Oct 26, 2023
The VC 17 inventory at Fogh Marine “Once we are sold out, it is gone for good!”
Anti-fouling paint rarely makes headlines, but you may have caught wind of some dramatic news and even some panic shopping as VC17 is poised to vanish from Canadian chandleries.
This is not entirely a surprise, except that it is. The purpose of antifouling paint is primarily to keep growth from adhering to your hull. That slime or even weed reduces speed, increases fuel consumption, and looks gross when the boat comes out.
The reason it works is the reason we are not completely surprised; biocides keep the growth off, but as you can well imagine adding biocides and other substances to our waters may have other negative effects on marine life. When paint is found to be have overall negative impact, it has to die, I guess.
Without warning, VC17 is coming of the market. For a large number of boats, VC17 has been the go-to for years. Its formulation and non-stick base appear to work. However, it is effectively addictive since that Teflon base means you cannot put another brand on top of it easily. “It’s like painting a Teflon frypan – you just can’t,” one of my well-versed tech people explained to me.
Our sibling publication Boating Industry Canada spoke with Jessica Stewart, Americas Marketing Manager – Yacht at AkzoNobel who explained that that AkzoNobel has been doing testing and it is expected that the company will be recommending that their VC Offshore bottom coating can be used instead. She noted that there will be information coming out shortly on how to prepare a previously painted hull to accept VC Offshore, adding that it is not a difficult process.
There are a range of other bottom coats on the market but it is too early to provide additional detail. The reason for that is that the company is currently working on reformulating some of their existing products which may make the loss of VC 17m less of an issue.
We have also heard from other marine mechanics who are looking at other products including some European brands. In the meantime, there is a goldrush to purchase the remaining stock. We have (Ask) Andrew McDonald and others on the case and will bring you news as it comes through, hopefully shortly.