I'm fairly new to sailing and only have experience with one brand of paint and that's Petit Hydrocoat. Its a water based multiseason ablative. Based on talking to other boat owners around me, I'm convinced it is as effective as the higher price products and has done well in PS tests. On my previous boat we went 2 seasons with a haulout over the winter and then sold that boat. On the current boat I sanded the exisiting ablative to create "tooth" and put on two coats of Black Hydrocoat. The boat has been in the water since May of last year and was scrubbed by a diver once during the season. The boat hasn't moved since late October and currently has a 1/4" beard of slime, but no hard growth. I'll do a short haul in the spring to powerwash, check/replace zincs and repack the stuffing box and I'll be good for another season at least.
We hire a diver to do several of our boats and I don't need cleaning any more often that the guys using Micron or Interlux. Also, I used a short knapp roller then tipped with a brush and finally did a very light hand sanding and got a really smooth bottom, not racing smooth, but way smoother than a lot of boats I see in the yard.
Being a water based paint, Hydrocoat is a lot less troublesome for do it yourselfers since there aren't any fumes and it cleans up easily with water.
s/v Palmetto Moon
1991 Catalina 36