Boatngo, simplify the maintenance of your boat

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Antifouling, choosing and applying it well to protect your boat's hull.

As you know, a boat demands attentive maintenance. Even more so when it comes to your boat's hull, which is permanently underwater.

En effet, ce contact avec l’eau entraîne l’apparition d’un ensemble de végétaux et d’animaux qui se collent sur les eaux vives de votre bateau. Ce phénomène est problématique puisqu’il réduit vos performances de navigation. Votre vitesse est réduite et votre consommation augmente. 

Pour éviter que les algues, moules et coquillages se développent, il convient de protéger la coque de votre bateau grâce à une peinture marine spécifique, appelée “Antifouling”. Nous allons vous aider à mieux comprendre ce phénomène, comment bien choisir votre peinture antifouling et l’appliquer de la meilleure des façons.

 

Table of contents

The reactions of your hull to water.

As mentioned above, the prolonged immersion of your hull like any other submerged body causes the proliferation of a complex marine biotope. This colonization of algae and other organisms on the hull affects the hydrodynamics of your boat. 

To maintain the performance of your boat, it is essential to protect its hull from "dirt". Aujourd’hui, la peinture antifouling reste le moyen le plus simple et efficace pour éviter ce problème. Il est cependant important de renouveler cette couche de protection chaque année pour garder en bon état la coque de votre bateau.

The other reactions to water of your hull.

L’apparition des algues et coquillages sur la coque des bateaux est régulièrement mentionnée mais un autre phénomène est moins mis en avant, de par un temps beaucoup plus long avant son apparition. Pourtant il implique également la dégradation de la coque due au contact prolongé avec l’eau (douce ou de mer) : il s’agit de l’osmose.

Often compared to a ship's hull disease, it is a physical-chemical reaction.

Water in contact with the resin on your boat turns into acid which concentrates in the voids of the laminate. As a result, the pressure increases and deforms the Gelcoat, forming blisters on the hull. This is a slow phenomenon (10 to 15 years) but it accelerates once it appears. To treat this phenomenon, the hull of the boat must be exposed and the blisters pierced to release the acid and water they contain.

Whether it's living organisms or water that turns to acid, your hull is a target for degradation due to its permanent contact with water. Ensuring its protection is a priority to prolong its good condition over time. The application of antifouling paint is the most effective solution.

How to properly choose your antifouling ?

Fouling is a "dirt" caused by the prolonged contact of the hull with water, so antifouling is the action of applying a protection that prevents the appearance of dirt, an "antifouling" protection.

Dans 95% des cas, ce revêtement est sous forme de peinture. La peinture antifouling est composée d’agents chimiques à base d’oxyde de cuivre appelés biocides. Ces toxines qui composent la peinture attaquent directement les organismes vivants (algues, moules, coquillages) qui s’accrochent à la surface mouillée de votre coque. Le revêtement antifouling va ainsi permettre de ralentir considérablement la prolifération de ces organismes sur vos eaux vives.

Without this marine biotope clinging to your hull, your boat will regain its sailing performance and its fuel consumption will decrease.

For this action to remain effective over time, it is important to renew the biocides on your hull, so plan to apply the paint every year for optimal protection.

The antifouling paint also protects the gelcoat of your hull against other harmful reactions linked to its permanent contact with water.

There are several types of antifouling, your choice will depend on several criteria: type of boat, frequency of use, place of navigation and type of wintering.

The two main categories of antifouling are hard matrix antifouling and self-polishing/erodible antifouling.

Hard matrix antifouling.

These paints are very resistant to wear due to their high concentration of biocide. To be applied in thick layers, they offer a very good quality protection to the hull. This multipurpose coating will be effective both in strong current anchorage areas and in stagnant water.

The use of this type of paint is recommended for fast boats, with a high or low frequency of use and is also suitable for boats that run aground with the tides. Despite the quality of this paint, it has a disadvantage due to its thickness, it is very difficult to remove when the boat is refitted.

After several years, the accumulation of coats requires a hydro-rubbing or sandblasting to remove the unevenness of the coating. Without this, the boat becomes heavier and loses speed.

Self-polishing / erodible antifouling.

Cette typologie de peinture présente l’avantage de toujours laisser une couche de toxines actives pour protéger le bateau des organismes.

Sa composition est faite de sorte à ce que le frottement de l’eau sur la carène réduise la couche de protection mais empêche en même temps les micro-organismes de s’y accrocher. De plus, cet effet auto polissant permet de garder la surface de la coque lisse.

The application of this paint is easy, it is sufficient to apply a renovation coat without necessarily performing an intermediate sanding.

However, erodible antifouling is not suitable for all types of boats, it is not recommended for speedboats, stationary boats or boats that sail for long periods.

To complete the range of paints, there are specific antifoulings that allow better protection of surfaces according to their composition.

The specific antifoulings.

The choice of your antifouling is IMPORTANT so that it corresponds to the typology of your boat , your use and navigation area.

  • Antifouling for aluminum hull. 
  • Antifouling for propeller and metal parts. 
  • Antifouling for tires. 

 

The effectiveness of antifouling paints lies in the biocides (toxins) they contain, which attack the micro-organisms that proliferate on the hull, but also all living organisms in the water that may be in contact with them, when they spread in the water.

To minimize these adverse effects, manufacturers are trying to significantly reduce the toxicities of paints and replace chemical agents with natural active agents.

To find your antifouling paints, you just have to go to your local shipchandler or online like on Orange Marine. At Boatngo, we mainly use high quality paint made in France, from Castellano's workshop in Marseille.

How to properly apply antifouling ?

After choosing the right type of antifouling, you need to apply it correctly to maximize the protection of your hull. The installation of antifouling is not complicated, but certain steps must be followed to complete the job. First of all, it is important to understand that antifouling contains biocides that are harmful to your health, so it is essential to have the right equipment to protect yourself. 

Safety equipment for antifouling application.

  • Latex gloves. 
  • Protective glasses. 
  • Protective suit. 
  • Mask with cartridge (the cartridges are to be renewed).

 

Once your protection is secured, you can begin.

The essential steps for the installation of antifouling.

  1. The first step of the "refit" operation is to clean the hull of your boat to remove algae, mussels and shells that have managed to cling despite the antifouling. It is also important to remove the maximum amount of paint that has accumulated over the years. For this operation, a high-pressure cleaner should be used to remove the first layers of dirt, then a passage with an abrasive sponge is strongly recommended to prepare the surface in depth. Note that it is advisable to use a thinner once the sanding is completed to purify your hull. It is imperative that the paint be applied on a clean and prepared surface to maximize its longevity.
  2. The second step is to protect the surfaces that do not require treatment. Line the waterline with masking tape to prevent spillage.
  3. It's time to paint the surface, start by mixing your antifouling paint thoroughly. Apply the paint in cross strokes using a roller or a brush. The important thing is that the coat is uniform. It is possible to use a spray gun as well, the advantage is to have a smooth layer more easily.

Vous connaissez à présent le phénomène naturel du contact prolongé avec l’eau, de votre coque qui provoque la prolifération de ces algues, moules et coquillages qui s’y accrochent et diminuent vos performances en mer.

To fight against this phenomenon we apply a protective coating on the hull called antifouling. This paint releases biocides that attack the micro-organisms that try to cling to the hull. It is important to renew this protective coating regularly so that the biocides remain active. There are several types of antifouling paint, their effectiveness will depend on your boat, your anchorage area and navigation.

Pour finir, l’opération de pose de l’antifouling n’est pas très complexe à réaliser mais il est important tout de même de respecter les étapes mentionnées ci-dessus.

If you prefer to have the work done by a professional, Boatngo offers you turnkey service with one of its fairing experts for a quality service at a fair price.

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In order to change the inefficient scheme that has been proposed for years, Boatngo innovates by becoming the single point of contact that simplifies the management of the maintenance of your boat.

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Fill in the information of your boat and order directly a service or ask for a personalized quote for a more advanced service.

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Boatngo, ensures the respect of these commitments by the coordination and the follow-up of each of the services carried out and random audits are carried out with our partner providers to ensure a constant quality.

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