The objective of the initiative is to inform and educate boat owners regarding the hazards associated with antifouling their boats

In September 2015, the BCF Marine Coatings Group carried out an online survey on DIY use of antifouling (AF) paints in the UK.  This was completed by just under 2,500 boat owners and showed that over 90% of users are taking the correct precautions, use the appropriate personal protective equipment and are well aware of the hazards involved.  However it also highlighted several areas where improvements could be made, with a need for better guidance and how to minimise the risk of skin contact with AF paint.

A 14-page preliminary report was issued with the results of the survey, and following on from this a number of tools have now been developed to support the new Initiative.  A 16-page guidance document has been published explaining how to prepare the boat hull, apply AF paints safely and best practice for cleaning up and waste disposal.  A poster is available for display in chandlers, marinas and boatyards, and a tri-fold leaflet has been prepared.  These tools were distributed during the launch day at the Boat Show in London and are available for download at www.safeantifouling.com.

Ross Wombwell, Technical Manager at British Marine, commented: “British Marine is proud to be supporting this initiative with its industry counterparts. This is a campaign which promotes safety whilst boating and provides guidance which is easy to follow, ensuring peace of mind for all current and future boat owners and the industry as a whole.”

Emma Barton, Planning and Environmental Manager at the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), said: “It's important to know that antifouling paints are being used properly and that boat owners are aware of the potential hazards associated with antifouling their boats. The DIY Safe Antifouling Initiative 2017 will help to raise awareness of those hazards and to highlight the importance of using the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.” 

Queries regarding this initiative may be addressed to Trevor Fielding, the BCF’s Regulatory Affairs Manager, trevor.fielding@bcf.co.uk.