Features March 2007 Issue

Freshwater Antifouling Paints

We’re back with our favorite boat maintenance topic: bottom paint. But this time, we put a new spin on it, and tossed some antifouling test panels in fresh water. So if those zebra mussels are getting you down, check out our top picks for bottom paints in fresh water

Practical Sailor’s readers have long been asking for a test of antifouling paints in freshwater. Last summer, we sank antifouling paint-covered test panels in Lake Erie, and now, the short-term results are in. The top performers, Pettit Super Premium and Pettit Hydrocoat, are laced with copper, but they’re probably overkill for seasonal boaters. While we haven’t had much luck in salt water with those low-copper, slick racing paints like Pettit SR-21 and Interlux VC-17M, these “freshwater” paints hold up well in Lake Erie.

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