A study conducted by Finnish maritime IT firm Eniram revealed that operating in areas with a heavy development of fouling could increase the costs of a cruise vessel up to $500,000 per year.
The study, carried out on 60 cruise ships of 90,000grt-120,000grt sailing in the Caribbean, coastal seas round California and Alaska, the Mediterranean and the Baltic, collected data at frequencies of up to 25 per second.
The study shows the differences in fouling build-up between cruising areas, with the Caribbean seas causing the most fouling while cruise ships operating in Alaskan area face the least fouling.
Eniram carried out the study on the effects of hull fouling on cruise ships sailing through a variety of sea areas and covering over 38,000 operative sea days, complemented with temperatures and salinity databases.
Data collected to understand the effects of dry and in-water cleaning showed that although the first and second wash reduced added power consumption by about 2%, fouling continuing to increase after the washes, while brushing removed some parts of the coating from the hull.
Dry dock cleaning had a more significant impact on fouling, reducing it by 5%.