The aim of this article is to discuss bottom painting. Not henna tattoos on peoples bums, boat bums instead. There are at least nine different types of antifoul on the market. Discounting those that are used on larger vessels - oil tankers etc. This is about sailboat hull protection. We will look at the ingredients which are put in pots to stop algae and barnacles etc. Without getting all ecological on you, well - maybe a bit! As the global environment changes, so the range of animals and vegetables in the seas and oceans adapt. The bottom painting industry has its work cut out, keeping up. What worked one season won't necessarily work next season. As the sea temperature changes, so does the foe. What works wonderfully in cold water ,does not do the same in warm. Antifoul is not just about the manufacturers though. Boat owners need to be aware of the set of factors which affect how useful a paint is. If your mooring dries out daily, then there's not much point using a paint that relies on being wet the whole time. Are boat owners educated on this topic? If your reading this article my guess - and i'm not trying to curry favor here, is that you are. With a little common sense bottom painting is easy. A knowledge of where your boat is parked plus, what kind of sailing you do, there is no problem getting the paint for the situation. Antifoul in general is great at what it is designed to do. Following the instructions about applications, drying times and duration etc and your happy. The reason it is so effective is the active ingredients within. Their purpose is to repel unsightly and performance depreciating flow characteristics that grow on the hull. The ingredients are selected for their specific abilities. Let's have a quick look at some bottom painting ingredients * Copper - Widely used as a base deterrent. It's properties repel things from growing on it. It has biocidal qualities too. In small doses its safe but becomes toxic with over exposure. Estimates of how long world copper reserves will last vary from twenty years to sixty. Copper is a constituent part in the majority of antifouls. * Biocide - as the name suggests, its a is a chemical substance capable of killing different forms of living organisms. So biocide is great at removing those troublesome algae and barnacles, but also anything else which it comes into contact with. It is also used in pesticides, fungicides and lots of other cides too. * Xylene organic solvent - is as nasty as it sounds. If anything living comes in contact with a concentrated dose then it will die. Head And Shoulders. I've changed my brand! hydrogen peroxide - other uses include bleaching agent, it is a weak acid. So there are some of the active ingredients. Admittedly the amount concerned on each boat are pretty tiny, but there are a lot of boats out there! Regulations are coming in to place and have been for some time. If you happen to be buying antifoul at a boat jumble - be sure to check it's legal. The International Council of Marine Industry Associations has put in place restrictions for lessening the damage to marine fauna and flora. Shell fish are in decline for example. Did anyone say lobster? Crab? They are two of my favorites! As if their not expensive enough! Scandinavia is leading the field in terms of responsible bottom painting products. It's all about leach rates - the amount of time coatings take before offering no protection. There is some good news at least. Sounds ideal! The only trouble is it needs some ablative action in order to work, so it's useful at the moment for ships rather than yachts. The eco friendly options available really don't cut it in terms of useability. They rely on slipperiness rather than chemical action. The problem with that is, if your gelcoat is scratched then the algae will have a foothold for invasion. So for now we have to wait for the science guys to produce a eco friendly, useable antifoul.