The Best Boat Paints for 2021

Nicholas Swartz
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Why should you be concerned about boat paints?

While it’s true that boat paints are not as important as, say, sturdy boat building or good quality spare parts, it still is worth your while to take it into account.

Sure, maintenance work, you will be able to prolong the life of your boat. Conversely, if for some reason, you decide to sell your boat down the road, it is likely you will get a better price if it is in good condition. The buyer might even get you some extra dollars for that. You can actually maximize your boat’s value by spending a few bucks on the paint job alone.

So, why should you read this article? Do you want to know more about the importance of boat paints in the grand scheme of things? Are you looking for a second opinion regarding particular brands, and wondering whether they’re effective? Are you interested in the history of boat paints and what makes them different from what they used to be? Whatever the case, just know that the procedure will be simplified with this article.

NameCategoryProduct
Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside PaintBest OverallRust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint
Duralux M720-4 Marine PaintBudget PickDuralux M720-4 Marine Paint
Interlux YBB379/1 Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling PaintUpgrade PickInterlux YBB379/1 Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling Paint

1. Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint

Our rating: 9 / 10

Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint

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Pros:

  • Great strength
  • Strong flexibility
  • Water and mold-resistant
  • Contains UV inhibitors
  • Paint is easy to clean
  • Paint does not shrink
  • Has a gloss finish
  • Good coverage
  • Good for painting wood and metal
  • Great for mild steel (where the temperature is below 40C)

We love this product because it can be used on different surfaces, be it wood or metal. It is not great for use on fiberglass and its not UV resistant. Other than that, it’s a fantastic product that can be purchased in different colors.

Price: Low

2. TotalBoat Wet Edge Marine Topside Paint

Our rating: 9 / 10

TotalBoat Wet Edge Marine Topside Paint

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Pros:

  • Can be used on all surfaces of you boat
  • Excellent rust prevention
  • Dries quickly
  • Easy to apply

What type of paint should you use on your boat? What colors should you choose? Which will protect your boat best? You may not be able to find all the answers to these questions by searching the internet. The best bet is to find a specialized site for boat information. That way, you will be able to see different kinds of boats, along with the paints that are being used on them.

The Totalboat website offers lots of information about colors and paints. A lot of pictures on the site are accompanied by a brief description. You will see many different shades for any type of boat. If you are thinking about painting your own boat, then you will be happy to know that the TotalBoat website also offers the best paints for your project. This particular white paint is meant for fiberglass, wood, or metal. What is really nice about this paint is that it will last longer than a regular paint job. In addition, it also has an excellent rust prevention feature.

3. Interlux YBB379/1 Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling Paint

Our rating: 9 / 10

Interlux YBB379/1 Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling Paint

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Pros:

  • Tough, flexible, 100% solvent free, 100% car spill repellent, fungicide and biocide inhibited
  • It uses superior quality polyacrylamide to lock in the paint and provide a super-hard dense coating
  • Includes NT technology to provide long-lasting performance
  • Designed to provide outstanding durability and a high gloss surface
  • Innovative formula prevents blistering, blistering and excessive cracking, rusting, and scaling
  • Durable and easy to apply

Cons:

  • Splatters during application
  • Expensive

Bottomkote is a tough and flexible, 100% solids, 100% car spill repellent, fungicide and biocide inhibited fiberglass yacht bottom paint. It provides outstanding durability and gloss characteristics while featuring NT Advanced Technology and water based chemistry to provide long lasting performance.

Bottomkote NT provides outstanding hull and antifouling protection through a tough and flexible paint film. The proprietary NT Technology modified polyacrylamide (PAM) forms a bond between the paint and the boat.

Bottomkote NT features a convenient, low VOC water based technology, that provides superior durability and gloss characteristics.

4. Interlux Y4359/QT Brightside Polyurethane Paint

Our rating: 8 / 10

Interlux Y4359/QT Brightside Polyurethane Paint

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Interlux Brightside is a great paint that’s environmentally friendly. The paint is easy to apply and easy to clean. It’s also inexpensive and a good value for your money.

It’s also available in a gloss version and in a variety of colors.

If your boat has a small number of scratches, Brightside might not be a good match for you. It’s also not a primer-only paint, so you’ll need to use a primer first before applying it.

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

Our rating: 8 / 10

Rust-Oleum Available 207012 Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint

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Pros:

  • Cures fast
  • No need for sanding or scraping
  • Paint comes ready to use
  • Attractive black finish
  • Doesn’t fade or discolor
  • Easy to apply
  • Lasts a long time
  • Easy to touch up
  • Rust-Oleum Marine bottom paint is highly resistant to abrasion caused by rocks, boat docks, and other boat bottom structures

Cons:

  • Prone to water spots
  • Dilution ratio needs to be followed exactly
  • It’s quite costly

The recommended surface temperature when using this product is 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because the paint is hydrophilic and water will help the paint to cure faster.

The recommended application process is the standard dipping or spraying.

This paint will work on aluminum, fiberglass, steel, and wood.

6. Pettit Paint EZ-Poxy

Our rating: 8 / 10

Pettit Paint EZ-Poxy

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Pros:

  • Mixed ratio of resin, catalyst, hardener and filler
  • Easy to apply

Cons:

  • Needs to be applied by two individuals
  • Needs to be sanded and re-applied

CANS (Marine/RV/Boat).

The Pettit Paint EZ-Poxy is the first-ever low-VOC formula that achieves class V FAA certification as a marine coating. It uses little to no VOCs to perform. Pettit Paint is known for their high-quality paints for cars and boats that are both durable and low-odor.

This time Pettit Paint has been able to accomplish the same strength in a water-base formula. The EZ-Poxy is resistant to most solvents and paint strippers. Pettit Paint Electric Blue Sapphire comes in quart cans and is available in 15 colors.

7. TotalBoat 511784 Aluminum Boat Paint

Our rating: 8 / 10

TotalBoat 511784 Aluminum Boat Paint

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable and strong handle
  • Smooth and simple to clean
  • The wide mouth makes it easy to fill and clean

Cons:

  • Takes a long time to dry
  • The finish must be sanded before painting

The TotalBoat aluminum boat paint is specially made for planes and boats. The paint is great for areas that are used for water sports, kayaks, rafts, canoes, and other water-based products.

This aluminum boat paint is formulated with special chemicals so that they will last for a longer period of time. We also want to mention that this paint is UV protected, so it will not fade easily.

The paint is a bright army green in color. We should mention that this will be a spray on paint, so you’ll need to apply it with a paint gun. When you spray the paint onto the boat or plane, the surface should be clean of dirt and debris.

8. Aluma Hawk Jon Boat Green

Our rating: 8 / 10

Aluma Hawk Jon Boat Green

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9. Duralux M720-4 Marine Paint

Our rating: 7 / 10

Duralux M720-4 Marine Paint

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Pros:

  • Environmentally safe
  • Super chemical-resistant
  • Lighweight (one gallon weighs 10lbs)
  • Maximum gloss
  • Adds UV protection
  • Comes with a warranty

4 Pack.

The Duralux M720-4 marine paint is great for power-boating and sailing small craft. It is specifically designed to withstand marring, chipping, peeling and scuffing better than any other.

Made for bringing equipment and components to a higher level, this is the best marine paint you can get.

10. Flexdel 10101 Aquagard Antifoulant Bottom Paint

Our rating: 6 / 10

Flexdel 10101 Aquagard Antifoulant Bottom Paint

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Pros:

  • Can be applied to all types of the exterior surfaces of your boat
  • Great to use on outside of the fiberglass and steel hulls
  • Five coats coverage
  • It’s EPA Approved and Coast Guard Accepted
  • Water based and VOC compliant
  • Environmentally safe to use

Aquagard is an anti-fouling paint that’s water-based and VOC compliant. This means that— in addition to cleaning the ocean— it’s also environment friendly.

Flexdel is a brand that first got its start in Australia. Throughout the years, the company invested a lot in new technology and research. Now, aerogard is one of the world’s best performing decking coatings. It’s great to use on those hot summer days. You run a lesser risk of getting burned, and it’s impervious to abrasion.

Every Flexdel product is formulated to provide a unique balance of performance and protection. It lasts for a long time without chipping, peeling and cracking. It simply goes on smooth with a brush or roller.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best topside boat paint?

Not all boat paints are created equal, but we would have to say that Pettit's Blue Haze and Pettit's Vivid and International's Interlux Micron Extra are the best paints for topsides.

The biggest decision is whether you want a one-step or two-step paint that goes on nice and easy but needs at least one light coat of paint to cover or a two-step that allows you to apply thicker coats for greater protection. The final choice will come down to your budget and how much work you want to put in. If you're looking for a less expensive but just as good paint, another choice is Awlgrip. Awlgrip paints are often a good choice for those who are doing a lot of the work themselves as well.

What is the best paint for fiberglass boats?

Unless you have specific requirements for your fiberglass boat and/or your budget is extremely limited, I recommend using Interlux products. Interlux is the best in the industry. They produce high-quality products and they stand by their products.

Interlux specifically caters to small non-profit groups as well as families who are building their first boat, so you know they can help you get through the building process, too. If you’re looking for your first boat, I highly recommend using Interlux if possible.

Interlux also has a comprehensive website that explains the proper application of all of their products. You can also view their catalog online.

If they don’t have a product that you’re looking for, they can probably give you alternatives that will suit your needs better.

What is the best bottom paint for aluminum boats?

If you are lucky enough to have a nice, shiny aluminum boat that requires a new coat of paint, I have good news for you: the best paint for aluminum boats is no longer ablative.

Ablative Bottom paint has long been the preferred choice for aluminum boats because it fades and wears off rather than building up on the surface. As long as the boat is not left on the water, it will be fine.

The challenge for most people has been this: ablative paints are difficult to apply and often not well worth the high cost. If you have a couple of aluminum boats, or even just one or two kayaks, campers, or other toys, it isn’t worth getting the more expensive ablative paint (which is actually a good thing if you have kids!).

Conclusion

Boat paint for 2021 will be more advanced than ever. Not only will it be better at protecting the hulls of vessels from the elements, it will also provide bigger, more vibrant colors than the paints of the 20th century.

Luckily for boaters, boat paints in 2021 will become more durable, meaning any paint job you get will last longer.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside PaintBest OverallRust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint
Duralux M720-4 Marine PaintBudget PickDuralux M720-4 Marine Paint
Interlux YBB379/1 Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling PaintUpgrade PickInterlux YBB379/1 Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling Paint