Which Bottom Paint is Right for You?

By Don Casey

No single bottom paint is the best choice for everyone. The type of bottom paint you need depends on how fast your boat moves through the water, how smooth you want the bottom, how long the paint needs to last — year-round or just through the summer — and perhaps the type of paint already on the bottom. Also, paint formulations that are a good match for the fouling conditions in one body of water sometimes give disappointing results in another. The best way to pick a new bottom paint is to find other boaters in your area who use their boats similar to the way you use yours and ask what paint they like. If it works for them, it will work for you. Buy the paint you hear praised most often.

Don Casey has been one of the most consulted experts on boat care and upgrades for 30 years, and is one of the BoatUS Magazine's panel of experts. He and his wife cruise aboard their 30-footer part of the year in the eastern Caribbean. His books include Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual, and the recently updated This Old Boat, the bible for do-it-yourself boaters.


BoatUS Magazine promo