New Guidelines for Boat Spray Painting Coming May 6, 2014

Environmental and safety concerns have long been associated with painting in boat plants, repair facilities and yards, and some proactive effort by the marine industry will be bringing workable guidelines to processes and procedures. The goal is to benefit businesses, workers and the environment.

A new chapter within Code 33 of the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) was recently approved for spray painting in temporary membrane enclosures. New standards will address the risks of spray painting yachts and other objects that are too large to fit into a conventional spray booth. The new chapter will be published in the 2015 edition of the NFPA 33 Code. Lauderdale Marine Center and their fire consultant, Greg Cahanan, brought this proposal to NFPA several years ago after the Fort Lauderdale Fire Marshal stopped spray operations, citing LMC for operating outside the fire code.

Jim Parks of Lauderdale Marine Center, who was involved in the development of the standard explains, “Many responsible yards have already been employing the best management practices that are set forth in the standard. These are common sense measures that address electrical, ventilation, fire sprinklers and the mixing of flammable materials. The most important thing about the new standard is that it takes the guess-work out of the situation for the local fire marshal, as well as the yard operators.”

The new standard also addresses the issue of using these enclosures within buildings. With the help of William Koffel, FPE, LMC’s consultant, a new technology has been approved that allows the top of the tent to fail at a low temperature in order for sprinklers to function properly in the event of fire.

NMMA’s Vice President of Government Relations, John McKnight, who chaired the membrane enclosure Task Group, said, “Insurance companies are not comfortable taking the word of the marine facility on fire safety; they need guidelines.” Referring to the proposed new code, “It sets the bar for fire protection during spray painting, which is critical for the yard and those who permit and insure it.”

For more information, contact Jim Parks,

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Marine Industries Association of South Florida. 221 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Phone: 954.524.2733