Boat Bottom Paint
Lakeland Boating Magazine April 2012
Eco-Clad antifouling bottom paint is based on the principle of biomimicry; emulating nature’s method of not accumulating hard growth. When introduced into the water, a biofilm will grow on the paint surface. According to its manufacturer Luritek, the paint is a food source for naturally occurring organisms that form the biofilm, which is like slime on a fish. The slick surface is supposed to reduce hull drag, therefore reducing fuel consumption and increasing speed. Eco-Clad contains a two-part epoxy resin and high purity metallic copper, so keep in mind this is not a copper-free paint. However, its “greenness” comes from having no toxic booster biocides, no zinc and no VOCS (volatile organic compounds). It also touts low copper leach rates. To apply, the boat hull surface must be clean, and a primer or tie coat is required. The paint goes on with a roller & brush to a target thickness of 5 to 7 mils and cures in about a day. Once back in the water, the protective biofilm begins to grow. Since it’s a hard paint, there’s no ablative release, even when scrubbing during hull cleaning.
Written by Zuzana Prochazka