I was very interested to read a news piece today regarding the problem of barnacles that some of the Golden Globe competitors are facing.
While it is true to say that ever tightening laws regarding the composition of active anti-foul coatings is making life difficult for paint manufacturers, certainly it is perfectly possible to produce a coating that will effectively deter barnacle growth.
A month or so back, the yachts that recently finished the 2017/18 edition of the Clipper Round the World Race started to be lifted out in Gosport. On the request of Golden Globe legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston we had supplied the entire Clipper fleet with Coppercoat anti-foul prior to the race. Hence, we were particularly interested to see how they looked when lifted out, some 16 months and 40,000 nautical miles later. At point of lift, and without pressure washing, the hulls looked fantastic still and very clean. A very marked contrast to the experiences of some the current Golden Globe skippers, who must be ruing their choice of anti-foul!
Clipper Race Director, Mark Light, reported:
“The Clipper Race fleet has been exposed to a vast variety of conditions during the 2017-18 circumnavigation. After over 40,000 nm of racing the Coppercoat remains well adhered and the hulls have been noticeably cleaner, a major contributor to performance. How the yachts perform is critical to not only racing success, but also to the planning and logistics of such a race on this scale. Coppercoat has surpassed our expectations and as our preparations commence for the 2019-20 edition, we have every confidence that the antifoul will allow superb performance of our race yachts for many circumnavigations to come.”
I should add that in previous editions of the race, when conventional anti-foul paints were used, the boats required lifting, cleaning and repainting at the mid-way point in Sydney. This was the first time the fleet had used Coppercoat, and the first time such a lift-clean-repaint was not necessary. Indeed, we expect the current treatment of Coppercoat to remain effective for at least the next two editions of the race. Not only has the choice of Coppercoat meant cleaner hulls and greater boat speed, but also a huge time and cost savings to the Race organisers.
So, in answer to the question in your article, while some modern anti-fouls may not last the distance nor time of a circumnavigation, there are products that can. When it comes to anti-foul and racing, it pays to choose wisely! Ewan Clark, Director of Coppercoat.
Want to see a little of what Coppercoat faced on the clipper race? Amazing footage! https://youtu.be/TYttYozT6q4
Morgan Marine supply and use Coppercoat as their primary antifoul treatment. From Prestige 500’s to Merry fisher 605’s we have found it to offer excellent anti fouling and last for many years. Despite its initial cost and labour intensive application it has, to date, outperformed all other anti-fouls we have used over the years. For more details on our workshop services please click here: https://morganmarine.com/workshop-parts/