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What Is The Best Bottom Paint For Trailered Boats?

If you keep your boat in salt water, then you know that a good coat of bottom paint is key to keeping your boat looking great and performing well. Not only does it protect your boat from the elements, but it also keeps it looking good. But what is the best bottom paint for trailered boats? There are a lot of different types and brands on the market so it can be tough to decide. In this article post, we’ll discuss the different types of bottom paint and help provide an overview so you can decide which one is right for you.

What paint should I use for the bottom of my boat?

For those who are new to the world of boat ownership, the task of bottom painting can seem a bit daunting. After all, there are a lot of different products on the market, and it can be difficult to know which one is right for your boat. Bottom paint is designed to protect the bottom of your boat from barnacles, algae, and other marine growth. It also helps to prevent corrosion and make it easier to clean the bottom of your boat. When choosing a bottom paint, it is important to consider the type of boat you have, the water conditions in your area, and the level of maintenance you are willing to perform. With so many different products on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. However, by taking the time to do your research, you can find the perfect bottom paint for your boat.

There are three main types of bottom paint: ablative, hard, and semi-hard. Ablative bottom paint is the most popular type; it wears away over time, which allows it to continually renew itself. This makes ablative bottom paint ideal for boats that are used frequently. Hard bottom paint, on the other hand, is designed to last longer; it doesn’t wear away as quickly as ablative bottom paint, but it also doesn’t provide as much protection. Semi-hard bottom paint is a blend of the two; it’s more durable than ablative bottom paint but not as long-lasting as hard bottom paint.

As for brands, there are dozens of different companies that make bottom paint. New Nautical Coatings, Interlux, Pettit, and Aquaguard are just a few of the most popular brands. Interlux offers a wide variety of ablative and semi-hard bottom paints, including their well-known Micron CSC formula. Pettit makes both ablative and hard bottom paints, including their Trinidad Pro, featuring a high copper load and slime resistance to provide unprecedented resistance to all fouling.

New Nautical Coatings, Sea Hawk Paints, includes a wide range of economical and premium ablative and hard bottom paints for various conditions and price points.

If you’re looking for the best bottom paint for aluminum boats, Colorkote is a good way to go. This high-quality paint provides a durable barrier against corrosion, while also being able to withstand the rigors of saltwater conditions. Colorkote is also easy to apply and dries quickly, so you can get back on the water in no time. So, if you’re looking for a bottom paint for your aluminum boat, Colorkote is a great choice.


For those who want an eco-friendly option, Smart Solutions Metal Free Bottom Paint is the best eco-friendly bottom paint on the market. It is made with a specially formulated resin that is designed to bind to metal surfaces, making it an ideal choice for boats and other watercraft. The binding agent in the resin helps to prevent metals from leaching into the water, making Smart Solution Metal Free Bottom Paint an environmentally friendly option. In addition, the binding agent also helps to prevent barnacles and other marine growth from attaching to the hull, making it easier to clean and extending the life of the boat. Smart Solution Metal Free Bottom Paint is available in a variety of colors, making it easy to find a color that matches your boat. It is also exceptionally durable, lasting up to three years with proper maintenance. Smart Solution Metal Free Bottom Paint is the best choice for those looking for an eco-friendly bottom paint that is also effective and long-lasting.

Sea Hawk Smart Solution Outdrive Paint

Finally, if you’re looking for a high-performance racing bottom paint, Pettit Hard Racing Copper Bronze is a high-performance bottom paint that is specifically designed for racing boats. It is made with a copper-infused epoxy resin, which provides exceptional protection against fouling organisms. The Pettit Hard Racing Copper Bronze also has a high load-carrying capacity and resistance to abrasion, making it an ideal choice for high-speed racing boats. In addition, the Pettit Hard Racing Copper Bronze is available in a wide range of colors, so you can choose the perfect color to match your boat. Hard Racing Copper Bronze is recommended for use in fresh water on racing hulls, sailboats, runabouts, or cruisers. You can use it in saltwater for small, dry sailed boats which are not left in the water. When used above the waterline in saltwater, Hard Racing Copper Bronze will oxidize to a green color if not overcoated with a clear sealing coat.

How long does bottom paint last on a boat?

Bottom paint is designed to last for several years, however, longevity depends on the paint. It will eventually break down and need to be replaced. The specific lifespan will depend on a number of factors, including the type of paint used, the boat’s exposure to sunlight and water, and the amount of wear and tear the bottom of the boat experiences. In general, bottom paint can be expected to last for several years before it needs to be replaced. This makes it a wise investment for any boat owner who wants to protect their investment and keep their boat looking its best.

Final thoughts

Choosing the best bottom paint for your trailered boat comes down to personal preference. If you’re looking for something that will last longer, go with a hard or semi-hard bottom paint; if you’re looking for something that’s easier to apply and renew, go with an ablative bottom paint. Just pick one that’s reputable and has a good track record.

When it comes to choosing the best bottom paint for your trailered boat, there are a lot of factors to consider. If you have any questions or would like assistance, the Bottom Paint Store technical support team can help you find the perfect paint for your boat—whether you’re looking for something eco-friendly, high-performance, or long-lasting.

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.

How to Apply Bottom Paint to an Aluminum Boat

Bottom paint is an essential part of protecting your aluminum boat from the elements. Be sure to choose a bottom paint that is specifically designed for aluminum boats. Some bottom paints can actually cause corrosion on aluminum, so it’s important to make sure you get the right type of paint. Apply the bottom paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In general, you’ll want to apply two coats for best results.

Here are a few tips on how to apply bottom paint to ensure optimal results.


  1. Prepare the Surface
    The first step in painting an aluminum boat is to prepare the surface. This includes cleaning the boat with soap and water, sanding it down, and applying a primer. The primer will help to create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to.
  2. Choose the Right Paint
    It is important to choose the right paint for an aluminum boat. A good choice would be a marine-grade paint that is specifically designed for aluminum boats. This type of paint will be able to withstand the elements and will not peel or chip easily.
  3. Apply the Paint
    Once you have chosen the right paint, you can begin to apply it to the boat. It is best to use a brush or roller for this task. Start by painting the hull of the boat and then move on to the deck. Be sure to apply an even coat of paint and allow it to dry completely before applying a second coat.

Tuff Stuff Marine Epoxy Primer

Tuff Stuff Marine Epoxy Primer

Tuff Stuff Marine Epoxy Primer

Begin by pressure washing your boat, and scrubbing any debris, dust, contaminants and marks off the boat surface so it is totally clean. Give your boat a final rinse and dry. If you do not have any coatings at all on the bottom of the boat, we suggest to sand the hull 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. Use 2 coats. You can apply the 2nd coat within a couple of hours of the first coat. (up to 6 days)

After you apply Tuff Stuff marine epoxy primer on hull, be sure to use an aluminum safe bottom paint. The bottom paint needs to be applied the same day as the Tuff Stuff marine epoxy primer. Bottom paints in general are designed to repel hard growth. Colorkote is an excellent triple biocide bottom paint for aluminum hulls when in salt water. We recommend Mission Bay for fresh water.  I have listed links below to the products described above. These can be brushed, sprayed, or rolled.  If you already have coating(s) on the hull, pressure wash, sand with 80 grit, and then apply your paint choice.


How to Video: Aluminum Boat Bottom Paint Application

See here for all aluminum safe bottom paints.