The Lütt Deern mooring boat entered service in February last year. Since then, it has been setting new standards when it comes to biocide-free fouling protection. Fitted with a soot filter and a closed coolant system, the mooring boat is also a pioneer in ship coatings and has been part of a pilot project in the port of Hamburg for more than a year and a half.

Biocides are generally used in professional navigation, for example to prevent fouling by algae and shells. While biocide coatings prevent fouling, their release also damages the environment and marine organisms. Renolit, a family owned company based in Worms, Germany, has been one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality plastic films over the last 70 years. The company has now developed a film for the maritime sector that offers an alternative to these coatings.

Renolit Dolphin S is a fouling release film which, compared to the usual anti-fouling solutions, is completely biocide free. The Lütt Deern’s hull was coated with this film in February 2016. The mooring boat has now been taken out of the water for repairs. This provided the perfect opportunity to examine the special functionality of the film.

Even Benito di Racca, owner of the Lütt Deern and managing partner of HSH Schleppgesellschaft, made the trip to the M.A. Flint shipyard. "When the boat was taken out of the water, there was hardly any deposit build-up on the hull. No fouling, no shells. For me, this means that the film works," di Racca said.

Sébastien Charlès, Business Manager with Renolit Maritime, is conviced of the effectiveness of the film: "Renolit Maritime S is an outstanding and, above all, promising solution. Many ports already have a rule that only ships with a biocide coating may enter the port. While such a rule does not yet apply in Hamburg, there is a growing trend for biocide-free coatings. The regulations are getting stricter, and at the same time shipyards and ship owners are subject to growing demands. Benito di Racca was on board with the concept from an early stage and helped us to show that the film works."

As a result of the positive experience, two more RENOLIT films have been applied to the boat. RENOLIT SHARK – an extremely stable protective film, which offers protection against weatherability, UV radiation and bleaching out – was applied to the part of the ship’s hull that is above water. RENOLIT NAUTILUS – an anti-corrosion film – was attached to the wheelhouse.

"I am very satisfied with the RENOLIT films. The film is still completely intact on the hull, even after repeated inspection intervals and launches. The film has been in place for almost 20 months and we have never had any problems. The opportunity to perform detailed repairs is also an advantage. In the spring, we had an accident during which the film was damaged. This damage could now be repaired by simply replacing small sections of film," says Benito di Racca.