A small upstate New York chemical company owned by an amateur competitive sailor is bidding for a share of the $4 billion global market for marine coatings with an environmentally friendly alternative that the company says also saves energy by reducing friction between the hull and the water.
"I think this is where the market is going," Duane Palmateer, president of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-based Greenfield Manufacturing, said during a press conference earlier this week at the company's Geyser Road plant.
The company, which focuses its coatings primarily on the commercial and high-performance racing boat markets, received more than $340,000 in assistance from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for its product, HullSpeed.
A proprietary blend of epoxy (for strength) and silicone (for slipperiness), the material can be brushed or sprayed over any vessel, from a kayak to an ocean-going freighter. It dries like paint to a hardened shell and has no toxic metals or biocides, according to the company.