Living in South Florida we are fortunate to have relatively warm waters year round. However, for boats living in these warm waters it means dealing with organisms that if left alone will grow to a point where the boats performance is affected.
In order to make your bottom paint last longer we always recommend that a diver be retained to clean the bottom once a month. When hiring a diver to perform this function make sure that he/she is experienced. Many inexperienced divers tend to use abrasive pads or scrapers to do the job. The problem is that the abrasive tools will also remove a layer of the bottom paint which is needed to retard barnacle growth. The trick is to clean the freshly painted bottom frequently enough so that a sponge (or similar soft tool) is all it takes to remove the slime. Once barnacles take hold the diver has no choice but to use more aggressive/abrasive tools and its downhill from there.
Bottom paint should last you about 12-24 months here in South Florida but this depends on where the boat is kept. Boats that are docked in areas where there is a strong tidal flow tend to need cleaning more frequently than boats docked in areas where there is little to no current / tidal flow. The side of the hull that faces the sun will tend to have more growth at the waterline than the side that faces away from the sun.
IPS systems tend to be more sensitive than conventional propulsion systems to any growth on the propellers and pods. One way to help keep growth at bay is to apply PROP-SPEED on the pods and propellers during the annual haul-out and bottom painting. Prop-Speed works best on boats that are run often rather than boats that sit unused for long periods of time. The reason for this is because the product prevents the growth from sticking to the underwater running gear therefore, the growth will slide off the gear when the boat is underway.
If your boat is due for new bottom paint please contact our service department and discuss your best options.