Join Date: Nov 2005
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I have had good results using Vivid. Two coats of Vivid (white) were sprayed on top of an epoxy barrier coat. The bottom was then burnished to very smooth finish by the boat yard. This yard works with a lot of race boats... and are very experienced at doing this. Prior to launching, the finish was very glossy and smooth to the touch. It looked like gelcoat but felt slightly softer. Lots of folks were amazed that it was an ablative paint.
Over the past 18 months it has been very easy to clean and is still very smooth. Just a wipe-down with a soft cloth every few weeks (and right before any major regatta) and it stays nice and white. After 18 months the paint is getting a little thin at the water line and probably needs a haul-out... but it still cleans-up very easy. This is in So Cal, so your mileage may vary.
Last year we had a great race year, so I have no complaints about the speed. True, a hard paint may be slightly faster but based on our observations last year... one slight mistake will make much more of a difference.