What, no copper?

When your antifouling paint arrives in plain-labelled cans marked “Experimental,” you’re going to get some suspicious looks from your boatyard neighbors. When I painted our 34ft project boat’s bottom with Interlux’s Pacifica Plus copper-free antifouling last spring, the product was so new the labels hadn’t even been printed, and it proved to be a bit of a conversation-starter in the
Author:
Publish date:
PacificaPlus_instory

When your antifouling paint arrives in plain-labelled cans marked “Experimental,” you’re going to get some suspicious looks from your boatyard neighbors. When I painted our 34ft project boat’s bottom with Interlux’s Pacifica Plus copper-free antifouling last spring, the product was so new the labels hadn’t even been printed, and it proved to be a bit of a conversation-starter in the yard.

Driven by environmental pressures in Europe and, increasingly, in the USA, the search for alternative antifouling agents to copper has intensified in the last couple of years. Pacifica Plus contains Econea, a metal-free compound developed by Janssen Pharmaceutica, who says it is more effective than copper-based paints containing cuprous thiocyanate, and just as effective as those using cuprous oxide as a biocide. One or the other of those compounds is found in just about every copper-based antifouling paint on the market.

Econea is biodegradable, and its release rate can easily be controlled by paint makers. Its formulation is said to be especially effective against shellfish. This suited me just fine, since the boat is kept in Salem, Massachusetts, where barnacles have been a bit of nuisance over the last couple of seasons. Pacifica Plus also contains Biolux to fight slime.

I applied two coats of the paint over the existing Interlux Micron CSC, using a roller. It went on easier than the Micron and dried to the touch almost as soon it hit the hull. One blessing was that there was no longer a need to coat the saildrive leg and propeller with different paint: Pacifica Plus being metal-free, it can be applied to aluminum and any other underwater metal without fear of inducing galvanic corrosion.

Pacifica Plus is an eroding paint. The boat was in the water from early May to late October, and true to my usual aversion to getting wet I never bothered to dive in and scrub the bottom during the season. Only during the last month did the boat start to feel a little sluggish. That was par for the course.

I was not able to be present when the boat was hauled and pressure-washed, but there were only one or two barnacles on the saildrive leg, no clusters of small mussels around the through-hull apertures, and evidence of only minimal slime where the sling straps had prevented the pressure washer from doing its job.

On the evidence of one season’s use, I would be happy to use Pacifica Plus again. It’s the most effective copper-free antifouling I’ve tried. You can get it in red, blue or black.

Price varies according to outlet but MSRP is around $229/gallon. Interlux.com

Related

shutterstock_1158262783

A Catamaran Takes on the American Great Loop

After completing the European Great Loop on our 1987 40ft Catalac catamaran, Angel Louise, my wife, Sue, and I sailed home to the States and spent two years sailing up and down East coast between Maine and Florida, like migratory waterfowl. Eventually, though, we decided to ...read more

01-LEAD_Alex_Irwin

Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Competition

The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image competition once again captures the excitement that is sailing from around the world An impressive 109 photographers from 25 countries took part in last year’s Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2018 competition. And while Portuguese photographer Ricarado ...read more

judges2-1024x319-0219-600x

2019 Pittman Innovation Awards

For the past couple of decades, the digital side of sailing has become increasingly important, to the point where it’s now almost inconceivable going offshore, even aboard a daysailer, without at least a modicum of electronics onboard—a trend that has been very much in evidence ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! I took this shot from Cooper Island Beach Club as my ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Fall in line In the days before GPS, the best trick outside the book for finding a harbor in dense fog went like this: if it’s surrounded by rocks, forget it; if not, in you go, but never try to hit it ...read more

190115-Mark-Slats-Golden-Globe-Race2048x

Photo-Finish in the Golden Globe Race 2018

With less than 1,700 miles to go to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, second-place Mark Slats of the Netherlands has cut another 393 miles out of the lead held by French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in the Golden Globe 2018 race.  Jean-Luc aboard the Rustler 36 Matmut ...read more

06-Heineken-1-R2018_1March_©LaurensMorel_LMA5965_p

Post-Irma Heineken Regatta

Even more than a year and half later, the scars from Hurricane Irma are still all too visible on the island of St. Maarten. But if Irma couldn’t prevent the famed Heineken from taking place in the winter of 2017-18, you can bet it’s not going to put a crimp in either the racing ...read more