ECONEA study results, a success
In 2007 and 2008, ECONEA® trials were initiated to answer the BIG question: “How do ECONEA®-based antifouling paints perform compared to copper base antifouling paints?” Co-operators were solicited in five locations along the California coast.
The type of vessel was not specified so we ended up having wood, fiberglass and steel hulled boats, work boats & pleasure craft and sail & power boats. A total of 23 vessels participated initially. Five different paint companies provided their ECONEA-based paints for comparison to the standard copper-based coatings. The evaluations were planned to run for one year with fouling assessments to be made twice a year. Some of the paints were re-applied at the end of the year and the boats continued to be monitored for another two years.
One of the co-operators in the San Francisco Bay area lives aboard her sailboat and is also a writer for a sailing magazine "Latitude 38. She has reported periodically on what she has learned by participating in the study and how the coatings were performing on her boat. One of the coatings applied to her boat was a waterborne product.
California has a very high awareness of VOC (volatile organic compounds) and the waterborne paint was an added plus in her view. The paint performed well, and she has become a believer in ECONEA as well as the potential for waterborne antifouling coating technology. The fact that her opinions are available to the California boating community by way of her publication results is positive public relations for both ECONEA and waterborne antifouling coating systems. This further supports the concept that ECONEA is a technology platform that allows for other improvements in antifouling coatings. You can read one of her recent reports here.