Category Archives: Bottom Paint

The Different Types of Pettit Paint

Pettit Marine Paint, was established back in 8161 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 Eayspoxy 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.

Using a Signal Coat Indicator for Repainting Ablative Antifouling Paint

Anti-fouling 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.

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.

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

How To Mark Your Waterline for Bottom Paint

The waterline can also refer to anyline on a ship’s hull that is parallel to the water’s surface when the ship is afloat in a normal position. There are many reasons a waterline needs to be marked, it is a new vessel, the old paint has been blasted off for a new finish, or you’ve loaded it up with more stuff the original marking is off. Marking the waterline is often met with dread and getting the correct line for your bottom paint will provide stunning results. Getting it wrong, especially when paired with a boot stripe, will stand out like a sore thumb.

If your boat is new, the waterline should be marked on the designer’s drawing, if that is available. If not, you can take the measurements from a similar boat. If the boat has been in the water, even a few days, there may be some slight staining along the waterline (or just float the boat) that can be marked with a grease marker (best if it is full with fuel). Others have advised to throw sawdust in the water around the boat. Haul the boat and see where the sawdust has stuck to the wet hull.

Fine-line masking tape is ideal for this because it has some stretch and conforms very well to hull shape, especially if the hull has a lot of reverse turns. Don’t press the tape too firmly yet – you may need to peel it back for small adjustments. Once you’re happy with the whole line, press the tape firmly against the hull. Since the boat is already level, all you have to do for the second side is to set the level at the correct height and mark the stern with a piece of tape or transpose the wax crayon mark.

When the boat is aligned athwartships, set up the laser tripod, the exact spot is not critical providing the laser beam can see the whole side of the boat (if you can see it, so can the laser beam). Turn on the laser and adjust the height of the beam until it touches the marks you made at the bow and the stern. If it touches the mark on the bow but the stern is too high, lower the jack-stands at the stern or raise those at the bow—vice versa if the stern is low. Double-check the spirit level in the cockpit to make sure you’re not tilting the boat.

Can I change the color or tint my paint?

For most paints, in order to guarantee efficacy, the only way we recommend changing the color of  paints is to mix like paints, ie. Mixing Aluma Hawk with Aluma Hawk. We do not recommend addition of “universal” tints or pigments into our products. Many customers desire an antifouling paint in a deep, dark blue and this can be achieved by mixing blue and black.

Gel coats and resins can have a tint added, no more than 1 oz per quart, which can limit the effect. Another option is to mix two gelcoat colors, such as white and red for pink.

What Equipment is Needed to do a Proper Application of Antifouling Bottom Paint?

Antifouling bottom paint is needed if you store your boat in the water. If left in the water without protection, marine growth may attach to your boat’s exposed hull. Marine growth slows a boat down and increases fuel consumption. Here are the items that you will need in addition to the bottom paint for the proper anti-fouling bottom paint application.

60–100 grit – Suitable for the removal of paint or to sand gel coat prior to the application of antifouling paint.
• After sanding remove sanding residue by wiping with a cloth that has been dampened with the proper solvent.
Masking Tape – When it is necessary to mask off areas use a high quality clean edge masking tape, especially when the masking tape will be left on the surface for a long time.
• Brushes – For antifouling paints use a natural bristle brush but not necessarily one of as good quality as you would use to apply topside finishes.
• Rollers – Most solvent resistant rollers will have a phenolic core and will say that they are for use with oil based paints or epoxies. For antifouling paint and epoxy primers, use a 3/8”-1/2” nap roller.

Ideal Temperatures for Applying Paints and Gelcoats

When applying coatings in cooler temperatures it is important that you meet the minimum temperature requirements. This information can typically be found in the products technical data sheet, or on the can label.

As a general rule, coatings should be applied in good weather when air and surface temperatures are above 50°F (10°C) for most paints and 60°F (16°C) for epoxy, resin, and gelcoats . Surface temperature must be a least 50°F (10°C) above dew point. For optimum application properties, bring material to 70-80°F (21-27°C) temperature range prior to mixing and application.

Tips:

  • Make sure to store the coatings inside to keep the temperature in the optimal range prior to application.
  • Do not let coatings freeze, as this may alter the chemical integrity of the products.
  • In warm (hot) conditions be sure to keep the coatings out of direct sunlight exposure.

Coatings such as resins and gelcoats that require MEKp to be added for curing will require more MEKp in cooler conditions, and less MEKp in warmer conditions. See the guide below, but refer to the specific coating’s technical data sheet for detailed information:

MEPk Levels

MEkp Concentration Levels

 

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 or Talon and Blue Water Marine’s Copper Shield 25 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 that fits a tighter budget.

What about Bottom Paint Additives?

Sea Hawk bottom paint 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. A 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choosing the Right Boat Paint

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

Boat Paints

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can I Reactivate Hard Bottom Paint?

sharkskin300x300

Hard Bottom Paint

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

 

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

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

 

What is the best paint for my boat?

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

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

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

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

Gelcoat is usually what is “original” to most boats; a bass boat will have metal flake mixed in. We sell metal flake that can be added to gelcoat or paint but we don’t sell any with it already mixed in.

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

Do I Need Bottom Paint on My Boat?

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

If you don’t have a growth problem or would like a nice shine to your boat’s bottom look to our other items like gelcoat or a topside paint for moderate water exposure or an aluminum paint with no antifouling agents. Gelcoat adheres to most gelcoats or fiberglass/resins, see how to apply gelcoat.  A boat bottom with antifouling will need to have it removed via sanding, sandblasting or bottom paint remover before a different type of paint will adhere.

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

Hard Bottom Paint vs. Ablative Bottom Paint

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

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

How long does bottom paint last on a boat?

In general, you should apply boat bottom paint once a year, however; some bottom paints can last for two years. If your boat is kept in the water or you use it regularly, you you have it checked annually to determine if it requires a new bottom paint coating.

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

How much does it cost to bottom paint a boat?

How much does it cost to bottom paint a boat?

The cost to paint the bottom of your boat depends on a number of factors including the size of your boat, the paint you choose and whether you use a primer or not. Other factors include whether you will paint your boat or hire someone to paint it. For example, Biocop TF by Sea Hawk, is a popular bottom paint and currently costs $269.77 a gallon and provides theoretical coverage of 315 square feet per gallon. If the bottom surface of your boat is 700 square feet you would theoretically need to purchase three gallons (Biocop is not offered in quarts) at a total cost of $809. 31 for the three gallons.

That may seem expensive for paint however boat bottom paint uses antifouling properties in order to protect the boats bottom from organisms found in saltwater and other elements.

For information on calculating how much paint you need to paint your boat bottom you can refer to our Bottom Paint Calculator.

Applying Antifouling Paint to a Pontoon Boat

If you do not have any coatings at all on the bottom of the boat, we suggest to sand the pontoons with 80 grit and then apply Tuff Stuff High Build Epoxy. It is a water tight barrier coat designed for use under the waterline and with aluminum hulls. Tuff Stuff will insure that you protect the aluminum from corrosion, and also aid in the adhesion of the antifouling paint. Use 2 coats. You can apply the 2nd coat within a couple of hours of the first coat. See detailed instructions at How to Apply Marine Epoxy Primer”.

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

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

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

Links:

How to Video:

Eco-Clad Bottom Paint Review

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

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

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

Hard Bottom Paint Vs. Ablative Bottom Paint

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

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

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

Related Articles and links:

Hard Bottom Paint

Ablative Bottom Paint

Applying Bottom Paint

Bottom Paint Cross Reference Guide

See the table below for a listing of most bottom paints and how they compare by the top manufacturers.
Bottom Paint Cross Reference Guide.

Top Performing Bottom Paints

sea hawk paints
interlux_paints Pettit Paints Blue Water Marine Paints
Biocop TF Micron 66 Odyssey HD
Islands 77 Plus Micron 77
Colorkote Micron Extra with Biolux* Odyssey Triton

Self Polishing / Ablative Bottom Paints

Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Biocop TF Micron 66 Odyssey HD
Islands 77 Plus Micron 77
Micron Extra with Biolux* Ultima SR40*
Cukote Micron CSC Ultima SSA Copper Shield 45 Ablative
Monterey Fiberglass Bottomkote Aqua Hydrocoat SR*
Hydrocoat
Hydrocoat Eco
AF-33 Micron CSC Horizons Copper Shield 25
ACT Ultima SR40*
Mission Bay Micron CF Vivid Shelter Island Plus
Mission Bay CSF Fiberglass Bottomkote Aqua
Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Seamate Copper Shield 25

Hard Modified Epoxy Bottom Paints

Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Tropikote Ultra-Kote Trinidad 75
Trindad HD
Ultra with Biolux* Trinidad SR*
Trindad Pro*
Sharkskin Trinidad HD
Talon Unepoxy HRT

Aluminum Safe Bottom Paints

Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Smart Solution Pacifica Plus Ultima Eco
Micron CF* Odyssey Triton
Mission Bay Trilux 33 Vivid Shelter Islands Plus
Colorkote

Water Based Bottom Paints

Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Monterey Fiberglass Bottomkote Aqua Hydrocoat SR*
Hydrocoat
Hydrocoat Eco
Mission Bay CSF

Outdrive Bottom Paints

Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Smart Solution Trilux 33 Aerosol Alumaspray Plus Aerosol

Bottom Paint Primers

Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Bottom Paint Primer Primocon Tie Coat Primer 6627 BarrierShield Primer
Islands Prime
Shawkocon
1266 Non-Sanding Primer YPA200 No-Sand Primer Skip Sand Primer 6998
Barnacle Blocker Aerosol Primocon Aerosol
High Build Epoxy Primers
Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Tuff Stuff Interprotect 2000E Pettit Protect Bottom Protect 70, Bottom Protect

Bottom Paint Cleaners

Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
S-80  Wax ‘N Grease Killer 202  Fiberglass Solvent Wash Bottom Prep D-95 973 Dewaxer
S-90  De-Waxing Etch & Cleaner 202V  Low VOC Fiberglass Solvent Wash Bio-Blue 92

Bottom Paint Removers / Strippers

Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
Marine Paint Stripper Interstrip 299E

Speciality

Sea Hawk  Interlux Pettit Blue Water
N/A VC-17M Extra* Black Widow Racing
1959 Hard Racing Copper Bronze
Biocop TF Pint Booster

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

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

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

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

Tuff Stuff Marine Epoxy Primer

What is the Best Bottom Paint Money Can Buy?

Best Bottom Paint

Best Performing Bottom Paint

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

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

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

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

For outdrives a foul release agent may be the choice for you, see here.

Do You Need Bottom Paint Thinner?

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

Bottom Paint Reducer

Bottom Paint Thinner

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

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

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

What Is Bottom Paint?

What is bottom paint

What is Bottom Paint?

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

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

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

What are some of the top performing bottom paints and what is the difference between them?

  • Biocop TF Self-Polishing Bottom Paint was developed as an alternative to tin-based antifouling paints to protect against the harshest marine environments.
  • Islands 44 TF™ By Sea Hawk Paints is an advanced tin-free self-polishing antifoulant that will keep your hull bottom smooth and free of organic growth over multiple cruising seasons.
  • Sea Hawk ColorKote Triple Biocide Antifouling is the next generation hull coating built with Sea Hawk DNA. Incorporating self-polishing, triple biocide, low-leaching chemistry, vibrant colors, and multi-season performance, this is more than an antifouling paint.
  • Islands 77 Plus Antifouling Paint is an alternative to tin-based antifouling paints to protect against the harshest marine environments. Using the newest biocide technology.
  • Pettit Odyssey is a 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.
  • Interlux Micron Extra provides excellent, long lasting antifouling protection against all types of fouling. Micron Extra includes Biolux, to control slime.
  • Micron 66 is a long lasting Self Polishing Copolymer with Biolux® formulated to provide a level of antifouling protection not previously available in any paint.
  • Blue Water Marine Copper Shield is a multi-season antifouling protection against barnacles, algae, and hydroids in salt and fresh water on boat bottoms only.
  • Aquagard® Waterbased Anti-Fouling Bottom Paint is formulated especially to prevent barnacles, algae, slime and other fouling organisms on vessels immersed in salt, brackish and fresh water. Nontoxic fumes, soap and water clean‐up.

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

Related Articles:

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

What Bottom Paint Can go Over Polyethylene?

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

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

Do I Need a Reducer For Bottom Paint?

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

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

Here is the link to reducers for bottom paint.