Marine life such as coral worms, algae, and barnacles can quickly grow on the hull of a boat that has stayed afloat for a long time. The boat’s fuel efficiency and overall performance are affected by the buildup of marine life in the hull.
A layer of protective paint known as antifouling offers the best solution to discourage marine growth as the boat moves or stays afloat on the water. Antifouling paint is not comparable to any type of standard paint.
The chemicals and anti-bacterial properties incorporated in antifouling paints are specifically geared to stop marine life growth on boats. However, picking an antifouling paint randomly off the shelf is the right way to do it.
For one thing, the materials of your boat’s hull and the type of water your boat travels on are important factors to consider in the choice of antifouling paint.
Antifouling the boat also depends on the storage and usage. Having the boat checked, cleaned, and reapplied with antifouling is recommended annually when it stays afloat throughout the year.
Important reasons for Antifouling a Boat
- Applying antifouling paint to the hull of a boat slows the growth of marine life that can affect its durability and performance.
- Other than preventing marine growth, antifouling paint can also protect the boat’s hull from corrosion.
- The design of antifouling paint is such that it is gradually removed by the flow of water. The slow erosion rate of the antifouling paint as a boat moves in the water provides a fresh biocide layer to the surface. This biocide layer has proven toxic to marine growth, thus preventing them from sticking to the surface of the boat’s hull.
- The correct type of antifouling paint to use on the boat enables the paint to be eroded at the right rate. This means that a higher-speed boat requires a harder antifouling paint compound.
- A thicker application of antifouling paint on the hull of a dry-docked boat every two years helps to protect the structure of the hull.
- Antifouling paints help in maintaining the structural integrity of ships that are always on the water. The prolonged flow of seawater on a boat’s hull can cause corrosion of the metal. A thicker application of antifouling paint protects from rust.
- The fuel efficiency of a boat devoid of antifouling paint is compromised. The marine growth on the hull produces frictional resistance that increases the load on the engine. The engine consumes more fuel when it needs to overcome the resistance brought on by marine growth.
Kinds of Antifouling Paints
Hard antifouling paints are hard coating paints that have a base of tough polymers or epoxy. Best used for large vessels that constantly stay on the water, the antifouling paint constantly releases biocide to prevent any form of marine life from leeching to the hull of the ship.
Boats that frequently stay on the water will do well with the use of ablative antifouling. Functioning like a bar of soap, the ablative antifouling wears gradually away any marine growth on the hull. The slick texture of the paint makes it tough for marine life to find a firm hold on the hull.
Doing the right thing to protect the boat’s hull from rust and marine growth is sensible.