Nothing impairs fishing vessel performance — and a successful fishing season — like having to haul out halfway through the year to remove heavy fouling such as zebra mussels, plant growth and slime from hull and running gear.
Bio-organism growth costs. In addition to hampering speed, fouling quickly leads to hull roughness and compromised coatings with potential for costly corrosion of metal. Rough hulls and compromised coatings cause engines to burn more fuel due to drag created by fouled hulls and gear. The preservation of hull smoothness plays a key role in ensuring optimal hydrodynamics, and represents significant potential fuel savings, especially compared to fuel penalties involved when the hull becomes rough.
The importance of coatings selected to prevent fouling of hulls and running gear cannot be overstated. The restriction and eventual elimination of heavy-metal anti-fouling coatings and certain biocides for environmental reasons over the next few years necessarily limits the types of coatings available to combat fouling, long-term.
Soft and ablative hull coatings leave much to be desired in terms of consistent and holistic protection, as they tend to wear unevenly and it is difficult to determine areas needing re-coat before fouling damage sets in. Biocidal coatings use is restricted in certain areas and requires additional dry-dock procedures to deal with potential environmental hazards. Copolymer hard coatings can be good, but expensive alternative, requiring thick layers that add substantially to the overall load on the vessel’s engine and gear.
A Game-Changing Alterative
The ideal coating would be a hard, thin, effective self-polishing coating that prevents fouling without heavy metals or pesticides, requires little maintenance but costs no more than conventional coatings. DependAll Marine & Hull Coat is a game-changer that achieves these objectives and more.
Cost per square foot is on par with conventional coatings. Marine & Hull comes with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty, but outlives its warranty in most cases, conferring a distinct economical advantage. Moreover, the coating investment is rapidly recouped from reduced fuel spend, less time in dry dock, significantly decreased drag, and extended service life of the parts of the vessel it protects. DependAll coatings are very lightweight and thin, so they don’t weigh down vessels, a key factor in lowering fuel consumption costs. A gallon of Marine & Hull Coat weighs 6.5 pounds compared to eight pounds per gallon for water and an average of about 15 pounds per gallon for conventional anti-fouling paint.
Condensing dry dock periods is key to ensuring vessels get to sea on time, yet another area where DependAll coatings excel. Windows of opportunity (in terms of ideal weather conditions in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska) for dry dock needed to inspect, upgrade, maintain and fix problems (so vessel owners don't have to deal with them at sea during the fishing season) can be limited. Marine & Hull is fast-drying and can be applied under a wider range of temperatures and higher humidity than most coatings. Because there are no toxins or heavy metals involved, maintenance can be performed underwater, quickly and easily, with a simple Scotch-Brite wipe-down. No environmental impact cleanup measures, no heavy scrubbing, no high-pressure wash and no harsh chemical cleaners are needed. Minimal time and money spent on coating maintenance leaves time and money to attend to mechanical inspection and repair without extending the dry dock period.
How Does It Work?
Simply put, DependAll Marine & Hull works at the molecular level to prevent fouling and corrosion. One advantage that Marine & Hull has over conventional coatings is how well the product bonds to and covers the surface to which it’s applied. Other coatings sit on the surface, leading to coating failure when slime, excretions and moisture get beneath the coating, leading to delamination and moisture damage (aka corrosion). Over time, this is inevitable, because conventional coatings cannot offer coverage at the nano-level. Under a microscope, the difference in size of voids between particles of conventional coatings and those of nanocoatings can be compared to the difference in size between manholes and pinholes.
Marine & Hull Coat creates a dense, hard, single structure with the substrate, extending protection exponentially while eliminating common coatings adhesion failures. The coating remains intact, because it is united with the substrate. Although Marine & Hull Coat can be used on running gear and above the water line, DependAll also makes separate coatings formulations that promise to protect surfaces and extend the life of the vessel and on-board equipment, including ballast tanks, propellers and running gear, as well as anything above the water.
DependAll marine coatings improve while in the water, self-polishing to become harder and more effective over time. DependAll marine coatings remain intact; even in cases of high impact, the coatings will not filiform beyond 1mm. The combination of molecular bonding, superior harness and ultra-dense coverage leaves potentially fouling organisms with no areas or voids in which to anchor. Without an anchor point, organisms cannot attach to the vessel. This fouling release mechanism works whether the vessel is moving at high speed, slow steaming, or sitting static in the water. DependAll marine coatings serve as fouling release and barrier coat in one – meaning less product and fewer coats of product are needed to fully protect your vessel from both fouling and corrosion.
DependAll marine coatings are copper- and metal-free, which eliminates potential issues that may arise with dissimilar metals when used on aluminum or steel. Other benefits inherent in the all DependAll coatings are UV stability, flexibility (even in freeze/thaw conditions), and high abrasion resistance. Hardness of the coating once applied: 7.5 on the Mohs Scale; ASTM D-3363 Film Hardness Taber: 39.11.