The antifouling, patent or antifouling, is essential to prevent the growth of algae and marine organisms on the hull. Rupert Holmes explains how to choose the best product for our boat.
The antifouling paint is a vital part of the health and performance of ships. When it comes to choosing the right antifouling , however, the enormous number of options available in the market complicates the task of buying the one that best suits our needs.
The dirt accumulated on the hull of the vessel and around the waterline can be of vegetable animal origin (barnacles) or (slime and algae). The proliferation of these organisms depends on solar radiation, temperature, nutrients present in the water and its salinity . So ports in different places and different conditions that can lead more or less intense scale is given. Even the same town can develop different types of deposits in different areas.
All this is very interesting but for the employer what matters is the effect of fouling; a dirty hull means a slow boat and also more fuel consumption. It is a battle that all sailors are always fighting but today there are many products on the market to help us solve this problem.
Antifouling paint types
The antifouling currents c ontienen active soluble biocides water which are slowly released to reduce the growth of microorganisms. Patents of this type are regulated as pesticides and the trend is that the regulation is increasingly strict as they represent a threat to the environment. The key points to be evaluated in these patents include unwanted effects on other marine organisms, accumulation in the food chain and security during application.
It should be noted that some countries, even within the EU, have their own rules, and antifouling purchased in one country may not be compatible with the laws of another, especially in protected areas. Therefore it is important to ensure that the product is allowed will apply both in Spain and in other countries that want to visit .
Modern antifoulings are based on copper , the active component is copper oxide (CuO2), by far the most common biocide. Copper oxide is more soluble in water than copper and is quite effective antifouling animals. Some products have copper thiocyanate (CuSCN), which allows for brighter colors, but is less effective against barnacles if used alone.
Some products use organic biocides to prevent silt, which the copper oxide does so well. When the limo begins to embed, hosts other organisms that can plague the hull. Manufacturers strive to give the exact proportion of organic biocides used in their formulas as this can have much influence its effectiveness.
Patent hard matrix
Patents hard matrix used biocides are released very slowly in water, so gradually acting as the season progresses. When dry, paint containing particles of biocide forms a hard layer can be cleaned periodically during the season which keeps the helmet in perfect condition.
This type of antifouling is ideal for racing boats remain moored and speedboats. In the case of speedboats, trying to save on antifouling is almost always counterproductive even a small amount of scale has an important effect on the rate which means a double whammy as well as less performance we have to deal with more spending fuel.
The main drawback of this type of patent is that the hard matrix layers accumulate and at some point will have to remove them to start again representing a maintenance cost.
That kind of antifouling paint used with a certain degree of solubility in water, so their microscopic fragments are eroding gradually exposing the active biocide . One obvious advantage is that there is no accumulation of layers and its thickness is reduced over time and ultimately tends to be cheaper than hard antifoulings. The downside is that you can not clean the hull. The autopulimentables patents are more suitable for cruise ships , sailing or motor, and displacement boats.
If our boat is moored at a local freshwater you will need protection from other dirt . At first glance, this may pose a dilemma for those who usually take the boat out to sea and return to its mooring in fresh water. However, the solution is simple: use the right product to the area where the ship spends most of the time . If we move the boat to the sea to a river, for example, several weeks are needed for freshwater species begin to be embedded and during this time the encrustations of salt medium that already existed tend to die.
Metal boats and tails
The high copper content of the antifouling can create problems in metal surfaces under water, especially in aluminum boats and tails, so it is important to choose a product suitable for this application type and choose a compatible primer.
Frequency of application
The frequency of application of antifouling depends on many factors: type of boat, navigation program, where water features will be current and time the ship will stay afloat. Much of the race boats are kept dry as it is almost the only way to ensure a perfectly clean hull throughout the year.
Many fleets competition are buoyed planned cleanings every two weeks to ensure that helmets are completely clean, despite using the best patents.
Although cruise ships do not require much care, this gives us a measure of the magnitude of the problem presented fouling. In this case it is usually applied two coats of antifouling before the start of the season . This is usually sufficient protection until the fall, although the dirtiest or warmer water areas can begin to see limo after a few weeks of having the ship afloat. On the contrary, in areas with little dirt or colder, a single layer may be sufficient for a ship sailing for shorter periods, three or four months.
A long-term solution for the antifouling?
There are long – life products based on epoxy resin mixed with a large amount of ultrafine powder of copper or an alloy of copper and nickel. Although it is considerably more expensive than conventional antifouling, protection can last for 10 years or more , although we must periodically clean the hull. When cleaning we bringing to the surface a new layer of copper which ensures its effectiveness.