In Sweden, cleaning the hull of your boat with brushes during the season has been a smart and environmentally friendly alternative to the use of toxic antifouling paints for years. Now the Norwegian boat owners are starting to see the benefits of hull cleaning, and the 2018 season marks the start of a new era.
Idyllically situated in the Oslofjord, 20 min south of the Norwegian capital of Oslo lies Vollen Marina. In the summer of 2017, the marina received financial aid from the Norwegian Environment Agency to invest in a boat washing machine. The boat washer is the first and only of its kind in Norway and is a pilot project for environmentally friendly maintenance of leisure yachts, with the goal of eliminating the need for toxic antifouling. If the measure is a success, it is believed that other marinas in Norway may receive similar aid to battle toxic emissions from antifouling locally. Much like the LOVA principle in Sweden.
Convinced of a future without toxic antifouling
Project manager at Vollen Marina, Anders Øgaarden has years of experience in the marine industry and is a strong believer in a future without pollution and environmentally harmful emissions.
The way we perform maintenance on our leisure boats today is not sustainable and has a serious negative impact on our health and the marine life, says Anders. Time is short and we all need to open our eyes to alternative and more environmentally friendly methods that can replace toxic antifouling paint. Our view is that the Swedes are far ahead of us Norwegians in this area, both in terms of research and technical solutions. One of the most important measures for us has been to install a boat wash machine here in the harbor, says Anders. This makes it possible for boat owners to clean the hull regularly during the season, or when needed instead of using bottom paint.Anders Øgaarden, Project Manager at Green Marina (Vollen Marina), Norway
Continuous financial support in 2018
Kicking off the 2018 boating season, Vollen Marina were granted additional funds from the Marine Littering Program through the Norwegian Environment Agency (Miljødirektoratet). The funds enabled them to offer free and unlimited boat washing to all boat owners during the 2018 season. The idea behind the initiative was to attract as many boat owners as possible during a season and motivate them them to try hull brush washing.
In order to qualify for the free, unlimited washes, boat owners were required to not apply new antifouling bottom paint at the beginning of the 2018 boating season. By November 1st, as many as 886 registered customers had washed their boats in the machine, totaling more than 1150 washes during the 2018 season.