Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Fort Lauderdale
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Re: Ablative vs. Hard Paints....
I live way upriver in brackish although mostly fresh water. Hard paint was awful for me. We were commissioned with Petit Trinidad SR on our bottom. First, didn't adhere very well to my iron keel, although that was likely the prep that was done by the dealer. Second, the paint nearly immediately started getting a slime layer on it. I had to have a diver once a month.
After my first haul, I stripped to bare bottom, epoxy coated, and then applied 2 layers of West Marine PCA Gold with Irgarol, which I hear is bulk repack of a major brand of ablative (it may be Petit). I love the stuff. $150 a gallon (friend has port supply account) and it lasts a loooong time. I have it dived only once every 8 weeks now and there is no fouling at all. When I use the boat, I get a clean bottom.
But again, its all dependent on your local conditions. Because I'm in almost fresh water, I dont worry about hard growth nearly as much as I worry about soft slime growth.