Author Archives: Dustin Wilber

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

For many “do-it-yourselfers,” applying gelcoat can be quite intimidating. It 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 Sea Hawk Wax N Grease Killer 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 ccIf using wood mixing stick, place stick in resin before adding catalyst so 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 requires 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 come 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 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 who 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 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

Comparison: National Pool Finishes VS Other Brands

How do National Pool Finishes Swimming Pool Paints measure up when compared with other brands? To answer that question and help you make a good decision when looking for a pool paint, we have compiled some information about some popular swimming pool paints.

1) How does National Pool Finishes Pool Guard EHB epoxy pool paint compare with Olympic Epoxy Coatings swimming pool paint?*

Both of these brands produce a high build epoxy pool paint that provide a long service life. Olympic ZERON should last up to 8 years and Olympic Poxolon II will last up to 5 years.  National Paint Industries says their Pool Guard EHB will last 10 years. When using Olympic Epoxy Coatings, you need a primer on most bare surfaces. National Paint Industries products are self priming on Gunite, Concrete, and Plaster. What about coverage? Pool Guard EHB swimming pool paint will cover about 250 sq.ft per Gallon. ZERON has a heavier body and covers 125 – 150 sq.ft per Gallon. Poxolon II covers about the same square footage as Pool Guard EHB.

epoxy pool paint   …..VS…..  

2) How does National Pool Finishes Pool Shield CRX chlorinated rubber pool paint compare with Benjamin Moore’s INSL-X Chlorinated Rubber Based Pool Paint?**

This comparison is drawn between two similar type products: Chlorinated Rubber Pool Paint. When applying to bare surfaces neither coating requires a primer. Both are suitable for chlorinated or salt water pool systems. Which is more durable? Pool Shield CRX contains UV additives and Silicone that will help it withstand the sun’s rays for longer. INSL-X covers about 200 – 250 sq.ft. per Gallon whereas Pool Shield covers about 400 sq.ft. per Gallon. In addition the manufacturer recommends not thinning down the INSL-X. Pool Shield CRX rubber pool paint is available in over 90 colors and INSL-X offers only 6 color options.

Rubber pool paint  …..VS…..  

3) How does National Pool Finishes AquaKote Water-based Acrylic pool paint compare with RAMUC DS Acrylic swimming pool paint?

Both National Pool Finishes and RAMUC manufacture a water based acrylic pool paint. Water based Acrylic swimming pool paints are ideal when the painting window is very short. It only needs a 3 day cure time. Also, both of these coatings can be applied to cool, damp surfaces without priming. Which offers the best value? The answer is up to you because they are so similar.

RAMUC has 7 color options. AquaKote has over 90. RAMUC offers slightly less coverage on previously painted surfaces: 350 – 400 sq.ft. AquaKote offers 400 sq.ft. per gallon (depending on the porosity of the surface.) How about price? Most online retailers offer DS Acrylic from $62.00 up to $90.00. The Bottom Paint Store has National Pool Finishes AquaKote  available for about 1/2 the cost and FREE SHIPPING.

Aquakote Pool Paint  …..VS…..  

Footnotes:

*Olympic Epoxy Pool Paint is manufacturer by Kelly Technical Coatings.

**Chlorinated Rubber Pool Paint INSL-X CR-2600 may not be available in many areas of the country due to VOC regluations. Benjamin Moore offers a similar Synthetic Rubber Product CR-2700 that may available instead.

Related How To Articles:

Which Type of Pool Paint to Use

How Much Pool Paint Do I need for my Pool?

 

PropOne Vs. PropGlide

It is widely accepted that a build up of marine life on the surface of a boat’s propeller and drive shaft negatively impacts engine efficiency and performance. Even if the prop has a thin layer of growth on it’s surface area, fuel efficiency is reduced by a significant amount. To counter this problem, engineers have turned to developing “super-slick” coatings. When the drive is engaged, and the prop begins to move, any organisms attempting to adhere to the prop simply slide right off! No chemicals are used to poison or kill the organisms in the environment.

How do PropOne* and PropGlide compare?

Which coating gives you the most bang for your buck?

PropGlide is much newer to the market than PropOne, but has been in development for over ten years. Being new to the slick coating market, PropGlide appears to be able to avoid slipping into the same ruts that their competitors have. The biggest obstacle for PropOne is the cost. Comparing the two products at price point, PropGlide is about 30% less expensive and offers 25% more product. That’s 2 strikes for PropOne right off the bat. PropOne is available in the following sizes: 1000mL, 500mL, and 250mL. On the other hand PropGlide offers a size larger than PropOne’s 1000mL and still manages a lower cost. Also PropGlide offers a size smaller than PropOne’s 250mL for sailboat owners who don’t need the larger quantities of product. (For more information on choosing the right size of PropGlide, see this Coverage Chart.)

In terms of performance, both slick coatings are equally good. They do the job and do it well. It is too early to say which product will outlast the other in the minds of consumers. But for right now, we recommend PropGlide as opposed to PropOne. The savings alone makes PropGlide worth every penny.

 

 

 

 

*PropOne was formerly known as PropGold. It is essentially the same product, just a different brand name.

**This PropOne review and PropGlide review is the sole opinion of BottomPaintStore.com

***Above PropOne prices and PropGlide Prices are based on internet web search December 2016.

Which Non-Antifouling Paint is Recommended for Wood?

sailboat-1149519_640Painting a wooden boat on your own can be a daunting task. The amount of information about the correct way to paint a boat is staggering! First time boat owners may be at a loss when trying to make a plan for their first project. The Bottom Paint Store’s aim is to make this process as stress-free as possible so you can enjoy working on your boat and ultimately, enjoy the fruits of your labor!

If you have a boat that sits in the water for long periods of time, but don’t have a problem with fouling in your area, you will need a durable topside boat paint that can be submerged. (Fouling refers to the buildup of slime, algae, barnacles, and other organisms that adhere to the hull of a boat.) To determine what paint is best for your boat, ask yourself these questions:

1. Will my wooden-hulled boat be submerged long-term?

Constant submersion will require a more durable, 2 part coating. The protection that a 2 part coating can provide is superior to almost all single stage paints. Primer is also very important. It provides a surface for the paint to bond with and it also protects the wood from water seepage.

Recommended Primer: Etching Primer TS-664D  Preparing Raw Wood (Unpainted): Bare wood should be sanded smooth with 80 grit paper before the application of TS-664D Etching Primer. Select this primer to fill the grain of the wood and create a smooth easy to adhere to surface for the paint. It has an unusually high amount of solid material, sands beautifully and locks our air and moisture. We recommend allowing the primer to dry for 2-4 hours before sanding with 120 grit paper. Often repeated coats are applied to achieve a smooth finished surface. Repeated primer coats and sanding may be continued until the grain has been filled and the surface is completely smooth. Recommend 180 grit sandpaper for use in finish sanding. Fasteners in wood hulls are always countersunk below the surface of the planks. It is necessary to fill these countersinks in order to achieve a completely smooth finish. Surfacing putties are preferred over epoxy or polyester putties because epoxy putties can be harder to remove should it ever become necessary to remove a plank for repair. Carvel planked boats require a seam compound. Traditional seam compounds are never applied until after the hull has received a primer base coat. Traditional seam compounds should never be applied to bare wood, however, polysulfide seam compounds must be applied only to bare wood. Apply polysulfide seam compounds into the seam prior to applying primer.

 Recommended Paint: Supreme Urethane (TS-66) The most durable, “rough and tough” coating. This can be brushed, sprayed, or rolled. Unless you are experienced with spray equipment the best way for the “do-it-yourself-er” to apply it is the “roll and tip” method. Traditionally, one person rolls a thin coat of paint onto the prepared surface while a second person follows the roller with a brush. Using just the tip of the brush, smooth out the coating in long sweeping strokes. Tipping removes bubbles created by the roller. This product sets up quickly so speedy application and proper thinning will help prevent brush or roller drag. Spraying offers the best film thickness control, however, rolling is often the best way to achieve the recommended maximum Wet Film Thickness which is 4 mils. The recommended DFT (Dry Film Thickness) is 4 mils minimum. Applications applied too thickly may not adhere or level properly, run, sag take longer to cure or result in unwanted amber resin color. Always adhere to the manufacturers recommended WFT and DFT (Dry Film Thickness) for best results. Theoretical coverage is 300 sq.ft/GL. Ironside has a mixing ratio of 7:1 with a 10 minute induction time. Be very careful to mix the paint correctly to avoid problems with curing. Apply 2 or 3 coats to the hull. For best results, recoat within 4 hours or after 24 hours. Sand between coats after 48 hours have elapsed. Recommended minimum cure time is 5 days under most conditions.

2. Will my wooden-hulled boat be hauled out after use?

If the boat will be hauled out after use then a 2 part coating is not absolutely necessary. A less expensive coating can be used and the wooden hull will still have protection.

Recommended Primer: Etching Primer (TS-664D) This primer creates a virtually unbreakable chemical bond to whatever it has been applied to which allows it to be used almost anywhere and for almost any application! Sand the Bare Wood Hull smooth with 80 grit sandpaper. For the 1st coat of primer, thin the primer down 10-15% with Blue Water 975 Reducer and apply to the bare wood. Etching Primer will fill the grain of the wood and create a smooth easy to adhere to surface for the paint. It has an unusually high amount of solid material, sands beautifully and locks out air and moisture. Apply the 2nd coat of primer without thinning. Dries to the touch in 30 minutes, tack free in 1 hour, recoatable in 2 hours, dries hard in 4 hours. We recommend waiting until 4 hours have passed before recoating with primer or paint. Coverage is approximately 250 sq.ft/GL, depending on the texture and porosity of the surface. Apply by brush, roller or spray. Next, Apply your choice of 1 part Epoxy topcoat.

Recommended Paint: Mono-Epoxy Paint Single stage epoxy formula – less hassle than a 2 part epoxy. Mono-Epoxy is highly water-resistant, resistant to chalking, fading & chipping, resists peeling & cracking, weather-resistant, submersible long term. Recommended DFT: 5 mils. Coverage is approximately 250-300 sq. ft. per gallon @ 3 mils wet. For best results recoat within 24-48 hours or sand between applications. Allow top coat film to cure thoroughly before allowing it to enter full service duty. The recommended minimum cure time is 5-7 days under most conditions. DO NOT allow newly applied paint to get wet for a minimum of 48 hours. The dry cured film may be wet sanded and buffed to remove runs and blemishes. See the Mono-Epoxy product data page for more application tips.

Note: Both Supreme Urethane (TS-66) and Mono Epoxy are compatible with Etching Primer (TS-664D). If your boat will not be in the water constantly and you would still like top of the line performance, you can apply a 2 part primer and a 2 part Epoxy Topcoat. There are no hard and fast rules for painting your own boat. That being said, you could also apply a single stage primer like SM-664 and go with a durable 2 part topcoat. Just be sure to follow all manufacturer recommendations for priming, mixing, and thinning to avoid problems with curing.

3. Does the wood hull have a coating on it now?

If the wood hull has a coating on it currently, the suggestions for Question 2 should be followed. There will a few different steps in the prep stage of the project, but everything else will be the same.

Prep: Sand the existing coating with 80-120 grit sandpaper. Wipe down with a clean tack rag. All surfaces must be thoroughly clean and dry before the application of any primer. You don’t have to totally remove all the previous coating. Just try to get rid of all loose paint and be sure that the surface is sound.

Recommended Primer: Etching Primer (TS-664) When applying primer, do not thin it down like you would for bare wood surfaces unless you are spray applying. Some thinner may be used to run the primer through the spray gun. Apply a minimum of 2 coats of primer. Etching Primer should be allowed to dry a minimum of two to three hours before recoating with subsequent primers or marine finish coatings. It should be applied to a dry film thickness between 0.3-0.5 mil.

Recommended Paint: Mono-Epoxy or similar coating listed here. Follow all manufacturer guidelines for each product.

Other Paint Products for Single Day Use

Here are some other products that are not recommended for long-term submersion but can be applied to wood-hulled boats. These products are much less expensive, but are also not as durable and long-lasting as the products mentioned above.

Duralux Yacht Primerinterlux-brightside-polyurethane-28238-500x539duralux-topside-marine-enamel-high-gloss-gallon-10799-500x539 and Duralux Topside Marine Enamel

Pettit EZ Prime and Pettit Easypoxy

Interlux Pre-Kote and Interlux Brightside Polyurethane

For other Helpful “How To” Articles about Topside Boat Paint, Click one of the links below.

How To Patch a Hole in a Fiberglass Boat

A major fiberglass repair, such as patching a hole, can be a daunting task. Watching a professional do the job can help you get on the right track and be confident in doing the repair yourself. This step-by-step video tutorial produced by Sea Hawk Paints will show exactly what needs to be done when patching a hole in your fiberglass boat.

Note: Before attempting a repair by yourself, get a professional opinion. Always wears Personal Protective Equipment when sanding or working with chemical compounds! Respirator, safety glasses and gloves are always recommended.

Here is a list of products you will need for the repair:

  1. Hawk Epoxy Resin Kit – It contains the epoxy resin, catalyst and filler for the job.
  2. F5 Light Density Filler
  3. Biaxial Fiberglass matting
  4. 50 grit, 80 grit, and 100 grit sandpaper or grinding pads

Hawk Epoxy Video Tutorial

For more information see these other How To Articles:

Filling a Hole in Fiberglass

How Do I Choose Hawk Epoxy Catalyst and Fillers?

How to Mix Hawk Epoxy Resin Properly

Fairing Hull Imperfections

 

How to Get Strong Hardware Adhesion with Hawk Epoxy

hawk-epoxy-Large-May-20141What is the best way to achieve maximum adhesion when replacing your boat’s hardware? This How To article will give you the basic knowledge you need to get your repair done correctly.

Note: Before attempting a repair by yourself, get a professional opinion. Always wears Personal Protective Equipment when sanding or working with chemical compounds!

Here are some simple steps to follow when bonding hardware to your boat:

  1. Sand both the surface and the hardware to get maximum adhesion.
  2. Wet out the surface with Hawk Epoxy.f2-filler-large-may-2014-150x150
  3. Wait a few minutes for it to soak in.
  4. Wet out the Hardware base with Hawk Epoxy.
  5. Mix another batch of Hawk Epoxy with F2 Structural Adhesive Filler.
  6. Coat the hardware base, screw threads, and surface mount with the epoxy/filler compound.
  7. Tighten hardware bolts until some epoxy mixture squeezes out.
  8. Use your finger to fillet the excess mixture around the hardware base for extra strength.
  9. Before using the hardware, allow the bond to cure overnight.

Hawk Epoxy Video Tutorial

For more information see these other How To Articles:

How Do I Choose Hawk Epoxy Catalyst and Fillers?

How to Mix Hawk Epoxy Resin Properly

Filling a Hole in Fiberglass

Fairing Hull Imperfections

Fairing Hull Imperfections

hawk-epoxy-Large-May-20141What is Fairing?

Fairing is process of smoothing out and restoring the damaged surface of the hull. A fairing compound such as Epoxy resin can be used to fill in divots or gouges and then be sanded to a smooth finish. This restores the surface to its original shape and also prepares it for painting.

Note: Before attempting a repair by yourself, get a professional opinion. Always wears Personal Protective Equipment when sanding or working with chemical compounds!

Here are some guidelines to fairing out imperfections in your hull:

  1. Sand all loose surface debris and hard edges.f5-filler-large-may-2014
  2. Rid surface of debris with clean cloth.
  3. Wet out surface with Hawk Epoxy.
  4. Mix another batch of Hawk Epoxy with F5 Light Density Filler and apply to repair area.
  5. Use long strokes to spread out filler compound over the damaged hull. Apply until the mixture is slightly raised above the hull surface. Make sure the compound extends beyond the repair area.
  6. Let cure 6 hours.
  7. Add skim coat of F5 Filler / Epoxy compound to achieve a very smooth surface. Let cure.
  8. Sand the repair to the desired shape with 80 grit sandpaper.
  9. Finish by applying another 2 or 3 layers of Hawk Epoxy Resin.
  10. The surface is ready to be painted!

Hawk Epoxy Video Tutorial

For more information see these other How To Articles:

How Do I Choose Hawk Epoxy Catalyst and Fillers?

How to Mix Hawk Epoxy Resin Properly

Filling a Hole in Fiberglass

How to Get Strong Hardware Adhesion with Hawk Epoxy

 

 

 

 

How to Mix Hawk Epoxy Resin Properly

Sea Hawk’s Epoxy Pump Kit makes it easier than ever to measure the Resin to Catalyst ratio very accurately, and get the same result every single time! But how are the pumps intended to be used?

hawk-epoxy-pump-kit-large-152x154The Pump Kits come in two sizes, one kit accommodating the Size 1 and 2 Resin and Catalysts, and one kit accommodating the Size 3 Resin and Catalysts. Be sure to get the right size kit for the amount of resin and catalyst you plan on using. The Kit contains a total of 3 pumps; one for R1 Resin, one for C2 & C3 Catalyst, and one for C1 & C5 Catalyst.

The Hawk Pump Kit User Manual and instructional video explain how to use the pumps for accurate measuring, how to prime the pumps, pump cleaning and storage, and how to use the pumps with various Hawk Epoxy System Sizes.

Click here for Hawk Epoxy Size 1 and 2 User Manual

Click here for Hawk Epoxy Size 3 User Manual

Hawk Epoxy Video Tutorial

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. When in fresh water, slime and algae tend to be the most concerning. Sea Hawk’s AF-33 and Blue Water Marine’s New England Copper perform really well with these conditions, especially with the manufacturers boosters added, see below.

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 along with 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 choosing a Blue Water paint, you’ll want to add the Blue Water Booster . Each booster has restrictions to paint added to and you should stick with the same manufacturer.

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

 

Can Aluma Hawk Paint be used with Tuff Stuff Epoxy Primer?

The direct answer is Yes.

Sea Hawk Tuff Stuff Epoxy Primeraluma-hawk-boat-paint-by-sea-hawk-paints-28288-1000x1078 is an effective water barrier and universal primer. When applied to metal hulled boats it can serve as corrosion protection below the waterline. Therefore many boaters want to have that sort of protection on their Jon boat, and apply Aluma Hawk Boat Paint on top.

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 have a direct impact on dry times. QUICK and EASY RULE: When the coating is dry to the touch, yet still has some tack, it is ready to be over coated. Your thumb will leave a print without lifting any epoxy. This is called hot-coating. However, if the coating is completely cured (or after 24 hours) it needs to be thoroughly sanded with 80 grit sand paper to remove the shine, or you must apply another coat of Tuff Stuff within 6 days. Then you have an additional 24 hour maximum window to overcoat with paint.

Tuff Stuff Marine Epoxy Primer

These two products are great on their own, but they can do so much more when working in conjunction with each other.