Factors to make antifouling a must for your boat

Antifouling or painting the bottom of your boat is one of the work lists any time anyone buys a new boat. Antifouling paint is tough to apply, toxic, and expensive. Boat owners usually put off this task but should they?

  • Antifouling paint has to be applied when storing in water is the way to store your boat. The exposed hull of your boat can experience marine growth if unprotected by antifouling paint while staying in the water. Increased petrol consumption and slowing down of the boat’s speed are caused by marine growth.
  • Storing the boat in freshwater may be able to avoid antifouling but it’s smarter to apply antifouling.
  • Annual antifouling is needed for boats stored in saltwater to prevent the accumulation of oysters, slime, barnacles, large weeds, and algae.
  • A multi-season antifouling paint is a must for full-time boat cruising
  • Hard antifouling paint that can be burnished and buffed to a silky finish is needed for serious racer use.
  • Location plays an important role in the need for antifouling. For instance, multi-season polymer antifouling requirements are a must for boats in Australia that have no lay-up season and seldom out of the water. For places like Maine for example, a milder antifouling paint can be applied.

Kinds of antifouling

The market nowadays shows a confusing array of antifouling paints. Most of them are expensive while some reasonably priced. It can be a costly mistake to choose the wrong paint. The best way to avoid this is to know the different kinds of antifouling paints.

Hard antifouling paints

Hard paints do not slough off even when the protective biocides are leached off over time. Better sailing speed is provided by the tough protective barrier of hard paints. The paint’s capability of being sanded to a sleek finish makes it the popular choice for racers. The hard finish of the paint is because of its epoxy or Teflon base.

However, it has been seen that hard paints can still accumulate more buildup and slime. This means that a week’s slime buildup has to be removed to make the boat run efficiently. Hard growth, on the other hand, does not easily build up with hard paints.

Ablative antifouling paints

Ablative antifouling paints are the popular choice for cruisers. The softer paint that releases controlled antifouling components over time is its best feature. The water receives a lesser degree of toxins from the use of this antifouling paint. The protection provided to the hull of the boat does not hurt either. A boat that stays active on the water on different locations will find the paint effective against all kinds of marine growth.

However, a boat constantly exposed to air over time may seriously affect the effectiveness of the paint. Storing the boat out of the water can ruin the effectiveness of single-season ablative paints.

Dry sailing or a boat stored out of water for the season needs to use ablative antifouling paints with hybrid or co-polymer components. Opting for this type of ablative paint protects the boat while out of the water.

Paint charts provided by most antifouling companies serve as guidelines for boat owners. However, costly guesswork in the choice and application of the paint can be avoided.