It was in the Year 2000 that we first became the owners of a Genesis 32 launch powered by twin 150hp Volvo Stern drives. Great boat, great engines, great legs! yes indeed if the maintenance is done strictly when is supposed to be done. We did this faithfully by extracting her from the water every three months scraping and cleaning the barnacles and oysters off the legs and paying particular attention to the bellows too. However, as the warmer summer months come upon us, so does the marine growth … two-fold.
It was on one of these warm summer days when we were on a family trip to Great Barrier Island that we encountered our very first problem when one of the sternlegs seized on us. We were forced to shut this engine down and to flag the rest of our holiday. We limped back home on our one remaining sternleg at 9 knots, a vast speed difference compared to our usual 25 knot cruising speed. We were fortunate the weather was good with calm sea conditions for the children aboard and even more importantly, we had that additional engine and sternleg to be able to get home.
When we arrived back at Sandspit we contacted our local Volvo service agent who promptly came to inspect our problem. His diagnosis was that we had a hole punctured in the bellows caused by marine growth. This resulted in water ingress and subsequent bearing failure.
The final bill was no less than $2,000 in repairs due to perhaps only one little barnacle. It was then that we searched the market for some form of preventative maintenance we could employ to prevent this problem from re-occurring. We were told by some marine repairers to try measures such as painting the bellows with Anti-foul; covering the bellows with Lanolin, among others, but found these to be very temporary measures.
We conducted our own research and developed a product for testing which was done on a local water taxi for a period of almost 12 months. During this time the taxi had clocked up 1300 hours of commercial use. We then inspected the bellows and rams and found that during this time they had remained free from barnacle and oyster growth and still looked like new. Photographs of these results may be viewed on the product page on this web-site, also please view our Testimonials section.
It was only then after our success that we developed in year 2002 Barnacle Busters Ltd. We are now able to commercially provide Volvo and Mercury sterndrive owners with Protectors to help ensure safe and trouble free boating.
Barnacle Busters Ltd have been producing and supplying Protectors for New Zealand since 2002 and 2004 we commenced supplying to other parts of the world.