Let Us Do the Dirty Work For You

Let's face it: bottom-painting isn't fun — even for pros with all the right equipment. With two fully equipped facilities, we do the dirty work for you, offering professional quality work on boats ranging from small skiffs to more than 50 feet long, including hard-to-paint pontoons.

Why Bottom Paint?

As a general rule, if you leave your boat in the water for more than about two weeks at a time, it needs bottom paint. That's not just to prevent marine growth below the waterline, but also to protect the hull from osmotic blistering (water being absorbed slowly into the gelcoat).

Antifouling bottom paint repels marine growth but does not seal out water. Instead, a so-called "barrier coat" — usually two or more coats of epoxy paint — beneath the antifouling layer basically "waterproofs" the hull bottom, sealing out water.

Types of Paint

The most common bottom paint type is ablative, which gradually sloughs off while your boat is moving, exposing fresh paint loaded with antifouling agent. The added bonus is that when it's time for a new coat, there's less of the old coat left to deal with. The primary drawback is that it loses effectiveness if you don't use your boat often to "wash away" the surface layers.

Several other paint types — so-called "hard paints," hard ablative paints, and vinyl paints — offer various advantages and disadvantages. We'd be happy to discuss the options with you.

When to Paint

Typically, boat bottoms should be repainted once a year. If last year's paint is in good shape, that involves removing any growth, sanding with 80-grit, washing, and painting. If the last coat of paint is peeling or flaking, the bottom likely needs to be stripped, either by blasting or stripping.

Likewise, if you're switching to a new type of bottom paint, the old paint will also need to be stripped.

On new boats, a barrier coat must be applied first, followed by anti-fouling paint.

Pontoon Boat Bottom Painting

For good reason, pontoon boats are increasingly popular on Florida's West Coast, and many of them spend entire seasons — and sometimes their entire lives — in the water. That obviously means they need bottom paint.

But aluminum pontoon hulls require different preparation, different paints, and different techniques than fiberglass hulls. At Sarasota Custom Boatworks, we have extensive experience bottom painting pontoons.

Why Sarasota Custom Boatworks

The fact is that bottom painting doesn't demand the same level of skill as topside and deck painting. But experience still matters. With decades of bottom-painting under our belt, we're exceptionally knowledgable about paint options and application techniques. We're also thorough and detail-oriented in the all-important prep work phase.

With two facilities, we can accommodate everything from tenders and flats skiffs to trawlers, sportfishers, and sailboats up to approximately 54 feet.

We also offer highly competitive pricing and quick turnaround times.