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319h Hull Paint Conversion Project Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Hull Paint Conversion Project?

A: The Port of San Diego received a $600,000 grant from the State Water Resources Control Board 319h Grant Program to reduce copper pollution in Shelter Island Yacht Basin. Recreational boat owners will receive a stipend to offset the cost of removing copper hull paint from their boats and/or the cost of non-biocide hull paint application. (See below for qualifying criteria) Money will be available through May 2015, or until the funds run out.

Q: Why is the Port doing this?

A: Shelter Island Yacht Basin has been identified by regulators as an area where high copper levels exceed federal and state standards. As a result, the Port, marinas, yacht clubs, hull cleaners and boaters are required to do their part to reduce copper pollution in this area by 76% by 2022. Copper hull paint was identified as being a significant source of the copper in the Basin. The Port applied for this grant to help recreational boaters convert to non-copper hull paints as part of the overall copper reduction solution.

Q: How will I benefit from participating in the Hull Paint Conversion Project?

A: If you need your boat painted between now and May 2015, you may be eligible to receive funding for eco-friendly hull paint. Cost analysis studies have shown a long-term cost savings as a result of converting to non-biocide hull paint. This is due to an estimated increased longevity (five to 10 years) in some alternative hull paints compared to the copper paints (two to three years).

Q: What will the grant cover?

A: Boat owners will receive funds to help offset cost associated with stripping your existing copper hull paint from your boat and applying non-biocide hull paint. There are two options available.

  • Option 1: Receive a cost offset for stripping the pre-existing copper hull paint and applying a non-biocide hull paint. (at a rate of $6.30 per square foot for stripping and 75% of hull paint application costs).
  • Option 2: Receive a cost offset for applying one of the non-biocide hull paints that use a specialized primer to seal the boat's hull (60% of paint application costs). Use of these hull paints eliminate the need to strip off the old hull paint.

Q: What costs will you be responsible for?

  • Any fees associated with the haul out.
  • Any costs in excess of $6.30 per square foot for removing copper hull paint or in excess of the cost offset for hull paint application costs.
  • Any other services provided by the boatyard, such as specialty repair of the boat or its hull.

Q: Will the Port pay the boatyards directly, or do I pay for everything and get reimbursed?

A: We will pay the boatyard directly for the grant's contribution ($6.30 per square foot) for the stripping cost. You will pay the costs for applying the non-biocide hull paint and then provide us with the necessary documentation (i.e. boatyard invoice) for reimbursement.

Q: Do I qualify for grant funds?

A: To receive funding, you must meet the following four criteria:

  • Your boat must currently be docked in Shelter Island Yacht Basin.
  • Your boat must currently have copper paint on the hull.
  • Your boat needs to remain in Shelter Island Yacht Basin for three years after the hull is painted with non-biocide hull paint. If you decide to leave Shelter Island Yacht Basin, the funding that you received through the grant must be reimbursed back into the grant fund.
  • The replacement paint MUST be a non-biocide hull paint. (The Port can provide you with information that will help you weigh your hull paint options.)

Q: What do I need to do to participate?

A: This project is nearing completion and the boater application period is now closed. Contact the Port of San Diego at (619) 686-6254 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

  1. We will review the information you provide to confirm that you are eligible for the program and will respond within approximately 10 business days. Once it is confirmed that you are eligible, we will send you a contract and will ask you to provide verification that your boat resides in Shelter Island Yacht Basin.
  2. Sign the contract indicating that you do not intend to repaint with a copper hull paint or move your boat to a slip outside of Shelter Island Yacht Basin for three years. Provide verification of your boat's current residence in Shelter Island Yacht Basin.
  3. Select a non-biocide hull paint.
  4. Take your boat to a Port-contracted boatyard within 90 days of receiving your signed contract and Authorization Certificate back from the Port for stripping (if necessary) and the new non-biocide paint application.*
     Sample Contract Required for Participation

*Contact us if you find that you are unable to take your boat to a Port-contracted boatyard within 90 days of receiving your signed contract. If funds are still available, we will send you a new Authorization Certificate with a new "start date".

Q: Where can I take my boat to participate in this grant?

A: All San Diego Bay boatyards are participating in this project:

Q: What is the difference between biocide hull paint and non-biocide hull paint?

A: A biocide hull paint releases a "biocide", a chemical that can slow or stop the growth of living things. Biocides act similarly to the pesticides you might use on your lawn to prevent infestations of insects or weeds. Non-biocide hull paints do not release any chemicals into the water and are typically made of silicone, ceramic, or epoxy materials. Since they do not release any chemicals they are also more environmentally friendly and it turns out some of them last significantly longer than copper hull paints.

Q: How do I know which non-biocide hull paint is for me?

A: Selecting a non-biocide hull paint is not a one size fits all strategy. It is important to consider factors such as your boating style, how the paint works, and predicted costs and maintenance required over both the short and long-term. Use the Port of San Diego's " pdf  How to Select an Alternative Hull Paint (399.75 kB) " brochure as a guide, or talk to your local boatyard representative.

The list of non-biocide hull paints in the brochure is not an exhaustive list of non-biocide hull paints. You may use a non-biocide hull paint that is not listed in the brochure if you submit a Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to us. The MSDS can be obtained from your boatyard or paint manufacturer. If you are not sure if the hull paint you have in mind is a non-biocide hull paint, ask us or your boatyard.

Q: What happens if I am not able to fulfill the terms of the agreement?

A: You will be required to reimburse the Port if you:

  • 1. Relocate your boat to a location outside of the Shelter Island Yacht Basin before three years have passed.
  • 2. Repaint your boat with copper hull paint within three years of receiving the stripping cost offset.

Also, if you sell your boat within three years of receiving the stripping cost offset, you'll need to notify us and tell the new owner about the grant's requirements.


  • Call: 619-686-6254
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Visit: www.sandiegobaycopperreduction.org

**Funding for this project has been provided in full or in part through an agreement with the State Water Resources Control Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Federal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program (Clean Water Act Section 319). The proceeds or cost offsets distributed directly to boaters through this program for hull paint application costs are taxable. Boaters are encouraged to consult with a tax or legal professional regarding the taxability of any cost offset received from the District as a result of the Grant Project.

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