Antifoul is a biocide application that is also known as antifouling or bottom paint.
It is used to protect the boat below the waterline by inhibiting the growth of slime, weed, barnacles and other animal life that attach to the hull. That action is known as biofouling. Ensuring that plant and animal life cannot attach to the hull significantly affects your boats’ performance through the water and improves fuel efficiency.
A massive build-up of ‘fouling’ on planing powerboats can take five knots off your top speed and can mean a 30% increase in fuel consumption.
We can apply any antifouling brand
There are two main types of antifoul.
Ablative aka self-polishing bottom paint that erodes over time due to the flow of water passing along the hull, causing the biocide ingredient to leach out. The faster your boat, the quicker the antifoul erodes. It also releases fewer toxins into the water than hard paint.
Non-Sloughing (hard antifoul paint) has a tough epoxy coating whereby the paint remains, but the biocide erodes over time. In both cases, if the hull is not sanded before each application, over many years the paint can build-up into a thick layer. Eventually, needing to be removed entirely back to the bare hull.
How do I know when it is time to remove antifoul?
- When craters form between layers of paint
- Where flaking occurs
- Treatment of Osmosis blisters
Most private vessels use ablative bottom-paint.
The choice of antifoul products is vast. And their use is dependent on such things as the type of boat, how fast it travels, the sea and the environment. Cyprus has one of the best seawater quality ratings in the EU. However, owing to the climate and the higher sea temperature, fouling growth is more widespread here than might be found in colder climates.
Antifoul is as dangerous to humans as it is to plant and animal life trying to attach to your hull. Application is a dirty job and precautions are essential, especially if sanding to remove old antifoul is required.
If applying antifoul on top of existing coats, care is needed to ensure that the new brand or type of antifoul is compatible with the existing layers. Most manufacturers have resources on their websites that state which other products are compatible. If changing brands, it is advisable to thoroughly sand the existing paint and use a primer before applying the new antifoul.
Antifoul paint is usually applied using a roller and brush. In our experience, this is the safest and the most economical application method. You may wish to apply antifoul each year, or every two to three years depending on your boating activities. Type of activity also has a bearing on the number of coats to apply and precisely the kind of paint to use.
At Latchi Marine Services, we offer a full range of antifoul services, and we are fully insured and guaranteed. We have a hydraulic lift for any boat up to 60 feet (18m) in length and weighing up to 25 tons.
Watch this video showing our boat lift in operation at Latchi Harbour.
Osmosis is a term that strikes fear into the average boat owner, but that is not necessarily the correct reaction.
A boat is not in jeopardy because there are a few patches of osmosis. Left untreated it could, eventually, become a serious problem. Remember, no boat has ever sunk as a direct result of this problem, but large areas can weaken the hull structure eventually.
Osmosis is something that is often easily fixed with a little hard work.
Osmosis is synonymous with GRP (“Glass-Reinforced Plastic) boats only. Typically found in older boats for several reasons. Not least that earlier construction methods with this ‘new’ material at the time may have had more manufacturing faults and also because older boats have spent longer in the water. However, modern boats are not immune.
A boat hull is often a mix of polyester resin reinforced with fibreglass – and combined into layers to form a laminate – this is the GRP.
This laminate may have tiny voids (air pockets) between the fibreglass and the resin. A thin layer of gel coat which resists the effects of UV exposure and provides a waterproof barrier is then applied.
Osmosis is the process of water diffusing through the gel coat and into the laminate, which then condenses into any voids in the GRP material. Osmosis blisters are easily identifiable and even running your hand along the hull; you can feel whether or not you need to act.
Blisters form when the water inside these voids reacts with the laminate, and they get bigger as this reaction develops with pressure. The process is known as Hydrolysis – a chemical process of decomposition involving the splitting of a bond and the addition of the hydrogen cation and the hydroxide anion of water.
This process is not reversible by merely taking the boat out of the water for some time. Osmosis (blisters) ultimately need treatment.
So, what is the solution?
Depending on the gravity of the affected area, several treatment methods are available. Small localised blisters are usually ground down to the laminate to evacuate the trapped water. You know it is osmosis when you smell vinegar as the water is released. Once evacuated, the blisters are washed to remove any remaining chemicals and left to dry.
A Moisture Meter provides a picture as to dryness and therefore the overall integrity of the hull.
Once an acceptable moisture reading is achieved, these isolated blisters are filled with epoxy resin. And, because this all takes place under the waterline, you do not need to apply gel coat over the new resin. The resin itself is waterproof.
Latchi Marine Services can treat even the worst osmosis, and while time-consuming, a new lease of life and value is restored to your boat.
Are you a boat owner, itching to get your vessel out of winter storage and back onto the water?
If so, allow us to help you de-winterise and prepare your boat before taking it out for its first voyage of the season. Latchi Marine Services offer a trusted, professional inspection, tune-up and cleaning of your boat before setting out on your first trip that will help prevent a host of problems that could keep you off the water later in the season – not to mention, help keep you and everyone aboard safe during your adventures.
Let our Marine Services help to get your boat as ready as you are to hit the water this year.
Our Complete Pre-Launch Inspection and Maintenance
To help ensure a smooth, safe start to the boating season, we’ll have one of our certified technicians perform the manufacturer recommended maintenance on your vessel. Which will include completing the following checklist before leaving our specialist facility in Polis:-
- Inspection all of the safety equipment on board, including fire extinguishers, flares, personal flotation devices and first-aid kits, and repair, recharge and restock them as necessary.
- Check all lights on your boat to make sure they are in place and operating properly.
- Open the engine compartment to check for excess water in the bilge.
- Check for any electrical issues, such as loose, disconnected or corroded conductors.
- Verify that the battery is properly secured to the vessel.
- Check the fuel tank for leaks, and ensure there is proper ventilation.
- Check the fuel filters to make sure no water is present.
- Fill your tank with the freshest, highest-quality fuel available.
- Change and check the oil level before starting the boat for the first time.
- Properly inspect and maintain your trailer to comply with all transportation safety and legal standards.
Remember: Every Vessel is unique.
The work required to get your boat water-ready will depend on, its size, manufacturer, model, and the age of the vessel. We will provide you with comprehensive information on all the work that is carried out including images and documentation for your own records.
Boat polishing and valeting
Latchi Marine Services provides professional maintenance to restore a dull and faded boat exterior to something that will make you proud again. Weekly or monthly cleaning and boat care programs are also available.
All of our procedures include a pre-shampoo and rinse to remove any dirt and grit. If there are any signs of deterioration or oxidization, then the boat will be machine polished using varying grades of compound until the perfect shine is achieved. After this preparation work, there is an application of the finest boat wax to maintain the perfect finish.
Interior boat valeting
Our interior boat valeting includes vacuuming throughout, cleaning of cupboards and lockers, cleaning of headlining, deep clean of the galley which includes all appliances, cleaning of heads, windows, followed by a timber polish to complete.
Boat valeting works can be completely tailored to suit each individual. Just contact Latchi Marine services, one of our team will be happy to discuss your requirements in detail and create a quote for your specific needs.
Before and after photos
As part of the service, we will take before and after images that will be sent to you directly for your approval.
So your seaworthy boat is looking a little tired or outdated?
Perhaps it’s a new boat, or you have renamed her?
Why not add some flair to your vessel?
Boat decals, stripes and graphics are a great way to give your boat a boost of personality and style. Latchi Marine Services custom makes and applies all types of decals, borders & stripes and graphics to your vessel.
Beneteau logo 1990s re-created by Latchi Marine Services
We provide the original manufacturer’s graphics, registration numbers and almost anything else that you can think of. We have you covered.
Let’s face it, when visiting any marina, people admire the boats. With our boat decals and graphics, we deliver the ‘Wow‘ factor.