Case Study: Sailboat protected against biofouling

Chris Valkiers, owner of a sailing boat (Trintella 42) located at RYCB (Royal Yacht Club Belgium) in Antwerp, experienced a lot of problems with his boat. Every year Chris had a series of problems on the underwater part of the boat, mainly biofouling.

Request the full case study report here

Biofouling - sailing boat Biofouling - sailing boat

Chris’ sailing boat experienced a lot of problems especially on the hull and the propeller of the boat. After every season there was an enormous growth of biofouling when Chris took his boat out of the water. Biofouling consists of algae, mussels, pox and shells. This growth was repeatedly present on both the hull and the propeller of the boat. Chris found that the maintenance caused him the most worries.

To get rid of these problems, Chris had to use a lot of chemicals to get rid of the fouling on the hull and the propeller. First of all, this was a job that took a lot of hours, about a whole day a year. In addition, this job was also very demanding on his back and shoulders. Every time again Chris had to work with a scouring sponge, a bucket with chemicals or even a high pressure jet to get this fouling (temporarily) off his hull and screw.

Costs - maintenance Costs - maintenance

Not only does maintaining these problems take a lot of time, it also costs a lot of money. Chris spent a lot of money on chemicals (acids, salt water, etc…) and equipment (hard/soft brush, high pressure cleaner, etc…).

The general cost of maintaining a sailing boat is between €750 and €5000 per year, or about 5% to 10% of the boat’s purchase price.

The solution - NDV Ultrasonic The solution - NDV Ultrasonic

In order to save on the annual maintenance costs of the hull and the propeller of the boat, a NDV Ultrasonic device was used. This device works on the basis of ultrasound and eliminates the biofilm, which is the food source of the biofouling. It is an ecological solution to protect the boat and ensure a longer life for the underwater hull.

One transducer was placed on the inside of the hull below the waterline. This was fixed with a unique 2-component adhesive that allows the ultrasonic waves to pass through. With the antifouling already applied to the hull of the boat, the ultrasonic waves resonate with the hull, protecting it from biofouling. This is because the biofilm is broken down by ultrasound.

The device needs to be powered 24/7, so a power switch between battery (12V) and shore power (230/240V) was provided. The complete installation consumes only 6 watts per hour. Moreover, the device itself does not contain any buttons to make it as user-friendly as possible.

The result The result

After one season, the sailboat was taken out of the water to see the result of the transducer. The result was certainly positive, as there was no shell, mussel or pockmark on either the hull or the propeller of the boat. In addition, there was no longer any algae growth, only some fouling at the waterline, which could easily be wiped away with a sponge.

Normally, cleaning the hull of a boat takes about half a day, but now it only takes 10 minutes. With the help of a water hose, the hull and the propeller could easily be hosed off. This to the amazement of both the client and the harbour staff.

Feedback - Chris Valkiers Feedback - Chris Valkiers

Chris Valkiers is a satisfied customer, as evidenced by the feedback .

When taking the sailing boat out of the water, the huge smile on Chris’ face showed how satisfied he was with the result. No biofouling to be found, in conclusion the appliance has done its job well. Chris would certainly recommend the appliance to others for the following reasons. Firstly, it is an environmentally friendly solution that does not harm the fish and no chemicals are used. Secondly, it saves Chris a lot of time and energy, which will also result in saving costs and complaints in the back and shoulders.

The NDV Ultrasonic device meets Chris’s expectations 100%.

It is a relief for him to know that there is an alternative solution that keeps the underwater hull clean from biofouling in an ecological and efficient way.

Related articles test

The cliché of sick cattle

What are the implications of sick cattle for the farmer? This is a question that is asked all too often since it has an impact on many factors in agriculture. Animal disease not only affects milk production but also has economic consequences for the farmer.

Learn more

Are chemicals that important?

It is almost impossible to imagine life without chemicals. A lot of people use chemicals or detergents to do maintenance and to get rid of problems like limescale and bacteria. However, one must sometimes ask oneself whether these chemicals are really important and what impact they have on people and the environment.

Learn more

Case Study: Sailboat protected against biofouling

Chris Valkiers, owner of a sailing boat (Trintella 42) located at RYCB (Royal Yacht Club Belgium) in Antwerp, experienced a lot of problems with his boat. Every year Chris had a series of problems on the underwater part of the boat, mainly biofouling.

Learn more