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KEELBLACK is the hardest single-pack bitumen blacking available - anywhere

Protecting steel hulls against abrasion and keeping your hull smart
KEELBLACK has been demonstrated in laboratory tests to outlast 2 pack epoxy at a fraction of the cost


KEELBLACK is the hardest single-pack bitumen blacking available, protecting steel hulls against abrasion and has been demonstrated in laboratory tests to outlast 2-pack epoxy

KEELBLACK can be applied to damp steel with no risk of peeling or flaking, reducing maintenance costs by eliminating expensive drying time in dock

KEELBLACK is fast and easy to apply with a viscosity similar to water, it flows on easily and dries fast, reducing application time and dry-dock costs


KEELBLACK is economical and long-lasting, each coat costing around £0.75p per square meter and, correctly applied, will significantly outperform other bituminous blackings


KEELBLACK covers all conventional blackings and, with excellent coverage, can achieve three full coats in one day and be ready for relaunching within 48 hours


KEELBLACK protects steel hulls from corrosion and is an effective deterrent to external rust damage on hulls and an internal barrier to moisture in bilges


KEELBLACK won’t damage the environment, containing no solvents or VOCs; it is inert when dry, satisfying anti-leaching legislation and harmless to aquatic fauna or flora



Non-toxic, water-based bitumen emulsion – environmentally friendly when dry

Fabricated from the hardest bitumen that can be emulsified, completely inert once cured


Protects the underwater parts of your boat from corrosion

Proven to outlast 2-pack epoxy, abrasion-resistant, easy to repair minor mechanical damage and

significantly less expensive than other quality bituminous paints


Deters marine growth

KEELBLACK contains no biocides but fresh water barnacles seem to dislike the super-smooth surface and weed is not attracted to the KEELBLACK coating, improving fuel efficiency and maintaining your hull appearance. Any weed that may adhere is easily removed with a brush


Reduces time in dry dock

KEELBLACK used as part of your maintenance regime shortens preparation time in dock on average by one to two days by reducing power washing, scraping and wire brushing requirements and drying time; hulls can be over-coated in the same day and relaunched as soon as dry and cured




Easy to apply with paint-pad, roller or brush 

With a viscosity of close to 1, KEELBLACK goes easily onto primed or previously coated steel, in almost

any weather or temperature. It can flow behind any flaking previous blackings, filling voids and helping to re-adhere original bituminous coatings to the steel

Adheres to almost all previous coatings and does NOT need the surface to be completely dry

This is a huge cost saving advantage. As a cold-applied bitumen emulsion, KEELBLACK can be used on damp surfaces, eliminating the need for time-consuming drying and expensive artificial heat. It adheres to light surface rust and to most original hull coatings including bituminous paints without requiring any costly

preparation other than thorough removal of dirt and loose material


Rapid application. Three full coats of KEELBLACK can be achieved in one day

Provided THIN coats are applied, KEELBLACK can be over-coated as soon as the previous coat is

touch-dry, saving significant dock time and labour cost. Three coats are recommended. KEELBLACK

must be allowed to cure before re-launch. Dependent on humidity, 36 to 48 hours is recommended


Tough, abrasion-resistant finish and easy to repair

KEELBLACK is derived from the hardest grade of emulsified bitumen and was originally developed

for repair of worn-out tarmac roads. KEELBLACK is long-lasting and, if damaged, simple to repair,

even at the waterline with excellent UV resistance to ensure good colour-match


Reduces future dry-dock preparation time

KEELBLACK makes subsequent hull maintenance programmes faster and easier by accelerating hull

cleaning time and reducing incidence of flaking paint


Non-Toxic and odour-free

For dock labour or live-aboard application, KEELBLACK has virtually no odour and, with nil VOCs, emits

no fumes. Wet product washes off the skin and makes equipment cleaning simple 


Environmentally safe

KEELBLACK contains no biocides and once dry has no effect on the environment. The super-smooth finish is unattractive to barnacle and weed growth


When dry, KEELBLACK does not harm fish, aquatic life or plants

It conforms to EN7375 European standards on leaching into water courses and, when dry, is inert


Inert and harmless to aquatic life when dry

KEELBLACK does not harm skin and is virtually odour-free. Extensively used by national conservation organisations in water courses and sensitive areas of special scientific interest



KEELBLACK contains no solvents and can be applied to damp surfaces. This reduces energy consumption

and labour costs by eliminating much of the preparation time required for solvent based products


Non-biocide formula resists marine growth

Fresh water barnacles are not attracted to KEELBLACK coated surfaces improving engine performance and reducing scraping and preparation time in dock. Any marine growth which can occur in in heavily polluted waterways easily brushes off


Tuffblack Ltd is an owner-run business based in Herefordshire producing and distributing the world's hardest bitumen emulsion and the only water-based bitumen blacking specifically designed for inland waterways craft.

Manufactured to exacting standards and to a secret formula, KEELBLACK, like so many great products was discovered by accident. It was first developed as a road surface treatment for worn-out tarmac; proof against the aggressive wear and tear of high volume traffic as well as providing a strong, non-skid surface but then found to have similar strength and abrasion-resistant qualities when used on steel.  With some alterations to the formula for application on ferrous and non-ferrous metals, KEELBLACK was quietly launched in 2015 and, following the 2016 Crick boat Show, has been enthusiastically taken up by the canal and river-boat community.

Owners and Operators have found KEELBLACK to be the toughest available bitumen-based blacking for steel - equally suitable for applying over old bitumen, degraded 2-pack epoxy, primed bare steel or on a new build.  

KEELBLACK combines ease of application with longevity and excellent coverage at economical cost.  Applied by the DIY blacker KEELBLACK costs less than £0.75p per square meter per coat. Three coats recommended




The KEELBLACK team is always available to give advice and to assist with technical queries. Our after-sales service is peerless and friendly. See our FAQ page  for the answers to most common questions or click here to contact KEELBLACK by email or call us anytime on 0333 405 4045

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