The name of a revolutionary antifouling product: Crystal Boat by Coverplast
Antivegetativa Crystal Boat
Antifouling products have always been important to shipowners. Duration, effectiveness and costs are the main factors that affect the choice of the product.
We found a product, Crystal Boat, that changes how to protect the hull from vegetation and that can also save shipowners time and money.
This paint is also eco-friendly because, being totally biocide-free, it has almost no environmental impact.
Already successfully used on the hulls of power boats, Crystal Boat caught our eye and we wanted to try it, in a new version, applying it to the Daydreamer, the editorial staff’s sail-boat.
Crystal Boat: what it is and why we are testing it
We could define Crystal Boat as a long-lasting self-cleaning paint. In fact, the manufacturer expects no need to repaint the hull earlier than three years after application given the product ability to resist exfoliation.
By applying Crystal Boat on the hull you obtain a hard, smooth, slippery and hydrophobic surface.
Therefore, it is for a mechanical reason that Crystal Boat can be used in the same way as an antifouling paint.
The surface layer of the paint, given these characteristics, on the one hand does not favour the adhesion of the vegetation and, on the other hand, thanks to the friction produced by the speed of the boat in the water, facilitates the removal of vegetation and algae which, in case of extended stops, would inevitably cling to the hull.
It is for this reason that this paint is already successfully used on the hulls of powerboats. The high speeds achieved by these yachts during navigation facilitate the hull self-cleaning process.
What we are going to test is if this paint can be used also on sailing hulls since these vessels are undoubtedly not able to sail at such speeds. In fact, we wondered if we were going to be able to exploit the abrasion resistance and durability of this paint (3 years) by performing a simple monthly cleaning carried out by the port diver.
This non-exfoliating paint can be cleaned as many times as one wants without causing reduced thickness.
Most vessels are only used 6 months a year and we are sure that you already understood the advantages, both in economic and environmental terms, that this product may provide.
When we carry out the test, if we find that the speed of the Daydreamer alone will be sufficient to clean the hull, then the test will exceed our expectations and the benefits will be even greater.
Basically, this type of paint offers two very interesting advantages:
1) Protection against osmosis: Crystal Boat creates almost total protection against humidity, just as anti-osmotic treatments do.
2) Anti-galvanic insulation: The paint creates an insulating layer that protects the vessel from galvanic currents.
Crystal Boat is also tested to withstand impacts of up to 4 Newton and is solvent resistant.
A single coat of paint on the surface is sufficient and does not need primer to adhere to the surface of the hull.
Finally Crystal Boat, unlike many conventional anti-fouling products, does not deteriorate after being immersed in water if it enters in contact with the air again. Therefore, boats treated with this paint can be towed and launched an unlimited number of times.
The first part of the test: application and first navigation
It’s early morning in Genoa and at the Genoa Sea Service shipyard we find Nicolò De Angelis, the facility manager. He has the Daydreamer ready for us to start our test. The old antifouling paint has been removed and the hull is ready for a new treatment.
We get things rolling right away and with Riccardo Moltrasio from Coverplast we start to watch the application of Crystal Boat.
The paint does not need thinners and is split into two elements A (paint) and B (hardener), these must be combined according to a 1:1 ratio.
While we watch the technicians mix the components, we ask what is the theoretical yield of the paint. We learn that if the paint is applied by spraying, the yield is 12 m²/L while if it is applied with a roller brush, as in our case, it is 10 m²/L.
After the first application, we see that the product adheres well to the surface. However, our doubts are clearly focused on the application with a single coat: will it be enough to evenly cover the surface?
At the beginning it would seem unlikely, but as the paint dries we think again since we notice that it expands by covering the surface perfectly and creating a very hard and perfectly smooth “skin”.
We decide to apply a second coat of paint, just to be sure, in some points of the cast iron keel where oxidation created holes covered with rust. The Daydreamer is over 30 years old!
If Crystal Boat could really act as an insulator, even in these points of corrosion, without even using a coat of primer, it would be really incredible.
But we will only find this out in our future checks.
Upon paint application completion, we noticed that just over 3 kg of Crystal Boat were used to cover the hull and appendages. The Daydreamer’s hull surface measures 34 m², so the actual paint yield was higher than expected.
After completing the application we let the paint dry (48 hours).
After a few days we headed back to haul the boat and return to the base. The effect created on the hull and appendages, thanks to the paint, consists of a solid and very smooth protective shell.
Sliding a hand on the surface we noticed that, unlike many other antifouling paints, the product does not release colour, the hands do not get dirty and slide almost without friction on the surface, which is really very smooth.
But it is when we start the engine and sail for the first few miles that we are really surprised. The boat seems to sail faster than usual!
We write down the engine rpm and the corresponding speed and, after comparing them with previous notes, we noticed that Daydreamer, with the same rpm, gained a few tenths of a knot in speed. An additional sign, at the end of the initial stage of the test, is that Crystal Boat could prove to be an excellent choice, also in terms of smoothness.
Now all we have to do is let some time pass sailing a little and then leaving the boat at mooring, to analyse the results of which we will of course keep you informed.
During the hull stop we also used Crystal Prop, a specific paint for the propellers. This additional product by Coverplast will also be tested in a separate occasion to avoid confusion and we will soon dedicate another article specifically to it.
If the Crystal Boat test turns out to be effective, how much money would we save?
According to our table, we compared Crystal Boat with a high-performance hard matrix antifouling product, which lasts one year and requires two coats of paint.
The Daydreamer is 13.7 m long and has an immersed surface area of 34 m².
|Coverplast Crystal Boat||Other antifouling||Difference|
|Hauling, launching and locking with trestles (€)||500||500||0|
|Product needed (Kg)||3,5(one coat)||6,8(two coats)||-3,3|
|Product cost per Kg||256||92||194|
|Total cost of the product for each application (€)||896||625,6||270,4|
|Cost of antifouling product application labour (€)||200 (una mano)||400 (due mani)||-200|
|Total cost for an antifouling product application (€)||1.746||1.675||71|
|Diving cost for four dives (€)||400||0||400|
|Total year 1 (€)||2.146||1.675||471|
|Total year 2 (€)||400||1.675||-1.275|
|Total year 3 (€)||400||1.675||-1.275|
|Annual cost (€)||982||1.675||-693|
|Total cost in three years (€)||2.946||5.025||-2.079|
Where to find it on line:
Tribordo Marine Supplies : Promozione Crystal Boat