To have maximum usage out of your boat, it's highly important to take proper preventive maintenance on the bottom. Nowadays, the only appropriate bottom paint for boats is an all-purpose solution to make sure that the bottom of your vessel is completely safe and free from corrosion. Due to its presence of various anti-crust properties, it also acts as a shield of corrosion against metals. But what does it really do? How can this help you?
There are three properties found in typical bottom paints; they are the following: Acetone, Acetyle, and Acrylic. Combined together, these give you the ability to resist grease buildup as well as rust accumulation. However, there are times when only one of these properties comes into play. And in those circumstances, you are left with two options; buy a separate piece of equipment to apply your own bottom paint or use an ablative cleaner.
An ablative cleaner is a chemical that is used to remove organic contaminants and hasten the process of drying the bottom paint. It is used for both new and old boats. These chemicals work by either destroying organisms present on the surface of the boat's bottom, or by slowing down the rate of bacterial growth and the reproduction of organisms present on the bottom.
One very significant property of the chemical is its ability to speed up the chemical reaction that takes place between the organic contaminants and the rubber and epoxy coatings. This allows for a faster drying time after painting. However, some types of paints are not able to undergo the complete conversion during the curing process because of certain physical factors. There are types of paints that have a shorter drying time because they are mixed with additives that help speed up the chemical reaction. The fastest drying time for these types of paints are typically found in interludes where the speed of chemical reaction is most critical.
A chemically prepared bottom paint also has the added benefit of being non-toxic. Some types of paints can contain small amounts of toxic chemicals. These chemicals have the potential to irritate the eyes and skin of humans and animals exposed to them. These chemicals are also suspected of causing headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and other reactions that can be potentially hazardous while on board a boat. In contrast, a properly prepared bottom paint is designed to provide minimal irritation to the environment and promote healthy, pain-free skin and lips.
Many types of paints contain ingredients that make it easier for them to stick to the boats' surfaces. Some paints bond better to metal surfaces, and others are more resistant to mildew and corrosion. Saltwater and fresh water marinas and saltwater treatment plants discourage the use of paints that contain chloride or zinc because these types of additives can encourage the growth of marine algae and rust. However, some of the least toxic paints on the market contain boron, which are well tolerated in fresh water and work fine in saltwater, too.
The chemicals in paint have been linked to the development of certain types of cancer, but there is not enough evidence to link the chemicals to specific cancers or diseases at this time. Most of the chemicals found in paints are considered "arsenic" because they react with air or water to form dangerous gases, such as methyl esters and ethylene glycol. While the risk of developing cancer from exposure to these gases is not likely, having these chemicals on your bottom will probably increase your risk of getting cancer from breathing in their fumes. Fresh water treatment centers commonly treat boaters with biocides because they are an effective way to kill marine algae growth.
While it may be best to avoid painting your bottom with copper, biocides, and other corrosive substances, if you must use one, do so sparingly and always follow the manufacturer's instructions. Many states have regulations against the use of copper in recreational boats and it is strictly prohibited to use copper in gas fuel tanks. If you must add any type of corrosive paint to your boat's bottom, do so after removing all non-boat accessories, such as furniture, deck pillows, tents, or other fixtures. Do not use any type of anti-foaming paint on your bottom before or during the removal of any accessory.