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Bottom Paint Study Begins

In the September 21 edition of ‘Lectronic, we put out a call for volunteer bottoms to join in a study sponsored by Janssen Pharmaceutica to test new ‘green’ bottom paint in the Bay Area. In desperate need of a bottom job ourselves – and, of course, always up for doing our part for the environment – we volunteered our own bottom.

We were too embarrassed to snap a shot of our filthy bottom before KKMI pressure washed it.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The biocide Econea was created by Janssen, and various paint companies have developed formulas incorporating it into antifouling paint. Boats accepted into the study will have three paints – two experimental and one control with high copper content – applied to their bottoms in a pattern.

This zebra striping pattern used on another study boat is essential.

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Every six months, the boats will be hauled and the paints evaluated. Preliminary testing by the paint companies, who had to show positive efficacy data to even participate in this study, gives every reason to be optimistic, and we’ll report on the results throughout the study.

Will the new eco-friendly bottom paints keep these guys from latching on?

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Incidentally, Jack Hickey, who is coordinating Janssen’s countrywide studies, is looking for volunteer boats in Marina del Rey and San Diego to participate. The same basic criteria need to be met by any potential volunteer:

1) Your boat must be in the area for the next year so it can be hauled every six months for inspection.
2) The paint currently only comes in black, so if you need red bottom paint to coordinate with your canvas, this study’s not for you.
3) You absolutely, positively, no matter what must NOT scrub your bottom during the testing period. Remember, they’re testing the effectiveness of this paint so scrubbing would skew the results.
4) Volunteers will pay for the first haul-out and application of the paint. The paint and follow-up haul-outs are free.
5) You must have a hard/non-sloughing paint on your boat.

Marina del Rey has one of the highest Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for dissolved copper in the state, mainly due to its poor flushing ability. The federal EPA standards allow for up to 3.1 parts per billion in yacht harbors and Marina del Rey is several times above that limit. If you’d like to volunteer your own bottom for the study, contact Jack Hickey at (732) 319-1435 or by email.

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After you wake up from your sugar coma tomorrow, be sure to hit your local chandlery, yacht club or marina and pick up the November issue of Latitude 38.
We received reports this week from two intrepid singlehanding circumnavigators: Jeanne Socrates aboard her Najad 36 Nereida and Mike Harker on his Hunter 49 Wanderlust III.