Features November 2009 Issue

Topside Paint Exposure Test Checkup

A close look at Practical Sailorís 29 topside test paints shows how enamels, linear polyurethanes, and water-based paints have fared after a year of weathering.

In August 2008, Practical Sailor launched a topside paint test in search of a high-gloss, easy-to-apply, durable coating for fiberglass hulls. The initial report focused on the application characteristics for 29 topside paints, including multiple white coatings and a handful of colored topside coatings. This report taps the best topside paints after their being exposed to the New England weather for a year. Testers rated each paintís appearance, abrasion resistance, scratch resistance, hardness, and stain resistance. PS compared seven enamels, 12 mono-urethanes, eight two-part linear polyurethanes (LPUs), and two water-based paints. After 12 months exposure, the majority of the topside paint test field was holding up admirably. Test paints included products from Interlux, Crystalac, Epifanes, Insignia Coatings, Kirby Paint Co., Pettit, Sherwin-Williams, Signature Finishes, and West Marine.

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