How to save money on boat maintenance

Aug 22, 2022 | Antifouling Tips

Owning a boat can be costly at the best of times but the sting is even more so during this cost of living crisis. This blog aims to give you some tips for saving money when it comes to rocketing boat ownership maintenance costs.

Use a mooring rather than slip ways

Boats moored in the river


Paying annually for a mooring can work out cheaper than constantly using slipways to launch your boat. This may lead to additional costs, however, such as requiring a tender and all the associated equipment (oars or an outboard motor) so be sure to price up the alternatives fully.

Store your boat at home instead of a boatyard or drystack

Marina with a yacht dry storage rack

Hauling your boat out to a boatyard or drystack during the winter for maintenance can mean paying a healthy sum of rent to keep your boat there (up to £4000 a year!).

If you own a smaller vessel perhaps consider storing it on your driveway or even in your garden when it is out of the water over the winter refit period, for a cost effective alternative when you want to carry out any maintenance.

Invest in an ultrasonic antifouling system

EFC ultrasonic antifouling prices

How does ultrasonic antifouling work?

Ultrasonic antifouling systems use high frequency sound waves emitted from transducers attached to the outer skin of the boat’s hull. These ultrasonic waves emitted from each transducer cause the hull to vibrate and are extremely effective at helping to prevent marine life from attaching. You can read more about ultrasonic antifouling for boats in our previous blog.

Here at Electronic Fouling Control we have a huge range of environmentally friendly ultrasonic antifouling solutions suitable for a range of boats, vessels and even sea chests. These can be viewed in our electronic fouling control kit brochure.

One of the huge benefits of ultrasonic antifouling is the reduced need for boat maintenance but exactly how much can ultrasonic antifouling save you?

How much does ultrasonic antifouling save?

  • Saves money on fuel – as with any type of antifouling, minimising biofouling can lead to a 30% saving on fuel, that’s a really significant amount with the current cost of fuel. It can also help prevent loss of speed.
  • Saves money and time on antifouling paints – our ultrasonic systems work alongside traditional antifouling paints but, because of the efficiency of the ultrasonic technology, you only need to reapply bottom paint every three, four or even five years – saving endless expenses and valuable time. New hulls may not require any pre-treatment before installation of an ultrasonic antifouling system.
  • Saves money and time on lift outs – Because of the reduced need for reapplying antifouling, ultrasonic antifouling systems can minimise the need to lift your boat out of the water to clean or reapply antifouling, again saving precious time and money with the same great hull performance.
  • Saves time on application – our ultrasonic antifouling kits are easy to install with no thru-hull drilling required. The complete kit and manual is all supplied to make the task completely hassle free.
  • Saves the environment – choosing more environmentally friendly products is becoming more commonplace throughout the marine industry. If you choose an environmentally friendly ultrasonic system you are reducing the amount of pollution from antifouling in our rivers, seas and oceans without the expense of a clean hull. Furthermore, the ultrasonic waves are completely harmless and do not interfere with marine mammals.

What maintenance does ultrasonic antifouling require?

Maintenance with ultrasonic antifouling is pretty straightforward. You can skip the seasonal lift outs for reapplication of antifouling paint, in fact, using our ultrasonic antifouling systems you may only need to lift your boat out every three, four or sometimes even five years as long as you keep on top of general maintenance.

Does ultrasonic antifouling cost a lot to run?

No! Ultrasonic antifouling is very cost effective to run – our control systems all have the option of solar power alongside DC shore power, so you don’t always have to spend time and money on charging batteries for 24/7 hull protection from biofouling.

Are there any downsides to ultrasonic antifouling?

We don’t think so. The initial outlay cost of ultrasonic antifouling can be pricier than your annual antifouling paint job but within a short amount of time the kit should pay for itself and keep your hull clean and in great condition.

If you are using traditional antifouling – opt to polish your boat hull rather than reapply gel coat

Boat maintenance man with orbital polisher polishing a gel coat on the hull

If you are using hard antifouling paint, polishing the surface can remove adequate debris and improve appearance without the need for time consuming and costly reapplication of gel coats.

Polishing the surface will make the boat hull look good again in between those inevitable seasonal lift outs where reapplication of antifouling is required.

Try to complete small maintenance tasks yourself

Boat maintenance man cleaning boat

By doing as much of the maintenance yourself as you can manage, you can save on call out fees for small jobs and save money on costly big jobs such as antifouling if you learn how to safely complete them yourself. Why not check out our previous blog on DIY antifouling if you want to learn more about antifouling your boat yourself or invest in one of our ultrasonic antifouling systems.

Create a maintenance schedule to help keep you on track

There are a lot of boat maintenance jobs to do, to make sure this doesn’t become an overwhelming task at the start of the season a checklist and schedule can help you keep in control of your boat maintenance.

Keeping on top of your maintenance throughout the season is a much more effective way of preventing issues, or at least noticing them early rather than a single annual check. Our previous blog gives a comprehensive yacht maintenance checklist to get you started.

Considering investing in an ultrasonic antifouling system for your boat? Why not contact our team for help deciding which EFC kit is right for you.