Bottom Paint: Northeast



Mike Keyworth runs a premier boatyard operation at Brewer Cove Haven in Warren, R.I. His sage advice about bottom paint is a common sense game plan that starts with a reminder that two years ago the winner of the J/24 Worlds (Jens Hookensen's Salsa) campaigned a wet-sailed boat with a carefully wet sanded Regatta Baltoplate finish. Mike's team at Cove Haven favors Baltoplate or VC Offshore for bottom finishes on high-end race boats that are regularly cleaned. Mike also feels that the club racers looking for the right compromise between improved antifouling quality and a smooth surface will do well with an ablative coating such as Awlgrip's Awlstar Gold Label.Raceboat finish guru Randy Borges, co-owner of Waterline Systems in R.I., concurs with Keyworth on Baltoplate and VC Offshore as the choice of champions. He also feels that VC Offshore Red yields the most user-friendly, wet sandable surface of all the options. "The paint's antifouling quality is so-so, but you can't beat the finish," says Borges. For club racers looking for a better antifouling paint and less bottom cleaning, he recommends Micron 66 over Pettit Vivid but says both ablative products can be effectively wet sanded prior to launching.