Environmentally safe bottom paint

In a radical departure from traditional antifouling bottom paints that contain toxins or biocides that kill marine growth when they contact it, the Interlux Yacht Division of Courtaulds Coatings, Inc. has introduced a new generation, antifouling, silicone elastomeric coating that contains no toxic chemicals or environmentally hazardous biocides of any kind.

Called Veridian 2000, this unique new bottom coating works on an entirely different concept. Instead of killing whatever clings to the boat, this very smooth, slightly flexible (and slightly rubbery) coating makes it difficult for barnacles, slime and other marine growth to get a firm grip on the surface. Consequently, unlike traditional antifouling paints, Veridian 2000 does not release a continuous stream of environmentally harmful and potentially poisonous compounds into the water.

Some accumulation of marine growth will occur when the boat is at rest, but due to the slick, silicone properties of this finish the normal movement of the boat through the water (plus water turbulence around the boat) will dislodge most, if not all, of this growth. So the coating can be thought of as virtually self cleaning under many conditions.

Boats that are very slow moving, and those that move infrequently, will not clean themselves off as readily as faster boats that are used regularly. But accumulated growth can be easily wiped off with a soft scrub brush, large sponge, or soft cloth. The manufacturer recommends wiping the bottom off about once every two to four weeks in most cases. However, the faster the boat and the more frequently it is used, the less wiping will be required. And with proper care, annual recoating is usually not necessary.

Unfortunately, Veridian 2000 cannot be applied by the do it yourselfer, nor can it be applied in very boatyard. It can only be applied in certified yards and by technicians in those yards who have been trained by Interlux. There are four steps involved to complete this process and to ensure a proper and fully effective coating:

The first step is complete removal of all existing antifouling paint down to the bare gel coat.

The next step is careful application of Interlux’s Interprotect system an epoxy primer that seals against osmosis and blistering of the gel coat.

The third step is spraying on a specially formulated, nontoxic and VOC compliant white “tie coat” that is the key to the success of the entire process. This tie coat makes it possible for the silicone finish coats to adhere to the epoxy primer and it also reacts chemically with the final coats of silicone to form the smooth, low friction film that results.

The last step is spraying on two coats of the clear silicone finish that forms the final surface.

The cost of a Veridian 2000 coating will vary with the size of the boat. Generally speaking, however, total costs so far seem to fall somewhere between $24 and $30 per square foot of area to be coated.

Hand Cleaner

Boatlife’s new Waterless Hand Cleaner is specifically formulated for cleaning hands after working around the boat. It will safely remove such messy and sticky materials as pllysulfide and polyurethane caulking without irritating or harming the skin, and is also excellent for safely removing dried paint, varnish, and other hard to remove stains from the skin. It contains no harsh ammoniated or chlorinated solvents, but does contain several skin conditioners such as aloe and lanolin.

New Controls

Quicksilver recently redesigned its Commander series of remote engine controls. According to the manufacturer, the new Commander 3000 Series offers contemporary styling, easy installation and efficient operation.

Three years in development, the new shift and throttle controls boast raised icons that operate by touch. The handle is contoured for comfortable grasp and operation. The dual engine control offers single or dual drive leg operation.

The Commander series is available at all Mercury, Mariner, and Force Outboard dealerships, as well as at MerCruiser stern drive and inboard dealers.


The new Flexi Brite cordless tool kit from Skil includes a super bright krypton lantern, a cordless screwdriver, a charging stand, and a removable and rechargeable 3.6 volt battery pack that fits either tool. This kit is part of Skil’s new Flexi Charge system of cordless tools for do it yourselfers. They offer the benefits of each tool having a removable and rechargeable battery that can also be used in the other tools in that line a feature long valued by professionals because they don’t have to carry around different battery packs and different chargers for each tool. In addition, one battery can be charging while another is in use.

The charger included with the Flexi Brite kit can handle two batteries and will re charge them in three hours or less. The lantern has a five position handle for directing the beam at any angle, and the screwdriver is the company’s Super Twist Model 2211.

Fabric Treatment

Ideal for use on boat covers, sail covers, clothing and other items made of canvas or cloth, the new Waterproofing & Fabric Treatment from Star brite is claimed to make all such fabrics totally waterproof, rather than merely water repellent. The materials treated still retain their natural feel and texture, and still allow for normal passage of air, so covered items are less susceptible to mold and mildew and clothing remains flexible and breathable. Most stains are also easier to wash off. The liquid is applied by either brushing, rolling or spraying it on the fabric.

Selling today’s builder the right way.

Measure your success by share of individual builder accounts, not by share of market. That’s good one to one marketing

In the competitive, complex and cyclical housing industry, a good number of retailers are ill prepared for the cataclysmic change going on. Traditionally, they have been comfortable mass marketing lots of products that they themselves bought for sale to builders. Such selling is no longer sufficient for success. It is product oriented, buy it and move it, not market and customer differentiation oriented, which are essentials for success today.

In the days ahead, builder retailers must focus on share of individual builder accounts one customer at a time rather than just share of market. Interestingly, according to National Association of Home Builders figures, no single builder accounts for more than 1 percent of total industry production.

As a one to one marketer, your goal should be to sell a single builder as many products as possible over a long period of time and across different product lines lumber, mill work, roofing, siding, everything needed to build with. You must seek new builder customers as well as concentrate on keeping and growing existing builders. Focus on the 20 percent of your builder customers and prospects who are the most loyal and offer the biggest opportunity for future profit.

Identify customer needs

Here’s what builders tell Professional Builder magazine they want from you. First, they want better communication. They also want more in store displays of product features; more information on product maintenance and long term product operating costs; and timely and accurate follow up on all product inquiries and concerns. In summary, better partnership.

Try calling at least three builder customers a week and ask them how you might serve them better or how you can help correct problems they may be having with your firm. Listen and take notes on why they buy from you and how they use your products and services. (This might surprise you.) Find out what they like and don’t like about you; how you compare with competitors; what your company does that annoys, infuriates or delights them.

Staple yourself to the order

Review the 10 steps involved in your order management cycle (OMC). These are order soliciting, order generation, cost estimating and pricing, order receipt and entry, order selection and prioritization, scheduling, fulfillment, billing, returns and claims, and post sales service. In tracing your builder orders, you will see and experience transactions the way your builder customers do.

Ultimately, it is an order that connects the builder to your company. In each of these 10 steps, every time an order is handled, the specific builder is handled. Every time there is a snafu, the builder sits unattended.

Grow your accounts

Industry studies document the following buying patterns

Builders generate increasingly more profits for you each year they stay with you.

As individual builder purchases rise, your operating costs generally decline.

As you gain more experience with individual builders, you can serve them more efficiently.

Some long time builder customers are willing to pay more up front for products and services because of the value of their relationships with you.

Loyal builders also can help you drum up new builder business. One of the leading home builders in the United States has found that more than 60 percent of his sales are the result of referrals. Service oriented retailers are finding that satisfied builder accounts also can help them find a steady stream of new customers.

Who is the builder of the ’90s

Twenty years ago, builders tended to be product specialists, most building only single family homes. Not so today. Today’s home builder is well diversified. The industry is becoming market driven, with focus on more limited production of customerized homes for smaller and better targeted market niches. Emphasis is on winning over the discretionary and more affluent move up buyer. In this climate, a growing number of builders are recognizing the necessity to transform from a sell a house mentality to a strategic marketing mentality.


In order to sell and service today’s builders better, you must understand the challenges they face, and who they are collectively and individually. Three major concerns loom over the industry rising interest rates, environmental and regulatory legislative issues, and volatile lumber prices. In addition, financing troubles, lack of inventory, rising land costs, and labor and material shortages are all driving up housing costs.

On a national level, prices of homes, both new and existing, will rise faster than inflation in the year ahead. The current median price of an existing house is expected to average $115,600 this year, a 4.7 percent increase from last year. New home prices this year will rise 4 percent, reaching $137,500.

David Jensen Associates, a market based community planner in Denver, notes Long gone are the days when builders could sell homes simply stripped along streets with little regard for the needs and wants of the market.

The adage If you build it, they will come has been replaced by Build what the market wants, and they will buy.