Antifoul is considered our best line of defence against marine pests, but it's not the only option.
Silicone coatings can be ideal for commercial boats
Products such as Silicone coatings – which apply a low friction surface to a vessel are ideal for commercial boats which are constantly on the move, says Brent Wilson of Marsden Cove Marina, but unfortunately less effective on recreational boats.
“The silicone option is great but if the boat doesn’t move, it doesn’t matter what you put on it, something will grow.”
Silicone products are also easily damaged by cleaning as well as impact. By contrast, Propspeed is a well known product that works effectively on propellers, because they are so fast moving when in operation. With propellors being a common place for marine pests to hide, Propspeed is an effective tool against marine pests.
Berth your boat in fresh water
If you are fortunate enough to have a fresh water berthage option, perhaps in a river entrance, this is a great way to keep most marine pests off your boat and its appendages. It should be noted that there are other types of biofouling associated with fresh water and these also need to be controlled.
Store your boat on the hard
Hardstand storage, a dry stack or a trailer are great ways to make sure that certain types of boats don’t get fouled. Here you need to ensure that your boat is thoroughly cleaned immediately after it comes out of the water in order to maintain the integrity of the antifouling coating.
Have a chat with your marina operator about the possibility of a boat lifter. Options on the market include SeaPen, FloatLift, and Float Bricks. Brent says in his experience, the most effective ones lift the boat completely out of the water. Remember that the boat lifter device itself will also need to be removed from the water for cleaning and antifouling every 18 months or so – but your boat will be free of marine pests and ready to go on its travels.
This is Part 2 in our special antifoul series. The information expressed in this article is the opinion of those interviewed and not necessarily that of ‘Clean Below? Good to Go’. Please seek expert advice when choosing and applying an antifoul coating.