Bill first had Propspeed applied to his 53-foot trawler-style launch, Pacific Eagle, in May 2013. Moored at Auckland’s Westhaven Marina, the boat was scrubbed regularly by divers every three or four months. Under these conditions, he reports that the application lasted three years, and he’s found this to be the rule rather than the exception. “It still looked good” when Bill had the Propspeed redone in September 2016. The key, he says, is in the application technique.
“It’s only good if it’s put on properly, like any paint job—or anything else, for that matter. When it’s put on properly, it’s absolutely fantastic. All three applications I’ve had now have been done by Hibiscus Marine Coatings. Carla and her team do a really good job of applying it. First of all, they clean everything properly; secondly, they then rigidly adhere to the curing times.”
For those not in the know, Bill is talking about the recoat window, or the wait time between each coat applied, which is a function of ambient temperature (higher temp = shorter window). A typical application involves three coats, two etch primer coats then a final clear coat, which means two windows of equal length in between each one, generally three to five minutes. Cleaning everything properly beforehand entails removing any old Propspeed by stripping or sanding then using Propclean followed by Propprep metal-conditioning wipes.
“They do an excellent job, and they apply the correct amount of product in the correct sequence,” Bill says.
In March 2017, Bill traded up to a Riviera 61 named Halo and had the Hibiscus Marine team put on antifoul and Propspeed in September 2017. During a hull cleaning just over a year later, on 26 September 2018, Diveworx provided a written report on the condition of all underwater parts of the boat. “As they always do, they took photos,” he says. The verdict? “At this stage, I’m expecting one to two years before any reapplication.”
Bill, who lives in the Auckland suburb of St Mary’s Bay, happened to meet the Oceanmax team at the Westpac Auckland Business Awards, where his son’s company, Earth Stability, was also a finalist. Bill made a point of coming over to tell managing director Clint Jones how much he loves Propspeed.
Previously the part owner of a digging company, Bill is now retired and likes to get out on his Riviera “as frequently as possible, an average of 150 engine hours per year.” He mostly goes on day fishing trips and enjoys cruising around Great Barrier Island and Mercury Bay—“typical Auckland use.” What he likes most about Propspeed is that “the boat can stay in the water for up to three years without having to be taken out. It’s about 1,500 bucks to lift the boat out of the water plus any time involved, so that’s the big advantage.”
What did he do before Propspeed? “We tried antifoul itself, but that used to fall off. A lanolin-based product that didn’t seem to work. So, really, the boat had to come out of the water once a year to do the antifoul and whatever you wanted to do to the prop shaft.”
When asked what “whatever” might be, Bill says, “I think that most boaties use Propspeed, don’t they? I can’t imagine anybody using anything else, to be honest. Why would you use anything else?”
“The boat can stay in the water for up to three years without having to be taken out. It’s about 1,500 bucks to lift the boat out of the water plus any time involved, so that’s the big advantage.”
Owner, 61ft Riviera
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.