Most 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.
If 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