Environment Agency advises boaters to use UK product

The Environment Agency has given its approval to a UK firm’s antifoul product after a seven year test.

The EA’s 10m RIB was used as a guinea pig to test Coppercoat as a ‘green’ antifoul, with the product applied in 1999 and the boat remaining in the water ever since, except for servicings.

This year the RIB was lifted for the first time and Mark Warmsley, EA transport manager, said: “As the Environment Agency we are keen to use products that minimise the impact on the marine environment and as a result we decided to try Coppercoat.”

He explained the product’s copper is suspended in epoxy resin, which he said gave the hull the necessary protection but did not harm marine life.

“The vessel, a 10m RIB, has been permanently in the water since June 1999 and to date not had the need to have Coppercoat reapplied. When the vessel is removed from the water for maintenance, there is no marine life or growth on the hull.

“If we can minimise the environmental impact of antifouling we will and as a result we will be using Coppercoat on our other vessels in the future.”

Manufactured and distributed by Aquarius Marine Coatings in Dorset, Coppercoat was developed in the 1980s. It is the combination of specially formulated solvent-free epoxy resin and high purity copper (99%). One treatment is said to have a lifespan of at least 13 years.

www.coppercoat.com