As a former franchisor in the cleaning sector, I am often contacted by entrepreneurs and small business folks about the industry. Usually, they need help with a problem, a marketing tip, or just want to get some general insight into the business model. One of the things I most enjoy is cleaning boats.
No, not all parts of the boat, yacht, or ship – for instance, I don’t like cleaning the bathrooms, doing the windows, cleaning out the bilge, or scraping barnacles off the hull. Nevertheless, it’s those sorts of jobs that no one else wants to do either, so the vessel owner is more than happy to hire it out to service. Okay so let’s talk.
It is totally amazing all the stuff that sticks to the hull of a boat or ship, and in areas where the water is warmer, there always seems to be more stuff floating around out there that finds its way to the hull and duly attaches itself. That’s where the professional boat washers come in. Now then, I am not sure if you believe in the whole Global Climate Change Warming Theory, but if that holds true, it means in the future there will be a lot more organic debris to be cleaned off all of these boat hulls.
Indeed, there was an interesting article not too long ago in Terra Daily Online News titled; “Hey bacterial slime get off of my boat,” by Staff Writers on November 10, 2011. The article discussed the nature of seaweed, bacteria film, barnacles, and algae and how it sticks to everything in the water, and of course how boat and ship hulls with organic material attached causes parasitic drag, meaning more fuel usage, and piss-poor performance of the vessel. The study by one research group suggested various types of texture. Why you ask? Well according to the article:
“On a Navy destroyer, biological build-up costs over $50 million a year, mostly in extra fuel, according to a 2010 study. Plus, biofouling can also disrupt the operation of ocean sensors, heat-exchangers that suck in water to cool mechanical systems, and other underwater equipment. Ship manufacturers could apply biocide-containing paint, designed to poison any colonizing organisms, to the underside of the hull, but these paints contain heavy metals and toxic chemicals which get into the environment, harm fish, and other marine organisms.”
Perhaps, in the future a shark-skin type texture might be added for boat hulls, using the hydro-dynamic “cavitation” effect to increase performance and simultaneously making it difficult for organic material to lodge itself onto the hull. There might indeed be other textures as these researchers will find which might do the same thing, some might slow down the vessel slightly, but keeping the debris off, will prevent further degradation of the vessel’s performance, and make it one hell of a lot easier to wash in the process. Please consider all this.