Back in January 2018, Hamilton boatie John Cook embarked on a voyage around New Zealand on his 21-meter Warwick motor yacht Horizon III, his first attempt at such a trip. Shortly before his departure, John met Oceanmax managing director Clint Jones at a local watering hole, where the two started chatting about John’s plans. Naturally, Clint suggested that he have Propspeed applied and report back to us on how it performed. Very well, it turns out. John’s trip also gave us plenty of fodder for our blog, with detailed weekly updates on where he was and what he was up to, complete with photos.
Though he had clearly done his homework and had an experienced seaman, his brother Robin, by his side, the trip was not an easy one, beset as they were by miserable weather for the bulk of it. While conditions were challenging for Horizon III and its tiny crew of two (occasionally three with John’s partner, Joanne, guest starring), they certainly put Propspeed through its paces.
“We had Advanced Marine Spray Painters at Hobsonville Marina do the work while we focused on the antifouling,” John says. “When we got back from the trip and had the chance to view the underwater parts of the boat clearly, we could see that everything looked pretty good below the waterline; everything looked clean,” John says. Seeing that the props, particularly the rudders, were in good nick, he decided to leave the boat in the water over winter and wait till later in the year to prepare her for summer.
Horizon III was finally hauled out on Wednesday, October 3. As the workmen lifted the boat, “our first impression was, ‘Why are we taking it out of the water?’ The props and all the Propspeed componentry were pristine!”
The hull’s antifoul, while clean, had worn quite thin. “It looked great and was completely intact but had been abraded by all the sea miles we had done. But the surprise to us was that there were only very minor marks on the Propspeed where we had probably hit submerged twigs.” In the South Island and up the east coast in particular, the brothers had encountered enormous amounts of storm debris in the water.
“Robin and I were both expecting to see a lot more evidence of striking those objects, but apart from minor abrasions on a couple of the propeller tips, the Propspeed was still as tacky to the touch as it was immediately after application in January, prior to our trip. Overall, the underside of the boat was in perfect condition, considering the long voyage through lots of debris and rough seas.”
The boat cleaners even asked John, “Why do you want to redo the Propspeed? It’s perfect; leave it.”
“So, without any prompting, even though they were being paid to do the work, they concluded it would be a waste of my money to reapply.” John admits to being “very surprised. When the boat came out of the water, I thought, Oh, my god! It was mint. The Propspeed was in perfectly serviceable condition for at least another year.”
Though John has used Propspeed before, he was expecting it to be well worn and in need of reapplication, “a perfectly reasonable expectation. After all those sea miles and a hell of a lot of work driving the boat, that coating withstood everything we threw at it. Barnacles and the like can affect balance and introduce vibration and degraded performance. We know that a clean, uncontaminated surface will aid fuel consumption and speed through the water, so it was important for us that we had a coating on there.”
But not just any coating: “We will never leave the props or underwater running gear uncoated. We’re converted! We’re convinced that Propspeed is worthy.”
It’s a good thing too, as John plans to revisit most of the places they went, spending more time in Preservation Inlet and Dusky and Doubtful Sounds in particular. “We missed exploring these in depth due to the heinous weather, but the glimpses we were afforded were spectacular!”
Whatever the weather this time around, John and Horizon III can count on Propspeed for smooth sailing.
“Before Propspeed, barnacles and other contamination were seriously affecting performance and fuel consumption, particularly with long gaps between trips away at sea. Now fuel consumption remains constant with each trip, regardless of how long between uses.”
“We will never leave the props or underwater running gear uncoated. We’re converted! We’re convinced that Propspeed is worthy.”
Owner, 70ft Warwick, Horizon III
What size Propspeed kit do I need?
The right kit for your needs will depend on the size of the area you’re coating. Our three kit sizes correspond to the following coverage areas:
200ml: up to 0.4m2 or 4.3ft2
500ml: up to 1m2 or 10.75ft2
1 liter: up to 2m2 or 21.5ft2
How does Propspeed work?
Propspeed is a foul release coating, not an anti-foul, so it doesn’t harm marine life. The top coat on the Propspeed system is an ultra-slick surface that marine growth can’t grip. Propspeed’s effectiveness does depend on movement of your boat - the more you use it, the better Propspeed performs. Propspeed sets itself apart from the competition with the exceptionally strong chemical and physical bond between the metal substrate, the primer and the top coat - this ensures that the Propspeed coating actually stays on your running gear.
Is Propspeed environmentally friendly?
Yes. Propspeed contains no copper, tin or any other toxic substances harmful to marine life.
How long does Propspeed last?
Propspeed will last at least a year, but many customers report another one or even two years service life. This depends on what sort of marine environment your boat is moored in, the water temperature, and how often you use it.
Will Propspeed lose its effectiveness if my boat is out on the water for a period of time?
No, provided the only maintenance given to the parts with Propspeed applied is a light wiping with a non-abrasive cloth, the boat can be hauled and launched multiple times, or left out for long periods without affecting the performance of Propspeed. If you are having the bottom of the boat high pressure washed ensure that any Propspeed coated parts are covered to prevent damage.
Can Propspeed protect against Zebra mussels and other freshwater growth?
Propspeed can be used successfully in fresh or salt water. As it’s a foul release, not a biocide or anti-foul, Propspeed relies on a slick surface - it doesn’t matter what sort of marine growth you have, it won’t be able to get a grip.
Can I apply Propspeed myself?
For best results we recommend Propspeed is applied by a trained applicator. See our applicator finder, or or your haul-out facility may already have an arrangement with an applicator.
What is the shelf life of Propspeed
All Propspeed kits have a shelf life of 3 years from date of manufacture.
The date of manufacture should be clearly labelled on your kit and components
What parts on the bottom of the boat can be coated with Propspeed?
Propspeed can be applied to any metal part below the waterline, including propellers, shafts, struts, rudders, trim tabs and through hull fittings. You can also use the clear coat directly on plastic bow-thrusters and underwater lights.
Is Propspeed expensive?
Propspeed may cost more to buy than conventional anti-fouling paints, but the feedback we get constantly from boat-owners is that it pays for itself. By keeping the running gear free of marine growth, not only does it reduce the time spent cleaning at next haul-out, but it reduces your running costs by increasing your speed and reducing your fuel consumption
What sort of maintenance does Propspeed need?
None. The foul release formulation is self-cleaning as soon as the propeller starts up. If required, a light wipe with a non-abrasive cloth will remove any marine growth. When hauling out, ensure the Propspeed is wiped down with a non-abrasive cloth before any marine growth on the surface can dry. Water-blasting, scraping and other abrasive cleaning will damage the Propspeed and eliminate its effectiveness.
Will Propspeed affect the life of my sacrificial anodes?
The application of Propspeed greatly reduces the wetted metal surface and the positive outcome is that our customers are seeing an increase of vessel speed with less RPMs, fuel savings and, the protection from stray current damage resulting in longer sacrificial anode life. It has been observed by our customers that by using Propspeed on their running gear and propellers they have seen a dramatic reduction in corrosion to their underwater metals and that their sacrificial anodes are lasting longer..
How long after application of Propspeed until I can launch my boat?
A minimum of eight hours drying time is required after the final coat. This is based on an average air temperature of 15 deg C, or 59 deg F. If the air temperature is colder than this, a minimum of 24 hour curing time is recommended.