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The Launch of Grapefruit Coatings – the place for all things hull coating related

by Gemma Scarth & Mark Jardine on 13 Nov 9 November 2017
Grapefruit Coatings © Grapefruit

Following on from the rebrand launch of Grapefruit, they are delighted to be officially launching their Grapefruit Coatings website which will be the place to go for all things hull coating related, whether it be vinyl hull wraps or industry changing MacGlide and Propspeed products.

We speak to Andy Yeomans, Founder and CEO to find out more about the reasoning behind the new Grapefruit Coatings Division.

"At the start of the year we launched MacGlide, a film-applied hull wrap which works as a foul release and is a great alternative to antifouling paint. With the huge amount of interest and discussion it created, we now have Grapefruit Coatings as a division and with that, two coatings managers, George Hand and Stuart Gladwin. Stuart has been busy travelling the UK, engaging with the marina and boat-yard managers, marine painters and yacht builders, letting them know that with the MacGlide product, there is an alternative to traditional antifoul paint. We've done five years of R&D and testing and it's now fully ready for the market."

"Now that boats are coming out of the water, finishing their sailing season and being laid-up for the winter, people are talking about it again and they now have the choice; continue to use traditional antifouling paint or make the change to the environmentally friendly, biocide-free option."

Grapefruit was also officially named as the sole UK distributor of Propspeed earlier on in the year to help provide a complete below-the-waterline solution for boats: "We almost fell into that by accident, but it was a natural step for us to take. We knew Clint Jones, who is the MD of Oceanmax who manufacture Propspeed, from the America's Cup World Series in San Francisco and bumped into Clint at METS in 2016 where he showed us the product. Propspeed can be applied to any of the metal appendages beneath the waterline, such as propellers and prop shafts, and it reinforced our belief in our approach that MacGlide isn't suitable for those areas. With the two products together, there's very little need to take a boat out of the water."

Propspeed seems to be an extremely complementary product to MacGlide, what with both being foul releasing products and environmentally friendly:

"Propspeed is a biocide-free, eco-friendly coating and when applied to running gear it also helps improve fuel costs, performance and prevents marine growth from sticking to the surface for up to 2 years. As well as being biocide free, it is also impermeable, so although we don't market it as an osmosis protector since it can be scraped, both MacGlide and Propspeed will help to provide an extra barrier against osmosis.

MacGlide and Propspeed are both extraordinary products when you compare them to a traditional antifoul paint, especially when looking at the impact they have on the environment.

"The really nasty chemicals which are used to make antifoul paint work have now been banned, so we're at the point where antifoul paints are around but don't have the effect they used to, yet they still release toxic chemicals into the marine environment. MacGlide is an option that, aside from bio-fouling from the surface, doesn't release anything harmful at all and works over a long period of time. It's not just a sustainable product from an environmental point-of-view, it's sustainable as you don't need to repeat the process year on year as it lasts for five years."

MacGlide cannot be painted directly onto a hull unless it is done in a highly controlled environment, which is where Grapefruit's skills in full hull wraps provided the ideal opportunity for the business to diversify. By applying the MacGlide Siloxane based coating to a film, Grapefruit could then apply this film uniformly to hulls:

"There are similar products available in paint-form, which effectively provides the same results as MacGlide. The hazardous point is the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and spraying silicone is a dangerous environment to be in. MacGlide provides a solution where the silicone is already applied to the film, avoiding the hazardous process entirely."

With the Grapefruit Coatings diversification, it allows for MacGlide, Propspeed and hull wrap work to be separated from the graphics side of the business, helping to further highlight their work all the way up from the America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race, right down to the local sailing clubs where they provide boat names on Optimists. The split will also help to send a clearer message to their customers and will help differentiate all the services they provide.

The new Grapefruit Coatings website has information on MacGlide, Propspeed and Hull Wraps along with a directory containing all accredited and approved UK applicators for each of those products.

If you wish to speak to the Grapefruit Coatings team, they will be attending METS next week so feel free to email them on and they'll be more than happy to meet up for a coffee and a chat.

Visit the new Grapefruit Coatings website at www.grapefruitcoatings.com, or visit their Facebook and Twitter pages:

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