On 1 January 2020 you will no longer be able to find anti-fouling bottom paint which contains significant amounts of copper at your local marine store. Copper bottom paints have been the standard for marine bottom coatings for decades but new research suggests that copper levels are rising. A 2007 study found that copper is pretty toxic to marine life and causes salmon to lose their fight or flight survival reaction to danger.
Don’t despair, marine coatings companies have been hard at work to develop products that they argue work better and are better for the spectacular marine environment in which we live. Tasman Boat Company is in the process of aquiring samples of these coatings and will conduct tests on them in the waters near Seattle. In the next few years I will be able to report back on those coatings which I find provide the best protection for your boat here in the Puget Sound and are appropriate to how your boat operates. It is a long time to wait but it is important to simulate a full two years of marine growth inside of a marina in shaded and sunny areas both. I look forward to the results!
Happy boating to everyone!