Fouling or bio-fouling is a buildup of bio-life, including animals and plants, which occur on all structures which are submerged, starting from oil rigs to boat hulls. In this article we try to explain anti-fouling and how to go about it.
Fouling is divided into micro fouling and macro fouling. Micro fouling consists of extremely small bio-organisms and these include slime, different kinds of bacteria as well as other algal life. Boat anti-fouling also consists of removing macro elements, like muscles, barnacles, sea squirts, seaweed and tubeworms.
Boat wall cleaning Sydney is most effectively done by soda blasting. You should be worried if there is fouling, because build up of these elements has immediate effects on the boat’s performance as well as efficiency. On power boats, even a very small amount of buildup of this fouling can reduce the top speed by as much as 5 knots. Fuel consumption jumps to about 30% more than normal. Fouling varies from one place to the other and also from one year to the next. It depends on the salinity of the water, water temperature, the amount of sunlight received and the extent of nutrients in addition to a host of other factors. The more elevated the water temperature, greater is the growth. This is why fouling is very common in Australia.
Fouling has been a long malaise affecting boats and ships. In fact a lot of the old naval battles were won or lost due to fouling; this is because speed and maneuverability tended to be hampered by fouling. It has sunk many a ship and can be a cause of life and death.
In the days of yore, careering was carried out. This included tipping the vessel on one side, then lighting of little fires beneath the hull, and then totally scraping off any soft pitch and also the fouling by manual labor, usually with hands. Needless to say, this was a time consuming and laborious process.
A lot of methods claimed success in anti-fouling. Among them are pitch, tar, whale grease, ground glass, sulphur, arsenic and even red lead and guano. Some worked and some didn’t. Nowadays the method preferred is keeping the boat above water, and regular hull scrubbing. Again, a gel coat polish is much better than soft oxide of copper base antifouling treatment. It produces less drag. It translates to faster speed and greater fuel efficiency. Gel coating is the most environment friendly technique as well.
People debate on what the best option is. However as a generalization, standard eroding anti-fouling method is thought to be effective in the initial stages. However this effectiveness decreases with time.
The reason why anti fouling paint’s effectiveness reduces over time is because it works in the same way as other ablative paints. You should check out your most viable and pocket friendly course of action.