Port Considers Banning Copper Bottom Paint

Changes in bottom paint formulations seem inevitable.

When I was down at the Seattle Boat Show I talked to both the Interlux and and the Petite reps and came away with the impression that while both companies offer non-copper based bottom paints, neither is producing a product that works as well as their current copper-based paints. Good sense suggests that the life cycle of copper-based paints is coming to an end, one can only hope that the new technology reaches greater effectiveness before it does.

From Bertram Levy of the PT Moorgage Tenants Union reporting on a recent Port of PT commission meeting.

At the last commission meeting, the Commissioners unanimously voted to support a State Proposal to ban the sale of copper bottom paint.

According to Larry Crockett the State was looking to the Port Townsend Port Commission to lead the way.  The Commissioners sought the consultation of the Marine Trades who endorsed the ban.

I tried to point out that the Commissioners NEVER asked the tenants who are the real users of the materials.  In addition I pointed out that the alternative non-copper products are not adequate yet.  Both of my concerns were ignored!

So here is the sad news.  If passed by the State (which is likely) only 30% copper will be sold in 2012.  Each year after that for several years, there will be a steady reduction in the copper and totally banned by 2019 (I think that was the final date).

I can understand the Commissioner’s enthusiasm as it will mean cheaper management of the storm water waste. But for us it means significantly more expense.

We all know that 30% copper is inadequate so 2 year haul outs  won’t be possible.  As to E paint,  my friend who has used E Paint could not get it to stick to his wood boat until he used a more expensive model and applied it thicker.  The cost for 2 gallons (for a 24 foot keel boat like mine) was $400.00 and it slimed up by 8 months.


By |2011-01-27T09:38:16+00:00January 27th, 2011|Boat Maintenance|1 Comment

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  1. jak 01/29/2011 at 9:54 am

    Does anyone have experience with alternatives such as ultra sonic anti-fouling?


    These systems seem to sell for about $1200 to $1500 and last 10 years. This would make them quite a bit cheaper than hauling and painting. Elimination of fairly thick bottom paint is also better for racers.

    Another alternative is 10 year copper coating from the UK. (http://www.coppercoatusa.com/). While this product uses copper, it is permanently adhered to the hull and does not slough off leaving the residue on the marina bottom. It also does not need to be sanded off and disposed of each year or two.

    It would be interesting to see some tests of these in our waters. Perhaps a study could be done prior to banning effective products.

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