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Antifouling Service in Sydney

A properly maintained boat is a pleasure to own. It’s a pleasure to show off too! Not only that, it lasts longer and holds its value. It performs better. And you can enjoy your days on the water on a boat you’re proud to own. A boat you’re proud to share with friends and family while creating memories that’ll last a lifetime.

However, a poorly maintained boat can be a nightmare. Instead of bragging about your boat, you’re embarrassed by it.

That’s because it’s hard to enjoy a day out on the water when your boat is fouled with marine growth and slime. You can’t see the growth beneath the waterline, but you can feel it in your boat’s performance. Your boat drags in the water, gets harder to manoeuvre, and for motor boats, you use more fuel.

What’s worse, if left too long, marine growth causes damage to the hull and running gear which devalues your boat and requires expensive repairs. And for engines, there is another expensive problem you may encounter.

That’s because left too long, kelp, mussels, barnacles, oysters and even gummy fish can set up home in your water inlet tubes. If they end up blocking your cooling system your engine overheats and in some cases seizes.

All of this can be avoided with our once-a-year Premium Antifouling Service.

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Regularly maintained boats hold their value better, it’s a fact they fetch more when sold. So your hard earned investment is worth more when you go to sell it or trade it in for your next.

Once we’ve cleaned and antifouled your boat and get it back in the water, you’ll instantly feel the difference.

There’s not as much drag through the water, your up on the plane quicker, manoeuvring is easier and the boat responds better.

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A fouled boat carries a lot of extra load. There is a lot of extra drag through the water too. This means your engine works harder, and you use more fuel. Anti-fouling removes all the gunk, restores your hull and propeller, and protects them with our premium antifouling and foul release paint.

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A fouled boat covered in barnacles, mussels, slime and other marine growth, severely impacts the lifespan of boats. In some cases, the integrity of the hull is comprised, which requires expensive repairs. For motor boats, the cooling system can get blocked with growth which cause an overheated engine and

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A freshly cleaned and antifouled boat looks good as new! Our once-a-year Premium Antifouling Service keeps your boat in tip-top condition to ensure a pleasurable boating experience for many years to come. You’ll have a boat that you want to show off to your mates again!

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The process starts at our Balmain Slipway, which is one of the few remaining slipways in Sydney Harbour. (Since 1950 when the Slipway opened, it’s serviced over 10,000 boats.)

Once we have carefully and safely removed your boat from the water, our guaranteed, 3-step antifouling process begins.

And because we are a ‘Patent Slipway’ as opposed to a ‘Hard Stand Slipway’, we can reach all the hard to get to places that ‘Hard Stand Slipways’ miss. This means we do a thorough job every time without taking any shortcuts.

Here’s a quick look at our guaranteed 3-step antifouling process…

1

First, we hand scrape the hull to remove all the growth such as kelp, barnacles and tube worm shells. Then with a high-pressure water-blaster we remove the slime, salt and flaking paint. Then we acid wash the top side of the hull (water line to the rub rail or gunwale) to remove stains and residue salt.

Once we are satisfied your boat is thoroughly cleaned we move on to the next step.

2

First we wet sand the hull below the waterline to remove any failing paint. This prepares the surface for maximum adhesion of paint. We fill and repair any damage to the hull, keel, chines and rudder. Once that’s all done, we tape the water line to give a nice sharp clear line. We also bag the hull to prevent any paint splatter to the topsides of the hull.

Once we are completely satisfied everything is prepared correctly, it’s time to paint.

3

We use only premium antifouling paint; the same paint used by Sydney to Hobart winner Comanche.

First, we paint the hull with a suitable primer using a roller or paint brush. The primer is then allowed to dry for a suitable time. Priming is an important step and ensures our antifouling paint sticks when applied. Once dry, we apply our premium antifouling paint, paying special attention to the water line and all leading edges of hull, keel, rudder, chines and running gear.

We then remove the bagging and remove the tape on the water line. Once the paint is dried, the boat is ready to go back in the water.

As you can see from the photos below, the boat on the right looks ‘good as new’ and is ready to go back in the water.

  • Before
    Antifouling Services

    After
    Antifouling Services

  • Before
    Antifouling Services

    After
    Antifouling Services

  • Before
    Antifouling Services

    After
    Antifouling Services

We also work on propellers. It’s the same guaranteed 3-step process. Clean, prep and paint. First we clean the propeller, hand scrape, high pressure water blast, then carefully strip all the coatings off with a strip disc on an angle grinder without removing any metal, then clean the surface with phosphoric acid and then acetone. We then prime and paint the propeller either with a hard antifouling paint or an application of a foul release paint such as ‘Propspeed’ which is the gold standard. (This is one of the things we’ll discuss with you when we antifoul your boat. This way you get the treatment that best suits your boat.)

NOTE: All work carried out on our slipway adheres to strict environmental and safety protocols and procedures.

We pulled this boat out of the water and look what we found. The propellers on one of the stern drives were coated in Propspeed foul release coating. And the others were bare, no treatment at all. No protection. Look at the difference in marine growth!

restoring propellers - before and after

What size and type of boats to you work on?

We work on modern fibreglass boats, sail or motor, 35 to 65 feet long.

Do you guarantee your work?

Yes we do. In the unlikely event any of our coatings fail within 12 months, we will re-do the job free. It’s that simple. Ask us about our 12 month, Fix it For Free Guarantee when we chat and we’ll fill you in on all the details.

What’s the difference between antifouling paint and foul release paint and how do they work?

  1. Antifoul paint is used on your hull

It discourages marine growth from attaching to your hull’s surface. It works by slowly wearing away over time to expose fresh biocides in the paint which prevents marine growth.

We use only the best, proven, premium antifouling paint. The two brands we use are…

    • Altex No. 5. Cruising Helmsman put 5 popular brands of antifouling to the test in Sydney Harbour for 18 months. Altex No. 5 came out on top.
    • Pettit Vivid. This is the same paint used by Sydney to Hobart winner Comanche. This is a perfect paint for GRP sailing vessels that race.
  1. Foul release paint is used on your propellers, rudders, trim tabs and running gear

Foul release paint works differently than antifoul. It works because it’s silicone paint that makes the surface slippery. So just like a Teflon frying pan, nothing sticks. We use Propspeed foul release paint which is the gold standard.

How far in advance do I have to book?

Good question. Both of our slipways are always full. And because we’re one of the last remaining slipways in Sydney Harbour, there is always a healthy competition for spots. But usually, we can fit you in within 4 weeks of booking.

My advice would be to book now. If there is a late cancellation, and you don’t mind short notice, we may be able to slot you in earlier.

What size and type of boats to you work on?

We recommend using our Premium Antifouling Service every 12 months. Our customers get a reminder 11 months after the service so they don’t forget to book in.

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