It’s Time for the 2016 Bottom Paint Survey



How did your bottom paint work this season?

Tell us how your bottom paint performed this season. Your answers to this quick survey will be plotted on an interactive map, letting you see what paints others are using and how they fared across a wide range of boat types, usage frequency, and fouling conditions.

Last year, over 1,400 boaters completed our antifouling paint survey. You’ll be able to compare fresh data to last year’s results. Did you spend more, or less time on the water this year? Did you switch paint for 2016? Did you have your boat’s bottom cleaned during the season? Continue reading

Bottom Painting: Tips & Research For Results That Last

As a follow up to our Thursday post (read it here) on prepping your boat for bottom paint, Lou Sauzedde continues on his bottom painting mission and is ready to apply bottom paint to this 22-foot Tripp Angler.  He has mixing tips for getting all the solids and sediments off the bottom of the paint can – even if you have your store shake it up – you should plan on spending some time stirring and really working to mix the paint throughly.

Lou also offers tips on how to get hard-to-cover areas and how to roll efficiently and without wasting too much of your paint. Lou paints from the bottom up and advises that you follow the manufacturers instructions for how many coats to apply.

Tips from Lou, like his bottom prep and painting videos, will save you time and money. Combine that with the very thorough JD Bottom Paint Testing, both through our customer survey of more than 1400 customers and through independent testing last summer with Roger William University Marine Science Department and you can paint yourself the whole bottom paint picture. Then add in our complete line of TotalBoat antifouling bottom paints, our tech help hotline and you have yourself an arsenal of information to help you make an informed purchase and get results that last all season long.

For a seriously thorough look at how we research, test and compare the leading bottom paints, all of these resources mentioned above are nicely laid on on our website in our GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF PAINT section. It is a bounty of helpful information like brand performance comparisons, research results and customer feedback about most of the paints we know our customers like to use.

Jump in to the website and see for yourself.

It’s Time: Bottom Painting on the Trailer

Last year we introduced this nifty new contraption to help you paint the bottom of your trailered boat while still on the trailer. Reaching the entire bottom of the boat on a trailer was mostly impossible and has been a boon to trailered boaters for years. If this is your story: check out this video about this brilliant solution.

The TotalBoat Trailer Mounted Boat Lift is the answer. In case you missed our intro last spring – here it is again! The lift attaches to most trailers and with 4 units, each capable of holding 2500 pounds, can lift a boat of up to 10,000 pounds. Each lift can be cranked by hand on all 4 points and lifts the boat approximately 8-12″ off the trailer giving you plenty of room to paint the bottom, service bunks or rollers or do other trailer maintenance like rewiring.

While raising the boat, it’s easy to keep the load balanced by turning the adjustable rod on each lift one half turn at a time. As your boat lifts up off of the trailer, it remains stable and secure because the lifts are attached firmly to the trailer itself.

Check out the webpage for this very helpful product and try it out. We even offer free shipping on it for the time being – so HURRY!

Summary: 2015 Roger Williams University Bottom Paint Study

2015 Roger Williams University Bottom Paint Study Summary

Summary: RWU Bottom Paint Study 2015

What We Tested

The best antifouling paint is the one that works best in your boating environment. Our goal was to see which antifouling paints performed best in southern New England waters during a single boating season. This study was conducted by researchers in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Roger Williams University (Bristol, RI) from May to October, 2015.

Antifouling performance can vary not only from location to location, but within different areas of the same location, so we deployed our test panels in locations that varied by a host of factors such as water circulation, salinity, temperature, and biofouling organisms present.

Where We Tested

To learn as much as possible about how location affects antifouling performance, four rafts containing test panels were deployed in four different locations in the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island; one raft was placed in Sippican Harbor in Massachusetts. Specific locations are listed below.

Location Environment
Warwick, RI Warwick Cove Harbor with restricted water circulation
Wickford, RI Wickford Harbor adjacent to Mill Cove Harbor with restricted water circulation
Providence, RI India Point Park Head of an estuary, near a major freshwater source, with urban conditions and runoff from land that introduces contaminants and excessive nutrients into the water
Tiverton, RI
The northern Sakonnet River
Open estuary
Marion, MA
At the head of Sippican Harbor
Head of an estuary, surrounded by saltmarsh and mudflats, with very little freshwater input

How We Tested

Over 700 wooden test panels were primed and painted by Roger Williams University students*, then attached to five rafts for this innovative antifouling paint study using a quantitative study of paint performance, replication to allow statistical analysis, and procedures to simulate boat movement. Each raft contained 144 numbered wooden panels and was set up as follows:

    • 132 panels were coated with TotalBoat TotalProtect Epoxy Primer & barrier coat before antifouling paint was applied. Each of 22 antifouling paints was applied to six panels, for a total of 132.
  • 12 panels served as control measures: 6 were coated with TotalBoat TotalProtect Epoxy Primer & barrier coat only; 6 panels were coated with blue TotalBoat Wet Edge Topside Paint only.

Each panel was numbered so that during the study, testers were not aware of the paint names and brands.

*The Roger Williams University (RWU) students are an independent group paid by RWU, not by Jamestown Distributors.

The rafts were submerged at their various locations beginning in May, 2015. Let the fouling begin!

Every two weeks, the rafts were pulled from the water, panels were removed and photographed for comparison, and the percentage of accumulated soft and hard biofouling coverage was noted.

Before being reattached to the raft, each panel was wiped lightly with a sponge to simulate boat movement through the water and mimic the self-eroding properties of ablative paint. Panels were then put back on the raft randomly in order to minimize the effect of panel location on antifouling performance. The raft was again submerged in the exact location from which it was pulled.

All Sites Results

The charts below indicate biofouling coverage results for all test sites. TotalBoat Krypton copper-free antifouling paint containing Econea™ and boosted with slime-fighting zinc pyrithione received highest marks for performance, with many other TotalBoat antifouling paints performing well against competing brands. See our TotalBoat Antifouling Paint Compatibility Chart for how to prep previous antifouling coatings for overcoating with TotalBoat antifouling paints.

Coverage Index for All Sites

Other Conclusions

The testing showed that paint performance varied by location, and was affected by local variations in the amount of sunlight, currents, and proximity to other fouled substrates (docks, for example). This goes far to explain why different boaters using the same paint can observe differences in performance at the same marina. To find out what antifouling paint will work best, use our survey data and interactive bottom paint map to see what paint works best in your area. It’s also a great idea to talk to other boaters and to boatyard professionals who are knowledgeable about specific fouling problems.

Since antifouling performance can also vary from season to season, our testing will be ongoing, and as we learn more, we’ll keep improving our paints so you’ll always have the most current information and the most effective products.


Jump into the FORUM to Discuss Bottom Paint

New Season, New Bottom Paint!


Around these New England parts, Mother Nature can’t decide what season it should be. The calendar says winter, but it’s felt a whole lot more like summer for the past week. And with summer temps and sun, come dreams of boating. Ah, boating dreams are the best because, typically, they skip right over the commissioning To-Do list and get right to the fun part. And in reality most boat to-do lists can be a whole spring season of prep and paint and varnish and sweat. And top of the list is typically “paint the bottom…” And we know how fun that can be.

To take the guesswork out of choosing the right bottom paint for your boat and harbor, we have spent lots of time working with all of our own TB bottom paints and most of the top selling paints we sell. And there is a lot to consider when choosing the right bottom paint, so we thought we would help you out!

With the arrival of the 2016 boat prep season, comes a brand new bottom paint from TotalBoat. Introducing Keelhauler. Born from our Summer 2015 bottom paint testing (read about our testing here – and watch for upcoming results analysis coming soon!). Keelhauler is a recent addition to the TotalBoat Bottom Paint lineup after it’s performance was rated “Excellent” in the 2015 Bottom Paint Test conducted by Roger Williams University Marine Science students.

TotalBoat KeelHauler Ablative Antifouling Bottom Paint provides proven, season-long protection against algae, barnacles and other hard and soft marine biofouling organisms. Its ablative formula releases KeelHauler’s potent 38% copper load at a controlled rate throughout the season, minimizing paint build-up and reducing the need for sanding.

Compatible over most other antifouling paints, KeelHauler is ideal for fiberglass, steel, and wooden boats.

Buy KEELHAULER Antifouling Bottom Paint here.


Over 1000 Entries on Bottom Paint Survey Map!

It’s pretty exciting that over 1000 boaters have taken the time to fill out the 2015 Post Season Bottom Paint Survey, pinning their results and location on a live Google map. Check out the latest results and better yet – take full advantage of the map and read the results of boaters nearby your own port.

Reports and an early look at this map indicates that paints that performed well over the past many years might have had a tough season this year. How did your own paint fare?

The survey takes less than one minute and if you take the time to check out the results compared to your own experience, you might find a new paint to try next year with a decent amount of confidence in it’s performance.

Check it out! Take the survey here or if you’ve already taken it – check out the latest MAP of the results! It’s an impressive amount of data that we will compile into a readable form with some overall looks at what the boaters are telling us about best and worst performing paints this season.

How to Apply TB TotalProtect Barrier Coat

Our neighbor down the street, Joel, picked up a sweet Steiger 25 recently. The boat was in bad shape but the hull and engine were solid and the rest of the work Joel knew how to do, so it was a solid buy for someone wanting a fixer-upper mid sized powerboat.

We visited Joel as he was about to apply the barrier coat to the boat’s bottom using the new TotalBoat TotalProtect Epoxy Primer. Joel is so knowledgable – he gives great instruction and insight into how to prep and paint below the waterline using the TotalProtect barrier coat.

Let us know what you think of this new How-to video. It’s a big project so the video takes time to point out all the important details.

The Best Kind of Stripper…

Sometimes sanding, scraping and grinding can be too tough for the job, for the stripper and for the material being stripped. The latest addition to the TotalBoat line of marine products comes to the rescue with a biodegradable, environmentally safe, non-flammable, and odor-free solution: TotalStrip. Because it contains no methylene chloride or caustic, no acid wash neutralization is necessary. Simply use water for clean up.

Eric attacked this seat from his boat with TotalStrip and was impressed with how quickly it visibly broke down years of varnish.  It works on paints, varnishes, lacquers, and stains and even works on bottom paint – something most other strippers can’t claim!  It brushed on easily using a chip brush and went right to work. Unlike Eric who requires about 1/4 gallon of coffee to get going each day, TotalStrip started working instantly and could be scraped sooner than the 15 minute wait time suggested.

We love making products that make tough jobs quick and easy. You can wrestle with a sander or grinder – or you can brush on TotalStrip and let it do the work for you…it doesn’t even require coffee to get working! Check it out and let us know what you think.  Send images of your stripping projects to


Haul Out Season is Underway

If you are psyched that you escaped a hurricane scramble to haul your boat (thank you, Joaquin for sparing the East Coast….mostly….) then enjoy these last weeks of killer autumnal sailing and boating. It can be the best time of year for crisp sunset cruises and sweet catches from the fall run.

And when you haul – and peek under the waterline to see what biology experiment you were conducting down there this season, please chime in to our short and sweet Post Season Bottom Paint Survey and let us know which bottom paint you chose, where you keep your boat and how your chosen paint performed this year!

The live map updates as survey results filter in and you can see each and every result right on the map. Very handy for giving you a glimpse into what paints are working and what your fellow boaters nearby are using and what is working and what is failing.

So once you haul, swing back to the survey – it takes less than one minute to complete. You will be a part of the largest bottom paint data collection ever compiled!  We thank you!

Bottom Paint – Bring on the Banter

We told you about the early results we are getting with the Bottom Paint testing going on with Roger William University Marine Biology students. People are chiming in on all our social media channels about their own experiences and our LIVE interactive Map is being populated with each and every response to the survey. 

And every one of those pins is a boat and a customer with data and analysis about the performance of their bottom paint. Already – with a small portion of the data collected – there is so much to see and learn about paints and what seems to be working in particular areas as compared to others.

Because of the great response and plentiful conversation about bottom paint – we have devoted an entire Forum thread to discussions about bottom paint. Hop on over to the thread here and get involved. Tell us what you think about your bottom paint, about our survey, about the research we are doing, about our TotalBoat Antifouling paints and whatever else is on your bottom and on your mind!

And check out the Live Interactive Map of the results as they are entered.

All the rest of the extensive research/ testing and chatter can be found using these links below: