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Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint How-To's

Bottom Paints from Sea Hawk

Best Bottom Paints from Sea Hawk

This is a very informative video explaining the features, benefits, pro's and con's of the bottom paints from Sea Hawk.... read more

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Eric Norrie with Sea Hawk Paints and today we're going to talk about how to select the type of bottom paint that you need.

So there are basically a few different categories of bottom paints. You got a good, better, and best. And we've got an environmentally friendly section.

When you're looking for the very best, our Biocop TF Dual Biocide is top of the line. It's great for any environment, harshest fouling environment to coolest environment. Biocop TF is a top performer. It doesn't build up. It's self-polishing and it's an ablative product which means it wears away over time.

In the ablative category, we've got Cukote, AF33, and Talon. Cukote is our staple product. It gives you great protection. It doesn't build up. Its performance has been excellent for over fifteen years.

We also have hard modified epoxies that are very scrubable. The disadvantage to hard modified epoxies is the fact that they build up over time. It's a little older technology but it's tried and true.

In the modified epoxy category, you got Tropikote and Sharkskin. Tropikote's got 75.8 percent copper and all the colors. This is going to give you the ultimate protection. Sharkskin's a little more of an economical product with 50 percent copper.

As carbon foot prints has becoming more and more concern, we at Sea Hawks Paints have come up with innovative formulations. We've got our Monterey which is a water based product with low VOC's. We've got our Mission Bay and Mission Bay Copper and Solvent Free formulations. We've got our Smart Solution which has no metals in it whatsoever.

Don't be fooled pipe price tag on paint. You can find cheap paints but generally you're not going to get the performance you're looking for.

Now, there's some other things you need to consider. Is your boat aluminium? Is it fiber glass? Is it wood? Is your boat a power boat or sail boat? Is it trailer that is kept on a lift? You need to figure out which environment is it going into. Is it freshwater or salt water? These are all important factors in deciding which type of bottom paint you'll need.

So there you have it. Sea Hawk Paints has top performing premium paints for all types of boats and all types of environments. We're sold worldwide and you can find out more information on the web at

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Interlux Antifouling Paint

Selecting Antifouling Paint

Anti-fouling paint is a coating that is applied to the hull of a vessel that fights off the growth of organisms that could attach to the hull, thus prolonging the hull's life and performance. Anti-fouling paints are ... read more made of copper biocides that help to keep organisms like barnacles, seaweed, and tube worms from sticking to the hull. It is better to use paint to prevent this happening instead of trying to find a cure once the hull has been attacked.

Selecting an antifouling paint comes down to the boater's preference and the hull style of their boat. There are three main paint styles to choose from:

1. Ablative

This type of paint is very basic in its specifications. It is good for build-up resistance and does not require little to no sanding. It is compatible with a majority of hulls and bottom paint finishes. With this application, the surface of the hull may be susceptible to wear away with time, which exposes fresh biocides and may be harmful to water life. This may be best for freshwater applications.

2. Hard

Hard antifouling paint is a much stronger, more durable paint that allows boats to be stored in the water for extended periods of time and be protected by the biocides. The coat leaves a fine, smooth finish and can withstand beaching and abuse.

3. Vivid

Vivid antifouling paint is the toughest, most durable of these three applications. It is made with high-quality technology that lasts through any season and is excellent for trailering and dry storage. It is highly resistant to build-up and decay on the hull, and comes in a variety of colors. Vivid paint would work well in salt water environments.

We recommend researching these different paint types in depth and deeply considering each option before making any purchases. We also suggest consulting with a technician or a local dealer to get a second opinion and recommendation.

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boat bottom paint ablative paints

Ablative Paints and How They Work (Video)

Learn what ablative paints are and how they work, presented by Interlux. ... read more

Video Transcript

I’m Jim Seidel from Interlux. We’re here in a boatyard looking around, talking about problems people have painting the bottoms of their boat.

Okay, this is a brand new paint job. It’s probably painted last week, maybe even Saturday, and then it rained, we got a lot of rain, and you could see it streaking down the boat. It’s very typical of ablative anti-fouling paint. This does not affect the way the anti-fouling works. It’s just not pretty, especially if you put on a two-hundred dollar gallon of paint.

Right now, it looks bad because it’s right here and you just did, and you spent a couple hours painting the bottom of the boat and getting it all prepared, spending a day, but that’s what caused it, and that’s one of the things about ablative paints. They do change color.

Ablative means “to wear away” and there’s a bunch of different ways paints wear away like our old red hand or that type of paint we painted the arc with as with real soft rosin-based coating’s been around. You could shake the boat and get a cloud of paint around the boat. It was very, very soft.

Then we have the top of the line, the Micron 66 that wears away chemically with the reaction of salt in the water. The Micron CSC and the Micron Extra, there’s a physical action of wearing through the water and they act the same way. You do that, you control that by the mixing of a rosin and resin and rosin is less expensive than resin, so if you want a cheaper paint, you put more rosin than resin, but it wears away faster.
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Rough Boat paint

Inspecting Old Bottom Paint (Video)

Inspecting the bottom of a boat and the importance of removing the old paint and starting over. Presented by Interlux ... read more

Video Transcript

I am Jim Seidel from Interlux. We are here in a boatyard looking around talking about problems that people have painting the bottoms of their boat.

All right, this boat has a bunch of problems. The first thing I noticed was that the paint was worn off the leading edges of the bow, the rudder, and the trailing edge of the rudder. The reason for that is when you are rolling on paint you tend to squeeze it as you are rolling over here so the thickness here of the paint is thicker than what is on this edge. And this edge gets a lot of wear so it wears faster there.

Here, there is a lot of paint on this boat. And he did the right thing. He put signal coats on so he could tell where he was in the coating. These are ablative coatings. But there is a lot of paint and it is older paint. And it is starting to get a little brittle and falling off. And there is green, there is blue, there is some red, and all the way down to the primer.

You see on the bottom and where the paint wears off. You have a lot of barnacles at the bottom. And on the top here, the paint is coming off in sections. It is cast iron where it is a lead keel so he’s probably some electrolysis going on as well. But you can even see that it is really in bad shape.

And down at the bottom where it wear off. And these barnacles are coming off those little barnacles at the end. Probably, it got a lot of slime and sitting around. And then the barnacles started to grow on the slime. It cleaned up pretty well. But again, to really fix it, you need to take all the paint off and start over.
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boat paint electrolysis

Electrolysis and Boat Paint (Video)

Coating the bottom of the boat to avoid electrolysis. Presented by Interlux. ... read more

Video Transcript

I'm Jim Seidel from Interlux. We're here in a boatyard looking around talking about problems people have painting the bottoms of their boat.

Actually, this boat is fairly clean on the bottom and we get a lot of calls every fall about, "The bottom of my boat looks really good. There are no barnacles on it but all the metals are felt. How come that happens? I use the same paint on boat."

The reason is you get electrolysis between the copper and the paint. In this case, it's stainless. Underneath, it's bronze. And the first thing you go, because the copper is less noble than the stainless or the bronze, the first metal to be eaten away is the copper.

I prefer the Interprotect because it's harder, it's going to last longer, and give you a better job. Plus, it's easier. It sticks to the metal better by itself.

With the Primocon, it's easier to use. It's one part product, you open the can, and brush it on but it's a lot more preparation on the metal. You have to get the metal much cleaner and you probably need three coats of the Primocon equal two of the Interprotect.
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About Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint

Boat Bottom Paint Essentials

Article courtesy of Tim Banse
Interlux Product
You already know that without bottom paint dutifully protecting the bottom of a boat that barnacles, zebra mussels, weeds and slime would proliferate dragging down acceleration, top speed and helm response. And that in order to inhibit marine growth we rely on quality boat bottom paint. But the big question is with the different types of anti-fouling lining the shelves of marine chandler's which one is the best choice for your boat? The answer is that in order to sort through the many offerings, it's vital to understand the basic differences between them. Only then can you intelligently pick the right product for your boat and its geographic area of operation. In this story we'll cover the basics and suggest a couple of boat bottom paints. Unfortunately there isn't room to cover the myriad of brands and offerings.

Types of Bottom Paint

Let's begin at the beginning. Know that there are two basics types: ablative and hard, each one boasting distinctive properties. Soft ablative boat bottom paints release biocide at a constant rate throughout their life span, scrubbed away with use much like a bar of soap. One benefit to this scrubbing action is that as the biocide is used up the coat goes away. This characteristic reduces buildup, which in turn reduces the amount of surface preparation required before applying a new coat.

Pettit Marine Paint's Ultima SR-60 is an example of ablative boat bottom paint. It's loaded with copper (60%) and also dual biocides (slime resistant Irgarol) lending multi season protection.

Pettit Boat Bottom Paint
In sharp contrast to ablative blends, hard bottom paints rely on contact leaching. Once it dries, the bottom is blanketed with a porous film saturated with biocides. The biocide releases in steadily decreasing amounts. Once exhausted, the hard film remains. Generally speaking, boats with hard anti-fouling coatings cannot be hauled and launched without repainting. One benefit to a hard anti-fouling coat is resistance to abrasion. Due to its low drag resistance, hard bottom products are an excellent choice for high performance boats.

Another offering is Pettit Trinidad SR, it's a hard anti-fouling blend offering multi-season protection thanks to dual biocides backed up with a high copper load. Left in the water, a bottom painted with Trinidad SR will enjoy years of protection.

So far we've given examples of ablative and hard boat bottom paints. How about one that incorporates all the benefits of both ablative and hard paints in one? That would be Pettit's multi-season Vivid offered in a palette of bright colors, including white, blue, green, yellow black and red.

Think whiter whites and blacker blacks. Primary colors can be applied as-is, or blended to create a custom color. Its hard, smooth surface withstands trailering and is easily burnished for lower drag, a godsend on high performance boats. When applied over the recommended priming system Vivid can be used on aluminum hulls and outdrives.

Blue Water Product
No matter what type or brand you decide on, it's crucial to painstakingly follow directions. Read the label, paying careful attention to the part about surface preparation. At a minimum the existing paint, which provides the foundation, must be in good condition - without flakes. Sand the entire bottom with 60 or 80-grit sandpaper, roughening the surface and lending the new coat a foothold. Question: Is this dirty, time-consuming surface preparation a Do-It-Yourself endeavor? Not if you can afford to pay the boatyard to do it.

Do It Right The First Time

Make sure the old anti-fouling and the new bottom paint are compatible. Consult the manufacturers chart. Thoroughly stir paint before and during application. Usually, the store will perform an initial shake-shake-shake with its shaker. For good reason marine supply stores will only shake cans that have never been opened. That said, even when you stir by hand with a flat wooden stick, five or 10 minutes should be sufficient to get all the biocide in suspension. The first few strokes with the stick will be difficult because the heavy compounds settle to the bottom. Be patient. And be sure to scrape down the sides of the can and the bottom to flow all of the ingredients into suspension. Stir the paint frequently during application to prevent settling.

It's absolutely critical that you follow over-coating times and immersion times. In other words, allow the product to dry thoroughly before applying another coat and before launching. If you don't, you risk the specter detaching from the hull, and all the time, energy and money you'll have spent will have been wasted. Finally, when finished, dispose of the empty cans in an environmentally friendly manner. If you're in doubt about how to do this, any boatyard will be able to tell you the proper procedure.

Tim Banse is a marine engines expert and has written about propulsion for Popular Mechanics, Yachting, Motor Boating, Boating Industry and other publications around the world. His current pet project is, a source for free information about outboard motors, stern drives and inboards. Tim's articles will be seen here and in the blog, plus at


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