Sailboat Bottom Paint: 10 Best Paints

Sailboat Bottom Paint - Best Paints | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

June 15, 2022

If you leave your boat without protection, it's beyond question that it will start attracting several marine organisms such as slime, algae, mussels, barnacle, and seaweed. This will cover the bottom of your sailboat and may negatively affect your boat's speed and fuel efficiency.

This is exactly why you need to apply the best sailboat bottom paint on your boat.

The freedom that sailing and being off land gives you are immense and almost unmatched.

But do you know that having multiple organisms such as algae, slime, barnacle, seaweed, and mussels grow on your boat can throw everything out on the wind and leave you with a very unreliable boat?

These pesky hangers will put a huge dent in your boat's speed, its movement, fuel efficiency, and overall aesthetic.

That's why you need the best sailboat bottom paint to greatly minimize any damage that might be caused to your boat's hull by marine biological growth.

Also known as antifouling paint, bottom paint is essentially a paint or coating that's specifically designed with elements that prevent various marine organisms such as algae, seaweed, barnacles, slime, and mussels from attaching themselves to your boat's hull or any other part of the boat that's below the waterline.

One of the most important elements of bottom paint is the inclusion of a biocide and copper is the most common. This may, however, depend on the type of boat that you have, how, and where you always use it.

But because there's an ocean of bottom paints out there on the market, choosing the best sailboat bottom paint can be an overwhelming task for most of us.

Fortunately, you can always count on us to make it a lot easier for you. We've gone through many bottom paints and we do not doubt that we've selected the most effective, reliable, and best sailboat bottom paint.

Our unbiased selections will not only match your needs and budget but will be available in a variety of colors to complement and augment your boat's visual appeal.


Table of contents

What to Consider when Purchasing Sailboat Bottom Paint

If you're on the market for the best sailboat bottom paint, it's crucial to go for top quality; something that will offer efficiency, top speed, and excellent performance for your sailboat. With that in mind, here are a few things to consider before spending your hard-earned money on bottom paint.

Your Sailing Location

Where are you planning to sail? Is it on a freshwater body or in a saltwater location? This is essential in helping you determine whether to go for a bottom paint that's meant for saltwater, freshwater, or both. It's generally recommended that you go for a bottom paint that will serve you perfectly well in both freshwater and saltwater. This gives you the versatility of sailing anywhere without worrying about marine organisms damaging your boat's hull.

Launch Time and Recoat Time

It's important to keep in mind that bottom paint products have specific launch time limits. The idea here is to ensure that you launch it within the required timeframe and ensure that recoating is done as required. You should, therefore, choose a bottom paint that offers a lengthy launch and recoat time while offering durable protection for your vessel is the right thing to do.

Type of Boat

You should determine whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, or aluminum and go for bottom paint that's suitable for that particular surface. Many bottom paints work perfectly with fiberglass but some work great with aluminum or wooden surfaces.

The Fouling Condition

Having a deeper idea of the type of fouling that you might deal with can be crucial when buying the right bottom paint for you. Whether you're dealing with slime, algae, mussel, or any other type of marine organism, knowing the type of fouling you're dealing with will make it a lot easier to pick the best sailboat bottom paint for your vessel.

Best Sailboat Bottom Paint

Rust-Oleum Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint

As one of the most respected brand names in the bottom paint industry, Rust-Oleum is known for producing some of the best sailboat bottom paint and the Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint is one of them. This bottom pain is designed to be suitable for various conditions (both freshwater and saltwater) and is designed with moderate copper that works great if you are environment-conscious.

This bottom paint does an excellent job of offering a protective coating to ensure that your boat is free of all sorts of unwanted marine organisms. You'll love this paint because it is thick and spreads so easily and will not be a problem even if you're a beginner. This bottom paint offers top-notch antifouling properties and is very easy to apply as long as you use a soft brush and mix it carefully. This is a great bottom paint choice that will offer a sleek multi-season finish and ensure that your boat's hull is always awesome and in great condition.


  • Easy and simple to apply
  • Great for both freshwater and saltwater
  • Offers gentle fouling conditions
  • Excellent in antifouling
  • Offer a sleek and awesome finish


  • Quite expensive
  • Has a very strong smell that can cause headache

Interlux Fiberglass Bottomkote Antifouling Paint

This is another great brand that is considered as one of the best bottom paint in the sailing world. Even though it's a bit pricey, it offers great features that will ensure that your boat remains in tip-top shape. It is an excellent option if you're looking for a sailboat bottom paint that brings to the fore a unique dual resin approach.

This is a very reliable bottom paint that will not only prevent your boat's hull from the effect of marine organisms but also prevent premature deterioration. It offers an awesome polishing action and is perfecting if you want to discard unnecessary paint buildup. This bottom paint is also very economical and a small quantity will cover a considerable surface area of your boat's bottom.

This is, without a doubt, a superb buy in terms of its practicality and economical nature. It is excellently formulated to prevent marine organisms from damaging your boat and also to ensure that premature wear and tear doesn't exist in your vocabulary.


  • It's formulated with a unique dual resin approach to prevent premature wear and tear
  • It prevents early decline
  • It prevents unnecessary paint buildup
  • Great for ensuring that your boat is fuel effective
  • Great for all conditions (both freshwater and saltwater)


  • It's expensive
  • The quantity and size can be misleading

TotalBoat JD Select Bottom Paint

As one of the few bottom paints that's formulated with low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), this bottom paint is one of the most cost-effective on this list. With one gallon, you can easily cover about 400 square feet and the application is a breeze since it's even much easier to clean up.

When you purchase this bottom paint, the package will come complete with a pair of latex gloves, a wooden stir stick, an abrasive pad, a metal tray kit, a paint suit, a roller, a painter's tape, and many more. The inclusion of all these accessories makes it a quite cost-effective purchase.

Again, this is one of the most durable bottom paints. Apply it on your boat's hull and you're guaranteed that it will offer excellent protection for the next 18 months. On the downside, this paint is too thick and you'll have to buy an excellent thinner for it to work perfectly.

Nonetheless, this is an ablative bottom paint that is easy to apply and does an excellent job of protecting your boat's bottom for close to two years.


  • Perfect for all conditions
  • Easy to apply and clean up
  • Can improve your boat's speed and fuel efficiency
  • Comes with all accessories required for the paint job
  • It's one of the best water-based bottom paint products in the industry
  • It contains low VOC


  • You'll need a top-quality thinner for it to work perfectly

Aquaguard Water-based Antifouling Bottom Paint

An excellent choice for both wooden and fiberglass boats, this is the most perfect bottom point for saltwater conditions. This is a water-based bottom paint that's very easy to apply and clean up (using soap and water) and is formulated with an ablative action that makes it superb for preventing any marine organism that may negatively affect your boat.

This is a bottom paint that is EPA-approved and surpasses the set VOC standards. It has an extended shelf life and offers durable protection for your sailboat. It doesn't contain toxic fumes and is great even for novices. Its drying time is also excellent, so you won't wait for far too long to get your boat out there on the water.


  • Excellent for saltwater conditions
  • Application and cleaning is very easy
  • It's approved by the US EPA
  • You don't have to use a primer


  • The color selection is limited
  • A bit pricey

Pettit Hydrocoat

This is another water-based bottom paint that offers outstanding ablative properties that will protect your boat from marine organisms throughout the seasons. It offers good value for money and is easy to apply and clean up with just water and soap.

We're talking about a bottom paint product that will protect your boat's hull for months on end. You also do not need a full tank of the paint to complete the job. With just a single gallon, you can be sure to complete an area as big as 430 square feet.

This is also one of the few bottom paints that can perfectly prevent your boat from damage when being trailered, launched, or beached. More importantly, it's not irritating to the nose and eyes because it has low VOC.


  • It will dry in 3 hours
  • It's easy to apply and clean up
  • It offers multi-season protection
  • It's not irritating to the eyes and nose
  • It's quite economical


  • May not be the best in antifouling
  • You have to apply at least two coats

SEA HAWK PAINTS Aluminum Boat Paint

One of the best aluminum boat paints in the market, this bottom paint is formulated to offer quick-dry corrosion-blocking, high-solid features. This bottom paint is specifically manufactured to be used in aluminum boats and doesn't require the addition of any primer.

While it doesn't have an antifouling feature, it stands out and can be used both below and above the waterline as it is risk-free and free or chromate. It is also formulated to offer a unique dual resin approach and can be used both as paint and a primer at the same time.

This is a great paint for both freshwater and saltwater conditions and can be applied as a primer or topcoat on a fiberglass boat. This is an excellent sailboat boat bottom paint that's worth every coin as it is practical, versatile, and can combat both rusting and lifting.


  • The application and cleanup process is easy
  • Great for both freshwater and saltwater conditions
  • It doesn't require a primer
  • Can be used as primer or topcoat in fiberglass boats
  • Can prevent rusting and lifting
  • It has quick-dry and anti-corrosion features


  • Can produce deadly fumes

TotalBoat Spartan Boat Bottom Paint

If you've been looking for a practical, reliable, and cost-effecting bottom paint that will offer durable performance and protection, the Spartan Boat Bottom Paint. Perfect for both freshwater and saltwater, it can be perfect for protecting your boat and ensuring that it is fuel-efficient and reliable.

This bottom paint is formulated with advanced copolymer ablative to ensure that it doesn't deteriorate instantly. This is a very dependable bottom paint that will serve you perfectly throughout the year and will ensure that your boat easily defies fouling while reducing unnecessary buildup and sanding on your boat.

This is a very adaptable bottom paint that not only offers great value for money but is very easy to apply. More importantly, it is very durable and will protect your vessel for at least 12 months on any type of water.


  • Great for all types of water
  • It offers a very durable protection
  • Available in a wide variety of color selection
  • Offer a visually appealing abrasion-proof finish


  • The included accessories aren't up to the right quality

To this end, we must put a lot of emphasis on the importance of having the right bottom paint for your boat. In addition to being an antifouling agent, bottom paint will significantly increase the fuel efficiency of your boat and ensure that it performs optimally at all times. Of course, you do not want to diminish your sailing escapades or have your nice and beautiful vessel damaged by marine organisms just because you didn't apply the right sailboat bottom paint. If you're unsure how to proceed, here's how to paint a sailboat.

Sailboat Bottom Paint: 10 Best Paints
Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade

I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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