What types of antifouling are there? And how do you apply the right antifouling to your boat? In this information article you will find everything about antifouling. Would you like more information, advice or tips about boat maintenance? Feel free to contact one of our specialists or check out our other information articles about refurbishing your boat.
Antifouling is designed to prevent the attachment and growth of marine organisms under your boat. When your boat is in the water it is exposed to small organisms, algae and mussels. This can have unpleasant consequences for the sailing characteristics of your boat. Speed and controllability may decrease and fuel consumption may increase. Antifouling prevents small organisms from adhering to the underwater hull and keeps your sailing characteristics optimal.
There are roughly two different types of antifouling: self-sharpening and hard antifouling systems. Polyestershoppen is a premium dealer of International antifouling and also supplies a wide range of antifouling systems from Hempel and Epifanes.
Self-sharpening antifouling is also known as 'soft antifouling'. This antifouling 'wears out' itself through the friction of water, releasing biocides. The advantage of self-sharpening antifouling is that it does not build up layer thickness and can be applied over self-sharpening, as well as hard antifouling. However, it is necessary to apply a new coat every season.
When hard antifouling comes into contact with water, substances dissolve in the paint that prevent fouling. The hard layer of paint remains and will not work after some time. So over the years you build up a hard layer of paint, which must be removed after a few years before you apply a new layer. You can therefore use this antifouling for several years and wet it in between to polish.
In the Netherlands, antifoulant paint has to be authorised by the College Toelating Gewasbeschermingsmiddelen en Biociden (CTGB). If you use an antifouling that is not permitted, you risk a fine of 2,500 euros and you must remove the antifouling completely from the underwater ship. All antifouling systems for sale at Polyestershoppen are authorised by CTGB.
Hempel also supplies antifouling systems that are free of copper and biocide: Ecopower Racing, Ecopower Cruise and Hempaspeed TF (new).TF (new). Choose these environmentally conscious options if you will be sailing in an environment with high environmental requirements.
The antifouling you need for your boat depends on the waterway and the speed and material of your boat.
To start with, it is important to know what antifouling is currently applied to your boat's underwater hull. You can find this out very easily by rubbing the antifouling with a wet cloth. If the paint runs off on the cloth, self-sharpening (soft) antifouling has been applied to the underwater hull. If it does not rub off, you are dealing with a hard antifouling.
Now that you know what antifouling has been applied to your boat, you can decide which antifouling to use. For slow-moving vessels (up to 25 knots), we recommend using a self-sharpening antifouling. If you apply soft antifouling to fast vessels, the antifouling will wear out quickly due to the friction created by fast sailing. For vessels travelling faster than 25 knots, we recommend applying hard antifouling.
Now that you know which antifouling you need and you have the right antifouling, you can apply it to the underwater hull. We explain step by step how to do this easily. In our informative blogs, you can also find blogs on applying hard antifouling and applying self-sharpening antifouling.
Now that you know which antifouling you need and have the right antifouling, you can apply it to the underwater hull. We explain step by step how to do this easily. In our informative blogs,
Make sure that the surface of the underwater hull you are going to apply antifouling coating to is in good condition. Repair cracks and holes, treat any osmosis and make the hull completely smooth again. Finish all damages with epoxy. If the substrate is bare steel, first apply ZF Primer or International Interprotect as a primer. Over bare polyester substrates, first apply a coat of International Gelshield 200 or International Primocon as primer.
Mark (imaginary) the underwater ship in different parts, such as port bow, port stern, keel, rudder, etc. and estimate the area of each part. Pour the required amount of antifouling into a mixing cup and stir the antifouling. Then pour this into a roller tray and apply the antifouling using brush and roller. By estimating the areas and measuring, keep an eye on whether you may be applying too much or too little antifouling. For correct coating thickness, apply 1 litre of antifouling for every 9 m2.
After some time, the antifouling is repaintable. This time depends on temperature and can be found in the processing instructions. Apply a second coat of antifouling to bow, keel, rudder and waterline. After this has dried well, the boat can be launched. You will also find information for these times in the processing instructions.
You have completely antifouled your boat and you can enjoy it for another 2 to 3 seasons. You can now get started with refurbishing the above water part!
The best time to apply antifouling is early spring, the start of the sailing season. If you have repairs or damage to your boat, you should repair these first before applying antifouling.
Is the existing antifouling in poor condition or do you not know what kind of antifouling is currently on your boat? Then we recommend removing the antifouling completely. You can remove antifouling in several ways:
You can easily remove antifouling by sanding, spraying or scraping your boat with, for example, a vacuum scraper. Moreover, this 1-component paint stripper is suitable for use on polyester without damaging the gelcoat.
International Interstrip AF is specially formulated to remove antifouling from all surfaces. In addition, this 1-component paint stripper is suitable for use on polyester without damaging the gelcoat.
Do you have more questions about antifouling or need advice on the right antifouling for your boat? Feel free to contact our specialists. You can do so on working days by phone, email, WhatsApp and live chat. We are happy to help you and provide expert advice without obligation!
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