Definition: Thin-film antifouling
Thin-film antifouling has a hard, very smooth, low-friction surface. A major feature of every thin-film antifouling is that it does not work by releasing active ingredients into the water, but by creating a very smooth surface, which makes it difficult for organisms to attach. Fouling is less likely to take place if the surface is not suitable to settle on from the start.
Furthermore, the smooth covering optimises boat speed, allows the boat to glide easier and faster through the water and reduces fuel consumption. The PTFE additive (Teflon) further strengthens the surface structure.
Ideally suited for regatta boats, motor and sailing yachts that regularly sail on inshore waterways and rivers.
Pros and cons
A great advantage of thin-film antifouling is that its use avoids the build-up of thick layers of paint that could flake or peel off after some time. In addition, it is very quick and easy to use and work with. Thin-film antifouling is also worth considering for environmental reasons, because it only contains a small amount of biocides.
One disadvantage is that only the same type of antifouling can be applied to this kind of protective coating. Due to its smooth surface, other types of antifouling will not adhere to it. The only way to change the type of antifouling is to remove all layers and apply a fresh coat to the hull.
Method of application
It is recommended to use short-haired rollers for applying antifouling paints. We advise having several of these at hand when possible, mainly because cheaper rollers tend to dissolve very quickly. Brushes are not suitable for underwater painting. Brush hairs can become stuck in the antifouling paint and cause the antifouling layer to become more permeable.
Choosing the right antifouling
When choosing the type of antifouling for your hull, you should try to obtain the best possible information beforehand, e.g. from a seller or your home port. No antifouling coating is universally suitable for every surface.
With used boats it depends very much on which underwater paint was used by the previous owner. Make sure you ask what kind of antifouling was used before you took it over.
In addition, legal regulations must be considered. The application and use of some types of antifouling is prohibited in some countries because antifouling products contain biocides.
World-renowned - VC 17m thin-film antifouling by International
VC 17m by International is the best example showing the functionality of thin-film antifouling. The paint, which has been proven for decades, excels with high compatibility and first-class protection against fouling. Suitable for GRP, steel, lead and wood surfaces in waters with low and medium fouling conditions. Can also be used for faster boats. Not suitable for aluminium or galvanised surfaces due to the risk of corrosion. Available in different colours.
Application: Pour the powder into the liquid and mix all components thoroughly. The product is then ready for use.
VC 17m EXTRA is recommended for use in waters in which boats are subjected to heavy fouling.
Use biocide products with care. Always read the label and product information before use.
Wear a protective mask and gloves during application and avoid contact with the skin.
Further useful information can be found in our Antifouling Guide.