A conversation with Michael Yankowski - Coatings Manager at Lauderdale Marine Center
Lauderdale Marine Center in Ft. Lauderdale Florida is the largest yacht repair facility in the United States. LMC currently has over 60-acres (with plans to expand) where they can accommodate over 300 vessels from 40 feet to 200 feet. Their haul-out capabilities enable them to safely dry dock over 110 boats up to 300 tons and, they have an additional 180 in-water berths.
Many of the vessels that are hauled at LMC receive special attention from Michael Yankowski, the Coatings Manager. Michael began working in the marine industry after college and found an interest in the coatings and fiberglass departments. He was fortunate early in his career that a yard manager he worked for was a master boat builder who mentored Michael and treated him like a son.
What is your role at LMC?
I oversee the LMC bottom crew. I’m responsible for making sure my jobs stay on time and within budget - and most importantly: delivering first class work.
When did you first become familiar with Propspeed?
I stated working with Propspeed around 2005.
In your capacity at LMC, is Propspeed a product that you recommend to your customers?
Absolutely! Propspeed is a must-have on any vessel that has underwater running gear. There are other running gear antifouling systems out there, but none can compete with Propspeed.
Besides the propellers and running gear what other areas of a vessels underwater metals have you applied Propspeed on, and what kind of results have you experienced?
If it were up to me, I would coat all underwater metals with Propspeed as long as they’re in a location that will have water movement. This includes all engine intake scoops, thru hull fittings, props, shafts, rudders, struts, IPS drives, bottom of trim tabs and underwater lights. We only use the Propspeed clear topcoat on transducers and underwater light lenses. Doing so gives the boat owner added protection on these hard to protect areas.
In your opinion, what are the typical comments you hear from vessel operators regarding Propspeed?
Typically, I only hear great reviews, occasionally I do hear some bad feedback. But, that is not the products fault in my opinion. Problems typically occur when the prop blades run into sand or the boat has sat too long, or a diver didn’t know how to care for the product. There’s not an antifouling system in the world that will perform great when the vessel just sits in one place with no water movement and zero maintenance.
What has been your level of satisfaction in Propspeed’s performance on the vessels that you inspect during next year’s haul-out?
I’m very satisfied with the results. I typically find zero growth on the coated areas, as long as the vessel has been properly maintained.
We understand you have recently applied Propspeed to your own vessel. Were you satisfied with Propspeed’s performance on your own boat?
My vessel and I are both in love with Propspeed. My only regret is not using the product sooner. A couple of years ago, I would only use Propspeed on my shafts and propellers. On my tabs, struts and rudders I would use an epoxy primer and an Antifoul. I was doing it this way a long time making sure I applied those products properly, but they do not compare with the results I now receive from using Propspeed on all my running gear.
What other areas of the underwater metals on your own vessel do you use Propspeed?
I also use it on my struts, rudders, bottom of trim tabs, engine intake scoops and underwater lights.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Sure. I just wanted to say thank you to Propspeed for making a product that truly does what it says it will do, and for helping me win the constant battle of marine-growth attachment and making it a lot less of a problem for me and boat owners.