The Best Boat Bottom Paints for 2021

Nicholas Swartz
Written by
Last update:

Buying a new boat is perhaps the most exciting purchase you'll ever make… until you have to paint a messy, difficult to reach bottom. Paint, primer, brushes, rollers, scraper, respirator, cheap paint, expensive paint – it can be overwhelming. Don't worry. If you're in the market for a new boat or need to paint the bottom of your old one, you've come to the right place.

The guide below will help you understand EVERYTHING you need to know to make sure your boat bottom looks great this season and for years to come. Below are some of the best options to consider when buying boat bottom paint.

NameCategoryProduct
Rust-Oleum Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling PaintBest OverallRust-Oleum Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint
Aluma Hawk Jon Boat GreenBudget PickAluma Hawk Jon Boat Green
Interlux Micron Extra Antifouling PaintUpgrade PickInterlux Micron Extra Antifouling Paint

1. Rust-Oleum Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint

Our rating: 9 / 10

Rust-Oleum Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Suitable for fresh and saltwater
  • Keeps barnacles away
  • Easy to apply

Cons:

  • Shipping and packaging might damage the product

This Rust-Oleum Antifouling Boat Bottom Paint is for use on fiberglass, wood or steel boat surfaces.

The aerosol spread paint is great for the actual painting of your boat bottom. However, you should always plan to do some touch-ups to the paint once it’s allowed to dry on your boat.

2. Interlux Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling Paint

Our rating: 8 / 10

Interlux Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling Paint

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Fast dry
  • Suitable for fresh, salt, and brackish water
  • Good coverage

Cons:

  • Some users got damaged cans due to poor packaging

The Interlux Bottomkote is listed as not only one of the best boat bottom paints, but also one of the best bottom paints for fiberglass.

Like all black bottom paints, this one is particularly great because the natural black color won’t stand out to predators. The black color also appeals to most boaters because they don’t have to worry about it being unsightly or distractive. It’s a nice middle ground between classic bottom colors and less popular ones.

3. Interlux Micron Extra Antifouling Paint

Our rating: 8 / 10

Interlux Micron Extra Antifouling Paint

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Easy to apply
  • Excellent for fiberglass boats
  • Smooth finish
  • Dries quickly

Cons:

  • Poor packaging

This bottom paint can be used on fiberglass, wood, steel or aluminum. It comes in an efficient 1-gallon container and has a creamy black color. It has been proven to be more effective than most conventional antifouling paints, and it can easily be applied on your boat’s hull.

4. Pettit Paint Vivid

Our rating: 8 / 10

Pettit Paint Vivid

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Great coverage
  • Great price for the quality
  • Combines hard and ablative technologies
  • Easy to apply
  • Beautiful vibrant colors

Cons:

  • Slow drying

Pettit Paint Vivid is an excellent product that is highly durable and offers powerful protection for all marine needs.

The good thing about a white boat is that it looks fantastic on the water. On the other hand, many people don’t like the idea of their boat looking so classic. The good news is that you can paint over the white later if you would like, without ruining the layers underneath.

5. TotalBoat JD Select Bottom Paint

Our rating: 8 / 10

TotalBoat JD Select Bottom Paint

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Comes in a wide color range
  • Water-based paint
  • Protects against barnacles, weeds, and slime

Cons:

  • Not very durable
  • Needs reapplication

The best solution for top-notch protection, TotalBoat JD Select blend is a top pick. This water-based paint resists chipping, flaking, and blistering. It keeps from the destructive effects of UV rays and resists corrosion. The tough formula stays flexible and can be cleaned easily without damaging the look. You can apply this paint with a roller or brush without causing any damage to your boat. There are several colors to choose from.

6. Aluma Hawk Jon Boat Green

Our rating: 7 / 10

Aluma Hawk Jon Boat Green

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Easy to apply
  • No primer needed
  • Prevents corrosion
  • Chromate-free

Cons:

  • Only suitable for aluminum
  • You might need more than one can

If you’re looking for the best paint for your boat, then the Aluma Hawk Jon Boat Green, QT. may fit the bill. This is a paint primer and paint combination that is designed to cover up rust and oxidation. It prevents corrosion and is a chromate-free paint.

Aluma Hawk Jon Boat Green, QT. also acts as a barrier between your boat and harmful elements, which helps maintain its integrity.

7. Pettit Paint Hydrocoat

Our rating: 6 / 10

Pettit Paint Hydrocoat

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Ecologically safe
  • Non-hazardous
  • Easy to apply

Cons:

  • Needs mixing
  • It’s thick and sticky

The Hydrocoat features a low odor and a high content of biodegradable cleaning detergents. It’s balanced for optimum performance. It is an environmentally friendly paint, and it has no heavy solvent smell.

8. Interlux YBA406KIT/QT VC 17m Extra

Our rating: 5 / 10

Interlux YBA406KIT/QT VC 17m Extra

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Ideal for racing boats
  • Has excellent coverage
  • Suitable for inflatables

This bottom paint is intended for use in fresh and saltwater. One of the best features of this paint is the super smooth finish. This product dries fast and is suitable for inflatables.

It’s also quite easy to use. You’ll only need to apply one coat of this product, regardless of the thickness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best boat bottom paint?

The best bottom paint isn’t a single seller or one brand. It is a combination of factors, including price, ease of application, and durability, that tie together to form the best boat paint for your needs.

Owning a boat is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have as an adult, but it’s also one of the most expensive. Even if you bought a new boat, there is money to be sunk into repairs and replacement of frayed lines or old parts.

So, you want your boat to look good at all times. Thankfully, you have several tools at your disposal to keep your boat looking as great as the day you drove it home. The overall best paint is the Rust-Oleum Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint, as it delivers high-quality, durability, and reliable protection, all at a good price.

Should I bottom-paint my boat?

Bottom painting (also known as antifouling) is one of those things that you don't really think about, yet you would surely notice if it wasn't there. That goes double for your boat.

Truth is that only you can answer that question for yourself. My best advice is to float around a lot and watch how your boat holds up year after year. If you use your boat frequently, then it might be worth it to paint. If you don't get on it often, you may not want to bother to do it every year.

How long does bottom paint last on a boat?

In most cases, bottom paint lasts for a season. You may get another year out of it, but most modern bottom paint loses much of its protective qualities after a year and must be completely redone.

What is the best bottom paint for aluminum boats?

Some of the best bottom paints have little or no effect on aluminum. Some are OK with aluminum but stress other parts of the boat, such as the rubber seals. Epoxy can have a marked effect. That's why you need dedicated paint.

One of the other problems is that the new paints put on with roller, brush, and spraying equipment, can leave roller marks, brush marks, and spray texture. However, they can be sanded out without a major hassle.

In my tests, Aluma Hawk Jon Boat Green was the best choice.

Conclusion

Painting a bottom to a sailboat or any other kind of boat is an art that needs time and practice to master. If you love sailing, you need a new paint job every now and then. Some of the best paints you can use for your boat are the ones listed here, reviewed and tested to ease your search.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Rust-Oleum Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling PaintBest OverallRust-Oleum Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint
Aluma Hawk Jon Boat GreenBudget PickAluma Hawk Jon Boat Green
Interlux Micron Extra Antifouling PaintUpgrade PickInterlux Micron Extra Antifouling Paint