ASK THE EXPERT: ANTIFOULING FILM
Is there a green solution to antifouling?
Yes. At long last.
Copper, zinc and tin have long been known to help prevent hull fouling, which not only looks unattractive but also greatly reduces performance and fuel efficiency. Wooden ships were sheathed in copper and tin was used to make tributyltin (‘TBT’) paint from the 1950s onwards. TBT was banned worldwide in the 1980s after invertebrates exposed to it were found to have changed gender. Since then, most antifouls have relied on copper, which is still toxic to many marine organisms, and becomes concentrated further up the marine food chain. Other key ingredients, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are also toxic and harmful to wildlife.
How long before antifouling paints are banned?
Most marinas and yards already have strict guidelines about containing and disposing of the paint following mechanical removal. The only reason that the paints haven’t been banned is the lack of a viable alternative method of preventing fouling. This is about to change.
How do keep your waterline clean all year round?
There are no excuses. Superyachts must look their best at all times, above and below the waterline. Up to now, as well as the application of toxic paint, this has meant endless scrubbing of the waterline and regular repainting.
MS Yacht Services offers a solution: a non-stick antifouling wrap, which is applied to hulls instead of traditional paint. The wrap uses composite silicone technology to protect hulls from fouling without poisoning the environment. It has been developed and perfected by Avery Dennison - a household name and one of the world’s leading adhesive and film manufacturers.
Fouling simply detaches by the motion of hulls through the water above five knots or by wiping with a soft sponge if the vessel is inactive for long periods.
No chemicals are released into the environment. Being impermeable, the risk of osmosis is also reduced. Crucially, the film has been proven in extensive trials, carried out in real-world conditions by MS Yacht Services.
The application process is straightforward. The hull is cleaned and existing antifoul carefully removed. The substrate is abraded and three coats of epoxy applied. The wrap is then applied, and the vessel can be relaunched in as little as eight hours. MS Yacht Services applies the product and undertakes full project management. The manufacturer guarantees the film for five years, during which time considerable improvements in performance and fuel economy can be achieved.
Marek FisherManaging director +39 327 452 0476
ABOUT THE EXPERT
MS Yacht Services is one of the world’s leading yacht coatings, maintenance and repair services suppliers. The team has many decades’ worth of expertise and a proven track record of quality and reliability. Incorporated in the United Kingdom, MS Yacht Services carries full liability insurance, underwritten by Winter & Co (Marine) Limited on behalf of Lloyd’s Syndicate 2987 BRT.