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Jaycar are a reasonably reputable retailer of electronic components. They have recently been pushing antifouling devices to help prevent marine life from attaching to the bottom of boats.

There is a project kit that references Silicon Chip Magazine September/October 2010.

There is also a branded product: SOANAR Ultrasonic Antifouling System.

The claims on that page include:

In ideal conditions the SOANAR Ultrasonic Antifouling System will work without any antifouling paint. Marine growth activity can be very aggressive is some areas however. In such cases the SOANAR Ultrasonic Antifouling System works best when installed after a fresh hull clean and new antifouling paint job.

Be assured, however, that the SOANAR Ultrasonic Antifouling System will add years to an antifouling paint job no matter how hostile your marine environment!

[...]

HOW THE SOANAR ULTRASONIC ANTIFOULING SYSTEM WORKS Inside the main control box is a specially programmed microprocessor which centrally controls the system, sending out a range of ultrasonic pulses with varying frequencies to the external transducer units. These transducers are attached with epoxy to the inside of the vessel’s hull, transferring the ultrasonic pulses directly into the hull. The hull then vibrates in tune with the ultrasonic wave pulse, making for a rather hostile and unpleasant environment for the marine growth. Indeed, it would be like trying to go to bed in the front row of a heavy metal concert!

Strangely, I have been unable to find mention of the product on the Soanar web-site - the domain name matches the email address given in the installation manual so I assume it is the right place.

I hope my question is obvious: Is there any evidence that ultrasonic devices like the Soanar device or the kit described in the magazine have any effect on reducing the fouling on boats?

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  • looks like the SOANAR company website is for a wholesale company in industrial electronics components rather than consumer devices. Might be a different company. (note, soanar.com.au points to another company again, so apparently there are multiple legal entities in Australia all using that same name).
    – jwenting
    Dec 1, 2011 at 11:44
  • @jwenting: Your comment triggered me to do more searching, before realising there was another give-away. The instruction manual has a company logo that matches the logo at www.soanar.com - it is the same company.
    – Oddthinking
    Dec 1, 2011 at 12:41
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    I have been running SOANAR ultrasonic antifoul unit (Purchased from Jacar) on my 32ft fibreglass yacht in Mandurah, Western Australia for three months. First had hull cleaned then antifoul paint applied, all lights working indicating that the unit is operational. No differance! Still getting same old build up of gunk. Went under and cleaned hull by hand, started again, gunk returned! My yacht goes out at least twice per week. Will give unit run it till September, then I will be jumping up and down.
    – user7930
    Jul 23, 2012 at 11:10

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