Is Antifouling Bottom Paint Best for Freshwater?


For freshwater environments your boat will need a specific type of paint. This paint is sometimes known as antifouling bottom paint and there are several different reasons why it can help upkeep your boat. Bottom paint happens to be an important subject for people are new to boat maintenance. There is a lot to learn about bottom paint choice and its importance/ application techniques.

A typical boat owner keeps their boat in the water for an extended period of time. They should have a specific bottom paint applied on the hull to avoid growths from occurring. There are differences in the chemical makeups of freshwater and saltwater suitable paints to prevent these growths.

What Type of Paint Should You Apply?

The best bottom paint is called antifouling paint. This is a distinct marine paint formulated with chemicals/ algaecide to keep marine critters from growing on the hull bottom. Do not skip “Freshwater” when making your selection of paint. The type of water changes the paint needed depending on whether the boat will be used in freshwater or saltwater. Freshwater lakes are bodies of unsalted water and still water surrounded by land. These are usually in low-lying areas and getting water fed from streams or rivers.

Another common paint for boat owners to use is ablative paint because it can be applied for specific seasons. Ablative paint works best in environments with moving water because the biocide in ablative paint is released as the paint layers fade away. Ablative paint can also work well because there are several different types including copper-based or copper-free, and water-based or solvent-based.

Follow these next steps to determine which paint is the best choice for your boating needs.

First Step: Cleaning of the Bottom of Your Boat

Keeping the boat hull clear of any type of marine growth is critical before applying any paint. Take the steps necessary to clean, apply chemicals to, and properly dry your boat bottom. This will help when you apply new smooth coats of paint. Once you have chosen the bottom paint for your freshwater or saltwater holding environment, you will need to determine where to prop up your boat to paint it.

One or two premium quality antifouling paint coats are all you need. Repainting the bottom can minimize fuel consumption ensuring the best possible performance. These preventative measures are serious because a clean and frequently maintained hull makes things risk-free, fast to use, and efficient. A filthy bottom, on the other hand, will slow the movement and hinder boat speed together with added fuel consumption.

Second Step: Choosing the Correct Antifouling Bottom Paint

You may be asking yourself “which bottom paint should I use?” and that is the right question!

With there being so many different types of paint with different chemicals and biocides to prevent against different forms of fouling, you need to know which one is right for your boat.

Freshwater bottom paint is usually known as “antifouling bottom paint,” because it works well in harsh conditions, and will be much more than enough protection for boats in freshwater lakes. The real smart way is to choose the paint that fits the freshwater situation the best. Picking a bottom paint that contains more biocide (generally cuprous oxide) will prove to be more potent and protect more successfully.

It is critical to select the most suitable antifouling boat bottom paint depending on how you use and store your boat. Your boat needs regular care so that you can enjoy the best performance by your boat.

Recommended Bottom Paint Brands

There are Boat Bottom Paints for self-polishing allowing for boats to be taken in and out of the water (trailered, lifts, etc.) not affecting the paint characteristics of the boat’s bottom. Rust-Oleum Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint is a good option for antifouling bottom reliable paint. It wards off fouling underneath the boat waterline.

It is made to moderately release copper to properly inhibit fouling. This can be recoated in around four hours, having the ability for launching in 16 hours duration. This defies algae accumulation together with various types of marine growth and barnacles. This paint has a quite offending smell so a well-ventilated work area is required. Another negative point is that it is priced a bit expensively.

Another commercial name is TotalBoat JD Select Bottom Paint. This has low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and because it is water-based, it is simple to apply and not difficult to clean up. The product is cost-effective and it’s one gallon and can cover approximately 400 sqft.

Paint for Boats kept in Freshwater

In case you keep your boat in some freshwater lake all the time, the best is to have a hard-modified epoxy bottom paint along with medium copper content. This paint repels hard growth and prevents weed and grass attachment.  On the other hand, Pettit SR-21 is a freshwater hard antifouling paint that is also good for those on a comparatively tight budget.

Paint for Boats Kept On Land

In case your boat is brought out of the water daily, using a trailer, you don’t need a specific paint. However it is recommended to use a hard ablative bottom paint to protect your boat while in transport. If the boat comes out periodically storing it on a lift or some trailer, the best way out is using a bottom paint that is seasonal and antifouling.

These paints release biocide while the boat wades through water. For reactivating the ablative properties, do a light scuff sand before putting the boat back in the water. Aluminum-made boats, however, have copper-free bottom paint. For reducing water friction and enhancing racing performance, Interlux VC17 Extra is a cool choice being a thin film antifouling paint for freshwaters. In all cases, the market is full of options and choices remain open for inquisitive minds.

Third Step: Painting the Boat

Deciding where you will paint your boat or a professional will paint your boat is the next step. Professional bottom painters like Bilbo’s Marine can set you up with a pickup time and lift to get your boat ready for painting. Bilbo’s Marine has a team of professionals that will get the perfect bottom paint applied and ensure it is right for where you keep your boat. Bilbo’s Marine can also do larger maintenance repairs and get your boat functioning at optimal speed with their outboard engine services. Contact Bilbo’s Marine today to get a free quote for your next bottom paint or repair service.

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