Antifouing or bottom paint is a fact of life for all of us who keep our boats in the water for the summer season or longer, which is just about every Cruising Compass reader. It is quite expensive and the various rules and regulations that have been handed down from authorities have forced the paint companies to struggle to be legal and effective at the same time.
Duncan Kent, writing in the British magazine Sailing Today, recently delved into the subject and came up with a good basic discussion of what is out there in terms of bottom paint types and the options we have to get the best protection from barnacles, weed and slime.
“It’s been several decades since tin-based TBT antifouling was outlawed for use on leisure craft and since then yacht owners have relied almost entirely on copper-based products laced with various other biocides to keep the weed and barnacles away.
Copper metal (Cu) and cuprous oxide (CuO) are the basis of most metallic biocides currently found in antifouling paint. Both these elements are very effective in deterring larval, mollusc and weed growth, but their ability to arrest the growth of some weed and slime depends on their concentration within the coating.” Read more.