A smooth bottom.

Examples of various paints and the results.

Examples of various paints and the results.

If you've ever owned a boat, you'll know that one of the things you have to deal with is keepnig the hull clean.  When I first bought CALIX, she was on the hard (land) and I was able to inspect the bottom paint and see that it was fresh and ready to go for a full season.  I dutifully hauled CALIX come the following season and had her hull power-washed of all the slime and scraped off any barnacles and then applied two fresh coats of paint.  I left CALIX in the water for two full years after that painting and had her hull scrubbed while in the water.  That is not something you are supposed to do anymore if you use ablative paint, and that is my case.

Marine surface coatings as defined by Wiki: Antifouling paints and other related coatings are routinely used to prevent the buildup of microorganisms and other animals, such as barnacles on the bottom hull surfaces of recreational, commercial and military sea vessels.  Ablative paints are often utilized for this purpose to prevent the dilution or deactivation of the antifouling agent.  Over time, the paint will slowly decompose in the water, exposing fresh antifouling compounds on the surface. Engineering the antifouling agents and the ablation rate can produce long-lived protection from the deleterious effects of biofouling.

Post power wash with a little left over to scrape.

Post power wash with a little left over to scrape.

So now the trick is to use a paint that will keep your hull clean, smooth and give you the best sailing experience while keeping your fuel efficiency up.  In my CALIX gallery, you can see that I painted the prop too, with something called PropSpeed.  Supposedly it stops all growth from happening.  I know the bottom paint works pretty well, as after a weekend away from the dock, I can see noticeably less marina slime on the hull, sometimes it's like night and day during the middle of the summer when the worst growth occurs (and fast!) due to the water being warm.  But nothing will prevent growth competely, so anything that works well is what I'm looking to use.

New blue and ready to dip.

New blue and ready to dip.

It's going to get harder to do just that with legislation being passed to reduce and restrict the use of certain metals, such as copper, that are main ingredients to the ablative process.  While I don't need to worry about this right now in the middle of winter, I'm already thinking about the haul out coming up this spring in early May.  No time like the present to make sure your boat is ready for the season!  So rest assured that Brad and I will make sure CALIX can go as fast as she wants, it's just more fun that way.