Port Increases Discounts in Eco Hull Paint Program

Byline: Taylor Hill

Port Increases Discounts in Eco Hull Paint Program

SAN DIEGO — As the Port of San Diego continues to look for ways to lower copper levels in San Diego Bay, it has presented a new offer for owners of boats moored in Shelter Island Yacht Basin. Under the port’s Hull Paint Conversion Program, boaters can now get a 60 to 75 percent discount off a repaint job if they agree to use non-biocide coatings.

The discount offer was introduced Oct. 12, to give more boaters an incentive to participate in the port’s Hull Paint Conversion Program. The program is aimed at reducing the number of boats in the basin with copper-based antifouling paint on their hulls.

Currently, the copper levels measured in Shelter Island Yacht Basin exceed federal and state standards, leading the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board to issue a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) order for the basin. Under the order, there must be a reduction in the amount of dissolved copper in the basin of 10 percent by the end of 2012, 40 percent by 2017 and 74 percent by 2022.

While the port staff believes it has met the 10 percent reduction goal set in place for 2012, the drop in copper may in part be the result of fewer boats being moored in the basin — which is not a sustainable solution.

The 40 percent copper reduction goal to be met by 2017 will take more work and more measures to reduce the dissolved copper levels in the water — and port officials are hoping the Hull Paint conversion program can facilitate those reductions.

Originally introduced in 2011, the Hull Paint Conversion Program received $600,000 in grant funds to help offset the costly job of stripping off copper-based hull paints before boaters could reapply environmentally friendly copper-free hull paints.

But with the higher initial cost of applying non-biocide paints, boaters were reluctant to make the switch. Prior to the increased discount offer, only a handful of boaters had taken advantage of the incentive program. The revised program is aimed at changing that.

“Boaters can now receive funds for both the cost associated with stripping the existing copper hull paint and applying nonbiocide hull paint,” said Stephanie Bauer, the port’s associate environmental specialist.

Bauer added that several boaters, marinas and boatyards had expressed renewed interest in the program since the announcement of the revisions to increase the incentive for environmentally friendly repainting and have requested additional information.

With the existing program providing a boat paint stripping rate covering up to $6.30 per square foot, boaters can now choose between two paint applications at reduced rates, as well.

The first option enables boaters to receive the cost offset for stripping their existing copper hull paint and receive 75 percent off the cost of applying new nonbiocide hull paint.

The second option allows boaters to receive 60 percent off the cost of applying one of the newer nonbiocide hull paints that uses a specialized primer to seal the boat’s hull, eliminating the need to strip the existing hull paint.

The revision in the way the grant funding can be used means participating boat owners can apply a non-biocide paint at a cost comparable to copper paints, said Karen Holman, the port’s environmental programs manager.

“We’ve listened to the boater’s concerns,” Holman said. “This program now makes the transition possible, because much of the upfront cost will be removed.”

Grant funds will be available to boaters through June 30, 2014 or until the funds run out.

Boat owners interested in participating in the project must have their boat currently berthed in Shelter Island Yacht Basin, and they must remain in the basin for three years after the hull painting is complete.

FAST FACTS — Port of San Diego’s Hull Paint Conversion Program  

To receive funding, boat owners must meet the following criteria:

* The boat must currently be berthed in Shelter Island Yacht Basin.

* The boat must currently have copper paint on the hull.

* The replacement paint must be a nonbiocide hull paint.

* Boats participating in the program must remain in the basin for three years after the hull is painted with nonbiocide hull paint. If the boater decides to leave Shelter Island Yacht Basin, the funding that he or she has received through the grant must be returned — and it will be put back into the grant fund.

To participate, boat owners must do the following:        

* Complete a Boat Owner Interest Form and submit it online at sandiegobaycopperreduction.org.

* Sign a contract certifying that the boat’s owners do not intend to repaint with copper-based hull paint and do not intend to move their boat to a slip outside of Shelter Island Yacht Basin for three years. The contract will also verify that the boat is berthed in the basin.

* Select a nonbiocide hull paint.

* Take the boat to a port-contracted boatyard within 90 days of receiving a signed contract and authorization certificate from the port for paint stripping (if applicable).

Participating boatyards include:

* Driscoll Boat Works: driscollinc.com; (619) 226-2500.

* Knight & Carver: knightandcarver.com; (619) 336-4141.

* Koehler Kraft: koehlerkraft.com; (619) 222-9051.

* Marine Group Boat Works; marinegroupbw.com; (619) 427-6767.

* Nielsen Beaumont: nielsenbeaumont.com; (619) 222-4255.

* Shelter Island Boatyard: (619) 222-0481.

With the grant funds, boaters will receive a cost offset for stripping the vessel’s existing copper hull paint and applying a nonbiocide hull paint, at a rate of $6.30 per square foot for stripping and 75 percent of hull paint application costs.

Alternatively, boaters can receive a cost offset for applying one of the nonbiocide hull paints that use a specialized primer to seal the boat’s hull (60 percent of paint application costs). Use of these hull paints eliminates the need to strip off the old hull paint.
The grant funds will not cover:

* Any fees associated with haulout.

* Any costs in excess of $6.30 per square foot for removing copper hull paint or in excess of the cost offset for hull paint application costs.

* Any other services provided by the boatyard, such as specialty repair of the boat or its hull.

The port will pay the boatyard directly for the grant’s contribution ($6.30 per square foot) for the stripping cost. Boaters will pay the costs for applying the nonbiocide hull paint and then provide the port with the necessary documentation (boatyard invoice) to get reimbursed.

For more information, call (619) 686-6283 or email hullpainttransition@portofsandiego.org, or visit sandiegobaycopperreduction.org.

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