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:
- Do you haul and repaint your boat every year?
- 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.
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