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Anti-Fouling Paints Grow More Eco-Safe and Boater Friendly
by Jim Hendricks
HydrocoatEcoHR
Courtesy Pettit Marine Paint
Pettit's new Hydrocoat Eco is one of the first copper-free water-based ablative anti-fouling paints, making it not only environmentally friendly, but easy to apply, as well.

With the specter of restrictions on copper-based anti-fouling paints looming on the horizon, marine paint companies such as Interlux and Pettit continue to push forward with broader ranges of environmentally friendly alternatives.

As I wrote in my Better Boating column in late 2011, anglers who keep their boats in the water have long-relied on copper-based bottom paints to effectively prevent fouling, but these copper-based coatings are getting a bad name these days. That’s because the copper agent in old-school bottom paints is now known to be unhealthy for marine ecosystems, particularly as the metals dissolve and accumulate in relatively high levels in basins and marinas.

So bottom-paint companies are working hard to strengthen their lines of eco-friendly paints. One of the latest paints is Hydrocoat Eco from Pettit. Like Pacifica Plus from Interlux, Hydrocoat Eco incorporates ECONEA, a metal-free biocide developed by New Jersey-based Janssen Pharmaceutica. ECONEA is supplied to paint manufacturers, which in turn use it in creating environmentally friendly bottom coatings such as Hydrocoat Eco.

Hydrocoat Eco is significant because it is one of the first water-based ablative paints, according to Pettit. Ablative means the coating sloughs off or “ablates” over time, continually exposing fresh layers of biocide. The water-based formula means application is simpler and safer. When it comes to clean up, soap and water are all that’s needed – no solvents.

Like other ECONEA-based paints, which contain no copper, Hydrocoat Eco is safe to apply on aluminum surfaces, including outboards and sterndrives. Also, Hydrocoat Eco will not lose effectiveness when removed from the water, in case you want to trailer your boat from time to time.

Hydrocoat Eco is available in five colors, white, blue, red, green and black. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for a gallon is $249.99.  To learn more, visit Pettit Marine Paint online.