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Clean Boating and Copper Bottom Reduction

What is clean boating and copper bottom paint phase out? I can't overemphasize the importance of good boat maintenance practices enough. Everyone likes a nice shiny hull and polished chrome; however, there is the bottom of the boat to worry about as well. If you keep your boat on a trailer after every use then this may not be important to you; however, on the other hand, you may decide to at some point you are ready to install a good anti-fouling paint because a bottom paint will provide the ultimate protection over the long haul for you boat.

In 2011 Christine Gregoire passed a piece of legislation to reduce copper anti-fouling paints used on recreation vessels. In short, extensive studies showed that copper is, in fact, hazardous to our marine environment and sea creatures. Jen McIntyre, reseacher, University of Washington, reports, "even a small amount of copper (10 parts per billion) has shown to distract coho salmon from swimming away from predators. In other words, copper impacts the development. social and environmental life of our sea creatures similarly to how harmful chemicals such us as drugs have a negative impact on human life causing one not to respond appropriately in the presence of danger because they are intoxicated.


January 1, 2018 marked the day that any new recreational boats under 65 feet can be sold in Washington State with copper bottom paint. In 2020, suppliers can't sell any bottom paint for recreational boats under 65 feet. Essentially, what that means boats with existing copper anti-fouling paint will be grandfathered in with the expectation that when it's time for your boat to get a new bottom paint will comply with the new guidelines for copper bottom paint.


At Mobile Boat Guys we lean towards Seahawk Premuim Yacht Finishes, Anti-Fouling Paint. We aren't sponsored by Seahawk, we just found they produce a high quality a reasonable price as opposed to other brands of bottom paints. They offer a wide selection of products, but for the purpose of this post we keep our focus on anti-fouling paints and primer systems.

If you want a product that will provide the ultimate protection against marine fouling, barnacles, slime and algae Seahawk offers a "self-polishing" (ablative) and a "pharmaceutical grade biocide ... to control hard growth." In addition, Seahawk offers an epoxy primer that is essential to below the waterline protection. Seahawk Primer is great selection for providing protection for the bilge, props and also a prevention for blistering on the bottom.

Having a good bottom paint is essential to good boating maintenance and practices. It provides a good boating experience while on the water and with new technologies you can also protect our environment and marine life while you enjoy your recreation vessel. There are many options available as we phase out from copper bottom paint, Seahawk is only one of those alternatives.

If you have any questions about bottom painting and the copper bottom reduction legislation feel free to give us a call or send us an email .


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