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Expert Advice. Antifoul: all there is to know

Anti-fouling paints have come a long way and are more widely available than ever.  Modern paints work by releasing a controlled amount of biocides over a period of time.

Antifoul prevents organisms and plant life from gripping the hull of a boat by releasing chemicals. Some antifoul paints offer protection against underwater corrosion on metal hulls and fittings, although this is not antifoul’s primary use.

Essentially antifoul is a protective underwater paint that is designed to slow the growth of sub-aquatic organisms that over a period of time can attach themselves to a hull of a boat. This effect is called fouling (or biofouling) and can be separated into two categories; microfouling and macrofouling.

Microfouling is the build up of bio-organisms such as bacteria, algae, slime etc.

Macrofouling is the build up of animals and plant life such as seaweed, sea squirts barnacles, muscles and tube worm.

These organisms can affect a vessel’s performance and durability to move through the water and can often impair or degrade a ship’s hull or mechanical equipment, as a result of the growth and activity of the living organisms.

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