Thursday, December 12th, 2019

Ultrasonic Antifouling System Proves Worth

Published on March 22, 2012 by   ·   No Comments


As the European refit season draws to a close, many yacht owners, managers and captains will be thinking about what antifouling system to apply to their underwater hulls in order to face another season of cruising, racing – or both.  Anyone who has ever owned a boat that stays in the water for most of the time will be very familiar with the difficult decision process that leads up to this point, irrespective of the size of the vessel.

Sonihull System

Now there is completely different option to think about which doesn’t involve paint or coatings at all – the Sonihull System – an ultrasonic antifouling system marketed and installed by yacht electronics specialists E-Tech Yachting.  Sonihull already has many years of research, development and proven practical use behind it and E-Tech has all the expertise and resources needed to install it professionally and effectively, on all sizes of yacht from 10 metres up to superyachts.

So, apart from the obvious fact that ultrasonic antifouling does no harm at all to our oceanic eco systems what are its main advantages?  Firstly, it will extend the life of your applied antifouling coating by many years, so that all of the hassle and cost mentioned above will not have to be endured and repeated anywhere near as often.  And secondly, a clean hull can shave about 20% off fuel bills.  It is common knowledge that fouling on the boat’s hull will lead to increased resistance, which basically increases fuel consumption.

Sonihull features:
•    Improved hydrodynamics and speed
•    Noticeable reduction of maintenance expenses
•    Return of investment within a short time
•    Less fouling of ship’s hull
•    Improved fuel efficiency and performance

Superyacht Case Histories

The 34 metre S/Y Anemos, a well known superyacht built by Nautors Swan in Finland, is a modern cruising sloop designed by German Frers with a composite hull construction.  E-Tech Yachting fitted her with the Sonihull system in early 2011, as an addition to her regular paint based antifouling, before she set out on her busy season cruising the central and eastern Mediterranean.  Her Captain, Richard Foster, was keen to see her underwater hull condition when she was hauled out at STP boatyard in Palma de Mallorca a year later in January 2012.

Richard was already pleased with the inconspicuous trouble-free installation and the fact that the system had required no onboard maintenance at all.  Checking around the waterline from the tender, and experiencing a noticeable improvement in the sailing performance of Anemos throughout the season had shown very promising signs, so expectations were high.  Now the real test of Sonihull´s antifouling effectiveness would be obvious as soon as the hull was clear of the water and sitting in the travel lift slings.  To Richard’s delight there was no visible fouling at all on the hull, anywhere from the waterline right down to the bottom of the keel.

He said; “I can only think of positives when it comes to commenting on this system.  A friend who had it fitted on his boat in Dubai recommended it to us, so we had some track record to base our decision on.  The major convincing factor in favour of us fitting Sonihull was the results from installation in the Middle East, where there are serious growth problems due to warm water temperatures.”

Would he continue using it and recommend it to others? “Based on these results I would say a resounding yes” said Richard.  “Before Sonihull was installed the bottom would have to be physically cleaned by divers twice in a season. And the yacht’s performance is noticeably and consistently improved due to having a clean hull.”

The 43 metre S/Y Mystere is an award winning sloop built by Vitters Shipyard in Holland and designed by Bill Tripp. She cruises and races on both sides of the Atlantic and is often entered into the various Superyacht Regattas.  E-Tech fitted the Ultrasonic System to her sea chests that had experienced problems with calcium growth, worm casts and algae, all negatively affecting the efficiency of the cooling.  After a year in service the captain reported; “None of these substances were present at all, and the installation has been a ‘plug and play’ success, which just worked away quietly, and without any onboard attention required.”  He is now planning to have Sonihull fitted in some underwater duct areas around the yacht’s lifting keel.

For more information on E-Tech Yachting’s Sonihull System please email svante@etechyacting.com or visit www.etechyachting.com.

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