I’m putting three antifouling coatings to the test. But this isn’t a head-to-head shootout. While all three are somewhat environmentally friendly, each achieves that status with a different twist. So this is not an apples-to-apples comparison. What I intend to show here is the efficacy of three different available coating technologies from which you can now choose if you’re seeking a clean conscience to go with a clean bottom.
Here’s a synopsis of the test products with links to the full scoop on each. Subsequent posts will detail our test procedure, personal insights on the handling and application of each product, and a photographic record of the antifouling success each achieves.
**Interlux Pacifica Plus:** This ablative paint contains no copper. That makes it better for marine life than coatings that do use heavy metals as biocides. Its copper-free formula also makes it compatible for a wide range of substrates, including aluminum. It meets the highest VOC (volatile organic compound) guidelines in the country. Pacifica Plus uses a chemical called Econea to fight shell growth and Biolux to fight slime. An ablative paint, it wears away as the boat is used, exposing fresh biocide, keeping the bottom smooth and eliminating performance — robbing paint buildup. A boat painted with Pacifica Plus can be launched the same day you apply it.
**Pettit Hydrocoat:** This ablative paint contains copper. But instead of noxious chemicals, it uses water as a solvent. That makes cleanup easier and helps it to meet the strictest VOC standards. An ablative paint, it wears away as the boat is used, exposing fresh biocide, keeping the bottom smooth and eliminating performance-robbing paint buildup. Its copper content makes it unsuitable for aluminum boats or drives, but it can be burnished — wet-sanded — for extra smooth water flow and performance. A boat painted with Hydrocoat can be launched the same day you apply it.
**Easy-On Bottom Wax:** Completely free of biocides, this is “foul-release” coating rather than an antifoulant. After application, it provides a hard, smooth surface that critters and plants have a hard time sticking to. Not rated for season-long or multiseason use like the others, Easy-On is rated for up to a week’s immersion in fresh water and up to two or three days in salt water, after which time any growth is purportedly easy to clean off with a soft scrub brush. So if you trailer your boat and wet-store on the occasional weekend, this might be the product for you.
Check here for: