HALF PRICE ANTIFOULING!
Well not quite but since installing an Ultrasonic antifouling system in my Elan 333, my antifouling costs have halved. Previously, I had always put at least two coats of antifouling on all surfaces below the water line, with up to four on the leading edges to ensure full protection. However, since installation I only apply one coat throughout with two or three where erosion is likely to be the greatest. At the end of a six month season at lift-out from my marina berth, the hull, fin and rudder have been completely free from marine growth just some light slime. The antifouling I use is seajet 033 Shogun and this in combination with the ultrasound system works very well where the sound can reach. I do get some fouling on an unprotected folding propeller and a little on my sail drive leg but that is not unexpected as the engine and sail drive are acoustically isolated from the rest of the hull by the engine mounts.Often I have been asked by friends how do I know that the sound is reaching all parts of the boat? It is an interesting question but one that can be quickly confirmed when the boat is laid up in the winter. My Ultrasonic Antifouling transducer is mounted on the centreline in the bilge midway between the trailing edge of the fin and the sail drive. All you need to do is switch it on and put your ear to the hull and you can hear the distinctive “clicks” if it is working properly confirming that there are no voids between the transducer, silicon grease and the hull. On my boat the clicking can be heard throughout the hull right up to the bow as well as at the tip of the rudder and at the bottom of its deep keel. I purchased my system, the ac powered version, when it was first shown at the Southampton Boat show in 2009. Since then it has more than paid for itself and significantly reduced the time and effort required to prepare the boat for the next sailing season.