The paint samples were applied to 6-foot-by-2-foot fiberglass panels for testing. Testers follow the makers’ instructions for preparation and application. There were 11 samples per test panel. All but four samples had two coats of paint.
Prior to rating the paints, testers sluice the panels with a bucket of salt water. Paints were rated Excellent (no growth), Good (light soft growth), Fair (moderate to heavy soft growth), and Poor (hard growth). Any paint rated Fair or better is continuing to meet its designed purpose.
A Recommended paint performed best overall or rated best among its specialized peers (best aluminum-safe paint, best water-based paint, best racing paint, etc.). The Budget Buy paints are the least expensive among Recommended paints.
Any antifouling test is subject to a number of variables, and we recommend supplementing our data with local knowledge from independent sources. How and where you use your boat, as well as the maintenance regimen, can have an effect on longevity and performance.