HMS Scott’s New Red Coating Environmentally Friendlier

HMS Scott's New Red Coating Environmentally Friendlier

As HMS Scott leaves dry dock and returns to water, a new coating on her hull will save thousands of pounds and will be friendlier for the environment.


The coating, called Hempasil X3, is a ‘fouling-release’ material which prevents organisms like barnacles from clinging to the hull. These organisms reduce the ship’s stream-lining and prevent the smooth flow of water across the hull, causing it to burn more fuel to make speed.

This particular type of anti-fouling does not contain any biocides which would do harm to the organisms, but rather it provides a surface too slick for them to stay attached to at higher speeds.

In addition to saving fuel, the decreased levels of greenhouse gasses produced by the main engines, such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and nitrous oxide, will also make the ship more environmentally friendly.

A report submitted to Energy and Environmental Research Associates in February of 2011 which reviewed the impact of similar hull coatings on various types of vessels from bulk container ships to ferries showed that vessels consumed an average of 9.1% less fuel with the foul-release coating.

In environmental terms, that’s thousands of kilograms of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), or greenhouse gasses, avoided each year and because HMS Scott is an open-ocean vessel which runs at survey speeds for months at a time, this could mean a potential cost savings of over £200K per year.

Press Release, June 18, 2014; Image: UK Navy