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Fire dept. boat goes green

Paint job touted as more river-friendly

Scotia Fire Department Boat

Scotia Fire Department Boat Submitted Photo

— Underneath the Scotia Fire Department’s rescue boat is a new “paint job,” welcomed by firefighters and fish alike.

The 26-foot rescue boat was due for a fresh bottom coating, so Ian Germain, marketing representative of HullSpeed Performance Marine Coatings, approached the department about trying something different. Capt. Dan Wanmer said Germain offered a reduced price on the performance coating, which cost a total of $500, and the department was happy to use a greener product.

“They explained how their product was different and it seemed like a good fit,” said Wanmer. “I think the green aspect of it is the primary benefit over more traditional coating. It seems to provide the same benefit for us.”

HullSpeed, a division of Greenfield Manufacturing Inc. in Saratoga Springs, fitted the boat with its 3000-Series commercial base coating. How the coating differs is it uses foul-release characteristics as opposed to anti-fouling characteristics, which can kill adhering aquatic life and deposit harmful chemicals and heavy metals onto the river, according to Germain. The Environmental Protection Agency is testing the product in a San Diego harbor for effectiveness, he said.

Determining the effectiveness of the coating might take a little longer, said Wanmer. During the average boating season, the department goes out on the boat 15 to 20 times, he said. The calls addressed, he said, can vary greatly from a boat losing power to medical emergencies.

“Obviously we have to see how the product holds up,” said Wanmer. “If it performs as advertised, I’m sure we would get it again.”

Wanmer said without the reduced pricing offered to the department it would be “quite a bit more expensive,” but Germain said the price is similar to performance-based products. One of the applications for it is racing boats.

For commercial clients, Germain said, the green aspect usually isn’t the initial selling point, but rather an added bonus.

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