A real-world test of this bottom paint produces some definitive results.
Toward the middle of this past July, I had my Grand Banks 32 Sedan Betty Jane hauled at a local boatyard for two completely different reasons. First, I wanted to facilitate a first-rate wax job. Using a big electric buffer on a comparatively small, faux-planked hull while it remains in the water is a dangerous proposition and, because the person doing the waxing is usually forced to work from a dinghy or a raft, often produces sketchy results. And second, I wanted to check on the condition of my bottom paint—Sea Hawk’s BiocopTF, a high-copper-content product with two biocides and a very reasonable retail price of about $267 per gallon. I’d applied two coats of the stuff just about a year before, with a third coat along the waterline, in the garboard areas, and extending a foot or so down from the chines toward the keel. It had gone on quite smoothly (whether I was using a roller or a brush), despite a rather intense midsummer heat wave.
“Holy Cripes!” said the guy running the Marine TraveLift when Betty came clear of the water. She was virtually clean except for some slime strands hanging off the tough-to-get-at-and-paint lower surface of her keel. The operator adjusted his cap for emphasis and added, “How long did you say this thing’s been in the water?”
I was a tad amazed myself. I’ve owned Betty (or she’s owned me) for seven years now and, during that period, I’d never before seen her nether regions look as smooth, clean, and barnacle-free upon haulout. Indeed, a few minutes of pressure-washing was all it took to make the one-year-old Biocop bottom job look virtually brand new.
The TraveLift guy grinned at the sight, shook his head, and gave me a knowing, money-saving look. “Whatever you’re usin’ for bottom paint, bud,” he advised, “you better keep usin’ it.”
This article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.