By Emma Wilson
At this year’s American Superyacht Forum, seven companies had the opportunity to display their new or significantly modified products to the market via Technical Innovation Presentations (TIPs). From yacht management software, a non-toxic anti fouling treatment for hulls to intruder deterrent systems, the presentations were an absorbing introduction across a wide spectrum of what’s new and innovative. Here, we provide a retrospective of the ever popular event.
Mega Marine Group
Andreas Leontsinis was exhibiting Mega Marine Group’s new solution to fouling. The product, ‘Megasil high-performance foul release’, is a response to the legislative efforts to prohibit traditional toxic anti-fouling coatings. As an effective substitute to the environmentally harmful use of tin or copper anti-fouling, Mega Marine Group has created an advanced silicone coating that is non-toxic, contains no heavy metals or biocides and does not ablate or self-polish. As Leontsinis said, this product is so environmentally safe that “you could actually eat it.” Leontsinis did specify that Megasil high-performance foul-release ‘is not an anti-fouling; it is a foul-release’.
The implications of this, as Leontsinis explained, are that the vessel will foul if it remains immobile for long periods of time, but the movement of the vessel at speeds of eight knots or more triggers the fouling’s detachment from the vessel due to the slick, slippery silicone surface. The silicone coating is 50% lighter than copper and also smoothes out irregularities on the yacht’s surface thus enhancing hydrodynamic efficiency. This culminates in reduced fuel consumption, and so reduced expenses and emissions. Leontsinis claimed that the Megasil product is 20 times more durable than its competition and has a greater product life that allows for a five-year warranty. Leontsinis explained that this is primarily down to the patented tie-coat, which forms a tight covalent bond between the epoxy beneath it and the surface coat on top.
The Megasil foul release eliminates the necessity to take the vessel out of the water each year for maintenance, requiring a touch up and reapplication of the surface coat only once every five years. This foul-release coating is also apparently so easy to clean that it ‘wipes off with a cloth’. With this innovation, Mega Marine Group has shown a big step towards conforming to the increasing demand for environmental consciousness, without compromising standards.
Andreas Leontsinis presenting Megasil High-Performance Foul Release