Re: General maintenance questions - hulls and paint etc
"Other than diminished speed" may be dismissing the issue more than you think. A seriously fouled bottom, which would take a while, can cost you as much as a knot of boat speed or more. Think of that as a percentage of how fast you're really going and its significant. Fouling the prop can be also bad for the motor, but assume you have an outboard that tilts up, if any motor at all.
However, I assume it would take a much longer time to get bad in FW v SW. On a 24ft boat, you could probably dive with a snorkel and scrub it off occassionally. Water temp permitting.
If you do paint, you do not always have to remove the old paint, just rough it up or scraped loose areas. Ater many many seasons of build up, you may want to strip and start over. not always. However, some paints won't survive being hauled for the winter and must be recoated to remain effective. Others will last more than one season.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.