Marine Fouling

Seaweed is the generic name for underwater algae

It is the main cause of fouling on the hull of vessels, providing a rich food source for most types of fouling and the reason that year after year, superyacht owners spend large amounts of money on antifoul paints, which in fact, are becoming more and more ineffective as a result of changing legislation banning the use of chemicals, toxins and other pollutants that are harmful to the environment. If the algae (seaweed) and bio-films were prevented from attaching in the first place, owners would have no need to paint the various products on it so regularly, allow the vessel to stay in the water for longer and dramatically reduce the maintenance and associated costs.

Everything in our seas, harbours, ports and estuaries is bathed in a ‘soup’ of living matter, yachts can become badly fouled within just a few weeks unless protected by an effective anti-fouling system which is essential if you want to avoid these infestations.


Stage 1: Initial attachment
Stage 2: Irreversible attachment
Stage 3: Maturation
Stage 4: Maturation II
Stage 5: Dispersion

Heavy fouling makes a yacht slow, less responsive, less fuel efficient and more difficult to manoeuvre in close quarters situations.  Superyachts spend a large proportion of their time partly submerged in water and as with all objects subjected for long periods of time, hulls, sea chests, strainers, seawater pipework and box coolers become prone to colonisation by the many micro-organisms which inhabit the aquatic environment. This colonisation is known as fouling. The extent of infestation depends on a number of factors including water temperature, salinity and productivity of the organic matter on which the organisms feed.

Antifouling paints are applied to help prevent the build up of these organisms to some degree, but it is much better to install the UltraSystem in conjunction with either a new or old antifoul paint to prevent the organisms from attaching in the first place.