Our Editors Choice roster would not be complete without the top performers in our semiannual bottom paints tests. The most recent test looked at 55 different paints from Blue Water Paints, Interlux, Epaint, Pettit, and Sea Hawk.
This years hard paint standouts were Interluxs Micron Extra with Biolux and West Marines Bottomshield. Made by Pettit, the West Marine-branded PCA Gold was the top ablative paint. Micron Extra and PCA Gold tied for best performance of the bunch.
Splice chafe protection
In a March 2015 report, we evaluated chafe protection for line splices. We tested coatings and physical coverings-everything from electrical tape to leather, webbing, heat shrink, and vinyl tubing-and coatings from Spinlock, Yale Cordage, West Marine, 3M, New England Ropes, and Loctite.
The top-performing anti-chafe coating was Yale Cordages Maxijacket ($8/4 ounces), while the best physical protection for splices was New England Ropes Dyneema chafe guard tubing ($2/foot). Both earned their places on the Editors Choice list.
Maxijacket is a quick-drying, waterborne polyurethane coating that soaks in deeply and stiffens line considerably. However, the 10-fold improvement in chafe resistance was very impressive. It is the Best Choice for protecting polyester line.
NERs Dyneema tubing is very similar to nylon webbing, except it is thinner and far more durable when wet. Testers noted that the Dyneema tubing will last longer than the line its protecting; its the best option for heavy-duty protection.
The December 2014 issue reported on our search for affordable spray waxes-liquid waxes that offer a glossy finish and some surface protection and that are applied after rubbing compounds, fillers, waxes, and polishes.
The test field featured 14 liquid spray-on waxes advertised for boat, RV, and car applications. We applied each product to a taped-off section of an old, white fiberglass hatch cover, left the panel exposed to the weather for 30 days, then rated the products for water-beading ability and gloss.
Overall, the best performer in both the water-beading and gloss tests was Turtle Waxs Ice Premium Care. Turtle Wax Ice-which is also one of the least expensive sprays tested (bonus)- earned our Best Choice pick and a spot in the Editors Choice roundup.