No more DIY bottom painting?

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Scraping Paint
Oct 23, 2007
A question for the Washington State boaters on this forum....* The other day I was informed by a boating friend that as of a certain date this year (I think it was sometime in June) boatyards in Washington State will no longer be allowed to let boat owners do their own bottom painting.* The painting as well as the cleaning and prep must be done by the yard.* I was told that this is to ensure that material removed from the bottom during cleaning and prep, as well as potential spills etc during the painting itself will be handled properly to reduce the environmental risk because the yard employees have the proper training.

Has anyone else*in*the PNW heard*of this upcoming regulation?

-- Edited by Marin at 21:07, 2008-03-04
Marin, this is very common around the country. It is happening all around here although there are still a few...
Last spring when I did the bottom, the Port of Everett required that all sanding be done using a dust collection system. I rented a Fein from one of the yards, while others around me just used shop vacs duct taped to orbital sanders. Big tarps on the ground collected most of the scraping debris. Overall their systems seemed effective. As one who enjoys working on their boat all most as much as cruising, this is very disturbing.
The next thing on the enviro wacko agenda, is to outlaw all copper-bearing bottom paint as it is harmful (?) to the little fishies. There is no replacement for copper-bearing bottom paint, but that is your problem.
Yep, the same thing is starting to happen in the yards down under.
The yard has to do the HP wash down and either the yard or yard contractor is required to do all sanding and scraping, bottom and topsides.
The yard I mainly use has each bay fenced off with high shade cloth screens with a big double gate at one end.
When sanding these are closed and if required one must hang additional dust prevention covers.
Bottom grinding and sanding must be done either wet or with built in vacuum machines.
Wet is best as each bay drains into a sump collection pit that is inspected by the EPA on a regular basis.
The other large commercial yard in our port only allows the boat owner and his rep. (surveyor) to inspect the vessel and the work all of which is to be carried out by the yard or it's own contractors.

As an enviro wacko tree hugging leftie loonie I reckon all bottom painting is good....






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Old Fish Boat Guy,
The washing of cars has been baned at home in SE Queensland. The drought had been so severe that the overall water capacity of our dams was down to 16% it is now back up to 38% after one of the wettest wet seasons in 10 years.
One still can not wash the car at home and households are restricted to 140 lts (35 gals) per person per day.

So you see that these things can happen but it is suprising how people really get behind an incentive to help the broader comunity.
They even put out egg timers (sand typt) so that you could time your shower and limit it to 4 mins.
This is in a community opf about 1.7 million people.
FWIW I asked the yard we use about this yesterday when we had the boat put back in the water. Apparently the requrement I'd been told was coming is actually already here, and owners can no longer do their own bottom painting, let alone cleaning and prep.

This applies to commercial yards. If you want to load your boat on a trailer and take it home and paint the bottom there yourself, I guess you can do this assuming you don't run afoul of some other laws about doing this sort of work in a residential environment.
This topic has been weighing on my brain for a while now, wondering what the story was and if I would be allowed to do my own work the next time I needed bottom paint. Per the folks at Hylebos Marina there is no restriction on do it yourself work. He states that the EPA folks have not made any ruling on who may do work. The regulations are all aimed at what happens.

So, if you are sanding and the paint dust is blowing around instead of being captured, then the powers that be will fine the boatyard since you are "under their control" on their property. If you spill the paint on the bare ground then they are responsible to remediate the ground. Basically dig up the contaminated dirt and replace with clean dirt, and so on. The boatyard owner is responsible for complying with all rules and regs from the States point of view. How the boatyard holds you responsible is typically by the form you sign before they haul you out.

What apparently is happening is boatyards are forbidding DIY work "due to environmental rules" to avoid the added liability. It appears that there isn't a law or rule that says you can't DIY, it's a liability concern by the yard owner and/or the insurance company.

Hylebos is contemplating only allowing work during regular business hours when DIY people can be monitored. This would stop Sunday work and after 5pm work. This would be a significant hardship for many DIYers, but appears to be the future of the system.

Apparently the boatyard in Port Townsend has not implemented nearly as stringent rules. As I understand reports from folks who haulout there it's pretty much business as usual and they aren't having any real restrictions imposed.

So, while it will be more restrictive in the future it seems that it isn't as drastic as we may have feared. My personal observation is that my buddy has his boat on the hard at Hylebos and is scraping and painting the bottom on the tarp covered ground this week. Sanding is done only with a vacuum equipped with dust bag and 5hp or more vacuum to insure total capture. All scrapings must be swept or vacuumed each day.

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