An antifouling that makes your boat faster because it's super slippery, lasts up to 10 years, stays clean even when anchored prolonged time in the most difficult kind of places: shallow tropical waters AND doesn't release any chemicals in the water. Who doesn't want an antifouling like that?!
In search for the perfect antifouling
We know from our experience with our first boat Omweg with whom we sailed from Europe to New Zealand that a good antifouling is very hard to find. Maybe non-existing even, depending on your cruising grounds. Because we didn't only have the experience of our own antifouling, but had also closely monitored those of fellow cruisers from all over the world, we gained a lot of practical information in just a few years. Everyone makes different choices and everyone is struggling to find the right antifouling. Some people were pretty happy, ourselves included, but that was actually only just because they and we didn't expect something really good. We were happy because we didn't have high expectations and because our boat was fairly small and it we were in nice tropical waters and thus it was not a big deal to jump in the water and clean the hull. We were happy that it was relatively easy to clean, was long lasting and non-poisonous. OK, agreed, it was quite annoying that the speed of the boat during the Atlantic and Pacific passages was steadily decreasing because there was a carpet of goose neck barnacles growing on it. And this was not only happening to our boat, it was happening to all boats we looked at when we arrived in French Polynesia, all fancy kinds of antifoulings included! Nobody actually expected to have growth happening on ocean passages but it did happen.
When we followed our dream and decided not to return to our house but instead keep living on a boat, we came to the conclusion that our boat was too small for this purpose. It needed to be a bigger boat and we decided to jump over to a catamaran (yuck). A catamaran has two hulls, and they were to be much longer as well. We were asking ourselves whether it still would be 'a nice job' to clean all that area year in year out. Maybe not... So even though we hadn't met anyone in our years of sailing who had a real nice kind of antifouling, we did continue looking for it. In our search for the 'perfect antifouling' we came in contact with Hempel and they asked us to test a new kind of antifouling. It's a very special kind of Silicon antifouling and it's not yet on the market for yachts but only for big cargo ships so far. Hempel regarded it interesting to see how it would suit a sailing vessel like ours. Silicone is tricky stuff, it's quite easy to mess up and very difficult to get anything else on the boat afterwards but we were willing to take the risk to try this on our boat because IF it would work like Hempel said it would, it would be absolutely fantastic. In our opinion very much worth the try!
We can't yet let you know the exact name of the product since it's not available for yachts yet. When it is, we will for sure let you know here. On this page you will find our honest opinion on the product and we will continue to update this page. Hempel gave us this product for free and requested only to give them feedback. If we think the product is crap, we will say so, we didn't sign any contract of whatsoever, we can and will be just very honest.
Wherefore is it intended?
- What Hempel claims of this kind of antifouling:
- Tijdens een lange oceaanoversteek spreek je dagelijks met lotgenoten. Het geeft je het gevoel er niet alleen voor te staan.
- Het vergroot de veiligheid. Iedere dag geef je je positie en omstandigheden door en men weet dan als er problemen zouden ontstaan wat je recente positie was.
- Weersinformatie. Weerkaarten bekijken is leuk, maar het wordt nog veel leuker als je ze kan bespreken met andere zeilers. Bovendien zitten andere zeilers vaak op honderden mijlen afstand en kun je hun waarnemingen gebruiken om een beter beeld van de omstandigheden te krijgen.