Underwater protection for yachts
INNOVATIVE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
Bonding instead of painting: Similar to land-based vehicles, yachts are increasingly being “foiled” above the waterline instead of painted. For some time now, however, there has also been an application as protection against unwanted growth in the underwater area, as an alternative to conventional antifouling paints. As a consequence, these coatings, which are based on the fact that they gradually release toxins into the surrounding water during the course of their service life, will no longer be permitted on more and more bodies of water, either today or in the near future. Legislation to this effect has already been passed or is in preparation in many parts of the world.
A non-toxic underwater protection system is a silicone-based film that has been developed in recent years primarily for the particularly challenging conditions in commercial shipping. The FRF Fouling Release Film from Hamburg-based HATAG maritime is non-toxic, its action based on a silicone-based flouropolymer film applied to the underwater hull. In combination with an epoxy primer specially developed for use with the film, this FRS system also provides highly effective protection against corrosion and osmosis.
Various yachts on the Baltic Sea and in the Mediterranean Sea are protected with the film in the underwater area. The film remains effective for years, eliminating the need for annual painting with antifouling paints for at least five to seven years. In case of mechanical damage caused by grounding or similar, the film can be easily repaired, i.e. reapplied to the damaged areas. In any case, it is robust enough for normal operation of the yacht, including, for example, the annual craning out or in by means of a travel lift.
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