Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Norway (sometimes)
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Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have developed a new coating that seems promising. Touted as environmentally safe, the poison is embedded hard in the paint so that nothing is emitted or dispersed in the sea. The poison only works on contact; barnacles fall off only when they try to get a grip. They call it Post Settlement Inhibition, and sea trials so far show 90-100% reduction in growth on the hull.
The product is developed in cooperation with International Yacht Paint AB and is planned for the market in 2 years.
Also in Sweden, a mechanical system has been installed in some marinas and appears to work. It is the equivalent of an automatic car wash: you drive the boat into a bay where underwater rubbing devices polish the hull. So far, the device is in the form of a blanket that is drawn along the hull, and I don't know how suitable this is for keel boats. Still, the concept of an easy drive-in boat wash must be one of those "why didn't they think of that before?"