We have been using various formulas of zinc-based antifouling paint (copper is out for Morgan’s Cloud since she is aluminum) from E-Paint for 12 years with varying results. For the last three years we have been using their ablative ZO product with generally good results.
However, there are a few things to know:
- E-Paint ZO works well as long as you move the boat at least once a week but it is very poor at warding off slime and grass when the boat is sitting in one place. What happens is that once a layer of slime appears, it seems to encapsulate the active ingredients and prevent them from releasing. The key is not to let this process get going, either by moving the boat once a week, which will slough off the slime easily, or by giving it a light scrub about once a month while diving. Let it go more than that, and you will have a nasty job getting the growth off and will lose a lot of paint in the process. By the way, I think this effect is why paints with biocides don’t do any better than those without in static tests like the ones performed by Practical Sailor magazine.
- The paint has failed at the water line (see photo) twice in just 9 months resulting in us having to recoat even though the paint on the rest of the bottom had plenty more life in it. And this despite having applied five coats to the water line area. We understand from the manufacturer that this is caused by the combination of lapping action and sunshine. This time, in an attempt to stop this happening again, we first applied two coats of ZO-HP, which is the same formula as ZO but non-ablative, prior to coating with three coats of ZO. We’ll let you know how it goes.