My motor sailing Fisher catamaran is itinerant in Europe and I never have the luxury of progressive winter maintenance. I just simply lock up in October, fly home to England and reappear in April. This is the very moment when I really, really don’t want to get involved in an antifouling project involving paint, because the weather is invariably cold and showery – and of course the hideously arduous job is doubled because of her twin hulls. The invention of Ultrasonic seemed like the answer to a prayer.
I bought my Ultra 20 system in mid-2009. In 2010 I launched her with the ultrasonic newly fitted and powered up, and I had been particularly careful to prepare the hull surfaces under the transducers to ensure perfect contact. I was impressed that the system was inaudible, except in the heads where some gentle ticking was just discernible through the shower grating – in fact a nice reminder for a few minutes each day that something other than me was doing all the hard work of antifouling! The summer progressed, and all I had to ensure was that the boat stayed connected to the shorepower in my absence.
Eventually the day came when I returned to the boat after a month’s absence, to discover that the lake water was up at 25C – and amazingly, that there was nothing more than a little slime and certainly no weed, not even on the waterline. Most remarkable of all were the tops of the stern platforms, which sit a couple of inches underwater. Usually by now their upper surfaces would be a carpet of weed, but they were completely clear. This had never ever happened before, not even after several coats of the most expensive antifouling paint.
I used to let the system run continuously, but at anchor the drain on the domestic battery is small but noticeable so now I switch off in the hours of darkness, with apparently no adverse effects. However I’ll soon be fitting a dedicated solar panel and battery, allowing the whole system to look after itself day and night and without shorepower, whether I’m aboard or not.
So there we have it, a complete success that has now run for two long seasons in warm fresh water. I’m free of the albatross of paint antifouling that still hangs round most yachtsmen’s necks, year after year. I have had several queries over my two seasons of use – no real problems, just me fussing – and Ultrasonic have always been very attentive. I have a feeling that the aftersales service is exceptional.