MYBOATSGEAR.COM: Bottom Paint Guide
Published on March 20th, 2013
This is the time of year where you are planning your next boating season and before you launch your boat, you more than likely will be repainting her bottom. So what to use? Today paint choices are abound, but the main choice is between; Hard antifouling and Ablative antifouling.
Biocides/toxins: When a bottom gets fouled the first sign is a slime covering the bottom called biofilm, which then leads to algae growth which in turn leads to barnacles and other creatures attaching to the bottom. To combat this Bottom paints contain biocides, cuprous oxide being the most popular, which are released at a controlled rate.
Level of Toxins: Hard paints contain varying levels of biocides which are released slowly on contact with water. Ablative paints generally contain lower levels of toxins but they are released at a more steady rate as fresh paint is exposed. In addition to Cuprous Oxide many paints now include a slimicides to prevent growth of slime. Slimicides can be identified by the names; Irgarol, Biolux by Interlux, and SR Slime Resistance by Pettit.
Cost of bottom paints: You get what you pay for. Biocides and Slimicide, especially copper add to the cost of the paint and are expensive. Cheaper paints can be OK for colder water with fewer nutrients.
Before choosing a Bottom Paint you will need to determine your boats use; use the following chart to determine your needs… read on