Tricks of the trade – anti-fouling

Tricks of the trade – anti-fouling

Boat owners can save themselves a great deal of money simply by making sure the quality of their regular maintenance, such as anti-fouling, is up to the exacting standards of the Riviera Aftermarket & Service team.

The secret lies, primarily, in quality – from preparation to product.

And this is where commissioning professionals can make a big difference.

“We have many Riviera and Belize owners travel up from Sydney and even Melbourne for anti-fouling and servicing each year,” says Riviera Aftermarket & Service manager Michael Swain.


Riviera Aftermarket & Service
manager Michael Swain

“Some are preparing to cruise the Queensland coastline throughout the southern winter, while others return to us each year because they appreciate the exacting eye for detail we apply to everything we do at Riviera.”

Michael says that when it comes to anti-fouling, it’s vitally important to ensure no corners are cut at any stage of the process.

“While the Aftermarket & Service department here at Coomera is renowned around the globe for the quality of our workmanship in customising yachts – both new and pre-loved – our team also conducts regular maintenance for Riviera and Belize owners,” he says.

“The benefits of anti-fouling are obvious to boat owners – from running speed to performance and fuel efficiency. If it’s done correctly, owners can avoid sandblasting their hull for up to 15 years.

Michael says that, on planing boats in particular, even a light build-up of fouling can knock five knots off your top speed and can increase fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent.

“Heavier growth may prevent a boat from planing altogether,” he says.

Once the Aftermarket & Service team lifts a Riviera or Belize from the water for anti-fouling, the hull is water-blasted to remove as much build-up as possible.

And then comes the key step – sanding.

“Sanding is the big thing,” says Michael. “The hull has to be absolutely smooth, with no ridges, so the anti-fouling paint will stick the way it is supposed to and last as long as it should without flaking – and this is where it pays to make sure everything is done to exacting standards.”

Michael says a series of routine checks are then undertaken to ensure the hull carries no unforeseen damage before it is masked up and, in the case of Riviera’s Aftermarket & Service department, placed into a moveable trolley to be wheeled across to a state-of-the-art paint booth that meets the highest of environmental standards.

“Boat owners care for the environment, so it’s important to note that here we make sure we meet and in many cases surpass all the environmental requirements of this process,” says Michael.

The team then uses an air-less spray of quality anti-fouling paint – as opposed to a roller – ensuring even coats, applying the paint at 250 microns so it dries to 200 microns: the premium thickness for anti-fouling.

“The amount of paint used is also critical to ensuring the job is done right,” says Michael. “Here we use a 60 per cent litreage rule,” says Michael. “We will use an average of 22 litres of self-polishing anti-fouling paint for a 40-foot boat, and 27 litres for a 50-foot boat.

“The paint is designed to wear down slowly to prevent barnicles being able to stick to the hull – it wears gradually for planning boats at a speed of between 20-30 knots, and at about 12 knots for displacement hulls.

“The better quality the anti-foul, the better performance of the boat, and the less it costs to re-paint next time – ideally boats that live in the eater should be anti-fouled after 12-18 months.”

Michael says the Riviera Aftermarket & Service team carries out regular maintenance, including anti-fouling, for hundreds of boats each year.

“Our team is highly trained and expert in everything we do,” he says.

Michael will be conducting a series of Tricks of the Trade seminars at the Riviera Festival of Boating from 21-24 May 2015 – designed to assist owners to maintain their boats in prime condition.

Registrations for the Festival’s vast array educational workshops and fun social events – aimed at helping owners to enjoy ‘the ultimate boating experience – are now open.

If you would like to register for any of the Riviera Festival of Boating seminars or social events, please click here.

* Riviera’s Aftermarket & Service team has enormous experience with Riviera and Belize motor yachts and are specialists in electrical, mechanical, plumbing and shipwright skills. Their services include antifouling; engine servicing; stainless repair and fabrication; detailing; propeller, rudder or trim tab repairs; all aspects of paint and gel-coat work as well as interior fit-out.

Riviera Aftermarket & Service’s facilities include a 75-tonne travel lift, six-bay undercover facility; 2-bay enclosed anti-foul and spray facility; five-bay hardstand and 14 marina work berths.

From anti-fouling and detailing right up to a full re-fit, the Aftermarket & Service teams is here to help ensure your Riviera or Belize is ship-shape for the Queensland cruising season.

If you would like more information on Riviera’s Aftermarket & Service department, please visit their web page here.