Bottom Paint: West Coast

West Coast


The most stringent bottom paint regulatory controls in the United States are in Southern California. Many high-copper content paints that are effective elsewhere in the nation are illegal in San Diego. Industry pro Bill Campbell, part of the management team at Driscoll Boat Works prefers Interlux's Ultra-kote and Sea Hawk's Shark Skin for their hard finish and copper-based anti fouling technology. According to Campbell, serious competitors tend to scrub off ablative coatings too quickly especially considering the fact that Southern California has a year-round racing season. "If a paint manufacturer could make a clean, white, hard modified epoxy bottom paint," he says, "it would take over the market."Ninety percent of racers that haul at Driscoll's have their bottom paint sprayed and keep a diver busy during the season. Other sailors in the area avoid the bottom-paint issue by dry sailing. When asked if big boat sailors were showing an increased interest in dry sailing out of San Diego boatyards the way they are elsewhere, Campbell says there is neither the room nor the inclination among owners.San Francisco and Seattle-based sailors have cooler water temperature and less sunlight turbo-charging marine growth, and the bottom paint consensus leans toward ablative coatings with Interlux's Micron 66 and Pettit's Vivid the top choices among professionals in the region.