If you recall our test methodology, the drill is to remove the test panel and blast it with the hose once or twice a week. This simulates the “washing action” a boat hull receives in use.
Then I thought: “Folks take vacations; weather can cancel plans; your third cousin gets married. … Life happens, and sometimes we just can’t go boating. What happens if I let the panel sit for two weeks, basically inviting marine life to come on in and sit a spell. Will these two ablative paints and one foul-release wax be up to the task?
In the photo you can see that plant life is thriving on the line from which the panel is hung, on the perimeter where no treatment was applied and on the weight that keeps it down. Beneath that guck are barnacles, like the one showing on the yellow and white bait car in the next photo. The bait car was in the water for just one week.
•The Pettit section of the panel shows a minute amount of plant life and some discernible slime (slime doesn’t photograph well), a gelatinous layer. I hit it with the hose and it came clean, so if this were your boat hull, simply leaving the dock for a while would return your bottom to clean.
•The Interlux section of the panel (middle) shows no slime but a bit more plant life. I hit it with the hose and it came clean, so if this were your boat hull, simply leaving the dock for a while would return your bottom to clean.
•The Easy On Bottom Wax is completely befouled. But, true to its claims, with a scrub brush, I was able to get it almost entirely clean. Just a few mini barnacles resisted the brush — but came off with a plastic scraper, and no damage to the gelcoat occurred. My guess is you’d probably have to haul and scrub to get it clean— that the action of the boat moving through water wouldn’t be enough. Still, I was very impressed with the effectiveness of this inexpensive, easy-to-apply coating. So far, it seems to be the ticket for those who occasionally wet-store for short periods and trailer their boat most of the time.
This two-week, no hauling, no scrubbing portion of my test showed that quality ablative paints do, in fact, work, even if the boat sits for a while. It also showed that a foul-release wax can work beyond the limits its manufacturer intended, even if you keep your boat in salt water for up to two weeks.