World-first vibrating, underwater barnacle buster gets thumbs-up
by Sail-World Cruising round-up on 11 Dec 2012
The new world-first Waveblade barnacle remover may mean a seismic shift in the way we clean our sailing boat hulls, but more than that, there's a Scottish bank who thinks it's worth an investment of £550,000 to take the invention to the next level - that is, appealing to major oil, gas and shipping companies.
The Waveblade tool - going to the next level, mining, oil and shipping industries .. .
The natty small tool, which comes with many different blade heads for different uses, sends multi directional vibration through the blade into the unwanted marine growth. It effortlessly removes biofouling organisms from any type of hull surface, as well as propellers, shafts, drives and trim tabs, and it does it both above and below the waterline.
The manufacturers, who have patented the device, say it can be used on fiberglass hulls, wooden hulls, steel hulls, gel coat hulls, aluminum hulls, plastic hulls, PVC hulls, inflatables, Running Gear, propeller shafts, outdrives, trim tabs/rudders, z-drives, keel coolers and bow thrusters. However, while that's great for leisure sailors and other boaters, they also claim it has a future use for concrete foundations, Underwater piping, steel structures, dock pilings and plastic docks.
One of the best things is that it is waterproof to 15 feet, and is gentle on the antifoul that is present. The Waveblade uses a safe, standard 12V DC power source and is attached to a 45-foot cable to provide substantial reach from the surface.
The Waveblade can be used with 4 different blades:
A 3' multipurpose scraper in powder-coated steel for bulk removal (comes standard)
A flat chisel scraper (also standard)
A 3' multipurpose scraper for delicate surfaces
Half-round and chisel scrapers for tighter areas
All blades are available in powder-coated steel or stainless-steel for underwater use.
It's easy to see that the Waveblade is environmentally safer than most methods of cleaning, with minimal pollution. It will drastically reduce carbon emissions from craft by returning hulls to factory efficiency and doing the job is made very much easier than it previously was, as the tool requires little effort. If you're ready to do the job underwater, think what a saving that is in haul-out fees.
Leveraging on what seems like an amazing invention, Waveblade has raised the £550,000 in a deal with Glasgow-based business syndicate Kelvin Capital and the Scottish Investment Bank.
This deal completion has driven the launch of Waveblade Ltd – established to develop a new product pipeline aimed at the commercial sector. The deal will leverage the product and market experience held by current Waveblade customers from the amateur boat sector. This will allow the business to expand globally with new applications in oil, gas and mining also being explored.
'I am delighted to be taking Waveblade to the next level,' Hugh Fisher, entrepreneur and inventor of the Waveblade, told the media this week. 'The different applications of my patented technology present the company with a unique opportunity in a number of business sectors including marine and oil and gas.'
For more information about this new technology, go to the new http://www.waveblade.com/!Waveblade_website
To see a demonstration of how it works, watch the video: