5 Best Boat Bottom Paints (To Keep Your Boat Protected From Nature)

Boat bottom paint allows your boat to have the protection it needs before taking it out on the water.

It can be time consuming to paint it yourself, however, painting your boat allows you to customize it however you wish as well as ensuring that the maintenance is up to scratch.

Whether you’re giving your current boat a do over or have recently purchased a boat that needs some maintenance, boat bottom paint is always a necessity to have.

We’ve gathered the best boat bottom paints (also see the best paint for aluminum boats) on the market so you don’t have to.

Regardless of whether you are working on a commercial boat or a leisure boat, these paints will get the job done providing a finish that is sleek and professional looking.

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OUR TOP PICK

Duralux M722-1 Marine Paint, Gloss Black Boat Paint, 1 Gallon

Our top recommendation is the Duralux M722-1 Marine Paint and this is particularly ideal for those who are looking for paint for a professional or commercial boat.

With a variety of colors available, this paint has been developed for both commercial and leisure boats meaning that any boat owner can benefit from its features.

Duralux is one of the leading brands and their carefully engineered coating includes the most onshore and offshore application.

Meaning that it covers a lot of area nicely and evenly as well as boating marine grade protection from harsh exposures so you don’t have to reapply every so often. 

With the option to purchase the accompanying Duralux Sub-Trop Red Primer Paint, this vinyl type coating is ideal for aluminum and galvanized surfaces.

With adhesion qualities that eliminate priming, the amount of work it takes to paint the boat bottom is halved.

It also washes easily and can resist oil, gasoline and discoloration from harbor gases meaning that you are not having to worry about reapplying the paint as often as other branded paints. 

Pros

  • Good Coverage: Duralux is one of the leading brands and their carefully engineered coating includes the most onshore and offshore application meaning that it covers a lot of area nicely and evenly

  • No Need To Reapply Often: Boating marine grade protection from harsh exposures so you don’t have to reapply every so often

  • Saves Time: With adhesion qualities that eliminate priming, the amount of work it takes to paint the boat bottom is halved

Cons

  • Not anti-fouling: Which means it's not designed to slow the marine growth on the area underwater.

  • May effect performance or lifespan: Because of not being anti-fouling paint it may slow down the performance of the boat or cause it to wear faster. 

EDITORS CHOICE

Rust-Oleum 207013 Marine Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint, Blue

Our second selection is the Rust-Oleum 207013 Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint which is ideal for use on fiberglass, wood or steel surfaces to prevent any fouling below the waterline.

This paint has been carefully formulated to slowly release copper to prevent any fouling and it is incredibly easy to apply.

Able to recoat in 4 hours, this paint will have your boat ready to enter the water within 16 hours and each quart can cover up to 110 sq ft.

The protective coating resists any buildup of barnacles, algae and other marine growth and the hard, smooth finish provides a flat sheen over most aged antifouling coatings. 

This paint works best for boats that will be used in mild to moderate fouling conditions and is suitable to withstand both fresh and saltwater.

Ideal for leisure boats, this paint is ideal for boats that are regularly hauled and cleaned so you won’t have to worry about reapplying every so often thanks to the strength of the formula.

It can be used on fiberglass boats as well as all non aluminum trailer boats making it one of the most versatile boat bottom paints on the market. 

Pros

  • Good anti-fouling formulation: This paint has been carefully formulated to slowly release copper to prevent any fouling and it is incredibly easy to apply

  • Resists buildup: The protective coating resists any buildup of barnacles, algae and other marine growth and the hard, smooth finish provides a flat sheen over most aged antifouling coatings

  • Ideal for leisure boats: this paint is ideal for boats that are regularly hauled and cleaned so you won’t have to worry about reapplying every so often thanks to the strength of the formula

Cons

  • High price point: This is not a low priced paint so if your budget is tight then it may not be suitable. 

BEST VALUE

TotalBoat-511784 Aluminum Boat Paint for Canoes, Bass Boats, Dinghies, Duck Boats, Jon Boats and Pontoons (Army Green, Quart)

Our final choice is the TotalBoat-511784 Aluminum Boat Paint which has a durable, on part polyurethane formula which adheres directly to aluminum and galvanized metals.

With no need to etch or prime first, this paint prevents corrosion and also resists UV damage, chemicals and abrasion.

The attractive low sheen finish makes this paint ideal for leisure boats such as aluminum canoes, dinghies and fishing boats.

With an array of neutral and camouflage colors available, you can easily paint your hunting boat in the perfect color.

With only 2 or 3 coats of paint required, this paint only takes an hour to dry in between coats and provides superior adhesion without priming. 

This paint is made from an environmentally friendly formula that is chromate free, has low VOCs, low odor and is easy to clean with soap and water.

It can be thinned up by 20% with water and the finish will not peel, chip or fade.

With a variety of greens, browns, black, white and grays available, this paint is available in two different sizes so you can get the correct amount of paint for the job.

With a wide coverage area, this paint provides a lot for your money. 

Pros

  • Durable: Has a durable, on part polyurethane formula which adheres directly to aluminum and galvanized metals

  • Low Sheen: The attractive low sheen finish makes this paint ideal for leisure boats such as aluminum canoes, dinghies and fishing boats

  • Environmentally Friendly: This paint is made from an environmentally friendly formula that is chromate free, has low VOCs, low odor and is easy to clean with soap and water

Cons

  • Not thick enough: The paint is quite thin so it requires multiple coatings

Best Boat Bottom Paint Buying Guide

When researching which boat bottom paint is the right one for you, it’s important to make sure you are considering various factors before you make that final decision.

This will save you any further money spending and effort repainting.

Always think about the color you want, how much paint you need, how often the boat will be on the water and your budget.

Once you’ve given this serious thought, you’ll be in a position where you can confidently make a decision that you’re comfortable with.

Color of the paint

The first thing to think about is the color of the paint. If you’re choosing a paint for a professional or commercial boat then you’ll probably need a more neutral or camouflage color to reflect that whereas you can have any color if the boat is purely for leisure.

The color is an important choice as you want to make sure that it suits the purpose of the boat perfectly. 

How much paint you need

Next, think about how much paint you need as most brands can provide different size tubs.

The bigger the boat, the more paint you need so it is always wise to have someone inspect the boat and give you an estimate on how much paint you need before you purchase any. 

How often your boat will be on the water

This may seem unimportant but this is probably the most important point on this list.

The longer your boat is on the water, the more damage the bottom of the boat is exposed to and this can wear away the paint meaning that it will need to be replenished a couple of times a year. 

Budget

Lastly, always think about your budget.

Reputable brands tend to charge more for their paints but this is because they are mixed with a primer coat saving you money in the long run. 

It’s important to balance out the previous points before coming up with your budget.

Best Boat Bottom Paint - FAQ's

Is bottom paint bad for a boat?

Bottom paint can slow your boat down but there is a lot of debate surrounding the issue.

The paint may not be as effective if your hull already has a slick paint job (see how to keep your hull clean and protect the environment here). 

However, if you are adding coats of bottom paint every year and not using the boat as much then the layers will build up and slow the boat down. 

How long can a boat stay in the water without bottom paint?

Boats should not be kept in the water without bottom paint for more than 2 or 3 days.

This is because the bottom of the boat will not have the protection that the paint provides and can even cause irreparable damage to the boat which will cost a lot of money and time to fix. 

Last update on 2021-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API