How Ecospeed will save you money

An underwater ship hull coating needs to be simple to apply, it needs to stay on your ship for many years with easy maintenance and it needs to save you money. Ecospeed ticks all these boxes. Choosing Ecospeed will be the last decision you ever have to make concerning your underwater hull coating.

Ecospeed was launched in 2002 and is our oldest coating type. It is used to protect ship hulls. In this article we will talk about some of the many benefits Ecospeed can bring ship owners.

Apply once, never worry again

Applying Ecospeed is very easy and can be done very fast. The coating only requires two layers. No topcoats, no primers or any other additional layers are needed. Ecospeed also has very flexible overcoating times. The second layer can already by applied three hours after the first. As a result the application can be scheduled around other work taking place in the yard or dock.

Future dockings are also far easier to plan. Ecospeed comes with a ten-year guarantee. The coating will last the full service life of the ship without need for replacement or major repair. Only small touch-ups will be required. These can easily be done during a (short) routine drydock visit. They blend in perfectly with the existing coating. Because no repaint is needed, days and up to a week can be saved in drydock times during each visit.

One of our customers said that he was able to get his ships out of drydock several days sooner with Ecospeed. Being a large cruise ship owner, this brought him substantial savings every time.

Just wash it

Every hull coating fouls and as a result cleaning is an unavoidable reality for shipowners. For most coatings this is a problem because they cannot be cleaned without damaging them, often very severely. Ecospeed, however, was designed to be maintained regularly while keeping the coating intact for 20 years or longer.

One of the many unique factors of this underwater hull coating system is that with repeated underwater hull cleaning, the coating’s surface aspect does not degrade but gradually improves. This procedure is made easy by the coating’s technical properties. Cleaning can be carried out whenever needed, at any point in its lifespan, without causing damage.

Washing Ecospeed can also be done in drydock with high pressure tools. The standard procedure for shipyards when a ship enters drydock is general cleaning of the ship hull to clear away any fouling and residues. With Ecospeed the coating is always in an as new and excellent condition after the high pressure washing. The surface texture is very smooth. It reveals without exception that Ecospeed does not need any additional paint layers.

Start saving money even before you leave dock

We already mentioned the financial benefits from leaving drydock days earlier, but Ecospeed can help you save money in other ways.

Our coating gives your underwater hull the best possible hydrodynamic characteristics. What is more, Ecospeed lasts. Therefore the performance of the ship does not degrade either. Large fuel savings are the result. This brings you huge financial profits over the lifetime of the ship.

One major cruise line has been quoted as saying that they are saving 40% on fuel costs with Ecospeed. Another cruise ship found that they gained 4 knots over sea trials speed when they replaced their hull coating with Ecospeed.

If you drop us a line, we can tell you how Ecospeed can benefit you. We will look at your specific situation and give you all the data you need. This will allow you to make an informed decision on the next underwater hull coating for your ship. You will not have to worry about this ever again if you choose Ecospeed.

Contact us for more information
+ 32 3 213 5318

The washable coating

Ship hulls should be protected with a system that lends itself to fast, effective cleaning without risk of damage to the coating and without posing any kind of hazard to the environment. Ecospeed is this system.

There is currently no hull coating available which will not foul. The only way to remove this fouling is to clean it off. The Ecospeed coating has a glassy surface that was designed to be washed without being damaged. This enables fast and efficient fouling control throughout a ship’s entire service life.

Fast and easy cleaning

Underwater maintenance
Underwater maintenance of Ecospeed is carried out with specially designed underwater hull cleaning tools that simultaneously remove all fouling and optimize the smoothness of the paint surface. It allows divers to clean the flat areas as well as the harder to reach parts of the hull without damaging the coating.

One of the many unique characteristics is that with repeated underwater hull cleaning the Ecospeed’s surface improves. Cleaning can be carried out whenever needed, at any point in the coating's lifespan.

High-pressure cleaning in  drydock
Ecospeed can also be cleaned in drydock with high pressure tools. Ecospeed is always in an as new, excellent condition after a high pressure washing and no material is lost.  Only the fouling is removed. The coating stays on the ship instead of dispersing in the water and contaminating the shipyard and the surrounding waters.

Several of our customers use this method to have their vessels cleaned. Their ships are taken out of the water, cleaned with high pressure tools and put back in the water in a matter of hours. They all said that this approach helped them get through the financial crisis.

Long lay-up periods have no negative effect
The coating is also suited for ships which have a stationary period because an impermeable  and impenetrable barrier is created. This gives the coating its excellent and durable anti-corrosive properties and protects the underwater hull against mechanical damage. Despite the aggressive nature of certain types of fouling, no corrosion or damage to the steel will be present on the underwater hull of the vessel after cleaning. Hard fouling is unable to penetrate or damage the coating.

Environmentally safe

Ecospeed is 100% non-toxic and there is no negative effect on the water quality or the marine environment during  maintenance.

The definite biofouling solution: clean before you go
The underwater cleaning of Ecospeed prevents the spread of biofouling entirely. The cleaning frequency is optimized to minimize fouling. This prevents macrofouling from building up.

Removal of the ban on underwater cleanings
Several major ports have overturned the existing general ban on underwater hull cleaning, specifically making an exception for vessels coated with Ecospeed.

Ecospeed is an entirely different, more cost-effective and environmentally-acceptable approach to hull protection and anti-fouling.

There is no need to reblast and recoat the hull; no corrosion, no impact on the environment and, if regular hull cleaning is carried out, fuel savings of up to 50% can be achieved.

Wash it when fouled

The Matter of Biofouling

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about biofouling. A word coined to describe marine life attached to ship hulls, it is seen as a ship speed breaker, a destructive factor to hull coatings and a cause of alien invasive species. To call it fouling is in fact a misnomer. It is marine life and it was there first, long before any ship or boat had entered any water.

The situation with marine invasive species is twofold being carried around the globe in ballast tanks on the one hand and riding on the outside of ship hulls on the other.

In ballast tanks the problem comes down to any life that exists in water. From bacteria to larvae to small fish and anything in between. Because it is traveling in dark conditions with zinc anodes present, this problem is much smaller than the real problem posed by the ship hull.

Allegedly around 600-700 species are traveling on the outside of ship hulls. Six years ago we published a White Paper on the subject titled: Invasive Aquatic Species – A proposed alternative solution. In it we gave a summation of the problem and how to correctly deal with it. The basic viewpoint is simple: we do not want to handle this with a toxic solution. There are very good reasons for this.

A very negative and toxic influence is exercised on marine life traveling on the hulls. It is proven by various publications that animal life and algae are influenced by the many varied toxins in the coating. The continued toxic presence on and around the hull, from pesticides to heavy metals to pharmaceutical derivatives, have a detrimental effect.

By traveling on a toxic ship hull the animals become more resistant. In our white paper we called these gladiator species because they have become chemically stronger than the marine life of the different environmental zones they arrive in. The local populations are less adapted and give in to the newcomers. This alone is reason enough to look for other solutions.

Our viewpoint is that there is no such thing as a toxic solution for the mitigation of invasive species. As we do not know exactly what we are doing to marine life, we cannot see this as a responsible action. We have no idea how much and how many we are thus influencing. There is no control on the process.

What needs to be considered is the toughness and tenacity of marine life. Amongst the oldest species on this planet, they have developed an exceptional resistance to external factors and that does include chemicals and heavy metals.

With toxins we either kill the marine life or render it sick. This biomatter will then enter the food chain to a greater or lesser degree.

The situation thus created requires a lot more attention and a much closer look from all the players involved: authorities, scientists, technology developers, manufacturers and regulators.

From our side and as a group that has pioneered a totally non-toxic approach, we have firmly established that with our solution we have no influence whatsoever on marine life.

To achieve an environmentally safe solution for ship hulls, we have looked at how to safely wash ships before they leave port.

A full washdown of the ships is the best solution. It requires a system that allows to clean any size ship in less than an hour on a coating that will not emit particles.

Sister company  Hydrex ( is now working on underwater hull cleaning technology that will produce cleaning rates of 100.000 m² per hour or more. It does not require divers or visibility and can be used in a current.

This means that even the biggest ships can be cleaned in a very short time. They can be washed before they leave port and sail to a different environmental zone free of biofouling. When they arrive they can discharge and load again and when they leave they can be cleaned in the same fashion. During continued sailing, no marine growth is acquired on the hull as this only happens during stops.

This process also considerably optimizes the speed of the ships. Fuel consumption will be at its best attainable level and large fuel savings are thus achieved. These alone will pay for the effort many times over.

The drydock affair simplified

Drydocking is necessary, evidently, for inspection purposes, replacement of certain parts and any necessary repair. In most cases, however, the time spent in drydock is substantially lengthened as a result of the replacement or repair of the hull coatings. The solution is very simple: Choosing the right type of coating system can drastically reduce the length of the visit.

Most of the time and effort spent in drydock goes to the maintenance or replacement of the coating system. This usually consists of five or six layers with application intervals of 24 hours in between. The required surface preparation alone will add several days to the visit. Three to seven days extra is not unusual. Adverse weather conditions will increase this number.

A substantial reduction of time and effort in drydock can be obtained by using a hard coating system like Ecospeed. Usually drydocking an Ecospeed ship can turn into a simple wash-and-go operation. This is due to the fact that the coating will withstand almost all impacts during its time at sea. Seawater, corrosion or marine fouling simply do not have an influence. The hull is usually in the same condition as it was when it was coated during newbuilding or the previous drydocking. The same goes for the rudder, bow thrusters and other running gear.

If no paintwork is required then it is obvious that the days in drydock can be more than halved. What this yields in terms of savings depends on the type and size of the ship. For a cruise ship fleet of 25 vessels this could result into 125-175 days saved per 2,5 year drydock interval. This   amounts to 500-700 days on a 10-year cycle. We have many cases in operation right now that prove this and we would be perfectly happy to discuss our technology with any interested party.

Contact us for more information
+ 32 3 213 5318

Reasons for switching to a washable coating

Washable hard coatings like Ecospeed are designed to withstand the rigors of ship use for the life of the vessel. They are completely inert and contain no biocidal or toxic material. Usually their strength and durability is created by the presence of glass flakes within the coating.

The “Wash before you go” strategy, with a washable coating, is the complete answer to the problems of NIS and biocidal contamination of the marine environment. It has many additional benefits for ship owners. The strategy becomes possible because hard hull coatings have extreme durability and are non-toxic.

Ecospeed is in fact designed to be cleaned as often as needed, and this cleaning allows the coating to always operate at peak efficiency – saving further money for operators and reducing GHG emissions. The benefits of a washable hard coating include:

1.It is a non-toxic solution, offering safety for the marine environment instead of the inevitable damage caused by biocidal anti-fouling.

2. Ecospeed presents a clean and efficient surface to the water, saving the ship operator fuel. The coating does not need to be removed and replaced every five years.

3. It is the only real guarantee that NIS will not be spread via ship hull fouling. If ships leave their port of departure free of fouling organisms, they will arrive at their next destination with a clean hull and thus pose no threat of spreading NIS via hull fouling.

4. Ports also benefit from the absence of biocidal pollution and NIS.

5. Drydock intervals can be lengthened. In the case of a high quality, surface treated coating, no repainting is required. At first application the hull is blasted and prepared. The coating is applied only once and lasts for the service life of the vessel. Only minor touch-ups to mechanical damage are required during scheduled drydocking. This obviates the need to drydock solely for painting, and shortens the time in drydock.

6. Reduced fuel consumption resulting from a smooth hull means lower fuel bills and atmospheric emissions. The absence of paint degradation over the life of the coating further reduces fuel costs.


Ecospeed is an entirely different, more cost-effective and environmentally-acceptable approach to hull protection and anti-fouling. There is no need to reblast and recoat the hull; no corrosion, no impact on the environment and, if regular hull cleaning is carried out, tremendous fuel savings can be achieved.

Contact us for more information:
Phone: +32 3 213 53 18

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