Fouling is a term to describe the process at which the bottom hull of a boat accumulates marine and plant growth. Fouling progression identifies the rate at which a boat succumbs to growth on the hull. The fouling progression can be based on the region the boat is in, the native species in the fouling community, and the seasonal circumstances. Where your boat is located can significantly influence how often a boat would require having the hull dived and cleaned.
Fouling happens at an accelerated rate in warmer waters. There are a variety of species that can be found in a fouling community on the hull of a boat. These species have breeding cycles that occur more often when the water is at higher temperatures. If your boat is docked in the southeast, then the warmer water can increase the rate of fouling relative to a boat docked in the northeast.
As you go South down the Atlantic coast, the species of marine and plant life that cause fouling become less dependent on seasonal circumstances. For example, in Florida barnacles have breeding cycles that remain consistent all year long. Therefore, in more tropical waters fouling remains at a consistent rate through the seasons. This means it is recommended to have your hull cleaned monthly as opposed to every other month.
Fouling causes reduction of speed, increased cost in fuel, and losses in time and money applying necessary remedial measures. The greater the fouling accumulates also results in the more abrasive tools required cleaning your hull. To maximize the life of your anti-fouling paint, and to avoid frictional resistance, a boat owner should have there hull cleaned on a monthly schedule.
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