Bottom Painting at your Marina

Bottom Painting at your Marina

by Conrad & Judy Kreuter

Q: Dear Boat Talk: My marina will no longer allow me to bottom paint my own boat. How come? JW, Shoreham NY.

A: Dear JW: Bottom painting by individuals at their respective marina’s has been prohibited since the early 1990’s. This year the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has redefined and clarified regulations regarding bottom painting.

For a marina or boatyard to apply bottom paint, there must be a certified commercial pesticide applicator on premises and the marina must have a valid pesticide business registration. To become a certified pesticide applicator, one must attend a forty-hour training course and pass a written examination. Afterwards, he must take an additional 10 hours of training within a six-year period to remain certified.

A commercial pesticide apprentice must be an employee of the marina or boatyard and have taken the required training for this position. He can only engage in the application of pesticides (bottom paint) under the direct supervision of a certified commercial pesticide applicator associated with the marina or boatyard.

The DEC further states that a customer of a marina or boatyard cannot become an “apprentice-for-the-day” and engage in the application of bottom paint even though he may be under the direct supervision of a certified commercial applicator associated with the marina.

If you wish to do your own bottom painting, it must be a boat that you own or lease on property that you own or lease. Winter storage does not constitute a lease of the land upon which the boat sits. Likewise, you cannot paint your boat on the street or your boat on your neighbor’s property, or you neighbor’s boat on your property.

Q: Dear Boat Talk: Please Help! What would be the correct method to repair floatation in the hull liner of my 1977 Robalo? The previous owner drilled holes in the cabin floor and now water just collects and holds there. The floatation material is crumbling and I am afraid of the damage from it icing over the winter. PH, New Hyde Park,NY.

A: Dear PH: The only cure for wet floatation is to remove it completely from the hull of the boat. This will require the removal of the floor of the boat to expose all the affected areas. You will probably find more wet areas than you originally thought. Cut or saw the foam material from the hull and let the boat dry out completely. The old foam is no longer useable and should be thrown out. Check the condition of the stringers to make sure they have not become water logged. Repair any rotten areas of the stringers.

The boat builder originally installed the floor in place before filling the voids with foam. For your repair, you may want to fill the area with spray foam before putting the floor in place. Spray foam is available from most marine supply stores.

To prevent the new foam from becoming wet again, you will have to make sure all voids and seams of the floor are sealed to keep water from entering. To do this you could use silicone sealer or better yet, fiberglass over the floor. This is not an easy job, but once completed, you may find the boat performs better minus all that weight from the wet foam.

Q: Dear Boat Talk: Why does my husband always leave by 3 AM to go fishing? GN Yaphank NY

A: Dear GN: Would you get out of bed that early to go fishing? Probably not! That’s why he leaves so early. It’s a man thing!