Bottom paint

by Bruce Carlson
(Saint Michaels Md.)

I am maintaining Pete Culler "good Little Skiff" built in 2005 and have a question regarding bottom paint.

For years I was under the impression that bottom paint should be applied as close to launch date as possible.

Now I am hearing that with the new bottom paint available you can apply bottompaint at any time.

Please share your avvice and opinions.

Bruce Carlson


Comments for Bottom paint

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Drying Times
by: Mike

Hi Bruce,

Yea, I can remember being advised to antifoul as soon before launching as possible.

But that was back in the days when there was little concern with health and safety or the environment.

I can’t remember what the actual reasoning was, it was just a given.

I suspect it may have been something to do with the binder, the paint rather than the antifungal ingredients.

The binder had to be porous when the boat is in the water to allow nasty stuff to leach out.

But if the binder is allowed to dry hard in the air it would no longer be porous.

These days there are various types of bottom paint using a number of binding types and while generally it isn’t necessary to get it into the water as soon as possible, you should check the instructions on the tin.

For example, West Marine’s ‘BottomShield’ recommends a maximum of 60 days before relaunch.

It is also worth checking the manufacturer’s recommendation, for the drying time and for the recommended number of coats, drying time between coats can vary from ten minutes to overnight.

I would imagine that your "good Little Skiff" is likely to spend more time on her trailer than in the water, in which case a ‘Copolymer’ might be a good choice, they have minimum overcoating times, and no maximum out-of-water time.

On the other hand, if she is on her trailer most of the time and used in relatively colder, northern waters, is antifouling necessary?


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