Features March 2008 Issue

Bottom Paint Test: Practical Sailor Takes a Close Look at The Long-Term Performance of Two Dozen Antifouling Paints.

Long-term tests on hard and soft bottom paints in both Florida and Connecticut look at antifouling performance six months after application and 18 months after application.

Testing of hard and soft bottom paint in a Florida saltwater canal and a boatyard dock in Long Island Sound show that nearly all existing antifouling paints provide exceptional protection against hard growth for one season. The devil is in the detail of how well the paints hold up against the build-up of soft marine organisms, and for how long they will ward off barnacles. Although almost all of the paints Practical Sailor tested rated fair or good after 6 months, only one paint was rated excellent: Ablative/copolymer Micron 66 from Interlux. Although no paints garnered an excellent rating at18-months, Practical Sailor found several paints that continued to perform fairly well. Manufacturers try to provide protection against hard and soft growth while balancing environmental impact, regulatory concerns and rising prices in raw materials. Practical Sailor also rated the test paints by category: not only hard and soft paints, but also eco-friendly and water-based paints and looked at the performance of paints within each category. Products tested include: Micron 66, Copper Shield, EP 2000, Epaint, Epoxycop, Fiberglass Bottomkote, Ultra-Coat, Super KL, VC Offshore, Regatta Baltoplate Racing, Interlux Ultra, VC 17m Extra, Pettit Unepoxy Plus, Super Premium, Vivid, Trinidad, SR-21, Seahawk Tropikote, Tropikote Biocode Plus, Sharkskin, Bluewater Kolor, Epaint Zo, Flexdel Aquaguard Bottom Paint, Aquaguard Alumi-Koat, Super Ship Bottom, Epoxycop Ablative, Micron CSC, Trilux, Phasecoat, Hydrocoat, Horizons, Alumacoat, Ultima SR, Monterey, Mission Bay CSF, AF 33, Biocop, Cukote, Interlux, Pettit, Blue Water MarPro, Seahawk, and West Marine.

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