Marine & Yacht Coatings Market

By Kerry Pianoforte | August 9, 2005

Marine coatings manufacturers must continue to develop new formulations that will meet the increasingly strict environmental regulations currently under consideration.

Marine coatings manufacturers providing water-resistant finishes that protect surfaces against salt, ultra violet rays, abrasion, corrosion and the growth of fouling organisms must face the challenge of creating products that are effective in protecting against marine-related damage, while meeting increasingly strict regulation related to the environment. Despite these obstacles, demand for marine coatings is forecast to increase three percent per year to 22 million gallons in 2004, according to The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland, OH-based market research firm.

Environmental Regulations
Although these figures suggest an optimistic future, recent legislation does present a challenge to manufacturers of marine coatings. The recent International Maritime Organization (IMO) Resolution and the Biocidal Products Directive of the European Union (EU) have called for tighter regulatory control on marine coatings. In December 2000, 122 countries signed an international treaty that banned 12 of the most toxic persistent organic pollutants. A partial ban on tributyl tin (TBT), a compound used in marine coatings for the past 40 years, takes effect 2003, with a complete ban effective 2008. As new compounds are likely to be added to the list, companies must focus their research on developing new biocides that will meet these stricter environmental regulations.

In anticipation of the impending TBT ban, many marine coating companies have been laboring to develop TBT-free antifouling coatings that are both long lasting and cost effective. Some coatings companies contacted by Coatings World revealed that challenges faced by researchers include more expensive and less efficacious products, resulting in more frequent applications. It was also noted that although there are tin-free alternatives available, such as copper or alkylsilane acrylates and ion exchange resins, these materials are much more expensive than TBT and in some cases, have not been proven effective.


Natural Alternatives
Many companies have replaced TBT coatings with copper-based coatings. However, studies have found that high levels of copper in ocean waters can be detrimental to marine life and there is pending legislation in California for a ban on copper on recreational boats (see sidebar on p. 44). In fact, The Netherlands has already banned the use of copper-based paints for recreational boats. Faced with this challenge, some companies are hoping to develop effective nontoxic coatings to replace the copper-based ones.

"The biggest challenge in natural products research is finding effective compounds that are environmentally friendly and that can be manufactured at reasonable costs. The next challenge is to be able to make such compound biologically active in the matrix of the paint," said Jonathan Matias, executive officer of Poseidon Ocean Sciences, Inc., a NY-based research and development company that targets development of natural products for industrial use. "Current paint systems are designed primarily for the use of heavy metals and co-biocides. To be able to successfully introduce metal-free (and biocide-free) systems, paint manufacturers will have to shift their R&D program to be able to develop compatible coatings that will optimize the performance of natural products that are targeted against specific types of fouling organisms."

Poseidon's NB17 and newer compounds in the same series show 100 times more efficacy and were suitable to prevent attachment of hard fouling organisms, such as barnacles and oysters, according to Dr. Matias. "Having identified these compounds, we would like to challenge the creative paint chemists in the industry to develop the unique coatings systems to make bioactive natural products work," stated Dr. Matias.

According to Barbara Newell, chief executive officer and chairwoman of Performance Coatings, Inc., Ukiah, CA, Penofin products meet the most stringent environmental and air-quality standards and incorporate "natural" ingredients. The company's Brazilian Rosewood Oil, which is extracted from the harvested nuts of the Oiticica tree, can be used for a variety of applications including recreational boats and docks.

Bondo Targets Personal Watercraft Market with New Repair Kit

Photo: Polaris
According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, more than 325,000 personal watercrafts (PWC) were sold in the U.S. between 1998 and 2000, at an average cost of more than $7,200 per vehicle. Bondo Corp. is now selling a special kit that can help PWC owners protect their investment.

Bondo's new Home Solutions Aqua Jet & Snowmobile repair kit fixes scratches and chips in white gel-coats on PWCs. The kit can also be used on snowmobiles, fiberglass pools, campers and boats, according to the company.

Bondo's Home Solutions line also includes an all-purpose fiberglass resin that bridges large, gaping holes or gaps in fiberglass boats.

New Products
Some companies feel that the copper ban will not immediately affect the commercial boating market. "The possible ban on copper-based antifoulings appears to be much less of a threat at this time," said Carol Rosler of Jotun. "Research continues in Jotun to look for alternatives, but at this time we do not believe that copper based antifouling technology would be banned anytime soon. In order for a ban to be effective, there must be proven technology available to replace the banned material, and at this time the material does not exist," Ms. Rosler added.

Jotun has addressed the TBT ban and reports that it "is prepared for the impending ban on TBT products, and is already marketing a superior alternative. The ban will not have a detrimental effect on our business," Ms. Rosler reported.

Jotun has begun marketing several new TBT-free products. Sea Quantum self-polishing antifoulants offer performance equal to TBT containing materials, according to a Jotun spokesperson. "The biggest remaining obstacle with these products is obtaining registration in the U.S. At this time, these products are registered in many countries around the world and are being sold on a regular basis," Ms. Rosler added.

Hempel's Marine Paints A/S, Denmark, has developed an innovative replacement for TBT-based coatings. "Hempel has chosen to adopt a technology derived from the space industry-synthetic fibers that provide a self polishing controlled release of active ingredients," according to Claes Skat-Rordam, global product manager, Hempel.

"New product development and trends for the future seen from our point of view focus on high volume solids. High volume solids will result in less volatile organic compounds to be released during the application for the benefit of the applicator, the environment and safety at the place of application," stated Mr. Skat-Rordam. One new product release from Hempel is Globic SP-ECO, a new tin-free antifouling that complies with U.S. VOC rules.

Coatings used for maintenance purposes on commercial ships and boats will account for more than 70% of the total market for marine coatings in 2004, according to the The Freedonia Group. High durability coatings designed for use on offshore drilling rigs and platforms will account for approximately 20 percent of total demand in 2004.

Akzo's marine and protective coatings division produces a variety of marine, protective and yacht coatings, including high performance types for ship building, ship repair, yacht and other marine markets. Specific products include International Marine Paints, Interlac alkyd primers and finishers, Intercryl for water-based acrylic emulsions, Intertuf VOC epoxy coatings for marine applications, Epiglass and Interlux antifouling yacht paints and Chartek fire prevention coatings.

Akzo Nobel's newest offering is Intersleek 717 Linkcoat, an addition to its Intersleek 700 series. A non-stick fouling release coating system designed for deep sea, high activity ships, the product was created in response to regulatory activity and economic considerations, according to Akzo Nobel. Designed for application to aged SPC antifoulings, Intersleek 717 functions both as a sealer and as a strong linkcoat to allow the application of the Intersleek 700 system. According to the company, Intersleek 717 offers a high performance, cost effective conversion route to the Intersleek 700 system, for ships that are currently coated with biocide containing SPC antifouling.

Sigma Coatings has introduced Sigmaprime-a new multipurpose epoxy anti-corrosive primer for all vessel areas at the newbuilding stage. According to the company, by using Sigmaprime as the foundation, the total number of systems to paint a vessel at newbuilding stage can be reduced to as little as seven. The product exhibits excellent adhesion to a wide variety of substrates, providing primary anti-corrosive protection, as well as a solid foundation for all subsequently applied coating systems.

As new restrictions are put on the marine coatings market, manufacturers and suppliers need to develop formulations with improve environmental compatibility and enhance performance in order to compete.

Sea Grant Extension Program
To Study Nontoxic Antifouling Coatings
The Sea Grant Extension Program will study nontoxic antifouling coatings on recreational boats in
San Diego Bay.
In 1988, when antifouling paints containing tributyl tin (TBT) were banned on boats in California less than 25 meters long, most owners chose to use antifouling coatings with copper. However, even environmentally milder copper can pose a problem in poorly flushed boat basins that allow large levels to accumulate. Studies have shown when copper levels in the water exceed the federal and state standard of 3.1 parts per billion (ppb), it adversely affects marine life.

The Regional Water Quality Control Board in San Diego has found that the average level of dissolved copper in the Shelter Island yacht basin of San Diego Bay, CA, is 6.7 ppb-more than twice the legal level. As a result the board is considering regulations to limit copper use on recreational boats.

The Alternative Antifouling Strategies Conference was convened by Leigh Johnson of the University of California Sea Grant Extension Program last September in San Diego to help boaters and boating-related businesses prepare for possible regulations on copper in antifouling coatings. The event was attended by boaters, environmental groups, as well as manufacturers of antifouling paints and other boating-related businesses.

A result of the conference was a California Senate bill (315) that authorized a study geared towards finding the best way to encourage recreational boaters to use nontoxic, antifouling coatings. The bill has passed the California Legislature. Early in 2002, the San Diego Unified Port District will assemble a committee to guide the study and report results to the California Legislature and other regional departments.

Ms. Johnson of the Sea Grant Extension Program will conduct a three-year demonstration of nontoxic antifoulings on recreational boats in San Diego Bay. According to Ms. Johnson, "The goal (of the study) is to get a general idea of how these nontoxic coatings perform and create public awareness."

While Ms. Johnson concedes that nontoxic paints result in higher maintenance costs for boat owners, she stresses there are different types of nontoxic paints, such as silicone-based and ceramic epoxy that may last longer, and so cost less overall than traditional marine coatings. Ms. Johnson will study the performance and costs of the coatings, hold information days and report the results in a series of seminars, articles and internet postings.

For more information, visit Ms. Johnson's web site: http://seagrant.ucdavis.edu.

Marine Coatings Supply and Demand (million gallons)
Item 1989 1994 1999 2004 2009
Ship & Boat Shipments (bil 1996$) 17.9 15.6 17.1 15.6 15.9
gallons/000$ shipments 0.73 1.03 1.11 1.41 1.57
Marine & Offshore Coating Demand 13.0 16.0 19.0 22.0 25.0
Commercial Ships & Boats 10.0 12.0 14.0 16.0 18.0
Offshore Rigs & Platforms 2.0 3.0 3.0 4.0 4.0
Recreational Boats 1.0 1.0 2.0 2.0 3.0
+ net exports -4.1 3.9 -3.5 -4.0 -3.0
Marine & Offshore Coating Shipments 8.9 19.9 15.5 18.0 22.0
$/gallon 16.52 17.09 18.71 20.28 21.82
Marine/Offshore Coating Shipments (mil$) 147 340 290 365 480
The Freedonia Group, Inc.

Related Market & Technology: