It depends upon what antifouling paint you are using, but here at Interlux we definitely have solutions for you. With Micron® Technology products there is no maximum launch time so they can be applied in the fall and launched when you are ready. If you happen to have some oxidation on the surface in the spring, all you need to do before launch is to rinse the hull with fresh water and/or scrub with a Scotch Brite™ pad, as this will open up the surface again. Micron Technology antifouling paints provide top of the line antifouling protection, can be hauled and relaunched without repainting, and they wear down with use so they do not build up, hence they keep the surface smooth.
There is no maximum launch time for VC®17m and VC®17m Extra either, so if you are a Great Lakes Boater or simply a fan of VC17m Extra, irrespective of your location you can take advantage of the good painting weather in the late fall and avoid the rush in the spring. Products such as these have been designed to be easy and simple to apply and maintain.
If you have been thinking about applying a blister barrier to your boat, InterProtect® 2000E can be applied in temperatures down to 40°F and it has a maximum overcoat time between coats (of itself) of 6 months, so fall can be a good time to start the blister protection job. Other jobs that would be a good fit for painting in the fall would be fairing the keel or painting the underwater metal.
If you take on some of the big jobs in the fall, when spring arrives all you will need to do is wax the hull, touch up the varnish, and be ready to launch. Take advantage of the extra time when the weather breaks by going boating!