The scourge of seafarers everywhere, barnacles can seriously affect the performance, resale value and appearance of your marine vessel. Faced with this prospect, boatowners have consistently turned to antifouling solutions as a method for keeping pesky sea growth at bay but this, too, comes with its own host of issues. So is this common coating really that bad and, if so, what are the antifoul alternatives available to those heading out on the high seas?
The Toxic Avenger
The history of antifouling paint is a long and sordid one. Originally developed during a World War II-era effort by the United States, the product contains a toxic blend of chemicals designed to ward off the persistent biofouling found on marine vessels.
Copper compounds are applied to the hull to prevent organisms from settling and adhering to submerged components, however, the poisons within these can leach dangerously into the water. While the environmental impacts of such a practice may seem worrying now, prior formulations were even more damaging.
Until as recently as 2001, tributyltin (TBT) was included in this noxious concoction. It took an international maritime treaty and countless scientific studies, showing significant harm to precious aquatic ecosystems, to ensure the potent TBT was phased out of antifouling paints. While this was a win for the marine environment at large, it left boatowners high and dry in their quest to keep their crafts in ship-shape condition.
The absence of TBT resulted in a marked performance decrease in antifouling paints, so users were finding they needed to reapply annual coats of the substance in order to maintain its effectiveness. A costly, messy, and time-consuming process, which ultimately continues to mar the hulls of boats and cause ecological distress, while offering no guarantee of long-term results.
The Best Solution
Thankfully, there is a solution available to all waterway users that is easy, affordable, and environmentally responsible.
Fab Dock is an inflatable dry dock system that can safely raise vessels of various sizes out of the water when not in use. With your pride and joy sitting pretty above the brine, antifoul paints are redundant, as those pesky barnacles aren’t afforded the chance to cling to the hull.
For more information about this exciting antifoul alternative, give the experts at FAB Dock a call on 1800 322 362.