Anti-Fouling Solutions: How To Prevent Marine Growth

What is Antifouling?

Has your boat been getting slower and slower, and you can’t figure out why? Maybe your hull is coated in barnacles and algae, resulting in greater frictional drag. To make matters worse, manual cleaning under a submerged hull by divers for hire can be very expensive and difficult. Even if the vessel is pulled out of the water it can still be a challenge. The fact is, a fouled boat can burn up to 40% more fuel and reduce your boat’s speed significantly, as well as pose a host of other challenges to the safe operation and your surrounding environment.

Preventing Biofouling Marine Growth and Barnacles with Antifouling Solutions

Photo by Frans Van Heerden, Pexels.

What Are The Best Antifouling Solutions?

Luckily there are various types of anti-fouling systems available for modern boats to help prevent marine growth and biofouling in different locations. In fact, there is currently a great movement in the marine industry for developing new, non-toxic anti-fouling solutions and methods.

What is biofouling?

Barnacles, algae, mussels and other marine growth have always posed as a challenge as they cause decreased efficiency and wear and tear thus reducing life span and corroding key components. This biofouling can creep into your boat, inside water intakes and pipes and cause blockages and downright mayhem.

What are antifouling agents?

Different approaches to preventing this issue include: electrolytic systems (that use a DC current to prevent marine life from thriving), chemical treatments/dosing (which can be damaging to the environment, and corrosive/unhealthy for the ship and its owners), ultrasonic (high-frequency waves that can reduce biofouling significantly) and finally electro-chlorination (which takes advantage of sea water to create chlorine that in turn kills marine growth).

One such solution is from ElectroSea, a leader in marine growth prevention systems, who recently introduced the new Clearline system that contains patent-pending technology to help prevents marine growth and barnacles from forming in raw-water lines. This system utilizes electro chlorination technology to create an environment where barnacles, biofilm and algae will not be able to survive. This reduces required boat maintenance and extends the life of costly equipment, while also reducing the amount of harmful chemicals needed when performing scheduled, traditional “acid-descaling” practices.

Another great solution is advanced surface coatings like the SLIPS Foul Protect marine paint available from Adaptive Surface Technologies. This innovative product creates an ultra-smooth, slippery surface that biofouling simply cannot attach itself to.

Written by: Ryan McVinney

C. Ryan McVinney is a film director, writer and producer. As an experienced boater he regularly produces and directs on-the-water video shoots for major boat manufacturers, yacht brokers and dealers, as well as independent film and media companies. He is president of the National Soho House Film Club with chapters in Miami, FL, Manhattan, NY and Los Angeles, CA and regularly contributes content to YachtWorld, and Boat Trader.


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