For boaters in California, knowledge of antifouling paints including regulations current and those being considered is more important than ever. This page is intended to make it easier to find the articles and publications that discuss and inform the boating community about the current issues facing us.

Know Your Bottom Paint

What type of bottom paint is best, hard or soft? What's the difference anyway? With soft paint all I have to do is run my boat and it cleans itself, right? Soft paint should be cleaned less often than hard paint - true or false? These questions and more are discussed with this divers perspective in mind -
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Antifouling Update

Lately I've been hearing about a shortage of an anti-fouling ingredient used in many popular bottom paints. While searching for more information I came upon TotalBoat Show, a blog maintained by Jamestown Distributors. Posted March 13, 2015 is an article titled "Antifouling Companies Struggle with the Loss of Herbicide Irgarol"

Irgarol: The algaecide supplied by chemical giant BASF and widely relied upon by most marine paint manufacturers to control “soft growths” like slime and plant growth has very recently been discontinued as a bottom paint ingredient. BASF seems to have caught the bottom paint industry off guard with their announcement late last year, and while manufacturers of the Irgarol dependent paint hope that in just 6-9 months it could be in production again, there is no guarantee.

From: Antifouling Paint Basics -
After the U.S. ban in 1995 of TBT (tributyltin) as a biocide, conventional bottom paints began utilizing the safer and highly effective cuprous oxide alternative as the primary mechanism to prevent invertebrates/barnacle fouling. An additional biocide, which acts as a supplement to the cuprous oxide, referred to a “booster” or “boosted”, is the addition of zinc pyrithione or zinc omadine to the formulation. To prevent slime, algae and plant fouling on vessels, advances in bottom paints utilize a slime control agent which is typically a proprietary formulation that blocks UV light from coming into contact with the hull's surface. Because barnacles are less likely to attach to hulls if slim and algae are not present, the utilization of both copper and a slime control biocide simultaneously provides the most effective antifouling protection for the hull of your vessel.

Paints effected by the loss of Irgarol:

  • Interlux:
    • Micron Extra, Ultra, VC17m Extra
  • Pettit:
    • Trinidad SR, Trinidad Pro, Ultima SR 40, Ultima SR 60, Hydrocoat SR
      *SR-21 will not be available until Irgarol is re-released
  • Seahawk:
    • Cukote Biocide Plus,Tropikote Biocide Plus
  • West Marine:
    • BottomPro Gold, PCA Gold
  • Blue Water:
    • Copper Pro SCX,

My Top Antifouling Picks

The two paints below are currently effected by the discontinued ingredient Irgarol

Trinidad SR

Modified epoxy/rosin. High Copper, Dual Biocide hard anti fouling. Dual biocide formula with 65% copper load offers unprecedented protection for long lasting performance. Trinidad SR’s high copper load is paired with a specially formulated algaecide to create an anti foulant with unprecedented resistance to barnacles, algae, slime, and other marine and fresh-water fouling organisms. Left in the water, it will provide years of dependable service. Available in blue, green, red and black. Due to its biocide booster, Trinidad SR continues performing long after other quality paints effectiveness drop off. Though it is pricier, you can expect nearly double the effective life of this paint. Trinidad SR meets all VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) regulations. VOC.....330 g/l max Trinidad SR Product Data Sheet.

Interlux Ultra with Biolux

Ultra is formulated for high fouling areas & provides excellent long-term anti fouling protection. The fast dry formula of Ultra allows your boat to be painted and launched in the same day. Ultra has a hard durable finish with excellent color stability. The higher solids formulation provides excellent coverage. The low emissions formula helps reduce overall solvent emissions into the air. The addition of Biolux® technology reduces slime and increases anti fouling performance.