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Marine Biosecurity - NZ industry stepping up to face biofouling challenges

by Clean Below? Good to Go 12 Dec 2021 01:55 PST 9 December 2021
Yacht maintenance at a haulout - cleaning boat bottom with high pressure washing machine © Martin Wahlborg

The biofouling industry is innovating all the time, here in New Zealand and around the world. Here are three examples of New Zealand companies coming up with solutions to combat the challenge we face.

New Zealand based Propspeed its family of foul-release products including Foulfree and Lightspeed, are developed in New Zealand and are proving to work effectively to control biofouling on propellers, shafts, struts, rudders, bow thrusters, keel coolers, swim platforms, transducers and underwater lights. Foul-release coatings use physical rather than chemical means to reduce fouling, typically by creating a surface that’s tough for marine organisms to adhere to. It's now been found that Propspeed can also be used successfully on composites such as stabilizers, composite keels and rudders.

Easy Cradle is a floating bed of soft rubber strips that form a cradle which attaches at the head of your boat’s mooring, invented by Marlborough man Art Leppens. It is an in-the-water solution to protect your boat from barnacles, marine pests and growth. Check it out at easycradle.co.nz

Coppercoat antifoul coatings are proven on 75,000 plus vessels worldwide, but it is only recently that a distributor has been appointed in New Zealand. Copper continues to be recognised as the most effective chemical element for the prevention of biofouling, however when it discharges from ablative (eroding) antifouling paints, it is shown to be harmful to the marine environment and sea-life.

Coppercoat however is classified as a non-eroding coating and is not a paint - it is a two-part epoxy impregnated with copper and is solvent-free. It is effective against biofouling for around ten years. Coppercoat is not expected to be compromised by regulatory changes in 2023. Coppercoat's New Zealand website will be live soon - in the meantime you can email

Clean Below? Good to Go shares information from time to time with boat owners about new products that are becoming available. These are not recommendations and many factors must be taken into account when considering biofouling situations. Please research carefully and consult with professionals from the industry to ensure that solutions are fit for your boat.

If you have an innovation for us to consider in a future story, please email with brief details.

Find out about marine biosecurity for boaters at www.marinepests.nz

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