Sailing Logic Blog

How clean is your bottom??

Barnacles on your bottom is no laughing matter particularly when you own a racing yacht and need to get every last ounce of speed to race competitively.

As well as decent sails and a top racing crew, a racing yacht needs to be prepared immaculately, both on and below decks and particularly on its bottom!

Racing yachts can be either dry sailed, (where they are stored ashore and only launched into the water for a specific race then hauled out again afterwards), or wet berthed on a pontoon in a marina. If dry sailed, yachts tend not to have an anti-foul coating on the hull, as they are not in the water long enough for organisms to start to attach themselves and grow. If moored in a marina, yachts need to have an anti-foul coating to protect from the harmful effects of fouling. Water temperature, location, water flow, time of year, amount of sunlight can all affect growth.

However, there are a multitude of different Anti-foul products on the market, and choosing the right one for your yacht is a relative minefield. There are different types for cruising and racing yachts, but also the location of your vessel can make a huge difference too, as well as how often the vessel is used.

All yacht anti-fouling paints contain Biocides, which aim to protect a yachts hull from the harmful effects of fouling such as slime and rudimentary animal and plant life-forms which can lead to degradation of the hull.

Anti-foul comes in 2 main types – erodible and hard. Racing yachts and Power boats will almost certainly choose hard anti-fouling, whilst cruising yachts and long-distance boats will use Erodible paint. The differences are quite interesting..... honestly!

Racing Yachts - focus on speed

Racing yachts need "Hard" paint which can be applied easily and can be burnished to a very smooth finish simply to make the hulls smoother and ultimately quicker. The Biocides in Hard anti-foul paint have to leech through the outer film of the paint and as the paint ages, it becomes harder for the biocides to activate, therefore the longer this type of paint is on the yachts hull, the less effective it is, and the more prone it is to become slimed up.

On the Sailing Logic yachts, we use International Paint’s VC Offshore with Teflon. The Teflon is added to the paint in powder form which aims to make the surface of the applied paint very smooth and non-stick.  We renew the paint every year by wet-sanding the old anti-foul as far back as the primer layer and re-applying 2 new layers. We also then add a third layer to the leading edges of the keel and rudder, plus the bow. In addition, we employ specialist divers regularly through the summer to scrub the hulls to keep the slime at bay.

Cruising Yachts - focus on ease

Cruising yachts choose Erodible Anti-foul as the Biocides tend to work more effectively over a longer period of time. This type of paint is designed to erode slowly and as this happens, new biocides are then released as a continuous flow.  This type of paint is more successful in preventing hull growth, although no paint is 100% effective but it can't be buffed to such a smooth surface. All yachts will require a hull scrub at various points of the season, but cruising yachts tend not to do this as often as racing yachts as speed is not normally the main priority.

Hopefully this gives you an idea of what great lengths Sailing Logic go to, to ensure our boats are the most competitive they can be! 

So, in conclusion, to prevent barnacles on your bottom, the regular application of non-stick Teflon paint and a regular scrub is definitely what is required!


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