Practical Sailor’s Marine Antifouling All-stars Lineup
In our twice-yearly effort to help readers find the best bottom paint for their sailboat, testers rate 65 antifoulant paints by the amount of hard growth and slime each allowed after a year in the drink.
This update to our continuous bottom paint test takes a look at four sets of paint panels from two locations (Long Island Sound and a south Florida saltwater canal). One set was dunked in 2006, and the other in 2005. The paints run the gamut as far as type—from hard antifouling coatings to ablative to white and bright to those with anti-slime additives. Products from the top brands were included—Interlux (http://www.yachtpaint.com/), E Paint (http://www.epaint.net/), Pettit (http://www.pettitpaint.com/), Sea Hawk (http://www.seahawkpaints.com/), Flexdel (http://www.aquagard-boatpaint.com/) , and Blue Water Paints ( http://www.bluewatermarinepaint.com/) —as were the top performers from our past tests, including Micron Optima. For the average northern sailor, who hauls out each winter, we would recommend buying the cheapest of our recommended paints that fits your preferences (water based, eco-friendly, whatever), and rates well among local sailors and paint pros. Any one of these paints will get you through the season without barnacles.