New technology paint being applied to vessels operated by Black Cat Cruises will result in huge savings on fuel costs and is better for the environment.
“We are replacing our existing traditional paint with new intersleek 970 antifoul paint on two of our vessels that operate in Akaroa,” Black Cat Cruises Managing Director Paul Bingham said.
“We expect to save around six percent of diesel use as the intersleek paint is more ‘slippery’ and allows the vessel to move through the water with greater efficiency – the new paint system has much less friction than the one we currently use.”
“Currently after about six months in Akaroa Harbour we see quite a lot of weed on our vessels. We only pull the boats out of the water for cleaning and servicing once a year so the weed stays on the vessel meaning there is greater drag and we use more fuel.”
“The new intersleek paint is also far more resistant to the weed growth so drag on the vessels over a period of time will be reduced – it’s amazing that what seems like a small thing will have such a big impact on our fuel costs,” Bingham said
The application of new intersleek paint needs to be done only once every five years where normal painting is done annually.
The intersleek paint is also better for the environment as it does not emit toxins into the waterways like traditional anti foul paint used on vessels.
Black Cat Cruises applied to The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) for funding support for the project.
The EECA works to raise community awareness of energy efficiency issues and provides businesses and individuals with the tools and support to make changes and promote a sustainable energy future by changing the way New Zealanders think about and use energy.
“We received $5,000 from the EECA and will be monitoring the project closely and reviewing our findings with them,” Bingham said.
The cost to paint the Black Cat vessel with the new technology paint is $17,000 and the company expects annual diesel savings of up to 3500 litres per year. The cost to paint its other vessel Cat 2 is $7,800 with expected annual savings of up to 2000 litres per year.
“Our fuel bill is expected to be in excess of $500,000 over the next 12 months so we need to be looking for new ways to reduce fuel consumption. Reducing drag on our vessels with the new intersleek paint is a one way to do this. We’re also looking at how far we take our vessels each day and at what speed.”
“In addition we think we’re probably running the newest engines in New Zealand. From October the average age of our engines will be 9 months old. This creates greater efficiency and reduces fuel use”
Black Cat Cruises has been operating for 22 years and is a former winner of the Supreme tourism award and is the