Boat Bottom Paint! Aluminum, Fiberglass or Wood
As I was doing my research for the 2018 Battle of the Thai Longtail Mud Motor Kits, I kept coming across boat bottom paint or coatings to help your boat slide over obstacles. These marine obstacles could vary from logs, rocks, sand flats, grass flats, mud flats, and what ever else a mud boat, jet boat, drift boat, or airboat may encounter. These coatings would help you slide over these obstacles, so you wouldn’t get stuck, and it would also helps protect the underside of your boat.
There was many brands that popped up; Gator Glide, Wetlander, Gluvit, Steel Flex, Frog Spit, and Quick Slick. Others were talking about putting a bed liner on the bottom to help protect the bottom from rocks and logs, but I would think that would decrease speed and wouldn’t help slide over obstacles.
The main names I kept encountering was Gator Glide, Wetlander, and Frog Spit.
Most Popular Names for Boat Bottom Coatings
- Gator Glide – Seems to be the oldest company out of the three and most commonly compared too
- Wetlander – Seems newer even though they have been around for 15 years. Not as well known as Gator Glide
- Frog Spit – Mentioned in the forums a lot but hard to find on YouTube.
From watching YouTube videos and crawling through forums and websites, I narrowed it down to Gator Glide and Wetlander. I knew I wanted one or the other and they were priced about the same.
Gator Glide and Wetlander both have two different types of applications; one for speed and one for durability against abrasion. Gator Glide has a big footprint, it was just well known, and it seemed like most people would refer to Gator Glide or compare a product to Gator Glide. Wetlander showed up a lot in Google and YouTube and seemed like the only competitor to Gator Glide.
I looked further into the two and stumbled on Wetlander’s video comparing their product to a competitors product, and I really liked what I saw. Wetlander also had an updated website and seemed to be staying active. Gator Glide’s website felt outdated to me and they didn’t seem as active.
Which boat bottom paint did I choose?
I decided to go with the Wetlander boat bottom paint. I liked the small amount of videos I saw on YouTube and figured I would give the “not so well known” Wetlander a try. There was plenty of YouTube videos of Gator Glide, but not of Wetlander, so here I am to try out the Wetlander Slick Boat Bottom Coating.
I will be applying the Wetlander kit on my 2016 1436 LT Alumacraft riveted jon boat that is powered by a 13hp 420cc Predator Engine by Harbor Freight paired with an SPS Swamp Runner Medium Mud Motor Kit.
What size kit did I get?
Wetlander and Gator Glide have their portions as followed:
- 1 Quart – Covers up to 50 sq. ft.
- Half Gallon – Covers up to 100 sq. ft.
- 1 Gallon – Covers up to 200 sq. ft.
- 5 Gallons – Commercial Amount of sq. ft. haha
My riveted jon boat is 14 feet long and has a 3 ft wide bottom. That is 42 sq ft. I also wanted to go up the sides and on the transom a little. Since that was close to the 45 – 50 sq. ft. of the 1 Quart container, I figured I would get the half gallon and have some left over to fix certain spots down the road if need be. So I got the half gallon to play it safe. Keep watching the videos and reading the articles to see if this was too much or if it was a good amount.
How many layers?
With the sizes above, you chose what kind of kit you want;
- just the Top Coat (1-layer kit)
- the Primer and the Top Coat (2-layer kit)
- two different Primers and the Top Coat (3-layer kit)
I chose to get the 2 layer kit – the Primer and the Top Coat. I noticed the paint on my jon boat was not very durable, and I didn’t want to put the Top Coat on it. So I decided to get the 2 layer kit so I could remove the paint on my jon boat to get it to bare aluminum, then apply the Wetlander Primer, and finally the Wetlander Top Coat. I would hate to spent this money, put all this time and effort into this, and have this product fail due to the crummy, factory paint on the jon boat. So that was my thinking behind getting the 2 layer kit.
The color I picked was Olive Drab, because I thought that would be what most popular color that people would want to use them selves, so you can see what that color looks like compared to the old color on my jon boat.
There are two main objectives I would like to achieve with this Wetlander Boat Bottom Paint Kit;
- Noticeable difference in drag/friction. Easier to slide over matted, thick grass?
- Will it completely seal my riveted jon boat, and if so, how long will it last?
Other added benefits that I hope to encounter;
- increase in speed
- easier to launch the boat at the ramp
- less pond scum staying on my boat
The Wetlander Boat Bottom Paint Series
- Intro & Unboxing – This article
- Before Application Testing – Testing the boat before applying Wetlander
- Application of Wetlander – How to apply Wetlander
- After Application Testing Testing the boat after applying Wetlander
- Conclusion – how my experience was with the Wetlander kit
Keep in mind that this will stay on the boat and will be part of any upcoming future projects dealing with this jon boat on JTgatoring. I will keep you updated on how it holds up and will give a 6-month and 12-month update.
So if you’re interested to see how slick these boat bottom coatings really are, and if they are worth the money, stick around! New articles and videos are posted every Saturday morning @08:30!