Most marine paints are made with toxic chemicals designed to leach out and prevent bottom growth on the hull. Antifoulant coatings are a threat to aquatic life. When concentrated amounts of these materials are allowed to escape from hull maintenance and repair areas, there is a potential for environmental harm. Materials, such as solvents, thinners, and brush cleaners, often used in sanding and painting, can also harm the environment if improperly handled.
Research paints before deciding what to use. Consider alternatives to toxic “soft” bottom paints. Some good alternatives are silicon, polyurethane, Teflon, and some other hard antifouling coatings. These alternatives rely on a slick surface to discourage the growth of marine oranisms rather than killing them. Consider storing your boat out of the water to prevent fouling and eliminating the need for a bottom paint.
Boats painted with anti-fouling paint containing TBT (Tributylin) are not allowed on Lake George, unless a registered Commercial Pesticides Applicator applied the paint in New York State.
Sanding and painting can be messy tasks. If certain precautions are not taken, these tasks can also create a mess for the environment as well!
Follow these guidelines to help protect the lake while you make your boat look its best.
- Always sand and scrape on shore, away from the water and preferably in a dedicated work area.
- Lay tarps under your work area to catch loose particles.
- Work indoors or under cover whenever wind can potentially blow dust and paint into the open air.
- Use a vacuum or dust-free sander or vacuum sanders and grinders to collect and trap dust.
- Clean up all debris, trash, sanding dust, and paint chips immediately following any maintenance or repair activity.
- Dispose of scrapings and dust particles at a household hazardous waste facility in your town or check with your marine professional.
- Share left over paint. Dispose of oil-based paints/solvents as hazardous waste. Cans of water-based paint may be opened until dry and disposed with regular trash.
- Wait 60 days after a new application of hard bottom paint before cleaning.