Antifouling paint is among the least monitored fundamental components to boating performance among boaters today. Many boat owners don’t like being the burden of having to annually paint the bottom of their boat. It requires dry-docking, a day’s work and the application of thick, messy paint. But the tradeoffs for dedicating a little time to anti-fouling paint application are plenty.
Crucial to keeping organisms such as barnacles and zebra mussels and organic growth from building on your hull, antifouling hull paint is the fundamental to performance. Because organic matter accruing on your hull will slow it down significantly, limiting your ability to cut through the water and control your vessel. And because hull growth makes your engine work harder to push your hull through the water, it is also detrimental to your gas mileage.
In the 16th century during the Age of Sail, shipworm and marine weeds were a persistent issue plaguing ship owners. Subsequently, structural and performance issues were a frequent point of contention. But in the 1750’s shipbuilders found copper was resistant to organic growth, or fouling. What’s more is it was also among the lightest metals being tested for sheathing at the time, as to not affect performance or speed.
Copper-based antifouling paint has replaced expensive copper sheathing to effectively dissipate toxic biocide. Consisting of up to 70% copper, applying antifouling hull paint is the most effective means for keeping boat hulls clean. And a clean hull is safe, fast and fuel efficient. There are plenty of different antifouling kinds and colors to help you customize your boat.
No one wants to scrape hull-damaging barnacles from under their boat on a regular basis. There are paints more susceptible to defending your hull in freshwater, saltwater, high-algae waters, high current waters and any other potential environmental factor. So picking the right antifouling paint based on the specific environment you dock your pleasure craft will make your craft more pleasurable to own.