Traveling Long Distances Under Tough Conditions

“There are imitators, but only Oceanmax makes Propspeed and has a long positive track record.”


Patrick Childress, sailing writer and photographer

“Four months since application, the Propspeed on our Kiwiprop is doing what it is advertised to do.”

Patrick Childress

Global circumnavigator, sailing writer and photographer

In 1979, Patrick Childress set off on a solo circumnavigation of the globe aboard his Catalina 27-footer, Juggernaut. At the tender age of 14, Patrick had seen a CBS evening news report on the successful solo Atlantic crossing of Robert Manry, a copy editor from Ohio, in 1965. “It lit an idea in my head that would never fade,” he says. Patrick’s own journey, which would take three years, gave him “enough adventures to last three lifetimes.”

 

Fortunately, he had enough adventurous spirit left in him to try it again, this time in 2008 with his wife, Rebecca, an accomplished sailor in her own right. Her boat, Brick House, became their boat when the couple wed in 2007. A 1976 Valiant 40, Brick House has been thoughtfully updated with enough bells and whistles to keep the couple safe and comfortable at sea, where they’ve spent the better part of the last 10 years.

 

“Some people would say our boat is decked out,” Patrick says. “I would say it is sensibly fitted out for a couple with some resources to do things right, without wasting money or making things terribly complicated.”

 

In preparation for a particularly gruelling leg zigzagging the Indian Ocean, Patrick and Rebecca have made several upgrades: a Raymarine eS128 chart plotter, Morningstar ProStar MPPT-25 solar controller and 265-watt solar panel, 125 percent Mack Sails Genoa, 60-pound Manson Supreme anchor and titanium bow roller. Sailing from Malaysia to South Africa via Madagascar, with many remote islands in between, “Thousand-mile-long passages and longer abound. Once again, we will be in belts of strong weather. In the Indian [Ocean], yachting facilities are few. The boat must be in solid, long-haul condition.”

 

An important part of these yearlong preparations was the application of Propspeed. “I’ve never been able to keep antifouling on any propeller that was installed on Brick House, no matter what material the prop was made of. Antifouling far too soon disappeared, which meant the biweekly chore of scrubbing marine growth from the prop and drive shaft.”

 

Patrick and Rebecca Childress met in 2003, when Patrick was skippering a Swan 48 to and from New England and the Caribbean. Rebecca was one of the clients on board.

Patrick and Rebecca Childress met in 2003, when Patrick was skippering a Swan 48 to and from New England and the Caribbean. Rebecca was one of the clients on board.

 

In 85-degree tropical water, the task wasn’t too daunting, but with frigid waters in their future, Patrick knew that even layers of wetsuits wouldn’t make it bearable.

 

“Cruising friends who have used Propspeed, a silicone coating, are very satisfied. Application is a very precise process of sanding, cleaning, etching, primer application and then the final application of a clear silicone coating. The clear coating is not antifouling but an ultra-smooth surface that marine organisms have a very difficult time attaching to. If organisms do settle, they are easily brushed off.”

 

Patrick applied Propspeed to Brick House’s stainless-steel drive shaft, bronze strut and its Kiwiprop, a lightweight, foldable unit with Zytel blades and stainless-steel components. Although the OEM had indicated that priming the blades beforehand wasn’t necessary, Patrick found that antifouling never adhered for what he considered an adequate amount of time. So, this time, he used Propspeed and followed the application instructions to the letter, performing the same steps he had on his metal components except for the etching. He is so far very pleased with the results.

 

Patrick applied Propspeed to Brick House’s foldable Kiwiprop, which has Zytel blades. Propspeed is also on the boat’s drive shaft and strut.

Patrick applied Propspeed to Brick House’s foldable Kiwiprop, which has Zytel blades. Propspeed is also on the boat’s drive shaft and strut.

 

“Four months since application, the Propspeed on our Kiwiprop is doing what it is advertised to do.” He’s also enjoying the reduced maintenance required on his part. “Once a month, I’ve gone over the side and wiped the treated areas with a cotton rag to remove slime. Normally, I’d have to use a scraper, wire brush and sandpaper. A few [barnacles] attached to the Propspeed, but they were far fewer than what would have been expected with an untreated propeller.

 

Now, instead of a scraper, wire brush and sandpaper, Patrick uses only a rag to remove slime from their Propspeed-coated propeller!

Now, instead of a scraper, wire brush and sandpaper, Patrick uses only a rag to remove slime from their Propspeed-coated propeller!

 

“For all the work we’ve just completed on Brick House, we should do just fine getting to Durban, South Africa, and on around to Cape Town, where we’ll begin again on the revolving list of maintenance and repairs.” Between their Manson Supreme anchor, Kiwiprop and Propspeed, the Childresses have chosen three New Zealand-made products for their floating home—choices not lightly made, given that they do actually live on board.

 

“Because of their sailing environment dipping into latitudes of the Roaring Forties, New Zealanders know how to manufacture their yachting products to withstand harsh conditions. Propspeed is another great product made in New Zealand. There are imitators, but only Oceanmax makes Propspeed and has a long positive track record.”

 

A freelance writer for sailing publications since 1980, Patrick is now branching out to YouTube, where his channel, Patrick Childress, features marine “how to” videos sharing hard-to-find information gleaned from the many installations Patrick has done himself. You can follow Patrick and Rebecca’s travels on their blog, www.WhereIsBrickHouse.com.

 

 

Propspeed

For Global Voyagers

“After a 259-day round-the-world journey, the prop and shaft were still spotless, thanks to Propspeed.”

Jeanne Socrates
Oldest female to sail solo around the world
Setting Guinness World Records

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 2mor 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.