The original question...to paint or not ot paint. I clean hulls for a living in the PNW and see interesting growth. My sailboat is 37' and resides on a mooring
buoy with good currents and water
flush. I put the cheapest West marine
antifouling on and it was a mistake. thought as a diver I could easily keep my boat clean for a couple years with the cheap
stuff. Oops! The painted last only one year before I started growing barnicle buds on the paint After 1.5 years I was scraping the barnicles off in clusters and I had to clean the boat everytime I wanted a good sail. I dont know how much will grow while cruising but I do know that unprotected hulls will start growing stuff in one day, you just cant see it yet. Once the spore has taken root on your hull
it WILL grow. If you stop for 1 week at an island then you will have a visible slime over the entire hull
. In my humble opinion, from experience, the cheapest, quickest, ugliest, single
coat antifouling job will be much appreciated later unless your curent pain is not that bad.