“Te Mataili is using on average 25 liters per hour less fuel than before the refit, equating to approximately a 15 percent reduction in fuel costs.”
Tuvalu Police, Maritime Wing
Formerly known as the Ellice Islands, Tuvalu is a tiny Polynesian nation located midway between Hawaii and Australia. Just 26 square kilometres (10 square miles) in total landmass, it is the smallest Commonwealth realm, ranking 193 of 196 countries by area, eclipsed only by Tokelau, Monaco and the Vatican City. The HMTSS Te Mataili monitors the waters surrounding Tuvalu’s three reef islands and six atolls, safeguarding a population numbering 10,640 as of its last census in 2012.
In 1982, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea made several island nations, including Tuvalu, responsible for policing an ocean area far beyond their capability. Following requests for aid, the Australian government built 22 Pacific-class patrol boats then donated them to 12 South Pacific countries. Te Mataili, handed over in 1994, is one of these. Tuvalu’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the sea area where it has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources, dwarfs its landmass by a ratio of almost 1:28,000.
In September 2016, Te Mataili underwent a planned docking at Tropical Reef Shipyard in Cairns, Australia. During this docking, Propspeed foul-release coating was applied to her propellers for the first time and closely monitored to assess its impact on fuel burn and vessel speed.
Four months after the application, Te Mataili’s crew reported promising results thanks to Propspeed: an average decrease of 25 liters of fuel per hour, representing a reduction of roughly 15 percent in fuel costs. The HMTSS Te Mataili is the only surveillance capability Tuvalu has for protecting its waters from illegal fishing and drug-smuggling, so the economic and social impact of this savings is nothing short of profound.
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.