ANTIFOUL IS A BIOCIDE APPLICATION THAT IS ALSO KNOWN AS ANTIFOULING OR BOTTOM PAINT.
It is used to protect the boat below the waterline by inhibiting the growth of slime, weed, barnacles and other animal life that attach to the hull. That action is known as biofouling. Ensuring that plant and animal life cannot attach to the hull significantly affects your boats’ performance through the water and improves fuel efficiency.
A massive build-up of ‘fouling’ on planing powerboats can take five knots off your top speed and can mean a 30% increase in fuel consumption.
THERE ARE TWO MAIN TYPES OF ANTIFOUL.
Ablative aka self-polishing bottom paint that erodes over time due to the flow of water passing along the hull, causing the biocide ingredient to leach out. The faster your boat, the quicker the antifoul erodes. It also releases fewer toxins into the water than hard paint.
Non-Sloughing (hard antifoul paint) has a tough epoxy coating whereby the paint remains, but the biocide erodes over time. In both cases, if the hull is not sanded before each application, over many years the paint can build-up into a thick layer. Eventually, needing to be removed entirely back to the bare hull.
How do I know when it is time to remove antifoul?
- When craters form between layers of paint
- Where flaking occurs
- Treatment of Osmosis blisters
Most private vessels use ablative bottom paint.
The choice of antifoul products is vast. And their use is dependent on such things as the type of boat, how fast it travels, the sea and the environment. Cyprus has one of the best seawater quality ratings in the EU. However, owing to the climate and the higher sea temperature, fouling growth is more widespread here than might be found in colder climates.
Antifoul is as dangerous to humans as it is to plant and animal life trying to attach to your hull. Application is a dirty job and precautions are essential, especially if sanding to remove old antifoul is required.
If applying antifoul on top of existing coats, care is needed to ensure that the new brand or type of antifoul is compatible with the existing layers. Most manufacturers have resources on their websites that state which other products are compatible. If changing brands, it is advisable to thoroughly sand the existing paint and use a primer before applying the new antifoul.
Antifoul paint is usually applied using a roller and brush. In our experience, this is the safest and the most economical application method. You may wish to apply antifoul each year, or every two to three years depending on your boating activities. Type of activity also has a bearing on the number of coats to apply and precisely the kind of paint to use.
AT LATCHI MARINE SERVICES, WE OFFER A FULL RANGE OF ANTIFOUL SERVICES, AND WE ARE FULLY INSURED AND GUARANTEED. WE HAVE A HYDRAULIC LIFT FOR ANY BOAT UP TO 60 FEET (18M) IN LENGTH AND WEIGHING UP TO 25 TONS.