May 8, 2013 | by Ben Lee
With copper-based bottom paint being phased out in Washington state (read here for the details), we’re tracking the performance of the non-copper alternatives on Puget Sound boats to better help the whole boating community make the transition more smoothly. Today, we want to highlight Pettit Paint’s Ultima Eco.
Ultima Eco’s strategy to fight off marine fouling is to use Econea for hard growth (mussels and barnacles) and Zinc Omadine for soft growth (algae and grasses). Econea, developed by Janssen PMP, is effective at much lower concentrations than the cuprous oxide used in traditional copper-based paint (4 – 6% Econea by weight versus 50 – 60% cuprous oxide). Once it is released from the paint, Econea degrades rapidly into less-toxic constituent parts. Zinc Omadine, which is the trade name for zinc pyrithione, also degrades quickly into less-toxic forms once released from the paint. It is safe enough for it to be used in anti-dandruff shampoo.
Ultima Eco uses 6% Econea and 4.8% zinc pyrithione by weight. How effective does that make it? Check out some photos:
We’re seeing good results so far since Ultima Eco came onto the market in 2011 – it does well against soft growth and extremely well against hard growth – not a mussel or barnacle to be found on any Ultima Eco boats that I have seen.
Pettit’s Northwest sales rep, Mark Lindeman, says “After two years’ use in Puget sound waters I am very confident in this paint. It has performed better than I expected. It’s the Trinidad of copper free bottom paints.” (Did you visit him at the Seattle Boat Show this year? Have you seen the Ultima Eco signs up in Fisheries, West Marine and your boatyard?) – you can take that as another sign that it works.
Ultima Eco can be applied directly to the existing paint (except the rare Teflon-based paints) with a light sanding of the hull (a once-over with 80 grit sandpaper is what most boatyards are telling me). It’s suitable for power boats, sailboats, trailered boats, full-time-in-the-water boats, aluminum hulls, fiberglass hulls, steel hulls, outdrives and outboard lower units – you name it.
If you’re needing a bottom paint job, consider Ultima Eco. If you’re already using it, tell us how it’s working (firstname.lastname@example.org) – we want to hear your experiences.
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