Getting to the Bottom of Paint – Report 1 – August Results

Last winter we approached the Roger Williams University Marine & Natural Sciences Department asking them if they would be interested in supporting an Anti-Fouling Bottom Paint test.  Together we developed a plan to test 20+ bottom paints in 5 locations.  Now, halfway through the data collection, we are fascinated by the early results. As expected, the different locations have yielded very different results – and while there is not a stand-out leader, there are some early conclusions to recognize, as certain formulas of paint seem to be out-performing others. The big takeaway at this midpoint is: no one antifouling paint is at the top of the results in all testing locations. And location matters.

What we’ve learned so far:  

  • The control samples came in last!  (which makes good sense)
  • Fouling growth varies greatly from harbor to harbor. (See the control panel comparison)
  • None of the paints worked well in every location
  • Many paints worked well in some locations, but not all.  (We’ll share the results from each harbor when the testing is finished and the dust clears later this season)
  • These are results after 3 months in New England.  Some antifouling paints are designed to work for 6-12 months and their worth may not show after 3.

Key findings so far:

  • Harbors with the most current had the most growth.
  • Copper-free paints can work as well or better than those with copper
  • Water based paints can work as well or better than solvent based paints.

We’re investing in building the biggest database of marine geo-conditions in order to make the best line of bottom paints as well as be able to make accurate recommendations to customers about the type of bottom paint that will truly perform best for them. We’d love YOUR contribution to this effort in order to build the most comprehensive resource for boaters available. Get involved by taking the Post Season Survey and tell us how your choice of bottom paint performed this year.  Continue reading

Bottom Paint Research – Mid Season Update

This spring we told you about the RWU marine science students who had been busy building barges and painting panels with bottom paints to test. That was quite a process, but it’s nothing compared to their current and most recently quite busy process, with biweekly visits to each of the 5 barge locations. Every other week they check on every single panel, recording each panel’s growth, and any and all changes with notes and photos. They then swipe them clean and back into the water they go.

Jamestown Distributors will learn a lot from these scientist’s findings once all the data has been collected. We will receive a report on their findings and use the results to help us better advise our customers on which paint will perform better based on location, use and other factors. We like to think we are the experts on bottom paint, from our customer service advisors, to actually manufacturing our own TotalBoat bottom paints.  With this insight we will do a much better job as our knowledge base increases. Early results point – as expected – to the great differences in growth according to boat location. What works in one harbor might not work in your own area.

In case you thought we’re giving it all away before you’ve even watched the video, don’t worry! The students have taken this study to a whole new level and we are thrilled to have been able to film them as they build and check the barges. But the real carrot at the end here will be the results. And just like you, we can’t wait to learn about what the RWU students learned.

in the meantime, please become a part of the study and enter your own pre-season info into our short survey. Plugging in these customers survey results alongside the RWU research will present a very powerful picture at the end of the season. Be a part of it! Take the survey now and when you haul your boat later this season – circle back and fill in your own results. It’s all science and it all helps us help you find the most effective bottom paint for your boat.

The Antifoulers: Getting to the Bottom of Bottom Paint


There is nothing straightforward about picking a paint for any surface on your boat. So many factors can affect whether or not a paint will work the way you expect it to work!

Jamestown Distributors has been producing and publishing how-to videos, we set up a tech help hotline and live help on our website, and we have done lots of testing of numerous bottom paints. In short we are ready and willing to do almost everything to ensure your paint job works and works well, short of actually applying the paint. (bummer – eh?)  With recent changes to many of the top selling bottom paints (see our recent TBS post about Irgarol), The bottom paint game is even more complex than ever and we here at TotalBoat Show aim to help you sort it out and demystify the process. But we need your help.


Testing bottom paints last summer with panels of each of the different bottom paints we sell. Serious research for expert advice.

The secret to picking the right paint for your boat’s bottom comes from evaluating a number of factors: what kind of water are you in (Salt or fresh), what is the water salinity of your boat’s location, is there a lot of current where you keep your boat, how often do you use your boat, and so on. Because we can’t answer this question for everyone, we developed a survey last year to get to the bottom of bottom paint. (See the 2014 Survey RESULTS) By participating and entering what worked and didn’t work – you can help us see on a map which paints work best in different locations based on crowd sourced feedback and reviews.

We carry and stock most every bottom paint out there. (Bottom Paint Shop here) We make our own bottom paint as well (TotalBoat brand, of course) and we want to know what the summer and fall of 2015 will do to your BRAND X bottom paint job. Can you help? Sign up now to input your basic info and we will touch base again in the fall for a report of your bottom paint’s performance.

The more info we get, the better results we will have to share with you and the more life we will get out of (and not on!) our bottom paints. HELP US OUT!

It is of course worth mentioning that our very own TotalBoat paints rated high amongst users. It is a top value with years of good results backing up all formulas. Have you tried our TotalBoat Bottom paint? We are offering FREE SHIPPING on all the TotalBoat Bottom Paints and have our customer service and store reps ready to help you select the right paint for your boat and your harbor! Thanks!

And check out our info page on Bottom Paint 101 where we S P E L L it all out for you! You’re welcome!