|Going... Going... Almost Gone|
Part 3: Switching over won’t hit your budget that hard.
By Capt. Ken Kreisler — April 2003
Trinidad SR, which, according to Ludgate, is the largest-selling hard antifouling paint in the United States, also uses high amounts of copper—70 percent—and Irgarol to provide the maximum protection, even in heavily infested waters such as those in the tropics.
Nautical Coatings, the Clearwater, Florida-based company whose Sea Hawk products cover the bottoms of Carver and Viking vessels as well as yachts from Burger and Palmer Johnson, among others, has six TBT-free coatings in its lineup. “Our Monterey, for example, used by Carver at the factory, is a water-based product that was developed to utilize a new styrene acyrilate copolymer,” says Eric Norrie, CEO of the company and who, along with his brother David, runs the family-owned business.
Sea Hawk’s Cukote Biocontrol Plus with Slime Resistance is based on a copolymer technology incorporating a new additive that reduces slime and algae buildup and is designed for vessels of any size and material in any water condition. Other TBT-free products include Tropikote Biocide Plus Slime Resistance and standard Tropikote. Both have a high load of copper and perform well in any water condition according to Norrie. “As far as our TBT-based products are concerned, we plan to continue with them until 2004,” he says.
Indeed, TBT-based paints are not gone yet. “While the federal government is considering how best to implement the treaty, the EPA continues to press for the voluntary withdrawal of the TBT paints and the TBT used to formulate them,” says Jill Bloom of the EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances. Bloom says the agency bases this action on a strong belief that the risks associated with TBT are too high and that registered alternatives are available.
The studies of TBT-based antifoulings provide mounds of data indicating the harmful effects of TBT, and with plenty of safer and effective coatings available, all boaters should consider switching to non-TBT coatings. And as most are not significantly more expensive, switching over won’t hit your budget that hard.
So while our children will still be able to read about the adventures of Tin Tin and can continue to join Dorothy and her Tin Man as they go somewhere over the rainbow, tin on our boats’ hulls will soon be nothing but a memory. And we’ll all be healthier for its demise.
This article originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.