How you can keep your hull clean without cleaning

How one VLCC avoided biofouling during long idle period

After five months standing idle in warm waters, this VLCC resumed trading without the need for hull cleaning thanks to its Hempaguard X7 hull coating.

The marine industry is dynamic, with vessels bought and sold often. This can lead to unpredictability in a vessel’s trading pattern and activity level – and potentially long idle periods, during which biofouling can develop on the hull. When biofouling accumulates beyond certain thresholds, in-water hull cleaning is needed before the vessel resumes trading – a costly and time consuming process. Our Hempaguard range of products represents the best solution to avoid in-water hull cleaning in most trading scenarios.

This VLCC tanker was coated with Hempaguard X7 in 2022. The original owner wanted a system that would provide flexibility in different trading scenarios while ensuring high fuel efficiency. Hempaguard was chosen for its unique ability to reduce out-of-dock average hull roughness and withstand extended idle periods in waters with increased biofouling risk. In contrast to other antifouling coatings, Hempaguard maintains its surface smoothness over an extended period, keeping the hull biofouling-free in almost all trading scenarios and after long idle periods.

VLCC with Hempaguard X7 sees no hull biofouling after 5-month idle period

The challenge

The VLCC tanker entered drydock in February 2022. While the drydocking project was ongoing, the owner began negotiations to sell the vessel. But the legal process took time to finalise and, as a result, the vessel remained idle outside Malaysia for 161 days, an area with high risk of biofouling growth.

The solution

With any other antifouling coating system, a long idle period like this would lead to extensive biofouling growth on the hull, which would require expensive redocking or a challenging hull cleaning process. However, an in-water inspection revealed that the hull was in excellent condition. No in-water cleaning of the flat bottom or vertical sides was necessary – saving time and money for both the vessel seller and buyer.

At a glance

Vessel type VLCC
Built 2006
Last drydock February 2022
Inspection data*

Performance since last drydock:

  • Activity level: 3.7%
  • Average speed: 8.2kn
  • Average water temperature: Warm (27.3°C)
  • Water depth: Shallow

* Inspection data collected 7 months after drydocking and after 5-month idle period