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Ballastic Black


Ballastic Black Premium Hull Blacking is a combined primer and topcoat, high build bitumen coating that is ideal for use below the waterline as a hull blacking on narrowboats, canal boats and for vessels on the inland waterways. Bitumen products such as Ballastic Black provide an extremely flexible coating it can be applied on to bare steel or over existing bitumen based coatings (like Intertuf 16, Comastic and Rylards Rytex).

Ballastic Black has a higher percentage of volume solids than other hull blacking products. This means that when applied at the same spreading rate Ballastic Black will provide a thicker coating which will give better corrosion protection and, perhaps more importantly, at a lower cost.

We have put together some packs with Ballastic Black and everything you need for a canal boat project. 


Feature Details
Thinner Jotun Thinner No. 2 or SML Alkyd Thinner
No. of recommended coats 2
Drying time @ 23°C 12 hours
Coverage 6 - 7 m² per litre
Application method Brush, roller or high pressure airless spray

Above Water
Below Water

What is hull blacking?

For any steel (or wooden) boat that spends any length of time in water needs to be adequately protected in order to prevent rust or rot. Traditionally narrowboats, canal boats and other inland waterways vessels have always used a bitumen based paint. These have the advantage of being extremely waterproof, easy to use and are reasonably priced. Ballastic Black is one such product.


Why use Ballastic Black?

To put it simply: SML Ballastic Black offers better protection for less money.

Ballastic Black contains much less solvent (see table below) than other leading bitumen brands meaning that when applied at the same spreading rate Ballastic Black will provide superior corrosion protection.

Ballastic Black Bitumen Table - Narrowboat Blacking

Another advantage of Ballastic Black is that it can be applied on to virtually all existing coatings which saves on the time and expense of taking the hull back to bare steel.


How much Ballastic Black do I need?

When application is by brush and roller we find that the average coverage is 6-8 square metres per litre. Therefore a typical narrowboat measuring 48ft (16m) requires 7.5L of Ballastic Black per coat. We recommend applying two coats of Ballastic Black if application is to an existing coating and three coats if application is on bare steel.


Application Hints & Tips

If painting outdoors it is important to make sure the atmospheric conditions are right. If you try and paint when it is too cold, too hot or too windy application will be much harder and the finish will be much worse. The ideal painting conditions are cool, calm and dry. 

If you do find yourself having to paint in conditions that aren't perfect then keeping Ballastic Black warm (for example by keeping it indoors overnight) will reduce the viscosity and help it to flow out better. A similar effect can be achieved by thinning with SML Alkyd Thinner or high quality white spirit, but remember the more you thin the paint the less protection each coat provides. Ideally try to thin by no more than 10%.

Ballastic Black is dry to recoat after 12 hours at 23°C so a coat a day is what we recommend.
 If it is hot and/or windy drying time will be reduced.

Always wear suitable protective clothing when applying bitumen paints.

Other uses

Ballastic Black is used extensively as a high build, flexible primer/topcoat in the protective coatings industry. Suitable for use both above and below the waterline Ballastic Black is one of the most cost effective solutions to steel corrosion available.

For technical specifications and quotes please contact us.

Ballastic Black
Product Features
  • Better corrosion protection & better value than the competition
  • Apply to steel or over other bitumen coatings
  • Waterproof and flexible
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