Does Our Boat Need Full Bottom Paint or Touch up?

boat prep bottom paint

With multi-season bottom paint you may not need to sand and paint your full boat’s bottom every year – here’s our plan for painting touch up [includes VIDEO]

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Every spring the anticipation of the boating season ahead also comes with a lot of prep to get your boat ready. Bottom painting, cleaning, waxing, putting up the canvas… there’s a lot of spring boat preparation to be done!

We keep our boat in the water year-round and have brackish water, so it’s important for our hull to have antifouling bottom paint. Bottom paint (aka antifouling paint) is an important coating for your boat’s hull to guard against weeds, barnacles, and other aquatic organisms from attaching themselves to the underwater portion of your boat’s hull. Without protection, your boat performance can suffer (or even be damaged).

The process of bottom painting can be messy and costly to do every year. It requires sanding down the boat’s bottom and repainting with new antifouling paint to continue protection. But luckily if you use multi-season paint you can get away with a touch up for a year or two.

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How Bottom Paint Works – Single vs Multi-Season

Bottom paint works by releasing a small amount of biocide over time that keeps any algae, plants or animals from adhering to the hull. But there are differences in how long the paint lasts with single-season or multi-season paints.

  • Multi-season ablative paints will still work if you pull a boat for winter storage and relaunch it next season
  • Single-season ablative paints need to be applied every year

While multi-season paint may be a bit more expensive, it can save you a lot of time repainting your boat’s bottom year after year.

Touch-up Bottom Painting

We use multi-season bottom paint and applied it to our full boat bottom a few seasons ago so we decided that this year we can get away with just a touch up.

We prepped the bottom by removing any barnacles and then painted areas where the paint was worn away (paying particular attention to the barnacle spots).

Captain Brian shows you his plan for touch up this year and explains his process in this video:

10 Steps We Do to Launch Our Boat

Watch our video on the 10 spring boat prep steps we do to get our Sea Ray 410 Sundancer ready to launch!

Looking for recommended painting, cleaning & safety products? Visit our Spring Prep Gear page!

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Diane Seltzer

View posts by Diane Seltzer
Diane is the founder of as well as the boating lifestyle site for kids Active in the boating industry, Diane has also led the marketing for multiple recreational boating businesses and startups.
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