A dozen of the leading antifouling paints are put to the test and rated by MBY in The Solent and the Mediterranean
Hempel Silic One £219.85
Like AquaCote, this is a two part silicone-based coating that doesn’t use biocides. Instead, it relies on a slippery surface to stop fouling attaching
Silic One can be applied to any boat although a minimum speed of 8 knots is required to keep the hull fully clean. It can only be applied to a stripped hull and needs a special tie coat (included in our cost) but annual top-up coats are cheaper.
COLOUR FASTNESS: 4/5
Being a sealed unit, and starting out in black, Silic One showed limited colour change. Only at the East Coast was there a rusty tinge at the waterline.
In the Solent and Mediterranean locations there were no signs of any barnacle or weed growth, although at the East Coast location the slime had started to form some simple weed-like patterns.
SLIME CONTROL: 4/5
In all three locations there was some minor slime build-up on the panel, but without any movement through the water this was almost inevitable. Even then slime was remarkably light and mostly at the waterline, with very little below this.
WASH TEST: 5/5
This is where the Silic One accelerated ahead of the others, requiring very little effort to remove the slime with a finger swipe. Spraying with the hose quickly brought the panel back to its original state, with water beading and rolling off it like rain off a freshly waxed car.
Radical solutions often don’t perform as well as claimed but Silic One gave us very impressive results. It’s not the cheapest or simplest to apply, and some yards have concerns over boats slipping in hoists, but the extra effort may well be worth it.