All About Anti-Fouling Boat Bottom Paint
Any boat-owner knows that one of the most difficult and most important boat maintenance tasks is trying to keep waterborne critters and growths off of the bottom of the boat. People have tried everything to accomplish this—pesticides, arsenic, sulfur, brimstone, and even chili powder.
At Big Green Men, our professional South Florida bottom boat painting contractors can provide you with high quality anti-fouling paint to keep your boat in excellent condition. If you're unsure of any details about boat bottom paint, its application, or how to find the right paint for your boat, take a look at these frequently asked questions.
What Exactly Is Boat Bottom Paint?
Boat bottom—or "anti-fouling" paint—is a paint or coating that is specifically designed to prevent weeds, barnacles, algae, and other water-based organisms from attaching themselves to your boat's hull.
Boat bottom paints use some kind of biocide to prevent this growth. Tin was used in the past, but because of potential environmental damage, it's been banned for most aquatic uses. Today, the most popular biocide used in boat bottom paint is copper, but even that has come under scrutiny as more environmentally friendly options have been developed.
Do You Need Boat Bottom Paint?
The short answer is yes.
If your boat stays in the water for most of the boating season, then applying bottom paint is more or less mandatory. However, if your boat is stored out of the water in a trailer, lift, or dry storage facility, then you may only need to have it waxed and regularly cleaned to keep the hull well-maintained.
What Type of Anti-Fouling Paint Should You Use?
There are three main types of boat bottom paints:
Ablative or "self-polishing" paints wear away a little at a time to reveal fresh biocide as your boat moves through the water, much like a bar of soap wears away as its use.
Hard paints (modified epoxy or non-sloughing paints) allow the biocide itself to gradually wear away, so the water penetrates deeper and deeper into the paint until the biocide is depleted. This is a good choice for faster boats.
Hybrid or semi-hard ablative paints bridge the gap between ablative and hard paints by incorporating the benefits of both into a single product.
Our professionals will work with you to help you decide which of these would be the best choice for your boat.
Can I Apply Anti-fouling Paint to My Own Boat?
The only advantage of not hiring professional for this job is saving money. It's a messy and tedious job that requires cleaning, prepping, then applying the paint, and only a professional will be able to offer the highest quality results possible. Our experts will greatly reduce the time and effort that goes into this project, and we'll be able to ensure that the hull is properly prepped and totally ready for a high quality application.