The Best Boat Bottom Paints for 2021

Nicholas Swartz
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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, 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 most important considerations to make when buying boat bottom paint.

NameCategoryProduct
Rust-Oleum Available 207012 Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling PaintBest OverallRust-Oleum Available 207012 Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint
Aluma Hawk Jon Boat GreenBudget PickAluma Hawk Jon Boat Green
Interlux Y5693/1 Micron Extra Antifouling PaintUpgrade PickInterlux Y5693/1 Micron Extra Antifouling Paint

1. Rust-Oleum Available 207012 Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint

Our rating: 9 / 10

Rust-Oleum Available 207012 Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint

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This Rust-Oleum Antifouling Boat Bottom Paint is for use on all types of boats. It is specifically formulated with polyurea technology for even resistance.

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.

The paint lasts for up to a year before you’ll have to re-apply another coat of paint. And the best part is that it’s easy to use.

2. Interlux YBB379/1 Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling Paint

Our rating: 8 / 10

Interlux YBB379/1 Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling Paint

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The Interlux YBB379/1 Bottomkote is listed as not only one of the best boat bottom paints, but also one of the best bottom paints for fiberglass. Sea Hawk Marine Coatings Black Premium Anti-Fouling Bottom Paint is up there in the same category.

Like all black bottom paints, this one is particularly great for open water. The natural black color won’t stand out to predators and will allow for greater stealth.

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 Y5693/1 Micron Extra Antifouling Paint

Our rating: 8 / 10

Interlux Y5693/1 Micron Extra Antifouling Paint

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Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Poorer performance on other surfaces such as wood, aluminum or steel
  • Chips when scratched

The Interlux Micron Extra Antifouling Paint is a 2-part paint that is to be used on the bottom of boats. Most boat owners favor it because it offers a 99% protection against marine growth.

This bottom paint can be used on fiberglass, wood, steel or aluminum. It comes in an efficient 128-oz container and has a creamy greyish black color. It has been proven to be more effective than most conventional antifouling paints, and it can be applied on your boat’s hull in half a day.

It’s also worth mentioning that none of the ingredients in this product are lead or zinc based, which is a positive thing.

4. Pettit Paint Vivid

Our rating: 8 / 10

Pettit Paint Vivid

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Pros:

  • Great coverage
  • Great price
  • Has a gloss finish
  • A great finish lasts for up to ten years
  • Gives a nice crisp feel
  • Comes in marine quality
  • Provides good UV protection
  • Fast drying and easy to apply
  • Works well on fibreglass and wood

Pettit Paint Vivid, White, Gallon – VY0000024 is an excellent product which is highly durable and offers powerful UV protection for all marine needs.

This product has quite a thick consistency and is best applied with a brush, roller or spray. When it comes to choosing a colour for your boat, you basically have two choices: white or blue. White is typically considered the standard colour for boats, but most people choose a custom colour these days. Blue is usually reserved for sport boats.

The good thing about a white boat is that it is so easy to keep clean and looks fantastic on the water. On the other hand, a lot of people don’t like the idea of their boat looking so boring. 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

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Pros:

  • Comes in a wide color range
  • Water-based paint
  • Protects against UV rays and corrosion

Cons:

  • Not very durable
  • Needs reapplication

The best solution for top notch protection, TotalBoat JD Select blend is our top pick. This water-based paint is guaranteed to seal, and last for up to six years with the right application. It resists chipping, flaking, and blistering. It keeps from the destructive effects of UV rays and resists corrosion. The tough acrylic formula stays flexible and can be cleaned easily with soap and water. You can apply this paint with a roller or brush without causing any damage to your boat. There are over twenty colors to choose from. The color fades for a more age appropriate look than most other paints.

6. Aluma Hawk Jon Boat Green

Our rating: 7 / 10

Aluma Hawk Jon Boat Green

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Pros:

  • Easy-to-apply primer and paint
  • Easy-to-apply 2-part epoxy
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Available in 12 colors
  • Covers rust and oxidation
  • Resists blistering; won’t chip or crack
  • No mixing required

Cons:

  • Germs stick to the paint
  • Paint can’t be shipped outside of the continental United States

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.

Not only does it cover it up, but Aluma Hawk Jon Boat Green, QT. also acts as a barrier between your boat and the elements which helps maintain its integrity.

It’s designed to protect against rust, oxidation, and blistering. Friction causes harsh metal to metal contact, which can cause paint to flake off or even start slippery.

7. Flexdel 10001 Aquagard Antifoulant Bottom Paint

Our rating: 7 / 10

Flexdel 10001 Aquagard Antifoulant Bottom Paint

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Pros:

  • Designed for use on boats
  • Protects wooden or fiberglass boats from water damage
  • Provides a smooth, glossy finish
  • Non-toxic and comes in an environmentally friendly package
  • Resists chipping and fading

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to apply
  • The black color will probably require a second coat
  • Stains easily

Boats are made of a lot of different materials, and to keep them looking and working their best, they need to be painted. There are many different types of paints to choose from, but paint that’s used for the hull of a boat is different from what is used elsewhere. While a smooth exterior is the ideal, you need to make sure the boat has a paint that can protect the material from moisture, and is easy to clean when needed.

When you’re painting the boat bottom, you will need to use an antifouling paint. This is painted underneath the waterline, so the area underneath the boat isn’t visible. This paint will keep the boat from sticking to the bottom, and reduce the amount of pests that attach themselves to the boat.

8. Pettit Paint Hydrocoat

Our rating: 6 / 10

Pettit Paint Hydrocoat

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Pros:

  • Ecologically safe
  • Non-hazardous
  • Recommended by the US Coast Guard

Cons:

  • Needs mixing
  • It’s thick and sticky

The Hydrocoat is a hazardous waste paint remover that breaks down hazardous waste, paint, and waxes. The Hydrocoat features a low odor and a high content of biodegradable cleaning detergents. It’s balanced for optimum performance.

The Hydrocoat is recommended by the US Coast Guard and is an environmentally friendly paint remover.

9. Interlux YBA406KIT/QT VC 17m Extra

Our rating: 5 / 10

Interlux YBA406KIT/QT VC 17m Extra

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Pros:

  • Transparent
  • Easy-to-use
  • Good brushability
  • Has excellent coverage
  • Can be applied to fiberglass, steel, aluminum, and wood
  • Makes the bottom of a boat very slippery

Cons:

  • Easily absorbs atmospheric moisture
  • Very volatile organic compound
  • Can be difficult to apply

Interlux makes a high-quality bottom paint called the YBA406KIT/QT VC 17m Extra with Biolux. It’s a two-part polyurethane marine bottom paint.

This bottom paint is intended for use in fresh and salt water. One of the best features of this paint is its low odor. This product includes UV inhibitors, easy brushability, and good durability.

It’s also quite easy to apply. You will be able to cover 25 square feet in one coat. 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. Not only did you drive that new or used craft home, but you also just threw your hard-earned cash into the water.

Even if you bought a used 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 a number of tools at your disposal to keep your boat looking as great as the day you drove it home.

Should I Bottom paint my boat?

Bottom painting (also known as antifouling) is one of those things that you donʼt really think about, yet you would surely notice if it wasnʼt there. That goes double for your boat.

Run your favorite search engine, or website for a boating magazine, and you will instantly be bombarded with ads from different boat manufactures, companies, and paint manufacturers.

Should you paint your boat?

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 donʼt get on it often, you may not want to bother.

The bottom line is that you should do whatever you think is best for you.

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 paints lose much of their protective qualities after a year and must be completely redone.

If you live in southern waters or in a lake, you might get two seasons out of your bottom paint. That is highly dependent on your boating habits. If you take several months off every summer and leave your boat in the water, it’s unlikely that the paint you used last year will last through another season.

In rare cases, you can get several years out of cold-molded paints. These are the paint systems that have the most durable of anti-fouling coatings. On average, most cold-molded paints can last up to three years.

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.

What happens is this: Aluminum reacts to oxygen in the water and sunlight to form aluminum oxide. This hardens and makes the surface rough, The rust eater solvent is not a paint, it is a solvent and it dissolves the wax on the old bottom paint. That is why you need to degrease or use a pre-treatment product before Rust Eater.

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, Dullcote (also spelled Dull Cote, Dull Coat, Dull-Coat) smoothed out scratches and was a good choice.

Conclusion

Painting a bottom to a sailboat or any other kind of boat is an art and it needs time and practice to master. If you love sailing then you need a new paint job every now and then. In fact some of the best paints you can use for your boat is the marine boat bottom paints available in the market.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Rust-Oleum Available 207012 Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling PaintBest OverallRust-Oleum Available 207012 Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint
Aluma Hawk Jon Boat GreenBudget PickAluma Hawk Jon Boat Green
Interlux Y5693/1 Micron Extra Antifouling PaintUpgrade PickInterlux Y5693/1 Micron Extra Antifouling Paint