Antifouling paint or bottom paint is a toxic paint applied to the bottom of a boat hull in order to slow the growth of organisms such as barnacles and mussels that attach to the bottom of the boat hull.
Anti-fouling bottom paint is manufactured to be extremely toxic to marine life, altering and/or killing tiny micro marine life organisms and eggs that like to attach to your boat bottom. There are many anti-fouling paint mfg companies trying to get on the “Go Green” band wagon, but don’t be fooled! (Unless you can safely paint your skin with their paint, it is toxic) The entire living marine environment stems from these tiny organisms and a large majority of these organisms stay sheltered inside inland waterways where they are protected from offshore predators until they mature (You started as a fragile micro organism as well). The problem is, this is also the area where boats that are coated with toxic bottom paint are docked! Another environmental set back is when these boats need to have their bottom cleaned while in the water. The scraping of the bottom growth also scrapes off bottom paint releasing even more toxins into the marine environment. In fact,anti-fouling bottom paintwas responsible for the collapse of the French shellfish fishery:
Bottom painting a new boat is quite a real project. It costs $1000’s and requires a lot of time! The boat needs to be brought to a professional boat yard facility where it is lifted in the air with davits or a boat lift, then cleaned, fully sanded from the waterline down, primed, and painted with toxic anti fouling paint that costs around $250.00 per gallon. If this whole procedure is not done correctly, the paint can de-laminate from the boat bottom once in the water and become a complete loss.
Once a new boat is bottom painted, the boat will never have that “new” boat look again. Expect a drop in re-sale value of sometimes upwards to 30%! Expect an immediate loss in top speed of around 10% and a gain in fuel consumption. After your boat has sat in the water for a month or two and the bottom has not been freshly scraped, your speed and fuel economy can reduce up to 50%! WOW! Now that’s crazy!
Next, you must hire a local boat bottom cleaning dive company to come out to your boats location on a monthly basis, jump in the water and aggressively scrape away bottom growth from your entire boat bottom. This costs around $40.00 – $125.00 per month, usually does damage to your boat over time and requires more time invested in up keep. Now you may think once you did all of the above, your problems are over. Well, you must repeat everything spoken about above every 1-2 years! Who in the right mind would ever think of getting into that vicious cycle when an incredibly easy to use/up keep, 100% environmentally safe, inexpensive, Barnacle Barrier™ system is available?
Unfortunately, if you spend weeks or more out on your boat, or your boat is very large, bottom paint is sometimes your only anti-fouling solution.