Californian ferry opts for Ecospeed hull coating

Californian ferry opts for Ecospeed hull coating
The Marin ferry. Image courtesy of Subsea Industries and Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District

A Golden Gate Bridge ferry has opted for Subsea Industries’ Ecospeed coating, marking the first application of Ecospeed to a ferry operating in California.

The ferry M.S Marin, owned and operated by Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, has received application of the coating to its hull and will now undergo performance evaluation.

Since October 2017, regulations on biofouling management require vessels entering the ports of California to have minimum biofouling on the underwater portion of their hulls and niche areas.

Manuel Hof, Subsea Industries’ production executive said: “While these regulations do not specifically apply to the Golden Gate vessel, they will have a significant impact on other vessels trading in Californian waters. Ships whose records show that the coating on their hull is still within the specified lifetime will be presumed to comply. A ship whose coating is beyond its recommended life span, or one that is not using an antifouling coating at all, will be inspected and must not exceed 5% biofouling on the hull and not more than 15% in niche areas.”

The aluminium-hulled 750-passenger capacity Spaulding class ferry was coated at the Bay Ship & Yacht (BSY), a QP-1 certified yard in Alameda, San Francisco. The total surface area coated was 475m2.

The application was completed in a single day. Two coatings were applied to the vessel. BSY applied a 25mil wet film thickness per layer to achieve a 20mil dry film thickness with the overall minimum dry film thickness amounting to 40mil.  Zero downtime of the vessel occurred due to a fast application of both coatings.

Chris Ward, the technical manager of BSY’s paint department, commented: “In the maritime industry, a painter’s job is vessel protection via proper coating application; BSY has no doubt that its application of Ecospeed will serve the Marin well for years to come.”

The ferry operator has also received hull cleaning equipment from Subsea Industries to ensure the vessel is kept free from biofouling to help maintain performance. Golden Gate Bridge intends on outsourcing the hull cleaning to a diving company for regular maintenance.

Ecospeed was first applied in California in 2012 to floaters of a semi-submersible rig, which is used for launching satellites into space. Ecospeed has also been recently applied to the hulls of five Staten Island ferries.