Boat paints or marine paints differ in types and qualities. The general knowledge is, the more you spend, the better the quality of the paint. Aside from the quality, boat paints have specific uses. There are paints for the topside and there are special paints for the bottoms of boats.
Topside paints refer to paints used for the part of the boat above the waterline. You should not use topside paints for the submerged part of the boat. Bottom or antifouling paints act as a pesticide to stop the growth of microorganisms on the bottom of the boat.
Topside paint is the paint you apply above the boat’s waterline. You apply the paint on the interiors, deck, and sides of the hull. Topside paints can either be one-part polyurethane, alkyd marine enamel, or two-part polyurethane. Another formulation is the two-part acrylic urethane.
The common features of topside paints include durability and resistance to abrasion and moisture. They also have enough flexibility to withstand the contraction and expansion of the boat’s hull. Topside paints resist exposure to direct and reflected UV light intensified by the water while retaining their color and finish.
Topside paints need a compatible primer, an undercoat that serves as the anchor for the top layer of paint. You can find a wide selection of marine coatings and paints online. If you are looking for good boat paint, check out Durabak for Boat Protection.
You can apply topside paints with a brush, roller, or sprayer. If you are not adept at painting your boat, it is more practical to employ the services of a professional boat painter. The painter has the experience, skills, and tools to perform the job expertly.
As mentioned, antifouling paints are for the bottoms of boats. Like the topside paints, antifouling paints have various types.
- Copolymer ablative paint. Paints that fall under this type discharge the biocide contents gradually as the paint wears away. This is an effective antifouling paint that does not lose its antifouling ability even after air exposure. Ablative paints contain less copper. Similar to this is the soft sloughing paint type.
- Hard modified epoxy paint. This type of paint prevents the growth of microorganisms by leaching its biocide when the boat comes in contact with water. However, the biocide decreases over time, forming a hard layer of antifouling paint, which you should replace at the end of a season. It adheres to various surfaces and different primers. Choose the paint with more copper if you plan to use the boat throughout the year.
- Aluminum-safe bottom paints. If your boat has an aluminum bottom, do not apply an antifouling agent with cuprous oxide. The ingredient will lead to aluminum corrosion that can ruin the boat’s bottom. For aluminum-bottomed boats, use a bottom paint with cuprous thiocyanate. You can also apply bottom paint that does not contain copper or find one that contains a microorganism-destroying substance that will not harm a metal-bottomed boat.
- Thin-film bottom paints. If you use your boat in fresh water, you may have issues with algae. This type of paint is effective in preventing algae-related issues. The paint has more biocides to keep the growth of microorganisms and algae at bay.
Look for an experienced boat painter who will select the exact type of topside and bottom paints to suit your type of boat.