June 19, 2017
By Andy Adams
Hydro Clean Hull Wash is Canada’s first automatic, mechanical hull wash system and the company has introduced some breakthrough thinking from Sweden that can benefit our Canadian marine industry and most types of pleasure craft.
The first Hydro Clean Hull Wash is located at Coast Discovery Marina at Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Company owner Kyle Chailler and operator Chris Guillemaud are pioneering this new solution to dealing with marine growth that does not require antifouling paint.
The application of antifouling paint and the biocide chemicals that make antifouling paint effective, are both costly and environmentally hazardous. In some countries like Sweden, antifouling paint is not allowed and boat owners have had to come up with new solutions to keep the running surface of their boats free of marine growth and fouling.
The Hydro Clean Hull Wash system was developed by a Swedish company calling itself Drive-in Boat Wash.com and Kyle Chailler brought this first set up to B.C. Canada’s Hydro Clean Hull Wash is a mechanical boat washing system that uses hydraulically driven, adjustable rotating brushes to mechanically scrub the running surface of fiberglass, aluminum and steel hull boats.
Kyle Chailler told us, “By using our hull cleaning system, it eliminates the use for toxic antifouling paint that is poisioning our waters. I learned about this technology from a company in Sweden, “Drive in Boat Wash”. Sweden is phasing out toxic bottom paints and I believe Canada can do the same. It’s convenient for boaters to use while saving fuel that leads to less carbon emissions in our atmosphere. “
“The third benefit is, it also cuts down on invasive species entering different habitats attatched to the hulls in our waters. The system is self contained; check out our web site www.hydrochw.com.”
In use, the boat drives into a slip that is equipped with a catchment area below the submerged brushes. The operator uses an underwater camera to show the “before and after” results of the wash and to help them adjust for hull shape and fittings.
Able to handle both power and sailboats up to 53 feet in length including keelboats and even boats with keel bulbs, the cleaning system take 10 minutes to come up the full-length and another 10 minutes to go back the full-length of 53 feet, with the brushes turning against the hull, lubricated by the seawater and effectively removing all types of marine growth. The debris then settles to the bottom of the catchment area below.
The underwater tarp in the catchment area prevents the marine growth from entering the ecosystem. Periodically, the operator uses a suction device like an oversized swimming pool cleaner to remove all the debris for proper disposal.
The advantages are obvious; a freshly cleaned hull improves fuel efficiency and speed, two things that are important to most boat owners, and particularly for people using their vessel in business. Charter fishing boat operators experience significant savings from increased operating efficiency. Even a faster cruising speed pays real dividends for them.
This is also environmentally friendly. The process allows an owner to keep their hull free of marine growth without the use of chemicals or antifouling, and over the long haul, it’s much more cost-effective than hauling the boat for bottom paint each year.
The hydraulic drive system even uses biodegradable fluids should a system leak ever occur. The equipment has had 10 years of development time in Sweden already, so the technology has been well proven.
Chris tells us that the average boat coming in for cleaning is between 22 and 36 feet although they can handle boats up to 53.
They have priced the service at $7.50 per foot up to 39 feet of boat length and then $9.00 a foot for larger vessels in the 40 to 53 foot range. This is because larger boats are more difficult to position and take more time.
We applaud our friends at Hydro Clean Hull Wash (and we thank Brock Elliott of Campion Boats who brought this to our attention) and hope that we see more of these environmentally friendly systems at marinas all across Canada.