How Often Should You Paint the Bottom of Your Boat?

Owners of luxury yachts, small sailing crafts and family fishing boats all have a common goal: to keep their vessels looking great and running at optimal performance. Regular maintenance and tune-ups are key components, but another important facet is bottom paint. Your boat’s bottom paint not only keeps it looking shiny and new, but it also helps prevent damage. This little-seen area under the water’s surface is subject to an onslaught of destructive microorganisms and flora. Bottom paint when applied correctly and in a timely manner serves as a barrier of protection for the hull. A protected hull can help prevent minor issues such as algae and barnacles as well as major issues like water intrusion. Knowing how often to paint the boat’s bottom is a major factor in keeping it in top shape.

Determining How Often to Bottom Paint

How often should you paint your boat’s bottom? The answer is not a hard, set rule. It depends on various factors including the type of boat, geographical location, what materials it is made of and how the boat is used and stored. If your boat is dry stored or trailered you most likely do not need bottom paint. For vessels that stay in the water, it is a necessity. Fouling occurs when barnacles, algae and other marine microorganisms accumulate on the hull.  A good anti-fouling paint will keep marine organisms from attaching and growing on the bottom of the boat. Depending on your vessel’s use and speed, some paint jobs may last 2 years, but annual paint jobs are more common, particularly in our local climate. Regular haul-outs and inspections will also help you determine when it is time to repaint.

Find a Workspace that Fits Your Vessel

Once you know when you should paint your boat’s bottom, you will then need a place to do it. This is not something to be done in your backyard. You will need a facility that can accommodate such an important project. Pensacola Shipyard is the perfect location to complete a variety of repairs and maintenance projects, including bottom painting. Our combination of ample workspace and unrivaled amenities make us the area’s leading shipyard. Bottom boat painting is no simple task and if it exceeds your comfort level, leave it to a professional. Pensacola Shipyard has on-site independent contractors who are experts in their field. Whether you just want a professional opinion to help you decide if the time has come to re-paint or if you are looking to have the work completed for you, our contractors are committed to the highest quality of work.

Choosing the Right Paint

Choosing the right paint is essential. Going to a reputable source such as West Marine to purchase paint is advisable. Using a quality product will help ensure maximum efficacy. If your hull is aluminum, pay special attention to the paint’s ingredients. Anti-fouling paint containing cuprous oxide will cause extensive damage, so be sure to look for aluminum safe options. If your vessel stays in the water, a durable paint that is abrasion resistant is best. A hard epoxy paint is a good option. If copper content is a concern, you could choose a compost copper technology option. A good anti-fouling paint job should easily provide one season’s worth of protection for your boat.

A boat is an investment that brings pleasure to its owners. Properly maintaining your boat will extend its longevity and your entertainment. Knowing when to paint your boat’s bottom will keep it looking and performing its best. Pensacola Shipyard offers clean, ample workspaces to paint your vessel, and our independent contractors can help guide you through the process or they can complete the job for you.

Contact Pensacola Shipyard today and let us help you with all your boating needs so you can spend less time working on your boat and more time enjoying it.