Ridetheducks.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

The Best Paints For Boat Hull in 2024

best paint for boat hull

Many boat owners are frustrated with how their aluminum, steel, or even wood boat exteriors keep running into problems over a short amount of time. I bet that they have not found out the right item to coat on these types of material.

What if I tell you that you can have a brand new attractive paint color on the topside surfaces, combining with a strong layer against multiple risks? Get to know the best paint for boat hull for optimal boat restoration in this article.

Best Paint For Boat Hull Reviews

1. TotalBoat Wet Edge Marine Topside Paint

totalboat wet edge marine topside paint

Should you ask me about the best overall marine paint for boat hulls currently available on the market, I will not hesitate to choose the TotalBoat Wet Edge Marine Topside Paint for providing this wide range of outstanding features.

Aside from 21 high-gloss paint color variations, there are also some flat finishes for your choice. You might be concerned about discoloring or fading over time, but its formula makes sure the paint will deliver superior adhesion.

Its high resistance is impressive to fight abrasions and UV damages. Being flexible and resilient helps this item endure ever-changing conditions with no cracking or peeling; plus, enables its compatibility with non-skin additives.

The Wet Edge paint is suitable for a variety of surfaces like wood, fiberglass, metal, etc. As long as you use the paint above the waterline, it will dry quickly regardless of your application method (rolling, brushing, tipping, or spraying).

You only need to apply from 2 to 3 thin paint coats on a surface to achieve long-lasting shine. The 1-part aluminum hull paint is easy to use and offers an uninterrupted flow with the incredible durability of a 2-part polyurethane.

That is why you can even paint the house with this marine-grade formula due to its powerful blockage against tough conditions. It also works well with other types of exteriors such as canoe, camper, golf cart, kayak, even an RV.

In my opinion, this paint coverage of 350 to 400 square feet per gallon is enough to fill a wide surface in one dip. There are versatile liquid capacities for you to select in different regions worldwide, including quarts, gallons, pints.

You should not miss out on this information about its applicable temperature from 50 to 90°F as it plays an important role in helping the paint dry up on time. Any uses outside of this range will result in its failure to set completely.

What We Like
  • 21 paint shades in an adhesive formula
  • UV, abrasion-resistant for better endurance
  • Allows different methods of application
  • Easy to use with thin but durable coats
  • Suitable for versatile types of exterior
What We Don’t Like
  • Requires the right temperature for drying

This boat hull paint manages to offer an amazing amount of protection that all boaters desire to equip their transportation. I would definitely recommend trying the durable all-in-one TotalBoat Wet Edge Topside Paint at least once.

2. Duralux M735-4 Marine Paint

duralux m735-4 marine paint

DuraLux M735-4 Aquamarine Boat Paint is a premium boat hull protection paint with properties for commercial and pleasure boats, now developed to work with all types of marine maintenance applications on and offshore.

Remember that as long as the targeted surface is properly primed in the first place, this type of marine paint will provide an excellent level of adhesion to a variety of popular surfaces, including aluminum, fiberglass, metal, and wood.

The best news about this product is how it can endure repeated washing and does not discolor under the harbor gas effect. It also resists UV radiation, gasoline, oil, chemicals, as well as saltwater with no further surface rusting.

The base paint material is acrylic and it is the most important feature to help it achieve solid transparency and a high gloss sheen. Feel free to combine it with a roller, paint sprayer, or brush as desired for flexible applications.

In terms of after-paint drying, the liquid needs at least 240 minutes to reach the dry-to-touch condition without smudging all over the place. You should perform the next recoat after 24 hours to ensure the best performance.

In spite of having a relatively limited coverage area of 125 square feet per gallon compared to many other available painting products, I believe that you can still spread the paint evenly on topside marine and boat structures.

However, there were certain cases of the paint spilling out on arrival and led to a significant amount of content shortage. This is probably because of its unprotected can that could not hold up to external pressures during delivery.

What We Like
  • Works for on/offshore marine applications
  • Can be used on a variety of surfaces
  • Multiple resistance without discoloring
  • High-gloss finish with solid transparency
  • Does not take much time to dry up
What We Don’t Like
  • Flimsy container results in content spill

Other than the fragile container that requires a serious construction upgrade, DuraLux M735-4 Aquamarine Boat Paint can still provide a great level of exterior protection for your favorite boat that dries quickly without discoloring.

3. KOP-COAT Pettit Paint Splash Zone A-788

kop-coat pettit paint splash zone a-788

Have you ever wondered why the Pettit Paint Splash Zone A-788 is called “The duct tape of the marine world”? I will introduce its multi-purpose features to prove to you that this compound is the most versatile surface amendment.

Its formula contains 2 parts of epoxy patching mixed with an effective repair compound to provide excellent underwater damage repair. It is also flexible for above and below waterline use to fix buoys, docks, sea walls, boat hulls, etc.

You would certainly enjoy how the product performs multiple types of repairment with its putty-like formula: filling, sealing, patching, re-building on diverse surfaces such as fiberglass, steel, wood, aluminum, and concrete.

If you are worried about metal boat corrosion through frequent submergence in saltwater, it will produce a protective surface that is rock-hard. The good news is that the marine paint also prevents concrete and wood deterioration.

As boat owners obtain a newly painted solid layer, they will be able to either tape, drill, and even machine through this powerful surface. That is why this paint is widely known as an effective repairment for damaged boat exteriors.

Based on my experience, it appears that this item does slow down the leak inside your boat, but its effect is not the best possible. The water would not stop completely so I do not think that its sealing ability has a fine performance.

What We Like
  • High versatility for multiple purposes
  • Effectively repairs diverse marine parts
  • Enables amendment on different surfaces
  • Eliminates metal, wood, concrete corrosion
  • Helps coat a strong, protective layer
What We Don’t Like
  • Blocks water leakage but not the finest

Without a doubt, the Pettit Paint Splash Zone A-788 is one of the most excellent amendments you can get to fix boat damages. Besides the regular corrosion-proof for metal, it also prevents wood and concrete deterioration.

4. TotalBoat Outdrive AF Antifouling Paint

totalboat outdrive af antifouling paint

Looking for a marine-grade bottom paint that is antifouling for your propeller, outboard, outdrive, and boat hull? Try the Outdrive Antifouling Paint from the famous manufacturer TotalBoat and be amazed at its impressive abilities.

While many conventional antifouling paints containing cuprous oxide cause underwater metal components to corrode, you can rely on this copper-free formula with organic biocide for boatyard use under environmental limitations.

Thanks to this safe, natural ingredient, this antifouling product promises that no algae, barnacles, or slime growth can develop within its application. This protection is full-season use below the waterline in either salt or freshwater.

I appreciate how boat owners can use 3 different methods to coat the paint on their selected surface, including rolling, spraying, and brushing it. Its fast-drying feature at 90°F allows you to use the surface at least 2 hours later.

There is a wide range of surfaces for you to apply this outdrive product on, such as properly primed iron, aluminum, steel, and even underwater metal. Its smooth eggshell finish is polishing and durable enough for long-term use.

You can get a 1-quart container of black paint for one purchase. The paint coverage is approximately 125 square feet per quart, which is an average rate with 1.5 mils of dry film thickness. I bet that the final results would be great.

Unfortunately, I encountered a huge blob of solids at the bottom of this can from the beginning and spent nearly an hour trying to break it up. Therefore, I guess its content should be completely mixed (broken up) to be effective.

What We Like
  • Offers an antifouling coat for boat hulls
  • Copper-free formula with organic biocide
  • Full-season protection from slime, algae
  • Dries up quickly after at least 2 hours
  • Provides a sleek finish on multiple surfaces
What We Don’t Like
  • The bottom solids have to be broken up

It is true that having a protective coating from UV rays and material corrosion for your boat is necessary, but sealing it against algae and slime is equally crucial with TotalBoat Outdrive Antifouling Paint and its quick-drying feature.

5. Interlux Y404KIT/1 Epoxy Primekote

interlux y404kit/1 epoxy primekote

Apart from optimal topside boat paints in this article, I would like to present you with an effective priming product for better surface preparation as well – the multi-purpose Interlux Y404KIT/1 Epoxy Primekote in a bright white shade.

Its main formula contains epoxy to be applied to form a solid base for 2-part finishes, especially for topside paint systems containing polyurethane from the same brand. Moreover, this paint also performs well for single-part enamels.

When you apply this primer over clear epoxies, it can eliminate the annoying adverse effect of amine blush. The main reason why I always choose the product for bilge and locker areas is because of its bright white paint finish.

From my perspective, adding a priming layer is a crucial part of the system because it is able to resurface crazed and cracked gel coats before you apply a topside paint. The item helps you prepare this surface properly in advance.

What I enjoy the most about priming this product on my boat exterior is how it sands at ease with a great level of adhesion to clear epoxy, together with a large number of surfaces including fiberglass, steel, Gelcoat, and wood, etc.

The best thing is the primer only takes about 1 to 3 hours for complete drying to touch. It is possible for you to recoat the applied surface at least 8 hours later in 73 F, and the most effective overcoat timing ranges from 6 to 12 hours.

If you choose to prime any of the mentioned surfaces above the waterline, I would recommend 1 to 2 coats. However, underwater use will require more sustainability so opt for 6 coats for it to stick longer under such conditions.

Lastly, there are different coverage dimensions available with 450 square feet per gallon for brush and 375 for spraying this paint. It will be sold in a kit with a capacity of either a quart or a gallon to perform for diverse painting projects.

I must say that I have not discovered any serious problems related to how the 2-part primer works. It fills imperfections quite brilliantly on many surface types, sands good then stick onto the targeted layer better than expected.

What We Like
  • Delivers a solid base for 2-part finishes
  • Reduces amine blush on clear epoxies
  • Can resurface a damaged gel coat
  • Does not take much time to dry up
  • Versatile capacities for different projects
What We Don’t Like
  • No defections have been found so far

Interlux Y404KIT/1 Epoxy Primekote provides an incredibly solid base for any of your marine painting projects. Kick off with this effective primer prior to your topside paint on multiple surfaces, and you will receive a great adhesion level.

6. TotalBoat Inflatable Boat Bottom Paint

totalboat inflatable boat bottom paint

The last sailboat hull paint on this list is the only product with a water base – TotalBoat Inflatable Boat Bottom Paint. It provides an ablative antifouling layer for inflatable boats of diverse materials, such as PVC, rubber, and Hypalon.

With its smooth polishing finish that is extremely durable regardless of the surrounding conditions and an attractive, neutral gray shade, I believe this paint will look stunning on all mentioned materials of an inflatable marine boat.

From my perspective, using water-based paint for boat hull has its very own benefits. The product does not contain any harmful fumes or solvents and is incredibly easy to wash away with soap in case of undesirable applications.

Although this bottom paint contains 25% copper in the formula, your inflatable marine transportation will attain a strong repellent from algae and barnacle growth in both salt and fresh water, using the item to coat a protective layer.

Moreover, you will notice how the copper ingredient wears away at a controlled rate over time. This feature is beneficial to maintain the antifouling protection coating for any selected surface of every kind all season long.

The flexible coating is durable enough for you to deflate or roll the boat up without cracking or lifting from this applied surface. You can compare it with other similar products and still find the item a brilliant invention for inflatables.

There is no specific restriction for its normal launch time but you should better wait for 6 to 10 hours, depending on the temperature conditions. It will take around 3 hours for the inflatable bottom paint to fully dry to touch at 70° F.

Despite being stored in a sturdy container, I am deeply disappointed how the paint came really clumsy. Furthermore, there is a high chance that this content may dry out from sitting on the shelf for too long, costing more time to remix it.

What We Like
  • Durable, smooth finish for inflatable boats
  • Easy-to-wash safe water-based formula
  • 25% copper blocks algae and barnacles
  • Does not crack when rolling up the boat
  • No specific restrictions for the launch time
What We Don’t Like
  • Possess a great risk of drying out on-shelf

I am confident that you will never regret trying out this USA-made water-based paint for inflatable bottom coverage. TotalBoat Inflatable Boat Bottom Paint is an awesome product that includes what it takes to shield your boat effectively.

Who is This for?

marine hull paint

As an effective product for topside boat coating regardless of the surface materials, it is most suitable for boat owners who wish to equip their marine transportation with better exterior protection or old damaged paint coverage

Factors to Consider When Buying a Paint for Boat Hull

With so many products available on the market, which criteria should you rely on when buying this type of paint for aluminum boats? Here are important features that you should not miss out on to ensure making the best decision.

Applicable Areas

The first and foremost criteria that you should account for when buying paint for topside boat is its application areas. Other than boat hulls, it is possible for you to use this type of paint on buoys, docks, sea walls, etc.

Also, there is a wide range of surfaces that are compatible with the product such as metal, wood, fiberglass, aluminum, iron, and steel. They should be properly primed in advance with a fine primer for increased paint adhesion.

A few products can only be applied for surfaces above the waterline that undergo water submergence shortly, while other choices are able to work well either in brackish, fresh, or saltwater without losing the main effectiveness.

Quality Formula

Undoubtedly, the formula determines how well the boat hull paint performs. It is your choice to either choose organic ingredients or one with copper in the formula since each of them comes with a different benefit.

Its formula base also varies depending on your purpose of use. Many products with acrylic provide enhanced adhesion and saturation, while a water base does not contain solvents or fumes and is much easier to wash away.

With a quality topside boat paint formula, I can assure you that you will be amazed by its function to eliminate peeling, cracking, discoloring and stopping certain materials (metal, wood, aluminum, etc.) from immature deterioration.

Moreover, this formula will limit the strong growth of barnacles, algae, and slime on the applied surface. It also brings a powerful resistance to UV rays, saltwater, chemicals, rusting, and other thick liquids such as oil and gasoline.

Diverse Capacities

I highly appreciate the diversity when it comes to the container capacities of this marine boat paint. For one single model, you can have different capacity choices since it will be available in gallon, pint, quart.

The marine-grade paint will usually be contained inside a thick can for optimal storage regardless of the surrounding conditions. You just need to stir the content well, apply a thin layer of paint on a surface and spread it evenly.

Besides, remember that different coats are required for different use: 1 – 2 coats for using above the waterline, 5 – 6 coats to add more durability if your boat stays afloat often. Its coverage ranges up to 450 square feet per gallon.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Paint for Boat Hull

sailboat hull paint


  • Provides a protective marine-grade coating
  • Adaptable to a variety of different surfaces
  • Suitable for diverse boat area applications
  • Offers a wide range of saturated colors
  • Creates a smooth, durable polishing surface
  • Enables resistance against versatile factors


  • May take too long to dry up completely
  • Stiff content becomes frozen with ease
  • Not enough thickness produced in use
  • Stored inside a flimsy, unsealed container
  • Requires priming the surface beforehand

Care and Maintenance

Based on my experience, the most important thing when it comes to taking care of a marine paint container is to store it at normal room temperature. Stir the content sometimes to make sure it does not freeze in a cold season.

Out of all available choices, opt for a sealed and sturdy container because a flimsy one is likely to result in distortion and internal content spillage. Follow these rules of thumb and I believe that you will do perfectly fine with the paint.

Frequently Asked Questions


How Often Should you Paint the Boat Hull?

As new users may wonder how often they need to repaint boat hull, it is ideal to apply this bottom paint once every year, though some products can last up to 2 years while still remaining effective to safely protect such a marine part.

Keep in mind that if your boat stays in the water or is being used on a regular basis, bring it to a professional for precise annual checkup. This routine will help you determine if the marine boat needs a new bottom paint application.

How to Spray Paint the Boat Hull?

There are many popular methods that you can use for painting a boat hull, including brushing, tipping, rolling, and spraying. Among these choices, my preference will go to using a sprayer to attain the most appealing results.

Some products will require thinning with xylene in advance to enhance the overall adhesion for a better finish. Remember that the thinning percentage varies by the sprayer and surrounding conditions, usually from 15 to 20%.

You should spread the paint evenly on the targeted surface to avoid applying it too thickly, or else the finish will not be able to dry properly. With a prepared surface in hand, I am certain that your spraying work will end up much better.


Using an effective marine hull paint will make sure you have a proper boat protection against harmful external impacts in the long run. There are multiple types of risks out there in the water waiting to damage your transportation.

What is your opinion on this article reviewing the best paint for boat hull on the current market? If you have not yet decided which product suits you the most, follow my buying guide for other good choices. Thank you for reading.

5/5 - (15 votes)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top