Off with the Barnacles!

Originally thought to be mollusks, sea barnacles are actually crustaceans. Which means our favourite crusty foulers are basically the inedible cousins of lobsters, crabs and shrimps. And while they’re not something you can munch on as you wait for the voyage to begin, they’re also responsible for the drop in speed and extra fuel consumption aside from the obvious making-your-boat-ugly, of course.

Ugly truth of sea barnacles

Barnacles can reduce boat speed

While a small patch won’t do much, you can find many boat owners speaking of huge speed loss just by having barnacles on their boats. Some even report a speed loss of 50% due to the overgrowth of these crustaceans that add weight to the hull. And once the crusty foulers are removed, the boats go back to their top speed. Talk about stowaways!

Barnacles can affect fuel efficiency

As a matter of fact, fuel efficiency can be affected too. According to research by I-Tech, “turbulence caused by crustaceans stuck on a hull can cut the fuel efficiency of a large ship by up to 50 percent.” This is because of barnacles sticking themselves in every nook and cranny of your boat, increasing the drag. So you can imagine the kind of losses that occur just by the presence of barnacles.

Barnacles make your boat ugly

The shells of these crustaceans are hard, making hulls look patchy from afar and really rough up close. And to add insult to injury, barnacles make everything look bad whether they’re alive or dead. A nuisance, really. Because barnacles attach themselves onto a ship’s hull using their home-made glue that is far stronger than commercial ones you buy at the store. But! the glue and shell remain beyond their lifespan. So have fun scraping barnacle corpse off your boat and ship hulls.

What can I use to avoid barnacles?

While the classic solution to prevent barnacle growth is anti-fouling paint, a.k.a bottom paints, it is no longer the best option. With the rising consciousness of ports around the world, usage of anti-fouling paints that release dangerous chemicals into the sea are frowned upon. And we support the movement. Because the chemicals that impede growth doesn’t only affect organisms that cause biofouling, they also hurt the marine ecosystem. We even wrote an article about that, “___”.

But then again, preventing nature from doing what they do for survival can be counter-intuitive. At times, it can even be impossible. But there’s no reason to completely accept biofouling and barnacle growth on your hulls when they can affect efficiency and in the long run also affect the ecosystem due to over burning of fuel. Which is why more researchers and companies have been looking into eco-friendly solutions.

Actual solutions available in the market

There are actually quite a number already in market. Instead of immediately killing tiny organisms, some products have been released to deter them from latching onto surfaces. This includes a product that modifies hull surface to be bumpy, deterring barnacles from nesting onto it as it’s not a stable surface. A product was also released to become slime when placed in water, sloughing tiny organisms away as the hull moves through water without leaching copper or zinc.

There are also eco-friendly alternatives to anti-fouling paint such as coating. It does not bleed off zinc or copper in the water yet allows for easy barnacle removal without the need for harsh chemicals. One such product is our own eco-friendly ceramic coating, ecocoat marine. It makes cleaning up easier and in less time.

ecocoat marine, eco-friendly ceramic coating for marine vessels

A REACH compliant transparent solution, ecocoat marine contains zero hazardous material such as copper or zinc. The solution is compatible with multiple surfaces such as gelcoat, polyurethane, acrylic paint and other paint types, crosslinking strongly onto the surface thanks to nanotechnology synthesis. ecocoat marine can be applied above and below water line, ensuring that your hulls are protected from the harsh elements in and out of water.

6 things you can expect from ecocoat marine;

  1. HIGH SOLIDS – 90% active material content, 10% solvent creating a thick film build
  2. EXTREME HARDNESS – Crosslinks and full cures to hardness of up to 10H (pencil scale)
  3. SUPERB HYDROPHOBIC QUALITY – Water contact angle that surpasses 110° and retaining close to this angle for a long period
  4. ANTI-FOULING – Surface stays clean for a longer period thanks to the anti-fouling effect
  5. FREE FROM MARINE POLLUTANT – Does not contain marine pollutant such as Zinc and Plumbum Oxide
  6. EASY TO APPLY – Simple and straightforward application method

Detailer tested & trusted

Easy to remove barnacle

Before & after pressure wash when using ecocoat marine

Anti-fouling, no growth

Removing leftover barnacle stain with ecoclean delete

Before & after using ecoclean delete to clean leftover marks

Get ecocoat marine now!

Removing barnacle from your boat can get so much easier and faster with ecocoat marine protecting your vessel. Scraping barnacles and bleeding hands can be a thing of the past. Unless of course you prefer your cleaning trophy in the form of scraped up limbs, in which we won’t stop you. But for the rest of us, we only need a good pressure wash now.

Interested in getting your own boat coated? We have accredited ecocoat marine installers around major ports and marinas. Come talk to us and we’ll connect you to the nearest installer. Just tap here!

Interested to become an accredited ecocoat marine installer? We have classes conducted by esteemed mentors and welcome you with open arms to any of them. Talk to us today and find out when’s the next class. Just tap here to get redirected to our FB page.

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