• NauticExpo e-Magazine - #18 - Smart Ports - NauticExpo e-Magazine

    Smart Ports

    Dear readers,


    In this new issue, you will travel to Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands to discover two of the smartest and most automated ports in the world—the King Abdullah Port and the Port of Rotterdam.


    You’ll also read about the new generations of antifouling coatings as leading companies are updating their product lines to meet European environmental regulations. On another note, we tested the impressive and luxurious Lagoon Seventy Seven. Finally, we toured the biggest boat show on the planet, boot Düsseldorf, to give you our impressions of the 2018 market trends.


    Celia Sampol, Editor-in-Chief

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    King Abdullah Port was built to maximize the efficiency of the maritime sector in Saudi Arabia and beyond.
    King Abdullah Port in Saudi Arabia (KSA) is becoming the leading automated port in the region (Courtesy of KSA)

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    Strategically situated on the busy Asia-Europe shipping route and in close proximity to the Suez Canal, King Abdullah Port in Saudi Arabia (KSA) is quickly becoming the leading automated port in the region.   With a robust infrastructure based on the latest port technology systems and expertly trained staff, the port...

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    The new regulations require that all key biocides used in antifouling yacht paints in the EU be assessed.
    Barnacle boat (Courtesy of Creative Commons)


    The marine curse of fouled hulls has generated a thriving industry of toxic paints which release self-polishing copolymers. But the European Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) calls into question even the less harmful copper-based antifouling paints. Leading companies are updating their lines to meet the upcoming deadlines.


    The new regulations require that all key biocides used in antifouling yacht paints in the EU be assessed. Applying and maintaining these paints is costly for recreational vessels, and can be huge for large ships. The combination of environmental concerns, rising costs, and technological changes has spurred the search for better solutions.

    “Addressing hull fouling is a crucial step in protecting marine biodiversity.”

    Poisoning the ocean is not the only problem posed by organisms adhering to hulls. International Maritime Organization (IMO) director Stefan Micallef explained: “The IMO has been at the forefront of the international effort to tackle the transfer of invasive aquatic species by ships. Addressing hull fouling is a crucial step in protecting marine biodiversity. The treatment of hulls to reduce fouling by aquatic organisms has the additional benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, since [it also reduces] drag.”

    In 2017, the IMO announced it was allocating $6.9 million to its new GloFouling Project, covering both commercial and recreational vessels. All available approaches will be examined, including improved ultrasonic waves, nanotechnology and robotic solutions.

    A Range of Technologies

    Antifouling paint prevents rust on metal hulls and reduces marine growth on all hulls. In addition to high cost, it has only limited ability to combat barnacle growth inside hull fittings. This is spurring efforts to modify or completely change the system.

    New approaches include metal-free, low-friction alternatives, enzyme-based green products and silicone liquids, among others. Selektope from pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is one example. The collaborative EU eSHaRk project that includes non-eroding silicone filament from Mactac is another. A third possible solution is a low-friction nanotechnology being developed by Nanotech Marine.

    eSHaRk wants to create an innovative new fouling protection system for commercial seagoing vessels (Courtesy of eSHaRk)

    Applying these paints and filaments remains onerous, creating a need for robotic applicators and cleaners. Robotic hull cleaners, such as the Italian-designed Keelcrab, is a solution aimed at recreational boaters. Commercial shipping already uses robots for hull inspection, one reason the US Coast Guard commissioned an extensive report on the subject in 2016. Robots used magnetism to stick to hulls or negative pressure fields, though shipowners questioned both approaches. The report concluded that “In terms of the effectiveness of the technologies, we continue to see a lack of conclusive testing.”

    The Ultrasonic Alternative

    In the 1950s, the US Navy found growth-free areas on hulls near sonar signal sources and used the phenomenon to complement antifouling paint. Critics of the technology note that power output was substantial—perhaps 2 kW—whereas consumer versions operated at 20-100 kHz. Ironically, ultrasound is also used to promote plant growth, making it a somewhat controversial solution. However, manufacturers such as CMS Marine and Harsonic point out that the amount of power required to destroy algae at single cell level is significantly lower than that required to destroy molluscs. Another company, NRG Marine, told visitors to METSTRADE 2017 that its Sonihull ultrasonic product has 15,000 users.

    A variation comes from Australia’s Barnaclerid, which creates a copper ion electronic field around the boat’s hull. Unlike ultrasonic systems, no hull installation is required. Instead, it consists of a wiring harness holding several electrodes that hangs from the boat when moored. “Also, Barnaclerid does not cause electrolysis or galvanic corrosion, as shown in independent tests. This report is available on request,” CEO Shane Gillard told NauticExpo e-magazine.

    Read more about antifouling coatings on NauticExpo website.


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    Stylistically, it is a major change from Lagoon’s trademark blunt profile.
    The Lagoon Seventy 7 (Courtesy of Lagoon)

    Large catamarans offer several advantages over monohulls—stability, space, and fuel efficiency. To make its new flagship Seventy 7 even more attractive, Lagoon has added a powerful sail. NauticExpo e-mag joined the crew for an afternoon outing on the South China Sea, where the first hull was launched.   Accommodations...

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    Jan D’Sa

    Jan D’Sa is a Dubai-based reporter and technical writer.

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    Øyvind Bordal

    Øyvind Bordal is a norwegian writer and sailor, based in Denmark and Caribbean.


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    Kevin Green

    Kevin Green is a Sydney-based yachting journalist who contributes to international boating publications.


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    Wim Vercauter

    Wim Vercauter is a freelance boating editor and a fire safety expert.

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    Celia Sampol

    Celia Sampol has been a journalist for 15 years. She worked in Brussels and Washington for national medias (Agence France Presse, Liberation). She’s the editor-in-chief of NauticExpo e-magazine.

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    Tony Slinn

    Formerly editor-in-chief of IHS Maritime, Tony Slinn is an independent maritime journalist.

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