Marine Maintenance: Bottom Paint Test Results
Find out how dozens of marine antifouling paints fared after one to three years of testing.
In the interest of saving readers both time and money, Practical Sailor recently inspected six different sets of antifouling test paints that had been submerged for varying amounts of time in the waters of Florida and New England. Each fiberglass panel set was painted with more than five-dozen different bottom paints, including ablative antifoulings, hard paints, freshwater paints, eco-friendly bottom paints, and copper-free paints. This season’s report—we offer these in-depth looks at antifouling twice a year—reinforces what we’ve stated before: Most modern paints designed for salt water are effective against hard growth for 12 months, but some are clearly better slime fighters. Test paints included formulas from Interlux, Pettit Paints, Blue Water Marine, BoatKoat Laminates, Coppercoat, Sea Hawk, Epaint, Flexdel, and West Marine. The report breaks it down by performance, price, and niche so readers can decide which paint best suits their needs.