Calling for Partners and Investors to get NZ's first Drive-in-Boatwash
Never worrying about barnacles, oysters, weed or slime growing on the bottom of your boat ever again.
That was the promise made by the makers of many marine foul release coatings (FRCs) that have come and gone since the early 90's.
The marketers claimed that these products were so slippery that any fouling would simply fall off the vessel while under way at 12 knots or so.
Yes, these earlier coatings were indeed hydrophobic and incredibly slippery, but barnacles and other nasties still found a way to attach themselves, and even if the boat was capable of 12 knots, the accumulated fouling slowed the boat down so much that 12 knots could never be reached.
Testing in numerous universities around the world has ultimately proven that fouling attached to an FRC coated hull does not release until at least 40 knots is reached and this is almost impossible.
This prove made the companies producing these foul release coatings adopt a different strategy, ie that the coatings had to be cleaned regularly. In the height of summer when the water is warm and the growth rates of fouling organisms is rapid, the boat owner would have to be cleaning their boat’s hull every two weeks - and as anyone who owns a boat permanently moored knows, this can be costly and time-consuming.
These coatings therefore caused much financial pain for the many companies producing them, and they are now considered a niche product for the likes of racing yachts whose owners are prepared to haul and clean their vessels before almost every race. Although these coatings have failed to keep the promise of self-cleaning at speed, cleaning an FRC coated hull is and will always be, incredibly easy - the fouling does indeed wipe off with very little effort.
Now there is a way to realise all the benefits of a foul release coating, like extra speed, fuel efficiency, excellent longevity, and longer-term cost savings, without having to clean the hull manually.
A machine is now available that works just like a car wash – the boat owner simply drives the FRC treated boat into the Drive in Boat Wash where the hulls of boats up to 16m in length can be cleaned simply, quickly and thoroughly.
The boat is driven up to the wash machine, the entry door lowers to allow entry, and the door then closes automatically once the vessel has entered. Secure the vessel to the dock inside the machine and swipe your card, and the machine gets to work. All waste washed off the boat is collected in the pool liner catchment within the machine so it can be pumped out and disposed of at a landfill. Just 15-20 minutes later, drive out ready to go, with a foul free bottom.
The Drive in Boat Wash can take hulls coated with a traditional copper based antifoul, but remember that every clean removes a layer of traditional antifoul, thereby reducing the coating’s effective life.
So, while the Drive In Boat Wash does work with traditional antifoul, it works much better in conjunction with a
Non-leaching, non-ablating, very slippery, very resilient, hydrophobic foul release coating. And once clean, FR coatings have benefits that traditional antifouling paints will never have. These are: increased speed at lower engine RPM's, thereby decreasing fuel consumption; extending a vessel’s range and reducing wear, which adds up to significant annual dollar savings. It can also substantially reduce the number of times you need to re-apply a hull coating. Using an FRC system will reduce the cost and time involved with hauling out, as well as the hard labour involved in removing old antifoul and replacing with new.
And most importantly, there’s the environmental story. Traditional copper and biocide based antifouls are harmful to the environment. The leaching of kilograms of copper into our waterways every year is simply not sustainable. We must move to non-leaching, biocide and copper free, hard-wearing coatings that last for 10 years or more. These coatings are Foul Release Coatings (FRCs) and the way forward with these coatings has now been found.
The Drive In Boat Wash system provides boat owners the answer to cleaning these coatings.
It's a simple equation. Foul Release Coating + Drive In Boat Wash = Foul Free Boats and Pollution Free Waters.
The Parker Marine Group is now seeking investors to install New Zealand's first in the water boat wash system.