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Old 12-06-2018, 05:00   #1
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Test new kind of antifouling, silicone based

We are going to test a new kind of antifouling! Itís a silicone-based antifouling from Hempel. Itís not SilicOne but a two component new kind. Itís especially designed to be suitable for cruising/anchoring in warm sea water and a lot of prolonged anchoring and sailing at relatively low speeds (so perfect for a sailboat). Itís supposed to keep the boat clean up to 4 months of at anchor in these warm waters (in cool waters probably much longer)! And itís supposed to last at least 5-7 years before you have to reapply a new layer! Does this sound fantastic or too good to be true?

Weíre very exited to find out whether or not this will work like they say it does. Itís being used on professional big vessels but not really yet on yachts. The manufacturer wants to expand to yachts as well and weíre going to test it and report our findings.

Iím very happy that this is something (relatively) environmentally friendly. If it lasts 5-7 years, this saves quite a volume of regular antifouling. + they claim it stays on the boat, doesnít erode during sailing/cleaning like regular antifoulings do. So no harmful particles in the ocean. Only when you would remove it (by hot pressure wash), the product comes off but if itís true that you donít loose anything during sailing/cleaning, this would mean it will be much healthier for our oceans and coral reefs.

Itís quite a big deal to apply because all the current antifouling needs to be removed up to the gel coat. At the moment weíre working on this. On our GRP sailing vessel itís relatively easy because there was no thick layer (it all eroded into the ocean :-( ) and sanding works pretty well. Still, itís not a fun job and itís hot and dusty (even though we use a big vacuum cleaner on the rotor sanding tool). At the time of writing, the job is almost finished (yeeeeeah).

Some time ago Iíve posted a thread about silicone based antifouling because I was very curious to find out how people like it, what their experiences are. It seemed there is a lot of interest from others but there was not much information to find from people using it in the field. Since itís such a big thing to apply it, itís expensive, labour intensive and quite a big deal to have silicone on your boat, we were actually not keen on just trying it out ourselves. But when I emailed Hempel, and told them what we were going to do (long time cruising in tropical waters with long periods of time at anchor), they came up with this product which in fact seems to be much more promising than SilicOne. They were interested for us to test it so they have a sailing vessel in the most difficult circumstances to see how their product works in this situation and if weíre happy, they have free publicity in return.

So, there we go. I have nothing to report yet, since weíre still sanding but this is almost done and then weíre going to apply it. Let me know whether you guys are interested in the process and our findings.

Back to sanding and wishing weíd have a smaller boat ;-),

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Old 12-06-2018, 05:55   #2
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Re: Test new kind of antifouling, silicone based

Following this with great interest.

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Old 12-06-2018, 07:04   #3
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Re: Test new kind of antifouling, silicone based

I think what you'll find is that the coating does not actually prevent growth so much as retard it's initial development. Once algae etc. gets a foothold it will grow as usual. As a result, you may find yourself having to wipe the bottom fairly regularly to prevent that initial foothold. The coating probably cleans relatively easily.

The concept is the same as PropSpeed, which I've found works very well. Initial cost is high but antifouling performance is good and it lasts for quite a few years.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:50   #4
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Re: Test new kind of antifouling, silicone based

How much does it cost per can? I'm a big Hempel fan- it's the only anti-fouling paint I use. I'll be following this thread with interest.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:25   #5
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Re: Test new kind of antifouling, silicone based

Yes I am also interested in the cost. This sound like an alternative to coppercoat which, on a wooden boat means glassing below the waterline with epoxy.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:29   #6
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Re: Test new kind of antifouling, silicone based

Very interested in this.

Would suggest full disclosure on your part: Did Hemple give you the product ? Or a discount ? Do you have any other agreement with them ?
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:32   #7
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Re: Test new kind of antifouling, silicone based

Thank you very much for keeping us in the loop!!!

My fingers are crossed: i do hope that this product works (for starters) and that it is effectively more environmentally friendly. The more we take care of the ocean, the more She has to give.

following with interest!
ďThough we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.Ē Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:53   #8
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Re: Test new kind of antifouling, silicone based

I have a large (75') steel ketch that will be due for a sand blast and complete bottom job next year. I looked at the Hempel site and am trying to figure out which paint system you are talking about. i hope it works out as I too will try it on the next round. It's difficult for me to find yards with a travellift heavy enough to pic the boat so I would like to have a longer time between hauls. I will contact Hempel also. Thanks
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:26   #9
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Re: Test new kind of antifouling, silicone based

I never like to be the beta site. But someone has to. I am a little dubious about them saying that the silicone can be removed with hot pressure wash. I have done plenty of silicone work over the years with home repairs. Of course, I don’t know what their formula is. But dealing with silicone is a major pita. I can’t imagine what the situation would be like to get it off once it had reached end of life. I am just dubious about them saying it will come off with a hot pressure hose rinse. Really?

May I suggest that before you majorly mess up your bottom...that you take something and coat it with this formula. Let it sit in the salt water for a couple of weeks. Then try and pressure hose it. See what really happens. For one thing, I am no stranger to boat yards and hot water pressure rinses are not available in the yards I’ve dealt with. I’m not saying they don’t exist...I just haven’t seen that available.

I am not trying to rain on anyone’s parade. I’m always in favor of new products that work better than previous ones. Maybe I just hate dealing with silicone over the years. But I can’t imagine the carnage of not being able to get it off when the time came. Can you imagine trying to sand that $hizzle off?
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:36   #10
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Re: Test new kind of antifouling, silicone based

One of the problems with silicone coatings is getting them to stick to the applied surface. PropPurrô, a silicone coating for bronze surfaces, solves the surface adhesion problem by creating a thin silicone layer that chemically bonds to the copper in the bronze alloy.

In studies conducted by the Navy (and or GE) years ago, the ability of silicone elastomeric coatings to prevent barnacle growth was dependent on coating thickness. As barnacles grow, the outer circumference develops greater adhesion stress. Barnacles naturally want to grow with a bell-shaped bottom surface. So in thick silicone coatings it is easier to stretch the silicone at the outer circumference and retain adhesion to the surface. In thin silicone coatings, the outer circumference of the barnacle loses adhesion. Barnacles are then more easily knocked off by prop rotation or motion through the water.

When we've used PropPurr on our prop we've noticed that large barnacles don't form. We do sometimes see pen-point sized white dots, which may be small barnacles. These are easily wiped off by fingers or a sponge.

Good luck with your testing! Any non-ablative slippery-coating antifoulant approach will be an improvement for the environment.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:32   #11
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Re: Test new kind of antifouling, silicone based

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Old 12-06-2018, 10:48   #12
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Re: Test new kind of antifouling, silicone based

My first thought was would it come off if I let it dry out on a beach somewhere ?

Definitely interested to see how this goes. I'm surprised that the human race hasn't solved this one yet.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:29   #13
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Re: Test new kind of antifouling, silicone based

Did your read the entire posting, or are you just trying to be funny. I see this a lot on this forum. Disgusting. If you will re-read the posting you will discover that Ilona only asked if anyone knew anything about, or had any experience with, this this produce.

In any event, what the hell difference does it make if Ilona was paid big bucks to do the posting, the question is does the freaking stuff work or not?
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:52   #14
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Re: Test new kind of antifouling, silicone based

I have been considering something similar. I have an aluminum boat and avoid copper containing products. I have used interlux cf for my last two bottom jobs. It has a nonmetallic biocide and works well for about 8 months and fails. In the fall I plan to strip to barrier coat and apply Intersleek 1100 SR. It is a flouropolymer paint used mostly on commercial shipping. It is expensive and complex to apply as I am sure the product you mention is. It is also a slime release product. I ran across this paint on an FPB 78 in Costa Rica and they were satisfied but only one year in. Will be interested to see your experience and will try and follow up with mine as well.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:07   #15

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Re: Test new kind of antifouling, silicone based

Considering the way that so many regulators and environmentalists would just LOVE to be able to ban conventional toxic bottom paints. And the way that so many of us would just LOVE to find a paint, any paint, that didn't need loads of time and money to keep the crud off the bottom...I would think there was a very tempting market out there for a better product.

So if someone appointed me as owner of a "coatings" company, and someone on my research staff said "Hey Boss, we finally did it!" then I'd make it my business to widely and openly solicit a couple of dozen target vessels, have my product PROFESSIONALLY applied to them, to eliminate any application error questions, and then I'd install GPS trackers or logs on all of them--to ensure that I knew when and where those boats really were all the time. Preferably with water temperature logging as well.

After a year or two of data logging, I'd know FOR SURE if or where the product worked. And if it did...I'd own the global market and be rolling in money, as I had everything else banned.

The fact that no coating companies are really putting any money into any publicized market tests, tells me that they are either very concerned about competition (ninja divers could steal a piece of the coating and take it out for reverse engineering) or, they don't have enough confidence in their products, to ante up and do some serious testing.

It would be nice if a better bottom coating came out, one of these days. Nice if it cost only $50 a gallon. Nice if it lasted three or four years. Nice if it didn't need solvent cleaning to remove or recoat. But I don't see brushes and divers being put out of business anytime real soon.

Memo, yeah, ask Hollywood to remake "The Karate Kid" but this time, with bottom cleaners.

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