Note that the bottom paint wont be any faster than the quality of the bottom prep underneath the paint. if you you don't spend 5-10 full days fairing the bottom with microballoon filler and a long board, don't bother with a hard bottom paint, just roll on some ablative stuff and go sailing...more slowly.
SF brings up a good point... how fair is the bottom of your boat. If you do fair with a microballoon filler, coat it with a skim coat of unthickened epoxy, otherwise, the microballoons that are sanded can absorb water.
Since you're bringing it down to the bare hull, you might want to barrier coat it at this time while you're at it.
A good hard modified epoxy paint is probably your best bet, since you can sand it very smooth for racing...
However, IMHO, it won't matter too much, since you're on a full-displacement monohulll. If you really wanted speed, you'd be on a multihull....
Yes, certainly before any major race I'll either get in and scrub or get a diver. In the meantime, I use a Dri-Diver (DRI-DIVER - Boat Hull Cleaner, Remove hull growth from the dock) to keep the hull free of too much growth accumulation. I'll scrub with the Dri Diver once or twice a month and dive (or pay a diver if it's cold) 7 or 8 times a year.
Thanks for d advice Jason and Alex. -Jason can you operate the dri diver from your own boat? Also the rope and net method can be done up to the keel only? Will any of the methods clean the keel?
I am not a serious racer but appreciate good performance.
Yeah, Spiru Grima is still there where u left him The place you went for Hobz biz Zejt is Zurrieq. I didn't manage to locate the other 2 guys you mentioned. Still hope u make the Middle sea race next year.