Fouling of vessels is known to reduce efficiency, increase drag and increase fuel consumption. Also, the increased weight to mooring lines caused by fouling organisms may hinder the ease end users have of handling them. It is in the interest of owners to keep fouling off vessels and lines and thereby protecting the environment from harm caused by translocations of invasive alien species.
The following information is given as an introduction to applying antifouling paints. Please consult your local marina or consult the following organisations should you require more information on antifouling:
|Work indoors: Where practical, conduct vessel maintenance indoors or under temporarily covered areas where the rain cannot cause runoff. Sheet plastic shelters can be used.
Work away from the water: At a minimum, always move boats inland to an approved work area before scraping or power washing the hull. Do not perform hull maintenance activities on the launch ramp area or in the lift well.
Do not clean your boat while it is in the water: Never dive/use divers to remove growth on the bottom of boat hulls. This not only represents a health and safety concern but cleaning of biofouling by this manner also removes anti-foulant paint and associated pollutants.
Use dustless vacuum sanders: Dustless sanders use industrial vacuum cleaners to trap dust created in the sanding process before it becomes airborne. As the sander removes paint, dust is drawn into several holes located through the sanding pad. The dust is then sucked into a vacuum container that can be emptied for disposal. Dustless vacuum sanders are one of the best ways to control paint dust before it can become a pollutant. Added advantages include keeping a clean workplace, reducing health risks and reducing cleanup costs and time. Ensure you follow manufacturer’s guidance or receive training on the safe use of this equipment.
Use tarps and filter cloth: Use tarps and/or filter cloth to catch scrapings and other debris produced during maintenance work. Tarps and cloth are inexpensive “low-tech” methods to collect debris before it can be washed into coastal waters by storm water. Filter cloths are better than tarps when boat work is expected to last longer than one day. Should it rain, the water passes through the cloth instead of washing the debris off the tarp.
Maintain clean and tidy work area: Clean up the designated work area after scraping and painting. Leaving areas cluttered and messy will cause spills and allow pollutants to be tracked outside the work area.
Painting: Because hull paints contain toxic pollutants, they should be used with care. Consider the following when painting your boat.