Originally Posted by Sailormon6
Realistically, I think ablative paints are only good for one year. If you want a bottom paint that will last longer, you need a hard finish paint. Over the long term, ablative paints will save you a lot of labor maintaining the boat.
The better ablative paints are advertised as multi-year paints, which also has been my experience with them. How long they last depends on how many coats you put on to begin with. But the ablatives are made to be re-launched from one season to the next as long as there's enough thickness left.
BTW, I should've explained why I have a coat of Trinidad as a base coat with ablative paint on top. The Trinidad is black and the ablative paint is blue. So if I start seeing black show through it's time to apply more ablative. Pettit also recommended Trinidad as the base paint over the epoxy barrier boat because the Trinidad adheres very well.
But after tiller vs. wheel, bottom paint probably is one of the most personal topics you'll find on these boards. Everybody has their favorite for their local waters. (Note I am not getting into the wing vs. bulb keel thing!)