Category Archives: Outdrives

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

What is the Best Bottom Paint Money Can Buy?

Best Bottom Paint

Best Performing Bottom Paint

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

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

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

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

Painting an Aluminum Outdrive

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

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

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

An alternative to painting is a foul release system, such as PropGlide.