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New Polymer Protects Boat Hulls Against Barnacles, Zebra Mussels, Algae & Osmosis Blisters

  Skipper

applying vs721 bottom coat

Toronto, Canada. Aurora Marine Industries has just introduced a High Performance Bottom Wax, containing a super slippery polymer, VS721. By employing the latest polymer technology Aurora Marine has created a hard surfaced, high gloss, perfectly clear fouling barrier coating for boat hulls, that is so slippery it’s difficult for anything to stick to it. It also retards blistering caused by osmosis, cuts friction on the hull, which in turn saves fuel consumption or increases speed and reduces clean up time at the end of the season.

Mariners have been on a quest to keep undesirable marine life from attaching to their boat bottoms since the first raft was punted across a bay and their ingenuity would fill volumes. Until recently, the most successful of these inventions was toxic or anti fouling paints. Unfortunately, the biocides used in these paints not only kill the undesirable marine life coming into contact with it but also kills or mutates all forms of life in the surrounding water and eventually make their way up the food chain to humans. Fortunately governments around the world have banned the nastiest of these biocides, such as mercury, lead, arsenic and most recently tins.

Aurora Marine’s research showed that, given the choice, most boat owners would prefer to be environmentally responsible by not poisoning the water, however their first mandate is to protect their boat hulls from fouling by whatever means is available to them. They would also prefer not to have to sand and paint their bottoms each season if an easier alternative was offered and most would prefer to maintain the original color and beautiful glossy finish that their boat had when it was brand new. Of course all would prefer to go faster with less energy and in the case of fiberglass boat owners, many are concerned with osmosis blistering destroying the hull of their boat.

Aurora’s discovery of the new VS721 polymer and the technology necessary to incorporate it into a polish that is easy for Do It Yourselfers to apply to the hulls of their boats seems to meet all of the criterion of their market research. With over five years of testing in The Great Lakes, The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans plus many inland lakes and rivers, Aurora High Performance Bottom Wax with VS721 is now a proven performer.

Aurora Bottom Wax is toxin free. It works by sealing the microscopic pores in the surface and producing a super slippery surface so that it’s virtually impossible for marine growth to get a grip. Any slime or algae that may try to attach, is washed away with the water friction against the hull when the boat is underway. Slower moving boats, or areas that are protected from water friction, such as the transom can be cleaned periodically by wiping with a sponge or deck brush. Barnacles and Zebra Mussels can not attach to the hull. When applied to fiberglass bottoms it retards osmosis blistering by sealing the microscopic pores.

The polish can be applied to any hard, clean, dry surface. This includes fiberglass, aluminum and hard painted steel or wooden boats. Since it does not contain copper, there is no galvanic action.. It’s safe for aluminum boats, outdrives and other metal parts that are usually underwater, however the manufacturer recommends that it not be applied to grounding plates or sacrificial zinks, as the polish may impede their purpose. Aurora also recommends that it not be applied to propellers, since the increased slip can actually reduce speed.

Aurora Bottom Wax is very easy to apply. Simply rub the polish on with a damp sponge or cloth, wait for it to dry and buff the haze off with a terry towel cloth. No sanding, no disposal of toxic paint particles and no requirement for protective clothing, dust masks, or in some States, breathing apparatus. The only preparation is to make sure that your bottom is clean and dry. If not, ask your marine dealer for the Aurora products that will help you quickly and easily clean your hull. Aurora Bottom Wax is perfectly clear and high gloss. Your bottom remains the same color although it may have a higher gloss than when it was new. On the water, it’s impossible to tell that your bottom is protected. It just looks new.

Dingy sailors on the Great Lakes have reported better performance, especially in light airs. Their boats were making headway while their competitors were becalmed. Bass fishermen have reported better hole shots and higher top speed. The owner of a 32 ft. Hustler was not only pleased with the extra few miles that he gained at the top end but was ecstatic about the better handling he got when going airborne. Now when the boat lands, rather than grabbing at the water, it just skips along, giving him an easier ride that feels more secure and making precise throttle control less demanding. Cruisers are delighted with how beautiful their boats look without antifouling paint and the decreased maintenance.

Dingy sailors on the Great Lakes have reported better performance, especially in light airs. Their boats were making headway while their competitors were becalmed. Bass fishermen have reported better hole shots and higher top speed. The owner of a 32 ft. Hustler was not only pleased with the extra few miles that he gained at the top end but was ecstatic about the better handling he got when going airborne. Now when the boat lands, rather than grabbing at the water, it just skips along, giving him an easier ride that feels more secure and making precise throttle control less demanding. Cruisers are delighted with how beautiful their boats look without antifouling paint and the decreased maintenance.

Zebra Mussels have become a serious problem in the Great Lakes, where they not only foul boat bottoms, docks and municipal water intakes but have had a major impact on fish stocks. They are now making their way down the Mississippi and are being transported into the tributaries and smaller inland lakes, in large part by fishermen that trailer their boats from one body of water to another. The microscopic Zebra Mussel Larvae stick to the hull of the boat, where they can live out of water for up to 7 days and hitchhike to their new home by the unsuspecting fisherman. Since the larvae can not stick to the hull and outboard leg treated with Aurora Bottom Wax, the unwanted migration is reduced. Aurora Bottom wax works well on trailered boats since it’s hard and won’t transfer to the trailer bunks or rollers.

The manufacturer does, however, offer some precautions. They caution that because of the slipperiness that you use extreme common sense when handling your boat ashore. They have had reports of boats self launching off bunk trailers because the bow was not secured, of a boat moving 12 inches sideways on a trailer when the driver was going around a corner because the stern was not strapped down and of a boat sliding out of the launching slings because the boat wasn’t properly balanced. By sheer good luck, no damage was reported, but good luck is not the best way to handle your boat.

The most amusing story was that of an offshore boat owner that reasoned; if the boat goes faster because he treated the bottom, he should be able to get even more speed by polishing the topsides and deck, thereby reducing wind friction. This worked out well until he brought his boat back to the dock. A dockhand, eager to be of assistance, but wearing street shoes, slipped off his shoes, grabbed a line secured to the dock and hopped from the dock onto the deck of the boat, where he promptly slid the entire width of the deck into the water. Fortunately the only harm that came to the unsuspecting dock hand, that had tried this stunt before, was to his ego. Knowledgeable boaters know this is not the preferred method of securing their boat to the dock.

A bottle of Aurora High Performance Bottom Wax with VS721 will protect up to a 25-foot boat with one coat. It will be available at better marine stores throughout the United States in early 1998 and can be readily identified by its bright yellow bottle with the Aurora logo. All Aurora Boat Care Products come with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If it doesn’t work for you, you get your money back.