Hulls, here’s the antifouling skin

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To see if it really works we’ll have to wait for the evidence of the facts, but the premise is tempting: to forget the problem to careen.

This’s at least what Uniflow (company that produces Flow Silikon) guarantees, a silicon film which is permanently applied to the keel, that should counteract the proliferation of random small creature colonies that try to dwell under the hull.

Thus said, if it’d really worked, for either us yachtsmen and the environmentalists it would be a dream come true, since it would avoid putting any kind of biocide in the sea.

Unlike the silicon antifoulings applied directly to the hull, not easy to stretch out but above all to remove, with Flow Silikon the silicon is fixed to a film that is applied to the keel with the classic adhesive wrap way.

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The technology of the protection or decorative film is extensively used in many fields. In the aeronautic sector or trains, the examples of extremely resistant films are countless, submitted to very strong stesses. In the nautical too, but always above the floating line. With Flow Silikon resistance of the film is experimented in water and submitted to the flow of the fluid.

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During last years December Paris Exhibition it has been shown applied on the Ikone 7.50, a small sized cat boat, but it’s also already been experimented on motor boats.

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Potentially there are three advantages: silicon is very effective against seaweed and microorganisms, the surface on which the film is applied can be cleaned with a sponge, the film weights less thant the traditional antifouling layers.

The uniform positioning of the film tho, is anything but simple and a professional is necessary. The stripes are 60 cm large too and have to be applied with great accuracy and be refinished in the junction points with some silicon putty. And finally the price. In Paris we were told that the cost to “careen” for the Ikone 7,50, was 5.200 euros. Surely not a good market price, but Uniflow guarantees it’s efficiency for 5 years.

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