pattern through gelcoat and is used for heavy-duty items. Sold in 18 and 24 oz thickness.

Double Bias Non Woven- 1808, the first number is the woven roving thickness (18oz) and 08 is the mat thickness (3/4 oz). This is a combination of woven roving on one side and mat on the other, making it very durable and usually used for boat and house decks as it is very rigid.

Fiberglass Cloth– This is sold in 4, 6, 8 and 10 oz thickness and is very fine. While being rigid it is also used for anything that is see-through, such as surfboards as it’s thin, lightweight, and shows well with clear resin.

How to Gelcoat your Fiberglass Pool Steps

The finish of your fiberglass pool steps can fade after years of use and exposure to pool chemicals and the weather. If you notice that your pool steps are looking tacky it might be time for you to reapply gelcoat to them.

You can use Gel Coat if your pool steps currently have gelcoat or bare fiberglass for pool use. We don’t recommend the brushable gelcoat in pools because the chemicals can affect the gelcoat lifespan.

See the article How to Apply Gelcoat’ for more details on how to use gelcoat.

Tips for Using Brushable Gelcoat

Brushable Gelcoat, often referred to as gelcoat paint, is a specially formulated product that is made to be applied like paint and eliminate the need for spray equipment. It has excellent leveling, Water/Osmosis resistance, UV light Stability, great Gloss Retention, and fantastic long-term durability and is available in a variety of colors. Here are some tips for successful brushable gelcoat application.

Applying Gelcoat by Brush or Roller – (Use a Brushable Gelcoat) When applying gelcoat by brush or roller, we recommend the Ultra Plus Brushable Gelcoat. (other Gelcoats are best applied by Spray) The Ultra Plus Brushable Gelcoat is designed for self-leveling and is a much easier application. It allows for a much smoother finish and less time finishing the gelcoat. It is easy to use for the “do it your selfers’! Choose a good pure (natural) resin-resistant bristle brush with tapered ends. Avoid brushes that are either too stiff or too soft. For most work, a 3″ or 4″ wide brush will suffice. If there is a trim color, you should have a narrow trim brush on hand. Our Brushable Gelcoat comes with MEKP hardener with every purchase, but you may need more which you can purchase as an option depending on the application, temperature, and other environmental factors. Gelcoat needs to be applied evenly. We suggest a thickness of 18-20 mils to properly cure. The thickness of the matchbook cover is approximately 18 mils. If you’re not sure how thick it is, pick up a mil gauge. This is a simple, easy way to see the thickness of your gelcoat.

  1. Don’t add Patch Booster or Sanding Aid (wax). You don’t need to add sanding aid (wax) to Brushable gelcoat to have it dry tack free. The self-leveling technology added doesn’t require any additional products or additives.
  2. Proper gelcoat application requires you apply your coats about 15-20 mils thick. We offer mil gauge for purchase.
  3. Allow the gelcoat to cure overnight and then lightly sand it and buff it for an outstanding shine!
  4. Use Acetone for your cleanup. Just like other Polyester-based products, Acetone is the best cleanup material!
  5. The most important step: Adding the proper amount of Catalyst. We recommend 1.5%-2% Catalyst ratio. After adding the catalyst, you will want to mix for two minutes, preferably with a mechanical agitator (drill mixer). For your reference, here is the catalyst chart so you know exactly how much catalyst you need.

Tips
1 mL = 1 ccIf using wood mixing stick, place stick in resin before adding catalyst so wood doesn’t absorb catalystOnly catalyze slightly more than needed. Resin that cures still in the mixing pot is unusable.

Be sure to have a good strategy when applying your gelcoat. Once you mix and catalyze, you have about 15 minutes to apply the gelcoat before it starts getting hard or starts to “gel.” The actual working time depends on the amount of catalyst and how hot the working conditions are. Anything below 60 degrees, and your gelcoat will not cure, but as you get warmer and warmer, your working time will decrease rapidly. At 70 degrees, you get 15 minutes, but at 90 degrees, you only get 5 minutes. If you need more time to work, be sure to sit the can in some cold ice water to cool it down to 60 degrees to allow you a little more working time.

Here are some helpful tips on how to work with brushable gelcoat, especially during the warmer months.

  1. Cooling the gelcoat, by refrigerating the product to around 70 degrees, will give you up to 15 minutes of working time.
  2. Humidity can be another factor, so, make sure the mold and surrounding area is dry before applying your brushable gelcoat.
  3. Make small batches of gelcoat at a time and catalyze at 1 ½ % to avoid the material from getting hotter. When spraying the gelcoat, make sure you catalyze at 2 %. If you choose to use Duratec, please note, the product must be cool as well.
  4. If you seek to roll on the gelcoat, the product should be applied evenly at 14 mil thick.
  5. Do not apply gelcoat in direct sunlight.

Gelcoat Did Not Cure – What Caused It and What’s Next?

brushable gelcoat

For many “do-it-yourselfers,” applying gelcoat can be quite intimidating. It is not as simple as painting and can be somewhat difficult to work with. One of the most frustrating problems to deal with is a new application of gelcoat that refuses to harden and cure. When one of our customers has a problem with gelcoat not curing properly, it usually stems from one of the reasons below.

What Caused it?

Incorrect Surface PreparationGelcoat will only adhere to fiberglass, previously cured gelcoat, or polyester resin. Do not apply gelcoat to any paint or protective coating because it will not adhere. Existing paint will have to be removed.

In order to prepare the surface correctly, it must be sanded. The heavier fast-cut grits (40/80/100) are used to feather sand and ground out a routed area prior to filling. Also, they are used for the first sanding of gouges, scratches, and blisters. When sanding areas that have been filled with putty we suggest using 40 or 80 grit sandpaper, depending on how large the repair is. You should also feather the surrounding area of the gelcoat repair with 220/330. When sanding flat areas use a rubber block. Use 3M Abrasives for best results.

Next, clean the surface with or Acetone. All surfaces must be clean, dry, and free from grease, wax, oil, and other foreign matter. At this point, the repair is ready to spray or brush with gelcoat.

Not enough catalyst – Most gelcoat manufacturers list the amount of catalyst (MEKp) it requires on the side of the can. If you are unable to find a chart, you can use the two charts listed below. We recommend 1.5% – 2.0 % by volume. The Ideal range is 1.8% @ 77°F (approximately 12 drops per ounce of gelcoat.) If the gelcoat does not get enough catalyst it will not “kick” or begin to harden. Measurements need to be exact so you can be confident the gelcoat is mixed properly before applying it to the surface. If the measurement is off even slightly, the gelcoat could start to harden but not cure completely, leaving a tacky, non-sandable surface.

Too much catalyst – It is also possible to add too much catalyst (over catalyzing) to the mixture. This will cause the gelcoat to start curing in the can or while you are applying the gelcoat. It could happen when mixing larger batches of gelcoat since this is a chemical reaction that gets hot and cures quickly. Always mix in small batches. You should catalyze your material so that it cures as quickly as possible within your working time. Generally, mix one-pint batches. Under catalyzation slows down the curing process and causes fading and chalking in the final product. Double-check that the amount of catalyst you plan to add is correct for the amount of gelcoat you have set aside. Remember that gelcoat will react differently depending on the ambient air temperature. For warmer weather use less MEKp and for cooler weather use more MEKp to get the correct mixture. (See charts below.) It is always a good idea to keep your gelcoat at room temperature, especially prior to application. A good practice is to pour the mixed gel coat from the mixing container into another container used for application. This further assures that no uncatalyzed material is clinging to the sides of the pot.

Tips
1 mL = 1 cc If using wood mixing stick, place stick in resin before adding catalyst so the wood doesn’t absorb catalyst. Only catalyze slightly more than needed. Resin that cures still in the mixing pot is unusable.

MEPk Levels
Note the size and temperature variables.
For Darker Colors – use 2% MEKp


Did not use a surfacing agent – In order to cure properly, most gelcoat require the use of a surfacing agent on the final coat. The most common type of surfacing agent is Wax Additive Sanding Aid. This wax additive seals off the surface from oxygen in the air, allowing the gelcoat to dry tack-free. The recommended ratio is 1 oz wax to 1 quart of gelcoat. The first coat of gelcoat does not need the wax since you will apply a second coat. When mixing gelcoat for the second coat, though, don’t forget to add in the wax additive. All Gelcoats from the Bottom Paint Store comes with the MEKP catalyst and wax additive sanding aid, but additional amounts can be purchased. If you don’t add a wax additive to the final coat (or only coat) of gelcoat it will not harden. This is true even if you added the correct amount of catalyst.

Ultra Plus Brushable Gelcoat by FGCI is one exception to this because it does not require a surfacing agent/ wax additive, but still requires the correct amount of catalyst.  Just let it sit overnight to ensure it’s completely cured.

Not enough mils – For best results, apply the gelcoat to a wet film thickness of 25 mils. This will result in a cured film thickness of 18-22 mils. As gelcoat cures, it gives off heat in an exothermic chemical reaction. If the gelcoat is applied to thin, it will not reach the temperature needed and will not cure fully. A mil is equal to 0.001″ or one-thousandth of an inch. You can use a Wet film thickness gauge to find the thickness of your wet gelcoat. Press the edge of the gauge into the gelcoat until it touches the surface below. Look at the teeth on the gauge. The gelcoat’s current thickness is measured by noting the highest tooth with film on it and the next highest tooth with no film on it. For example, a mil gauge is labeled 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 mils. The only teeth with gelcoat on them are 10 and 15. So the gelcoat’s thickness is between 15 and 20 mils.

What’s Next?

Can I apply more gelcoat over uncured gelcoat? No. Applying more gelcoat will not help the first layer cure. Most likely it will need to be removed and reapplied.

What can I try to get the gelcoat to cure? Allow more time. If something wasn’t exactly right, the gelcoat may just take a few days to harden. If it’s not rock-solid in a few days, though, you may have to scrape it off and reapply it.

How can I remove the uncured gelcoat? Acetone on a rag can be used to break down the gelcoat. Use a plastic putty knife to scrape the uncured gelcoat away.

Read More:

Click this link to read How to Apply Gelcoat

Click this link to read Clear Coat My Bass Boat

Teak Oil vs. Teak Sealer – What’s the difference?

Well-maintained teak woodwork is highly prized and teak wood owners want to do everything they can to keep it looking great. However, the market is saturated with many teak products and it can be confusing to know which will work best for you. This article can be your guide to teak oil and teak sealer.

What is teak oil?

Teak oil has been used on boats and teak wood furniture for many years. Teak oils are usually made of tung oil or linseed oil with extra additives mixed in. The oil “feeds” the wood, in a sense, and accentuates the grain and color. Thus, applying oil to the teak gives it a warm and rich look. Many people choose to oil their teak because they like the beauty that oil can bring back. However, teak oil is very high maintenance. Teak Oil does not protect the wood, but it merely recovers the rich appearance that teak wood can offer. This method requires multiple coats of oil and the beautiful finish does not last long. Sunlight and UV rays carbonize the oils, turning the wood finish dark and gray over time. Gradually, the bright and warm look that you worked so hard to attain is lost once again.

What is teak sealer?

Another method of caring for teak wood is using a teak sealer. Sealers are different from oils because they do not “feed” the wood more oils or resins. Instead, they seal in the oils and resins that the existing wood contains while at the same time preventing contaminants and moisture from harming it. Sealer does need to be reapplied nearly as often as oil. It is best to keep a nice coating of teak sealer on the wood by reapplying every year.

Which teak sealer product should I use?

JustTeak™ is a marine-grade teak cleaning system that quickly and easily rejuvenates your teak. It will clean, brighten, and (using a sealer) protect your teak decking and outdoor teak furniture.

Part 1: Teak Cleaner

Renews your valuable teak, removing stains, greying and old coatings, whilst being gentle on your teak.

Part 2: Teak Brightener

Removes light stains and greying. Brightens teak when used in combination with JustTeak™ Teak Cleaner.

Part 3: Teak Sealer

Ensures a beautiful, natural finish that protects your teak from sun, rain, and stains. You will also prolong your teak from turning grey. Teak Sealer can be easily removed with JustTeak™ Teak Cleaner and Teak Brightener when it is time to re-apply.

Save 10% on our Teak Sealer Restoration Kits

What to Use on the Deck of My Boat?

Over the lifetime of any boat there will come a time when the deck needs to be renewed. You have a choice of non-skid additives, or paints that already contain a nonskid compound.  A non skid boat deck helps protect the surface as well as the occupants.

When looking for a non-skid surface you have many options. If your boat floor is currently gelcoat, you can re-gelcoat the surface with or without a non-skid additive. More information about gelcoat application can be found here. Gelcoat is more durable than paint and once a gelcoat surface is painted gelcoat will not adhere.

If paint is desired, non-skid can be added to our marine paints by Duralux and Awlgrip. Often an exact match can be found to your hull paint color. Find more topside paint options available and detailed instructions on adding non skid found in our how to section.

Customers painting the floor of a jon boat, frequently use the Aluma Hawk aluminum paint with a non skid additive. This paint serves as a paint and primer in one for your aluminum surface.

Interdeck boat deck paint is a non-skid deck paint by Interlux and offers an excellent slip resistant finish. It contains a fine aggregate and will apply easily on substrates. Its low sheen finish prevents dazzling that can be reflected by sunlight off decks. Interdeck is also easy to apply and available in numerous colors. The tough polyurethane resin protects decks against everyday wear and tear.

Depending on your paint choices, follow the manufacturers application instructions whether applying to aluminum, fiberglass, or wood to ensure best adhesion and slip resistance.

For cleaning the teak on your boat deck, JustTeak™ is a marine-grade teak cleaning system is designed to rejuvenate your teak quickly and easily. JustTeak™ will clean, brighten, and once sealed protect your teak decking. We have an application instructions video How to clean and protect the teak on your boat.

Antifouling Paint or Prop Glide for Outdrives?

Which method of protective propeller coating is best for your boat? While there is no right or wrong solution, there are a few things to consider before making your decision.

Important questions to ask:

  1. Do you haul and repaint your boat every year?
  2. Does the prop see regular use?

Antifouling Paint – If you answered NO to the second question, you will likely be better off with traditional antifouling paint protecting your outdrive. Slick film coatings need to see regular use in order to repel fouling successfully. And if you answered YES to the first question, the additional cost of slick film coatings may not be worth it for you.

Which antifouling products are recommended for outdrives? Here are two good options.

Option 1 – Apply Tuff Stuff epoxy primer (or similar primer) direct to the metal. Paint over with a copper free bottom paint such as Smart Solution. (It is very important to only use a copper-free bottom paint. Copper-based paints on underwater metals will experience galvanic corrosion.) This option guarantees the best protection and longest lasting coverage, but the paint will need to be recoated each season depending on prop usage.

Option 2 – Apply an aerosol underwater metal coating such as Barnacle Blocker or Pettit Barnacle Barrier. These are relatively inexpensive coatings that could provide a large amount of pay off.

PropGlide™ Propeller and Running Gear Coatings – If you answered YES to the second question above then you may want to give foul-release systems a try. These are non-toxic, slick coatings that prevent growth from attaching itself to the prop and running gear, thus improving your boat speed and fuel efficiency. It is important to note that for PropGlide to keep its slick quality and repel fouling, the prop needs to see regular use. Without the pesticide coatings of traditional bottom paint, a stationary prop is an easy target for barnacles and other organisms. While slick film coatings may not be the solution for all boaters, many have tried it and had great success. Note what some PropGlide users have stated below.

“For over a year, we at the Big Boat Shed ship repair and storage yard for vessels up to 60ft have been trialing out PropGlide. We have found it very user friendly and has a better finish when compared to its competitors. With our tropical humid conditions we could not have asked for a better drying time then what PropGlide offers. This allows us to plan prepare and execute any prop coating task with PropGlide such a breeze. PropGlide is now our main recommended brand for propeller and running gear antifouling coatings.” 3/8/2017

“We applied PropGlide to the propellers and rudders on our 42′ power catamaran in March 2016. We have found excellent results so far with very little growth appearing on the running gear. We have been able to maintain great boat speed, excellent economy and no vibrations unlike previous years with using other products. Our Applicator has even commentated how much easier PropGlide is to apply compared to its competitors.” Mick Malone 9/28/2016

Click this link to compare the price of Propspeed kits and PropGlide™ Propeller Paint Kits.
Click this link to read about Painting an Aluminum Outdrive