Foul release coatings Vs antifoul paints, the differences explained.
If you’re looking into antifouling paints then you’ll have come across foul release coatings. Foul release products have been on sale since the late 90’s and have a significant number of benefits over traditional antifoul solutions. In this brief guide we’ll highlight the differences between the two, and explain why foul release is ‘nautical miles’ ahead of antifoul in seven key areas:
Foul release coatings offer boat owners and marinas everywhere an eco-friendly alternative to antifoul solutions. They are cost-effective, improve performance, while making maintenance more manageable and cost-effective.
Antifoul release coatings use silicone technologies to create a super-smooth surface that marine life finds it difficult to attach to. This means any biofoul can literally be wiped or jet washed off.
Antifoul solutions contain harmful biocides and toxins that kill marine life by leaching chemicals into the water over time. This kills everything that's attached to the hull, propeller or stand, as well as any marine life that comes near.
Any biofoul that is present when your boat is lifted from the water cannot be wiped or jet washed off. It needs to be professionally removed, prepared with undercoat and a new layer applied each year.
For a yacht, racer or motorboat to run at it’s optimum performance, its hull and running gear needs to be clean and clear. While both antifoul and foul release coatings will do this, foul release adds a super smooth layer to reduce roughness and drag. This means your boat’s hull and prop experience less friction with the water, allowing them to achieve maximum speed and use less fuel to getting there.
Tests of AquaMarine’s foul release products have revealed optimum performance levels can be achieved and maintained throughout the season. In fact, so sought after were the performance benefits of AquaMarine during our California trials that we had to turn people away who wanted to test it.
Achieving your boat’s maximum hull performance used to come at the cost of marine life. Traditional anti foul paints use an ablative coating to slowly expose layer after layer of toxins, biocides and cuprous oxide, killing wildlife and harming ecosystems long after the anti foul stops working.
Foul release coatings offer a whole new approach to micro and macro fouling control, instead of biocides and heavy metals like traditional anti foul paint, they use a Fluropolymer or silicone base. This means no poisons or dangerous contaminants leaching into marine creatures, habitats and food chains.
Smoother hulls and lower VOC levels also result in fewer emissions during boat use and paint application.
AquaMarine Foul-release coatings are designed to be hydrophobic, in that it repels water. Although it may seem counter-productive to repel water from your hull, a hydrophobic element serves an important role.
AquaMarine uses hydrophobic chemistry, which segregates an apparent repulsion between water and non polar substances. So it repels and attracts at the same time. This clever chemistry will clean the boat hull of any contaminants such as plankton, biofilm and oil, but will be hydrophobic enough to repel and cut through the water. This balance maintains optimum hull performance levels, cutting fuel consumption and reducing emissions.
Antifoul application is a miserable experience, typically involving melted brushes, toxic fumes, dangerous biocides, passive health risks for other boatyard users and the potential of cross-contamination of paint onto neighbouring boats.
An AquaMarine Foul-release coating is applied using a roller, meaning no airborne particles to inhale, no fallout and no need for tenting. Simply roll-on directly over epoxy, rinse your equipment and re-use. With zero biocides and heavy metals, you’ll experience dramatically reduced health risks and no repeated exposure to carcinogens.
This is a key area to ensure the efficacy of your foul release coating, unlike with anti foul you’ll need to clean your hull every three to five weeks. Thankfully, the extremely smooth surface that AquaMarine foul release paint creates means cleaning can be done with the wipe of a finger. Take a look at this video to see how easy it is.
There’s no need for limbide scrapers, no toxic blooms, no paint covered diving gear, just wipe clean with a squeegee to reveal the good-as-new coating. We guarantee divers will come up clean and with regular maintenance your AquaMarine Foul-release coating will last at least three years.
Unlike traditional antifouling paint, foul release is low in VOCs, meaning less waste. It contains no biocides or heavy metals so won’t cause lasting damage to your local marine ecosystem.
And because it doesn’t contain toxins, there are significant health and risk benefits to using foul release paint instead of anti foul. Saturation of toxins in the bloodstream is a common problem for regular applicators of anti foul, leading to an inability to apply traditional antifouling paint.
Foul release coatings deliver no such issues, letting you paint more boats with less of a health risk. The foul release maintenance schedule also gives boatyard owners the opportunity to add additional diving services to their range, including anode, delamination and electrolysis checks.
The benefits of foul release coatings over traditional anti foul paints are significant and span application, maintenance and every day boat use. For us, the differences start in the chemistry and end with a legacy, one that sees our marine environments enjoyed and respected.
Take a look at our Infographic to discover more about Foul Release and Antifoul...
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